Q. Dear Path to Freedom,
My name is Jeremy, and based on the information you have posted on your website what you are doing in Pasadena is incredible — A true inspiration.
My wife and I are also working toward creating a more sustainable “urban homestead” in Chico. We have .45 acres of flat property on good soil (includes house and garage).
I read from your site you are still wrestling with the logistics and cost of installing a system for rainwater harvesting. What conclusions have you come up with? What do you recommend? What are the range of costs?
We would like to be able to harvest water over the winter, and save it for summer use to the extent possible to water landscaping and hopefully veggies as well. Municipal water in Chico comes from an underground aquifer, and I doubt the rates of present use are sustainable. FYI Chico gets around 25″ of rain per year (at present).
Thank you for your time,
A. Due to the limited space here on the urban homestead are looking at a space-saving, rectangular container called the waterHOG from Australia, which hopefully will be available soon in the U.S.
Other options are rain barrels and above- and under-ground cisterns for storing rainwater, including building your own concrete cistern, which Mr. Dervaes did when he was homesteading in New Zealand in the 1970s. Stay tuned for more details as the Dervaes family continues working on the water issue–and praying for rain here in dry Southern California.
Some additional resources for planning a rainwater system may be found at:
1) A PTF journal post written on Rainwater Harvesting: http://www.pathtofreedom.com/journal/archives/2006/12/index.html
2) A presentation given by Mr. Dervaes at a green building workshop sponsored by the city of Pasadena (LARGE 10 MB file; The rain water collection section is toward the end of the file): http://www.ci.pasadena.ca.us/permitcenter/greencity/