Monday, August 25, 2008

Drought busting

Rainfall came as a welcome relief from the searing summer sun both for us and the struggling plants in our Mediterranean garden. Armed with our usual array of receptacles we harvested as much of the precious liquid as we could manage. The much needed rainwater was later decanted into 5 litre sized water bottles for short term storage. For sometime now we have been trying to find a plastic container fitted with a tap and with a capacity of 1000 litres. Recently I posted about Barcelona importing water by ship; and subsequently Pam at Costa de Luz posted about finding a similar container to the one we were searching for at a paint store, where it had been a container for one of the elements of the mixing process. Paint stores around here were however unable to help us they use a different system. 

During our search for the container, we had consulted with the manufacturer of polyester containers supplied with lids and suitable for potable water storage, he showed us his extensive product catalogue though a 1000 litre model was at 235€, a little too expensive for us. The owner was helpful and suggested several salvage yards and recycling plants; they as well as industrial estates were all searched without success. Ultimately a suitable container was supplied via a pump and irrigation specialist, it was sourced as an empty fertilizer tank on a local farm, and cost 150€ delivered to the Finca. The tank is enclosed in a protective aluminium cage which also proved useful in manoeuvring our new acquisition into place. The rainfall harvest was pumped from the pond and water bottles decanted into the tank. We were delighted to see that we had 900 litres of precious rainwater, which I hope with careful management may see us through a few more of the coming late summer days. Farms in the area may be willing to supply us with further tanks though delivery like everything else up here in Girona Provence is expensive. Still it is progress.


  1. I'm so glad to hear that you've had some much-needed rain at last, and found something to store it in. We've been luckier this side of the Pyrenees as we've had some rain this summer (more than usual), although our stream was dry today.

  2. Water is a constant problem isn't it? We have two of the cubes you mention, one of which was given by a friend and we purchased the other one. One of the cubes is sited on the next terrace down and takes the waste from the washing machine and the other is on the trailer so that Steve can collect water from the well outside the village about 2k away. We could do with another cube really, but it will have to wait.

  3. Hi Colin and Carol. I was very pleased to see that you'd managed to find a tank suitable. It's exactly like the ones we have. We've painted them dark green to avoid the sunlight creating algae in the water. We have a movable down pipe from the guttering around the green wooden shed. We're just about coming to the end of our supply and longing for some rain. A little cloudburst last week for 20 minutes left everything fresh smelling and glowing, but that was it.

    The tanks cost 60€ down here. I wonder if it's worth checking with a man with a van to make a trip and collect some.

    There were some big robust plastic containers with lids and taps at Leroy Merlin recently for 35€, capacity around 350L. Useful maybe for those roof areas without guttering where the water streams down.

  4. We actually had some useful rain last night enough to replenish our dwindling supply having once caught it in our rather ‘hotch potch’ collection of pots and containers. Often we see rain clouds drifting south across the mountains from France, only for the northern wind to rise and sweep them beyond us, frustrating but little we can do. On a recent trip to Perpignan France, we saw that water restrictions were still in force despite earlier rainfall.

    CL. – Having battled against the elements it must be infuriating to loose your crop to thieves!

    Jan and Steve you are obviously having a tough summer with the water situation in a young garden plants that have not established are particularly vulnerable.

    Pam we were wondering about the cost of the cube tanks in the Spanish Deep South and contemplating if it would be cost effective to make the journey. Maybe you might have found a sideline supplying cubes to wannabe Finca owners?