Monday 8 August 2016


When we first started talking about moving to the country we had a long list of ideals. Wouldn't it be great if we could grow our own fruit and vegetables, get fresh eggs from free-range chickens, maybe even have bees to capture our own honey. We also spoke about other more practical ideas. We could put solar panels on the roof to go off the grid, and live off rainwater. It turns out that we had no choice with that last idea. 

Most places in the country live off rainwater. The property that we bought has four tanks capturing water and when one empties, a pump moves water up the hill to a header tank which supplies the to the taps in our house.

When we first moved in we knew that we had to be careful with our water supply. We only flush the toilet when absolutely necessary. We try not to hand wash dishes and only use the dishwasher because it's far more efficient. The children always share a bath or bath water.

We've been on a steep learning curve with our water supply since moving to this valley, even though it's a water catchment area. The first month we had torrential rain almost every day for a month. We were flooded in within weeks of our move.

But then we had about six months of virtually no rain. We've had to buy water three times now, the most recent last Monday.

Of course, the day after the water truck arrived we had a week of almost non-stop rain. 

Since we first ran out of water we are extra vigilant about how we use our water. When rinsing out dishcloths in the sink, I often have a vessel underneath the tap so that I can pour this on our parched plants outside. When water is left in a drinking glass, I tip it into one of the indoor plants rather than down the drain. Even when using soap on my hands I turn the tap off while lathering it up. Every little bit helps. 

We have a lot to learn and are investigating more options - tanks, pumps, filters - but it is our hope to not have to buy in water again. At least not so many times. Because there is something wonderful about knowing that we are using only what we need, and finding a way towards some sort of subsistence living.

image the indigo crew

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