Friday, January 4, 2008

Getting Water in the Desert

While we don't have water catchment yet, we finally have some significant water storage in the form of a 55 gallon rain barrel. Gotta start somewhere. We picked up this barrel for $15 in town and it cost about another $15 for the spigot and epoxy putty. Emile, who has plumbing experience, easily installed the faucet by cutting a hole out with a knife and then securing the faucet with the putty. When cutting out the hole, he purposefully made the hole a fraction smaller than the faucet valve so that when screwing it in, it would create a tight, leak free fit.

Though minimal, this is a big improvement in our water situation out here as it will give us a place to keep the water we will need for mixing cement and cob. During the mixing process, we will need to make daily runs to nearby water sources. It just so happens that a very generous neighbor ( who lives a mile away ) is letting us use her water catchment for our project as she will be out of the area for a period of time. She needs all the water emptied from her cistern in order to move it to another location, so it is a win win situation. The water in that cistern may be all the water that we need for the mixing, but we also have some backup sources, such as Don's well and the Ranch Lodge, which sells water for 3 cents a gallon.

55 gallons is not alot, especially considering the amount of water needed to mix cement and cob. But for personal puroposes, it can go a long way. A good shower only requires a couple of gallons of water, for example.

Ideally, if the funds are available, the best way to start out here in the desert is by setting up a roof and water catchment before doing anything else. When it rains here, it pours, and it frustrating to watch it all wash away and evaporate so fast. There are no water limits out here as long as one maximizes the potential of catchment and storage.

No comments: