Thursday, April 16, 2009

Raindrops keep falling on my head

Great song, but a definite rare occurrence where we live. Our average rainfall is 5 inches. No, that's not a typo. FIVE INCHES! This is a year. Which is pretty much zip, squat, nada, drrrrryyyy.

So where do we get our water from here? Much of it comes from municipal sources in the form of sprinklers and drip lines. But I am luck, luck, lucky here in the older part of Mesa where I live.

My primary garden areas are in what we call a flood irigation area. We have a cool little water gate that we open to get water "delivery" twice a month for about 8 months of the year. Yards are contoured with banks with retain the water.
The water usually takes about 24 hours to dissipate which gives us plenty of time to redirect (more on this next time) and to let Granddaughters play in it. This is the only picture I can find without my granddaughters playing in the water in their underwear. Sigh. So I have to show you my most unflattering view in the interest of being real about my garden. Gulp. I hope you don't have a queasy stomach.

The water comes from the snow melt and rivers and here's some info on it if you're interested.

Here's how it works ... at least from my standpoint. The technical stuff you need to read all on your own.

We "order" our water on a website or you can go into one of the alleys here and actually sign up on a print board. I should take a picture of that because it's cool. In fact, I'll try to do that later today along with a picture of a canal that is the water source. But you have to wait for that.

For now I'll just tell you that water delivery is often at some ridiculous time such as 3 am or 5:40 am.

You take your flashlight, curse the delivery time, go into the backyard and turn that little metal pipe thing (I don't think that's the technical term - sorry) