Friday, January 24, 2014

Homesteading in the Desert- Part I

When Viking Dad and I decided to "Homestead" in San Diego County a huge adjustment Viking Dad had to face was California's infamous water conservation measures. He's from Wisconsin, originally. The State of Million lakes, ponds, water....

For the Dune fans--- I grew up on Arrakis and he grew up in Calaadan. 
Water is life.....

 A majority of California is semi-arid or desert. While the soil and climate is awesome for growing all year the lack of water posses a problem and challenge. Surprisingly, the a majority of the water Californians use is pumped from out of state and brought in through acquaducts. This can make water bills astronomical! Water is also collected in reservoirs all over the state. During the Drought Season these reservoirs can look very haunted when drained. 

California San Joaquin Valley Acqaduct

History tells us that people have lived in San Diego County for hundreds of years. The Spanish brought their own knowledge of water conservation from Spain to California in the form of cisterns. California experiences drought. Every seven years California will experience what is called La Nina which occurs when the weather will cycle the moisture away from California.  While the rest of the Nation was experiencing the Polar Vortex which plummeted states into the subarctic temperatures, California has been experiencing a drought. 

The 2014, Polar Vortex that blasted the Midwest and East Coast

Meanwhile, California is dealing with a drought.
The Old Timers, including my Grandfather, would talk about gathering and saving rainwater and runoff into cisterns. 
Desert Homestead Cistern from a farmhouse in Anzo Borrego Springs, California.
The homestead was built in the 1930's

One of San Diego Counties Cisterns dating from the 1930's
As California grew and the demand for water grew, especially by the Farmers, heavy use drained many of the reservoirs in California. These reservoirs are haunting images.

California's aquaduct system.

Boat floats in Folsom Reservoir

Car from at the bottom of a drained reservoir.

What can a small scale homestead do in such a situations. LOTS!!! 

Stay tuned....

Bless Bless

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