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#67717 Jun 16th, 2007 at 10:50 AM
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We are currently experiencing the worst drought in over 100 years! We are now over 11 inches under for the year. Even though I have a sprinkler system in the front yard I can't let it run long enough to really make a difference without having a HUGE water bill. Last month is was $110! My poor back yard is nothing but crispy brown, and many of my plants are suffering terribly. It seems no matter how much I try to water them it just isn't enough to really help. I desperatley need a few days of soaking rain. Anyone know a good rain dance?


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alankhart #67739 Jun 16th, 2007 at 11:21 AM
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I feel your pain Alan!!! Last year was the worse for us!!! I hope you get rain soon!!! This has been a wierd year for weather in "06 and it looks like it's continueing in 07!! What gives????


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alankhart #67740 Jun 16th, 2007 at 11:22 AM
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We're having a similar situation here in Illinois. I'm certain that there will be a watering ban soon. The lawn will come back but my veggies won't! boohoo

Sharon M

Nicksgram #67755 Jun 16th, 2007 at 12:36 PM
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Alan,

I think you could use "grey" water [recycled water from sink, bath, washing machine, etc.] as long as there's not too much soap, detergents or oil in it; [for plants, not for vegetables or potted plants].







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papito #67758 Jun 16th, 2007 at 12:49 PM
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All of my gray water (two baths and washer) go out to water trees and shrubs. Including detergent and bleach. It also waters my artichokes without any problems.
Southern Cal. has had under four inches of rain this year. The lowest ever recorded in history for us. Tough times ahead. I hope our well holds up.


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Tina #67760 Jun 16th, 2007 at 01:16 PM
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Alan - I think the weather is messed up big-time all round the world. Here in SE England last year we had a summer-long hosepipe ban and a lot of folks had to sit heartbroken as their beloved gardens shrivelled up and died in the heat. This year we've already had one of the hottest April's on record, but followed by one of the wettest May's. Crazy. Even as I'm typing this, I hear thunder and listen to the BBC news warning of more severe flooding in several parts of the country - I was caught in an awesome thunderstorm this afternoon.

I fear we're all in for some quite worrying times ahead of us!

starfish #68012 Jun 16th, 2007 at 08:37 PM
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we are over 40" under for the immediate last 2 years, an average of over 20" a year under. i gave up on lawn (didn't have much of one to speak of anyway) and try to keep my pond full, it goes low quickly as the animals who normally drink out of ditches and streams are grabbing water where they can...

and i use gray water too, not as much as i should, but i do water plants with it.

#68020 Jun 16th, 2007 at 08:48 PM
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Under my house I have a pipe that goes to the septic tank and a separate pipe that carries the gray water straight out to the trees and things. We can pop apart or together the outside pipe where ever we want the water to go the most. And those pipes are all perforated so they leak along the way. I usually have the above ground pipes pretty well covered with plants so they aren't too noticeable. But this year even those plants are straggling and struggling.


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Nicksgram #68028 Jun 16th, 2007 at 08:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Nicksgram
We're having a similar situation here in Illinois. I'm certain that there will be a watering ban soon. The lawn will come back but my veggies won't! boohoo

Sharon M


Sharon; I live about 40 mi NE of STL in Illinois. you are straight N of us.
70 goes right past out town.

I think we are several inches below level on water here but i have not heard anyone here talk about drought yet. My husband did say something about the corn a bit north looking bad though (My husbands father used to run a grain elevator so he watches such things)

they are calling for rain in the next few days here---and supposedly it was raining in STL today--so hopefully the rains will come to us all. prayers


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JunieGirl #68055 Jun 16th, 2007 at 09:32 PM
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if/when rain water becomes available, here's some info on "How to Make A Rain Barrel".

See also Rain Barrel Guide
How to use rain barrels for water collection

Using Recycled Food Grade Barrel
Recycled Rain Barrel Rainwater Collection System

Nashville Craiglist for Metal 55 gal barrel Food Grade - $5

Last edited by papito; Jun 16th, 2007 at 09:51 PM.

