Ken Yeoman discusses Keyline Design and the Keyline Scale of Permanence
The first book on Keyline book was published in 1954. In it, P. A. Yeomans exploded the myth that it takes 1,000 years to produce an inch of topsoil. Yeomans pioneered, among other things, the use of on farm irrigation dams in Australia, as well as chisel plows and subsoil aerating rippers. Yeomans perfected a system of amplified contour ripping that controlled rainfall run off and enabled the fast flood irrigation of undulating land without the need for terracing.
Although Keyline was initially developed for rural property planning and is superb Landcare it also provides a basis for more sustainable suburban planning and larger subdivisions.
Keyline Designs features large earth walled irrigation dams that are all equipped with through-the-wall Lockpipe systems to gravity feed irrigation, stock water and yard water. Across the landscape the dams may be interlinked by channels. These graded earth channels broaden the catchment areas of high dams, conserve the height of water and transfer rainfall run-off into the most efficient high dam sites. The road systems of Keyline follow both ridge lines and the graded contour water channels. Contour roads and paths, being almost flat, provide easy low energy movement across even very undulating land.