Water by Carol
June 20, 2011, 7:53 pm
Filed under: by Carol

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Photo courtesty of stock.xchng

We woke this morning to a raging thunderstorm and glorious sheets of rain. As we currently live in a downtown condo, we have no way of harvesting this beautiful resource but it sure got me thinking yet again about this crucial element of life. It might even be argued that our blog title should be WaterShelterClothing. That’s how important it is!

There it little argument that water is our most precious and diminishing resource on the planet. I can’t even spend time thinking about all of the people in the world who live their lives without access to clean water because my stomach just turns to knots. One need only see a movie like F.L.O.W. as we did at the Sarasota Film Festival to be forever changed.

So when we think about providing for our basic needs, this is a BIGGIE. Where and how do you get it? Many of the rural properties we’ve been looking at have springs. This was new to me as a city dweller. I like to think of springs as water sources eager to get to the surface to be appreciated and effectively utilized.  🙂 Capacity planning for appropriately-sized cisterns must be considered with springs as must water quality.

Other rural homesteaders drill wells to tap into the aquifer. These require an energy input (electricity for pump) to coax the water to the surface so are perhaps less ideal if you are hoping to eventually be off the grid as we are. Water quality is a concern here too as years and years of earth abuse have allowed many toxins to seep into the aquifer.

And then there’s the rain. Glorious rain that falls free from the sky. Except during drought of course. Many people can and do harvest this bounty for garden AND home use. Of course filtering must be considered and a rain catchment system might also require a pump (solar power?) to move the water to where it is needed.

There is no perfect solution. That’s part of the challenge and the fun of it. Ultimately, the more I study permaculture, the more I think in terms of redundancy. Pumps can fail. Pollution affects the aquifer. Springs can dry up. City water quality (our current source) is questionable at best and can be compromised. We’ve had tap water warnings twice in the 6 months we have lived in this mid-sized American town! So our plans now include  at least 2 water sources because really…our lives depend on it.


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