Humus per la Biosfera – A new Pond: Retention Basin, Water Reservoir and Habitat

In preparation of it’s hedge building project, EUKI project Humus per la Biosfera created a pond that has multiple positive effects on local climate action.

by Stefanie Hermsen, Manfred-Hermsen-Stiftung

Published: 11 July 2023

In the winter of 2022/23, we created an irrigation pond in the upper area of our agricultural trial field near Bronte, opposite Mount Etna. This measure in preparation for the establishment of multifunctional hedges also has multiple benefits: As a retention basin, the pond holds back water in times of heavy rainfall and prevents soil erosion, it stores carbon and has a balancing effect on the microclimate, and it promotes biodiversity, e.g. as a spawning ground for amphibians in spring or a settlement site for moisture-loving spontaneous vegetation.

Surveying and first excavation work together with
our international volunteers and interns like
student Lisa Saleh, Photos: ©Manfred-Hermsen-Stiftung

In summer, the pond provides the collected rainwater for plant irrigation as an alternative to the usual water extraction from the Simeto River in this area. The slope of the terrain allows the water to be directed to the plants without a pump. It will reach each hedge plant individually via a low-evaporation drip irrigation system and save them through the hot summers until they will be big enough to take care of themselves after a few years.

The pond ready to be filled by rain, Photo: ©Manfred-Hermsen-Stiftung

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