AquacultureBiological CleaningDesignEnergy SystemsGeneralIrrigationLandWaterWater ConservationWater Harvesting

Finding Water in the Desert

We were recently filming in Nevada, USA, visiting interesting high dry and cold climate systems. We went out in search of a salt pan to film as a specific landscape feature.

Whilst on our journey we came across a large sand dune. It was a mighty Erg, an Erg is a wind blown mountain of sand that resembles a sand dune and they have a classic ability to hold moisture as fresh sand filtered water.

The phenomena, that most people don’t realise, is that fresh water sits on top of salt water. As with Swales, when we rehydrate the landscape with rainwater harvesting earthworks, we perch fresh water shallow aquifers on top of salted aquifers.

In this short clip Geoff explains how to find water in the natural spring line that sits down hill from the Erg.

The Permaculture Research Insitute

PRI Zaytuna Farm functions as a model farm (in development) and permaculture training facility. Geoff and Nadia Lawton, world-renowned permaculture educators and consultants, lead the project. Much of Geoff and Nadia’s time over the last few years has been spent away from the Institute, consulting and helping set up projects in diverse locales around the world. Seeing the worldwide demand for knowledgeable permaculture consultants and teachers increase exponentially, as fuel and fertiliser prices skyrocket and the effects of climate change, soil depletion and water shortages begin to hit hard, priority and focus is now shifting back to the Institute, where growing the training program will increase the output of quality teachers to help fill the growing need for them.


  1. Thank you, Geoff, for this and all your videos. They are educational, highly inspirational, and enjoyable to watch. I have begun using permaculture techniques in my garden as a result of being inspired by your work.

  2. Thank you Mr jeoff for this video you are a great teacher give me a hoop to change our live fore bitter according to permaculture i love you in allah

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