Sunday, 25 October 2009

Water, water - nowhere

According to our local newspaper we have not had "consequential" falls of rain for 128 days. My garden and the gardens round my area are certainly showing the effect of this. Grey and straw are the primary colours, green is all but gone as a colour on the ground. The trees with deep roots still seem to be growing well however.
The 128 days without rain blows all of my calculations for buying a rainwater tank out of the water (if we had any). I have placed an order for an 5600 litre tank. Primarily I intend to use this for watering the garden and growing vegetables. A bit of self sufficiency. As far as the tank size goes, I am constrained by money and space. My calculations go like this. If I use 100 litres of water from it a day then it will last 56 days, I am a long way short if we have a drought and I need to rely on this water. I got the 100 litres from my current consumption. All domestic use of water plus garden use was just over 130 litres on my latest bill.
The sad thing about this is that it cost me well over $100 to have water available but only $18 of actual usage. At this rate the water tank will never pay for itself. If I took an economic view of using rainwater in preference to tap water the dollars simply do not add up. The sacrifices that we make for protecting our environment.
This ramble is due in part to the fact that I need to prepare either a concrete pad or a tank stand to install the tank. The concrete pad was not feasible, due to the sloping ground that I am on. So for some weekends now I have been building a water tank stand. I decided to do this myself and it is hard work. Nine post holes to dig in ground, that is extremely hard. I wanted to say as hard as concrete, but that would be an exaggeration. Still it is hard work and pushing keyboards at work is not sufficient muscle development for digging holes.
In practice I find that I can dig no more than one hole a day. Possibly I am soft. But I am getting harder. Possibly I am stupid, because a professional post hole digger would have done all the digging in less than an hour.
So the status is that I have 5 holes dug, 4 posts embedded in concrete, and a lot more to do.

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