Wednesday, April 06, 2011


Yesterday I saw an add for a cistern, two thousand gallons. The price seemed fair so I phoned and arranged to see it in the evening.

Julie and I have six cisterns. For storage we have two 2,500 gallons (by the garden), one 1,550 gallons (for the house) and one 500 gallons (collects rain from our large shed). We have two tanks to haul water: one 250 gallons and one 500 gallons. I use the small tank if I need to go to town for water (which is rare) and use the large tank for the local water station. The weight of the large tank and trailer pushes the limit of my tow vehicle and I don't feel safe using it to haul water from town.

But, back to the cistern listed on Craigslist. It was misrepresented. Rather than holding 2,000 gallons it holds 2,500 gallons which made the price even better. I arranged to pick it up on Friday. I'll put it by the two garden cisterns and put 500 gallons of water in it immediately to prevent the winds from moving it. This cistern will bring our total storage capacity to 9,500 gallons.

In the next few weeks I'm going to connect the house gutters to these cisterns to collect rain during the monsoon season. I have materials to build a collector up hill from the house and hope to finish that some time this summer.

Assuming 10 inches of rain per year we'll be able to collect 15,000 gallons of water over the year so 9,500 gallons of storage puts us in the ballpark for what we need. But, we question the 10 inches assumption. One August about six years ago we received five inches. Summer before last we received a total of five drops for the entire monsoon season.

(Speaking of cisterns, deserts and monsoons, for an interesting short story try Max Brand's "Wine in the Desert". I found it thoroughly enjoyable. I liked the irony and the sense of justice as well as the description of living in a desert on the edge of disaster.)


Blogger Buffalo said...

Max Brand? The Max Brand of western fiction fame?

4/06/2011 01:52:00 PM  
Blogger Paul said...

Buffalo, Yes. He has an excellent short story that I read in an anthology titled "21 Great Stories".

4/06/2011 02:56:00 PM  

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