Here is a video I took in 2015 of the manor property during a heavy summer rain. As you can see, the swale is taking water from where it is heavily concentrated (in the valley), and moving it to where water is most needed (on the ridge). I feel that this method works incredibly well, being that our clay soil has a very high water holding capacity. Deeper saturation of the soil means much higher drought tolerance in our case. Pardon the messy pond, I had to include it in the video just so you could hear the amount of noise coming from the frogs and toads that relocated to the pond shortly after it was filled. In this video the pond is still under construction.
We have a contour orchard beyond the ridge where the swale is overflowing. On this property we employed a lot of contour brush berms due to the immense amount of established cactus and mesquite present before we broke ground. Pushing this organic matter on contour has provided amazing results such as;
-Living Fence(ish) protection from larger grazing wildlife
-Soil/Water Conservation, basically functions as a massive silt catch,
this is especially important after clearing property.
-Habitat for smaller wildlife, (this can be good or bad depending on your how threatening your local wildlife is,, BirdsVsMiceVsSnakes)