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Swansea Wetlands

Project: Swansea Wetland Mitigation Bank
Size: 120 Acres
Duration: 5 Years
Funding: $512,000

Services Provided:

  • Scoping & Planning
  • Property Acquisition
  • Water Acquisition
  • Data Development
  • Economic Study
  • Design
  • Permitting
  • Financing
  • Construction Management
  • Construction
  • Utilization
  • Vegetation
  • Instrumentation
  • Operation & Maintenance
  • Monitoring
  • Adaptive Management
  • Evaluation

Additional Information
Photo Presentation

aerial view of Swansea Wetlands

Agrarian owns a 120-acre parcel of land on the northern margin of the Owens Lake in eastern California. When purchased, the land was dry saltgrass meadow, hardpan playa, and sparse greasewood scrub. We have drilled and developed two artesian wells on this property, that produce collectively about 700 gallons per minute of water, lifting the water about 20 feet above the level of the wells. Agrarian designed, constructed, planted, and is operating two series of ponds as constructed wetland, supplied with water from these wells. One set is operated from the smaller well, and consists of seven ponds with about seven wetted acres. This series is being certified as a mitigation bank for the California Department of Transportation. The second series of ponds totals about 30 acres, and is operated from the larger well. Both pond series have been planted with wetland vegetation and serve as excellent habitat for waterfowl and other bird species. Finally, Agrarian constructed approximately 10 acres of shallow basins that can be flooded seasonally for waterfowl habitat. Theses basins are supplied with water pumped from the drains that surround the artesian-watered ponds. This site is an ideal demonstration project for wetland construction and creation, showing the opportunities that exist for wetland creation in a desert environment. It is a fine showpiece for our capacity in all aspects of wetland development. We invite any interested person or party to request a site visit to this remarkable property.

May 2003 first water in the first pond

The ponds were created in early spring 2003, and water was introduced into the ponds in May 2003. There was not vegetation in the ponds or its borders at that time. The ponds were constructed with native material, and are a maximum of 20 feet deep.


artesian well

The ponds are supplied with water from two artesian wells that Agrarian drilled on the property.

pond 1 after 2 yearspond 2 after 2 years

Ponds after two years of development. Saltgrass is covering the berms.

Site Photos