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Aug 222014
 
Water Wells and Planning for Problems

Many of us rely on wells for our water supply, and in such cases, we have an electric pump that lifts the water up and into a supply tank. These pumps are usually long-lived and reliable, and draw little power (at least by present day standards where we have access to virtually unlimited electrical power at comparatively low cost). But what happens in a future adverse scenario where first our power fails and then secondly […]

Aug 102014
 
How Much Water Do You Need to Store for a Level 1 Situation

Water is the third of the survival essentials.  Air is first, shelter is second, and food is fourth, and you’re probably familiar with sayings like ‘you can go without air for three minutes, shelter for three hours, water for three days and food for three weeks’. Actually, we’d not like to have to prove any of those four claims!  But you get the general point that they try to make. So, having acknowledged the essential […]

Jul 152014
 
Possibly the Biggest Risk to Your Retreat

You know that when you design and build your retreat structure(s) you want to ‘overbuild’ and build it (them) way above minimum code requirements, right? Although building codes sometimes seem unnecessary and adding extra layers of cost to what should be a simple process that you are free to do as you wish, there are two parts to the reality of building codes that people seldom appreciate. The first is that most of the code […]

Feb 252013
 
The Danger of Relying on a River or Stream for Your Water

We are writing this on Oscar night 2013, so let’s use an Oscar linked concept for this article. Did you ever watch the Oscar-winning movie, Chinatown?  It was nominated for 11 Oscar awards in 1975 and won the best screenplay award.  The movie starred Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway, and – yes, here now is the segue to this article – featured a plot to do with the struggle for water rights in California. Access […]

Jul 112012
 
Evaluating and Assessing Weather Issues and Vulnerabilities

At the time of writing this, parts of the midwest (most notably Wyoming) are suffering major agricultural/economic impacts due to suffering the worst drought in ten years. Excuse us?  The worst drought in ten years?  The worst drought in 100 years – they could be excused for being tripped up by that.  Many of us would even allow a person the benefit of the doubt for the worst drought in 50 years.  But to be […]

Jul 042012
 
Weather Considerations When Choosing a Retreat

We all know about weather, right?  Warm and sunny with a clear blue sky and a gentle breeze is nice.  Cold, windy, rainy or snowy – all that is nasty. Perhaps weather has even had a moderate impact on your choice of where you live at present.  And/or maybe it is something you like to complain about. Well, whatever you formerly felt about weather, and however important weather was to you in your choice of […]

May 262012
 
The Essential Role of Water When Choosing Your Retreat Location

Finding the ideal retreat location is a bit like finding the ideal spouse.  Almost impossible. There are many different factors to consider in evaluating different retreat locations, including for most of us the key issue of affordability (although when it comes to Level 3 scenarios, it could be argued that a bad retreat location is only slightly better than no retreat location at all). How to juggle the many different factors for a ‘perfect’ retreat […]

May 172012
 
The Energy Cost of Pumping Water from a Well

If you have a well, you need a pump to do two things for you – one obvious, the other perhaps not quite so obvious. First, you need to pump the water from whatever level the water table is underground up to the surface.  Second, you need to then pressurize the water for ongoing distribution from the well-head. Considering the second point first, home water pressures are typically in the range of 30 – 80 […]

May 162012
 
How Much Rainwater Can You/Should You Store

Storing rainwater of course has cost associated with it. You’ll want to store enough to make sense, but not too much.  There’s another issue too – in some drier areas, the amount of water you need for the dry months exceeds the amount of water you can collect and store in the wet months, so you need to calculate both the amount of water to store and then to confirm you’ll actually be able to […]

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