The Grouse Creek property is located in a desert. Average annual precipitation is about nine inches. A water source is critical for survival.
My property has two existing water wells. They are located in the northeast corner of the property. They both have sixteen inch well casings, suitable for large scale irrigation. One well had a water level of 90 feet when measured several years ago. The well depth was 130 feet.
One well has a pump in it. When connected to electricity, no water was pumped. It is possible that the water level was below the pump when tested.
The other well, located close to the main road, was uncovered for years. I installed a lid on the casing several years ago to prevent junk from being dumped into the well.
I applied for a water right for domestic use in early 2010. Approval was granted almost immediately. If the water is not contaminated and if there is adequate flow, I can use one or both of the wells to supply water to a house, ten animal units, and for irrigation of a garden up to 1/4 acres. One cow or horse is an animal unit. If I remember correctly, five sheep or goats are counted as one animal unit. Twenty-five or thirty chickens are considered one animal unit.
My plan is to pump water from one of the wells with a pump powered by a solar photovoltaic panel. Water would be pumped during sunny days to a large storage tank. Water for culinary use and irrigation would pumped into a pressurized storage tank by a battery powered pump. The batteries would be charged by a solar panel.
The power for this system would be independent of the power grid. This would save money for electricity during normal circumstances. When electricity is not available from the power grid, we would still have water for culinary use and irrigation as long as there was water in the wells.
One of the wells may be rigged with a manual water retrival system. This would provide a backup water supply in the event that the solar power pumping systems fail.
In the future, I hope to get a water right to irrigate several acres. This would allow me to grow alfalfa and winter wheat or oats. Alfalfa would greatly enhance the diet of our goats, sheep, cows and horses. Winter wheat or oats would provide enhanced grazing from late fall through spring. Five to ten acres of irrigated land would allow us to keep more livestock and enhance our changes of survival during abnormal economic times.
Water is critical for my plans for development. The two existing wells will probably provide all the water needed for domestic use and irrigation of a few acres.
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