The Vetiver Network International

Dams & Ponds

Dams, ponds and reservoirs

Introductory photo essay  VS_Dam_o.pdf (

Photo 1 Small earth dam in Australia protected and stabilized with vetiver

Dams, ponds and reservoirs can be subject to serious damage when flooding occurs. Small earth built dams are particularly vulnerable. The VGT when news has a number of benefits. When planted on dam walls it will reduce wave run up damage and can reduce the amount of freeboard that maybe required by as much as 10%. Vetiver grass will continue growing, even if partially submerged, and has been known to survive and recover growth after six months of complete submergence. This characteristic is useful with regard to the drawdown areas of reservoirs that undergo fluctuation in water level. Drawdown areas with  serious erosion can be protected by vetiver knowing that it will survive submergence. Vetiver is also useful for protecting small farm ponds that often have bank erosion that results in sedimentation of the pond. Planting vetiver around the pond solves this problem and also provide cover for wildlife and shade for some fish near the banks. Vetiver has also been successfully used for stabilizing small earth dam spillways (generally the weakest part of a dam).

Comparison of current status of protective planting of species in the draw down zone of the Danjiang reservoir area, Henan province, China. China reservoir draw down area and vetiver protection

Photo 2 Small dam in China being planted with vetiver
Photo 3 Small dam in China being planted with vetiver – close up of soil and planting technique.
Photo 4 Back yard fish pond with banks stabilized with vetiver – attractive and tranquil – (Vietnam Tio Ngo)
Photo 5 Farm pond protected by vetiver. Note how vetiver can provide shade for fish and habitat for birds and insects besides stabilizing the pond banks (Vietnam Tio Ngo)

Wave Run-up Reduction through Vetiver Grass

This is an important MSc thesis by Auke Algera. It should be read in conjunction with Jasper Foch’s thesis on the same topic.