Water wise

I am sure everyone has heard the rumour that the next world war will be waged over water. I am really not too sure if it’s correct but the issue of good clean water available for all is really topical right now. For us, the current drought has really brought it home. The 2015/2016 drought is the most intense drought on record in our area with the lowest rainfall and the highest temperatures.

We have water rights assigned to our farm of 1 hectare out of the nearby Crocodile river and 5 hectares from the Sterkspruit dam up the hill from us. This amount of water for farming our land is ample however we have to run a pipe down to the river (2,5km) to get the water from the Crocodile river which we will hopefully be doing in the next year or two. The Sterkspruit water is supposed to be delivered to our doorstep under pressure which is a huge bonus as it means no pumping or electricity usage. Currently the Sterkspruit dam is empty and the water was apparently all used up by farms in the area who do not have rights to it. There is a legal battle underway with no end in sight right now.

As a stop gap we buy our Crocodile river water from the farmer next door who pumps it over to us when we need some provided there are no water restrictions in place (which there frequently are right now). Currently each farm may only pump for 30 hours a week. Bear in mind that it is mid winter here and we have had NO rain for many months. We are  very glad we do not, as yet, have a crop in the ground and our nursery trees require little water.

Luckily our borehole has remained functional through the drought so we do have household water for ourselves as well as our tenants.

For the above reasons we have decided to catch every drop of water we can and store it for the farm. We have plans to catch rain water off all our roofs with the carport roof already all set up

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We harvest just under 100 litres of water for ever 1mm of rain that falls on this roof.

These tanks are connected to a tank at our staff house down the hill, via the chicken cage and the kennels which will have its own 2500 liter tank joined to the system.

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Water from the newly built cottage roof is going to be piped onto the carport roof where it too will fill the large tanks seen above.

We also have a natural spring right down near the bottom of our property. It’s not very strong but it still has a good trickle in the middle of this drought.  One can see it was used many years ago but the well area was old and crumbling.

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This week we emptied it out and rebuilt the wall.

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The water from the spring will be piped to a nearby holding tank which we will pump up to our reservoir at the top of the farm.

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Water collected off our farm house roof will also run off into this reservoir. This past month we have laid quite a few pipes to join everything together. We are so thankful for Victor who almost digs faster than a TLB. He loves digging as he says it gives him a free gym workout.

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Here you can see how terribly dry it is. We expect our first decent rainfalls in October and according to our local weather experts we should be getting “la nina” rainfall patterns this year so we can expect an above average rainfall.

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We hope to catch a couple of thousand liters every time it rains. Every drop counts.

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3 thoughts on “Water wise

  1. Well done – like us, you’re now ahead of everyone else insofar as guaranteeing that you’re more water self-sufficient. Oh, I do LOVE that spring turned well – lucky you 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jackie – If you keep one of those rain water tanks for drinking (after filtering through a Berkley or SA equivalent) then you’ll be good to go. I wouldn’t try using the water from that reservoir – even though it’s gorgeous and I have reservoir envy, never mind spring envy lol.

      We placed a strip of 80% shadecloth at the top inlet where the gutter downpipes enter the tanks. It works well, and catches an amazing amount of debris – either blown or bird dropped. Just remember to check / clean them out every couple of months 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • yes we have got leaf traps and/or shade cloth filters on all of our tanks.The water currently in the reservoir is from the croc river. It’s really not too bad but would need filtering. Its quite transparent really I just got it at a bad angle in the photo. many homes around here use the river for drinking water (with filtration of course). I am keen to use rain water for drinking too but still have to set this up.

        Liked by 1 person

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