Farm Pond Irrigation System

Traditional way of storing rainfall for agricultural demand developed by Taiwanese ancestors.

Yi-Tang Kao

The farm pond irrigation system is a traditional agricultural landscape that has been used for 258 years. It is located in the Taoyuan tableland. Before twentieth century, more than ten thousand man-made ponds of varied size and location make tableland like a starry sky. The paper will select a part of the Dayuan district irrigation area to show the pond system in detail.

Overall plan of farm pond irrigation system.

The ponds were excavated following the contour lines for collecting rainwater as the primary water resource during the dry season. The pond construction shows how ancestors take advantage of the local conditions to adapt to extreme climates.

The dragon boat racing in the farm pond (top right), fishing activity in the farm pond (bottom left), the shrine in the middle of the farm pond (bottom right)

More than ten thousand farm ponds in varied sizes and locations have formed several living ways. The primary function of farm ponds is stabling the water source for farming. Therefore, the landscape is usually accompanied by farm fields and settlements with ditches.

Circular Stories

Circular economy and ecosystem diagram (top) and perspective of the single pond and field (bottom)

The water circularity flow starts from the highest point of the reservoir and through the canal input to the pond. Then, irrigate water to the field and ultimately drainage the fields. The farm pond system serves as a small reservoir for the fields on the tableland.

The farm pond provides great habitats for wildlife which forms the pond ecosystem. Not a single pond wildlife can be omitted. Moreover, ponds are regarded as the stepping stones for migrant birds. In addition to the pond ecosystem, the pond offers food production for people such as fish es and crops. Under good management, water in the pond can raise fish and irrigate the fields.

Water system gives birth to the pond ecosystem, aquaculture and agriculture system. The circular economy and ecosystem formed with the farm pond system.

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