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papito #68103 Jun 17th, 2007 at 03:47 AM
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It is definitely time to deepen the farm ponds and start digging cysterns and using rainbarrels were ever possible. Why municipalities aren't spending money to dig resevoirs is beyond me. We are also capable of desaltation even using solar power so the excuse in our technological society is political indifference. Hate to get political but I hate to see areas suffering floods and then droughts. Both can be handled by freshwater storage facilities being built underground and above ground.

Our difficults seem to be the result of governmental laziness and it is a largescale problem.

A series of flood control resevoirs could have saved the property of the Katrina victims. And those people are still living in a hazzardous area for repeat damage. And I'm not talking dams here. All you need is a large sized overflow valve and underground storage units and we're good to go. If the ancient romans could do it so can we.

Ok sorry for the soap box.


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papito #68182 Jun 17th, 2007 at 06:38 AM
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Wow! And I thought I had it bad...some of you are really struggling. Thanks for the info on grey water and rain barrels...I will definitley look into it. I need all the available water I can get right now. If it's this bad now I really dread July and August, our 2 hottest months and usually the 2 with the least amount of rain.

On a side note, what's the best way to catch a wild rabbit? He's eating my plants and I need to get him ASAP!! Each morning I go out and wonder what he's eaten this time. So far, he's eaten asiatic lilies, rudbeckias, asters, echinaceas and morning glory leaves. I had just planted a MG and in 2 days it was eaten almost down to the ground. My tall aster only has 2 stems left...the rest were eaten to about 2 in. from the ground. I'm getting really pissed.


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papito #68196 Jun 17th, 2007 at 07:47 AM
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Papito, you rock! I was going to go looking for pretty much all the information you just gave us in links. Now if only I could stop my then and again heavy rain from washing soil down the street. Anyone have any ideas on strong deep-rooted plants that could benefit from going from drought conditions to torrential downpour?


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snapdragon #68629 Jun 17th, 2007 at 11:03 PM
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If the ground freezes solid to 18" deep, how can I use gray water? Do I just have big bowls or buckets in each sink and carry it outside? Or would I reroute the sink drains to outisde perforated drain tiles? We have copper pipes --can it still be done?

It would have to be something I'd use in summer only, and then not use the rest of the year, does that make sense?


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My second question is about rainbarrels. I have a large roof area and we sometimes get torrential downpours that would (could) overflow even double rain barrels. Does anybody know what happens to the water in the downspouts if the barrels are full? Would it splash on the ground, or would the downspouts fill up and th gutters spill over?

My idea would be to go out in the storm and unhook the barrels and rehook the downspots that would carry the water way away (in underground tiles we have.) Except I don't know if that's possible.

I'm not sure I could get my husband to cut the downspouts in half to install barrels and if this didn't work out for some reason, but maybe....


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PartyGirl #68702 Jun 18th, 2007 at 05:25 AM
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Your overthinking it. There is an overflow valve on the barrel. run a hose from that to your tiles and it will work just like having the downspouts in place. For me I'd probably have a series of barrels but then I'm a glutton for punishment.

If your rains are that heavy I would consider putting in oversized overflow valves but that is the only change that would be necessary.


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papito #68799 Jun 18th, 2007 at 06:36 AM
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Very dry and hot here in Indiana, also. It reminds me of 1988, when the dryness started in May and ran through the whole summer. It seems these weather patterns are cyclical. A couple years later we had more rain and cool weather than we could deal with.. They even closed the public pools in mid-August, because it was too cold to swim.
I live at the very edge of the city and my favorite sweet corn farmer is watering his sweet corn every other day. He only does this when he has no other options. His sweet corn is his source of seed and fuel money if all other crops fail or do poorly. We are worried about our little gardens and lawns - he is trying to survive. It's also one of his barter crops along with hay and straw - he trades with other farmers for beef, pork, chickens and the use of each others equipment. The only other thing he is watering is his vegetable garden, which provides additional food for his family in the winter.

