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Water storage from rainwater catchment.
Without water there is no life, be it plant or be it animal. Out here in the desert it gets dry and I mean really dry. So dry that you can’t remember the last time it rained. This creates all kinds of issues, like huge fire hazards, uncomfortable habitat for your animal, and a very sad looking garden.
It is a fact that if you are going to grow a garden in the desert you will need to provide most of the water needs of the plants. This can get very expensive if you do not have a well, and in my experience most places out here do not have well access. There are quite a few folks that I know who truck water in to their places. I can only imagine this would be a hassle and a half, and the first time it ran dry when the wife wanted a shower I am sure that it would be the end of world as we know it.
I think a good way to gather some extra water and to mitigate some of the costs of growing a garden and raising animals, would be through rainwater catchment. This is not a new concept, people have been gathering rainwater for many, many years.
The first thing that you will need is a container to store the water in. When selecting a storage tank keep in mind the more you can store the better off you are especially in the desert like where I am at. If I used a 55 gallon drum to store my water, it would fill very fast and get drained quickly when I used it. With the surface areas of my house I could easily fill a 3000 gallon tank, now that would go along ways in helping with my water needs. We only get around 4 good rainfall events a year so that makes it even more important to me able to gather as much as possible in each rain event. If you live in a place that gets a lot more rain fall you may be able to get by with a smaller storage system, your aim is to not run out of water in between rain events, or get as close to that as your possible can.
After you select the storage tank, you will need to think about where are you going to put it. It is ideal to be on a high spot so you can use gravity to move your water around instead of a pump. You will also need to place the tank in a position so that you can get the water to it.
Once you have your tank and a place you will now need to setup your gathering system, this is most commonly done with rain gutters and a roof top. It is simple just put the gutters along the side of the house, and plumb it in to the tank. I am sure you already thought of this but you will need to have you valve on the bottom of the tank so you can open the valve to use the water in the tank.
The main home is the most common way people use to gather water but don’t forget about your out buildings, things like sheds and animal houses can also net you a gain in water. I would use much smaller tanks on these buildings due to the smaller roofs, you will gather less water. I think a 100 gallon tank will be going on each of my sheds and maybe a 55 gallon on the chicken coop.
Now that you have a wonderful rain water catchment system think about the maintenance. if you have leaves and junk blowing into your gutters that junk will get washed down into your pipe or tank and could create clogs that could be a real pain to clear. I would recommend looking in to a system like this, Flexx Point 30 Year Gutter Cover System- White Residential 5″ Gutter Guards, 100 Ft. This system will help in keeping your collection system in good working order for a long time to come.