Friday, March 09, 2012

Water almost everywhere and no place to put it.

Dear Readers,

It rained a lot yesterday here in central Arkansas, more rain than I could find a place to put it. I have six 55 gallon barrels filled, two 35 gallon barrels filled and over a dozen containers all over 5 gallons filled, some with over 18 gallons of water in them stretching their seams. A US Gallon has 231 cubic inches in it. Dividing that by 144 Square Inches gives you the depth a gallon will cover a Square foot of land, everything else is just plugging in those figures to get what you need for a year's worth of watering needs, or at least to cover the dry spells.

Last year we hit over 4 weeks without any rain what so ever, Drought hit more places than the year before in the USA, and world wide more still. There are people that devote years to plan water harvesting plans, and several big names in the field are out there, off hand I know of them, but not their names exactly. I have always been aware of the need for water, as my parents grew up with needing it and at times having to go to great lengths to get it. My mom is short and small, but hearing about her carrying two buckets of wash water up hill several times on wash day, because their well had been dry for a while ( due to someone one lower on the hill drilling into their water source. ) You start planning for all sorts of issues when you learn these things as a young person.

I have always wanted to go off of city water, though I have not planned on the bathroom or the laundry doing that yet, as it is not my house, I still think about it, and in all the plans I have done of homes, they were not connected to city water unless they were in apartment buildings or city spaces. Even then the idea of getting water from the sky or springs or creeks as your sole water source was in the back of my mind.

An inch of rain, on a roof 10 feet by 20 feet gives you 124 gallons of water, or there abouts. That is a small shed like structure or the side of a small house or barn roof. One good rain storm and a few more hunks of roof gathering water and you get a lot of water in a few hours of time. Storage and retrieval and piping and all that is the big issue after the gathering.

In our case, the one set of collection barrels, have a outflow valve on the bottom, and we can transfer by bucket or a hand water pump. Good exercise if you want it, literally free weights, just gallons of buckets and lifting and pouring, or pumping water handles. I still lament that our water gathered won't last a long dry summer, it didn't last year, but where to get more space to fill up with all this cool rain. More barrels, a pond, Hydroponic tanks, all seem to be in the plans, all are a few months away too, unless I hand dig one of the ponds and line it with something to hold n the water and make it into an ecosystem and go from there to other plans.

I have been making small planters out of bottles that soda or tea came in first. Trying to figure out which of many designs works better in the places to hang lots of them. You can make some neat gifts for home or office with almost any bottle and some potting soil and a few plants or seeds, watering with compost tea, or other mineral filled water sources along with tap water or rain water. I like edible plants along with green non-edible ones, so I mix an match for whatever the thought needed. When the weather gets warmer I will have to remind myself to shade the containers a bit to cut down on over heating.

The list goes on and on, rainy days are good for thinking and planting things inside, but then you seem to run out of supplies, only to be reminded that the whole world is full of them. Supplies and Ideas.

The peace of the Lord to you all, and rain not drought.


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