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Selling Land? For Best Results, Just Add Water

Nothing increases the value of a piece of property like a water feature such as a river, stream, pond, lake or stock tank. Most water structures will increase the value of your land proportionally to the cost of construction, and a well-designed feature can even create more value than it costs in some cases. However, a poorly designed or ill-conceived structure also has the potential to lower the value of a property. That’s why if you plan to create one yourself, the project should be undertaken with care.

You can’t build a river or stream where there isn’t one, but it is possible to construct a man-made pond, tank or lake that will bring value to your property and the natural environment.

Adding Water

Before you go out and dig a hole in the middle of a field, you need to make sure the particular parcel of land is well-suited for the construction of a water structure. Redesigning a structure because you made mistakes the first time will be expensive, as well, and can be best avoided by just taking a bit of time to do your research and consider all factors from the onset.

Consider All Possible Factors

A few other aspects to consider before you break ground:

The origins of the water: If you plan on filling your water structure with surface water or well water, you’ll likely need a permit for that. Surface water such as rivers or streams is owned by the state. As for groundwater, different states manage groundwater consumption by landowners differently, so you may not need a permit, but it’s best to do your due diligence and check beforehand.

Topography and the shape of your water feature: When choosing location, the slope of the land and the availability of emergency spillways are key. In the event of overflow, you should be able to control where the excess water will spill to.

Soil and liners: To prevent seepage and erosion, a pond or tank needs to be properly lined. This can be achieved naturally with heavy clay soil compacted into a thick layer. In the absence of the right soil type, you can also use a durable synthetic liner able to withstand wear and tear from both wildlife and the environment.

Vegetation: You’re probably so focused on how your pond is going to look, you completely forgot about what will go immediately around it. Some animals, such as waterfowl or deer, will prefer thicker vegetation. On the other hand, turkeys or doves would rather the shoreline be sandier with sparse vegetation. Consider what kinds of animals the water feature needs to be best suited for to choose the right plants.

Size: Constructing too large a water feature will exceed whatever use it was created for in the first place. The general rule is that anything deeper than about six feet will just be a waste of water. However, if water is too shallow, it will get too warm and expose fish to too much sunlight. If your pond is too small, it won’t be very cost-effective, either. The larger the body of water, the lower the cost per acre to build it.


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