Living close to the land makes one appreciate the pivot nature played by water in any sustainable system. At Windward we already are using two kinds of water--potable from our drilled wells and non-potable from our dug well--but we'll start needing a third in the coming year. Both potatable and non contain dissolved minerals that would rapidly foul the boiler in the solar steam system that we'll eventually be relying on to meet the bulk of our energy needs, so instead of using ground water, we'll collect and store rain water to meet that need.
Meg and Lindsay drag an IBC to Vermadise
In an &qout;average" year we receive 26" of rainfall which translates into fifteen gallons per square foot of roof space, and by setting up catchments, we can store winter rain to serve summer needs. Since Vermadise is one of our experimental platforms, we decided to go ahead and install two 300 gallon IBCs as catchements to gather rain from the roof of its utility shed/chicken roost. [Note: IBC stands for Intermediate Bulk Container, and they come in a variety of shapes and sizes. We were able to get these because the tops were damaged, which was fine with us as we cut the tops off anyway.]
the western IBC installed
The 600 gallons stored will provide water for the chickens on one side of Vermadise and the fish in the barrel-ponics system on the other. While it's a small addition to our water supply, the key thing is that it's an initial step in a direction which will eventually become our primary water supply.