I will be happy to pay the higher price for his corn this year - its the best ever and he works his heart out.

Stormy


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Stormysgrandma #68806 Jun 18th, 2007 at 06:47 AM
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Oh, by the way, around here you don't "dig" reservoirs. You dam rivers to flood lowlands. We have 3 in this area. When they built the dams they lilterally had to move whole towns, country homes, cemeteries, etc. The cost is huge and environmental groups fight it in court, adding to the cost. In fact, throughout the country these groups are spending a fortune to force the removal of the dams to allow rivers to flow naturally. It costs the state governments millions of dollars to fight them in court.

Just something to think about, since we all are concerned about our water supplies as well as natural habitats.

Stormy


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Stormysgrandma #69727 Jun 18th, 2007 at 09:22 PM
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ok thanks.,


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PartyGirl #71510 Jun 20th, 2007 at 01:38 PM
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Please note:

If you are residing in the state of Colorado, it may be illegal to collect rainwater. Please check with your local government first to avoid any legal hassle.


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papito #71513 Jun 20th, 2007 at 01:40 PM
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Hi Papito. Do you know why? That is interesting.


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papito #71533 Jun 20th, 2007 at 02:57 PM
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Alan,

If you only want to deter the rabbits from entering your garden, you might want to consider sticking a few Hawk-like or Owl-like figurines; or use of a garlic-red pepper mixture in spray form or as granules and/or well placed mothballs around the garden. This beats installing 3-feet high +1-foot underground fine mesh chicken wire around the garden perimeter.

If you are into catching the rabbits, a baited rabbit trap will be the most practical one to use. Are you going to release them in the wild or do you need recipes?



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papito #71536 Jun 20th, 2007 at 03:02 PM
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Hi Tina,

[quote]...under current Colorado law, a property owner does not own the rain falling from the sky onto his or her rooftop or driveway unless a plan has been developed to replace the rainwater used. [/qoute]


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papito #71581 Jun 20th, 2007 at 04:16 PM
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OMG!!! that is strange-------------


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JunieGirl #71889 Jun 21st, 2007 at 05:36 AM
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Thanks Papito...I'll try the spray and moth balls and see what happens.

Got any good hausenpheffer recipes? Just kidding...I would release it elswhere.


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alankhart #71969 Jun 21st, 2007 at 06:31 AM
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The earthenware damns are a big problem which resevoirs would not be and since they can be built underground there would be no loss of property. Check out the underground cysterns found in italian cities built by the ancient romans. They built their homes right over the top of them. This would displace noone. Would not mess with the normal flow of the river just flood crests that destroy property. Being open to new ideas sure would help solve our problems.

I'm amazed by Colorado's law. Next they will be selling me air right?

I think my downspouts would go to an underground storage tank if I lived there lol.


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papito #73030 Jun 21st, 2007 at 11:58 PM
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Papito - I read what you said about the rainwater with absolute amazement!! How can they get away with that? Are they going to try and tell you how much air you can breathe next?

starfish #74110 Jun 22nd, 2007 at 07:03 PM
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Alan, how about Hase mit Backpflaumen?


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papito #74128 Jun 22nd, 2007 at 07:19 PM
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It looks like I stirred a lot of interest about the collection of rainwater in Colorado.

