Water efficiency

Discussion in 'Designing, building, making and powering your life' started by naomi_h, Nov 19, 2012.

  1. naomi_h

    naomi_h Junior Member

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    Hello permies!

    I'm quite new to this game. At the moment I am living in quite a dry climate and need some cool ideas for water efficient techniques. We are implementing a household gardening project, rainfall is only 290mm per year and vegetation is sparse. Water has to be collected from a town well, so is not easily accessible. I've looked into bucket drip irrigation, wicked irrigation - using plastic bottles and rope for trees, wicking beds, flood irrigation, and also planting crops for mulching in the alley ways etc so i can chop and drop them. What are your thoughts?

    Thanks!!

    Naomi
     
  2. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

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  3. 9anda1f

    9anda1f Administrator Staff Member

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    Hi Naomi,
    Living in a somewhat similar rainfall climate, I can say that the single most important water efficient thing we've done is to mulch-mulch-mulch with any organic matter we can find. Straw is the most available here. Mulching prevents what moisture you may have/put into the soil from evaporating away due to sun and wind. We've found that mulching to a depth of 300mm is not too much, and that over time that mulch will break down and build soil.
     
  4. gardenlen

    gardenlen Group for banned users

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    g'day naomi,

    we use all water at least twice i use a bucket to pee in then we make a cocktail, of whatever used water we have: laundry, shower dish washing(hand), have 1st flush diverters on our down pipes these collect dew of the metal roof(tiles not the best) about 2 buckets a day in heavy dew times.

    between us our usage is around 35 to 50 litres per day, we water plants when we can once a week some get twice a week, when tree plantings establish they need to live on available rain water, and we mulch everywhere and everything, heavily say 6" to 8", our herb garden a prime example with young plants ad seeded seedling have put no other water(after all has some establishment) than rainfall on it, over the past couple of months we've had about 30mm.

    wow 290mm per annum, i would suggest rip swaling to get moisture into your sub soil this will help with what you plant, but you need mulch big time and max' collection, would be thinking you would need at 3 if not 4 25k/l cap' tanks, and lots of open collectors when it rains ie.,. buckets etc.,.

    be selective with your plants only those which lean more to less water usage, and maybe a cover over vege's eg.,. a poly pipe hoop cover to shade and control moisture loss from plants.

    https://www.lensgarden.com.au/straw_bale_garden.htm

    best toilet in those conditions the nature-loo composting toilet, recycle vege' wast into gardens and introduce composting worms into garden, they wee a lot.
     
  5. gardenlen

    gardenlen Group for banned users

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    forgot to say we sue a simple economical twin tub washer, uses about 70 litres of water to do 3 loads wash and rinse, use vinegar in the rinse water.

    we hand water (bucket usually no irri' systems)

    len
     
  6. naomi_h

    naomi_h Junior Member

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    thanks very much for all the tips!
     
  7. naomi_h

    naomi_h Junior Member

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    these links are really helpful, thanks so much!
     
  8. Cade

    Cade Junior Member

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    As I have been designing a house over a cistern it has occurred to me that I hate cold water showering and I hate wasting water while I wait for the hot water to arrive from the heater. So in THIS house, my shower and other hot water points of use will have a third bypass valve. This valve will divert water from the hot side supply directly back to the cistern. I will open this valve before a shower, for example and feel for it to warm up. Only then will I turn on the shower. The water that I would have dumped into the gray water system below, will instead return to the cistern uncontaminated. Just my two cents; anyone else doing something like this already?
     
  9. Grasshopper

    Grasshopper Senior Member

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  10. Cade

    Cade Junior Member

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    Thanks Grasshopper, I had not seen an automatic system like that, but it is a great idea. My manual system is more suited to my primitive hardware environment here, but I am glad a more sophisticated system is out there for the industrial world users. I particularly like how they have devised a means to reduce the cold water side of the water system so cold water in the hot water side has a place to go until the temperature is right (for those without a cistern).
     
  11. Jalex

    Jalex Junior Member

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    Cade... do you have any photos of your house design? Sounds like a great idea
    A.L Duncan
     
  12. Cade

    Cade Junior Member

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    I could post a floorplan if you like or a profile view of my dry toilet design (unproven!), or some other details of particular interest, but two problems: first there are lots of details, so I do not have images of everything readily available so I need to know of specific points of interest, and second, when I try to post pix on the forum it prompts me for a url, so I will have to figure out some other place to post the images and then provide a link here (a bit tedious, but I guess it saves a lot of capacity at this donated forum's server).

    C
     
  13. Jalex

    Jalex Junior Member

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    Cade, a floor plan would be perfect.... as well as a dry toilet. Now with the dry toilet, do you empty it for humanure at a later date? or is it more like an outhouse design where it fills up and is later covered and a new hole is dug.
    A.L
     

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