Water issues: Future proofing the garden

The other day it rained for the first time in 9 days, and at the time, our harvested rainwater supplies were almost completely gone. The really bad news is – it’s only May and the long hot summer period that always follows the rainy season (June) is still quite a way away.

Summer dry spells over the last two years have become noticeably more frequent and watering the garden, more and more of a commitment. As a result, I have been planning various improvements to our water conservation measures. These are;

  • adding more upcycled tanks to increase the capacity (by around 800 liters so far) of our rainwater harvesting
  • collecting old hoses to make a drip-feed systems. For this holes are drilled into lengths of hose which are attached to junctions that help spread out and shorten the path the water has to take. Finally just shut off the end of the hoses with pieces of wire (see photos above)
  • diverting the greywater from the washing machine to a soak area in the back garden and having the rest of the house’s greywater going into the wetland area around the pond (shown above). Although we use washing power which is phosphorus free etc and is designed not to harm the environment, in the past when too much gets through the wetland area and into the pond, it can still kill fish.

In addition to the dry spells we are experiencing, I also read an article which predicts a particular hot dry summer for North East Asia. Article here; 2017 Asia summer forecast: Heat to roast northeastern China, Japan And longer term, the prospects are not likely to be much better Japan may become 4.5 C hotter if no anti-global warming steps taken



About ifd66

From UK and living in Japan. I am very interested in sustainable development and in general ecology and conservation issues and solutions. Finished building a low impact family house in Shiga, Japan in 2013 and am now focused on using permaculture to develop our plot of land into a more sustainable, productive, and attractive space. My hope is that this blog is useful to those interested in similar issues and way of life.
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2 Responses to Water issues: Future proofing the garden

  1. Zasso Nouka says:

    Interesting project there, should make life a lot easier in the garden. Is your system gravity fed or pressurised and are you filtering the water before passing it into the hoses ? We bury our driplines a few centimeters under the surface of the soil so that virtually no water is lost to evaporation and 100% is delivered to the root zone.

    I wonder if that area of high pressure that is predicted to be hovering over us this summer will deflect more typhoons ? Could do with a few less after the disaster that was last summer.


  2. ifd66 says:

    Thank you for your comments..
    No, the drip system isn’t gravity fed. After some trails though I ended up burying the hoses into the ground. The drip system at the moment is mainly for when we have very long hot dry spells to give the boarders and some of the trees extra help.
    For now we will use mains water for the drip lines. This is because although we how have over 2000 liters capacity for harvesting water, it still only lasts one or two weeks when there is no rain, and for the regular watering of the veggie beds.
    The goal though is to have a more areas covered with drip feed lines and run off the harvested water.


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