from
Colorado Division of Water Resources, April 2003

Quote
Rainwater Harvesting
Rainwater harvesting is the process of intercepting storm-water runoff and putting it to beneficial
use. Rainwater is usually collected or harvested from rooftops, concrete patios, driveways and
other impervious surfaces. The diversion and use of rainwater is subject to the Constitution of the
State of Colorado, state statutes and case law.
Water rights in Colorado are unique compared to parts of the eastern United States. The use of
water in this state and other western states is governed by what is known as the prior
appropriation doctrine. This system of water allocation controls who uses how much water, the
types of uses allowed, and when those waters can be used. A simplified way to explain this
system is often referred to as the priority system or "first in time, first in right." An appropriation
is made when an individual physically takes water from a stream or well (when legally available)
and puts that water to some type of beneficial use. The first person to appropriate water and
apply that water to use has the first right to that water within a particular stream system. This
person, after receiving a court decree verifying their priority status, then becomes the senior water
right holder and that water right must be satisfied before any other water rights are filled. In
Colorado, the State Engineer has the statutory obligation to protect all vested water rights. The
process of allocating water to various water users is traditionally referred to as water rights
administration, and is the responsibility of the Division of Water Resources.
Of course, the appropriation system is much more complicated than this. Some priorities on
major stream systems in Colorado date back to the 1850's, and most of the stream systems have
been over-appropriated, meaning that at some or all times of the year, a call for water by a senior
appropriator is not being satisfied. Practically speaking, it means that in most river drainages, a
person cannot divert rainwater and put it to a beneficial use without a plan for augmentation that
replaces the depletions associated with that diversion.
Prepared by the Colorado Division of Water Resources, April 2003


from
Answers.Com

Quote
Colorado law

In the State of Colorado, USA, the installation of rainwater collection barrels is an offense. This is a consequence of the system of water rights in the state; the movement and holding of rainwater is inextricably linked with ownership of water rights and is enshrined in the Constitution of the State of Colorado. The use of water in Colorado and other western states is governed by what is known as the prior appropriation doctrine. This system of water allocation controls who uses how much water, the types of uses allowed, and when those waters can be used. This is often referred to as the priority system or "first in time, first in right." Since 100% of the water that arrives in the State has been allocated to 'senior water right holders' since the 1850's, the rainwater that falls on roof of the average homeowner is generally owned by someone else. Catching this water in a barrel stops it from running into a stream, where it is already owned as a water right.


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papito #74143 Jun 22nd, 2007 at 07:37 PM
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I see. It may well be illegal here too. And it makes sense. If someone relies on that stream to feed his livestock and you divert that stream source upstream, it isn't too cool.
We had a problem downstream from us with them (County Park) sucking too much water out of our hill leaving us going dry. (Kind of like the sponge drying from the top down.)We had water rights from the late 1800's onward (federal land) And they never bothered with getting any rights clap . We won.


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Tina #74254 Jun 23rd, 2007 at 04:17 AM
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If there is never a problem with flooding in those areas then fine. But if they are experiencing the same problem as we do here in virginia and in washington state and along the mississippi then I would say a change is required. The local governments are not providing fresh water storage so fresh water is going into the sea and becoming unusable unless desalted an expensive process and the salt water level has risen 8 feet which is what is causing so much of the problem in the Mississippi delta.

Understand that the lands aquafilters can no longer provide the water necessary to support our population so we are going to have to find a way to help mother nature or we are all going to suffer.

If fresh water is allowed to follow it's normal course to the sea then the sea is going to continue to rise because the glaciers are melting and not being replaced. And lakes are shrinking, examples of this are lake superior, Salt Lake, The Dead Sea, and there is one in South America that was recently on a documentary but I didn't catch the name. The rest of the Great Lakes are also shrinking but not at the same rate as Lake Superior.

We must respond to what is happening and in a logical and forthright manner or our problems are just beginning.

If we divert water and apportion those resources to drought areas or times we will be doing ourselves and mother nature a favor. Along with not spending tax dollars to rebuild in an area that is going to be destroyed again unless drastic measures are taken.

This is just a major upsetting situation to me which is probably why my posts run so long on this subject.


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papito #74280 Jun 23rd, 2007 at 05:19 AM
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Papito, I'd never heard of this form of rainwater harvesting before and it is a very intersting read. Thanks. But I still find it difficult to accept that water fallig from the sky belongs to someone other than God himself!


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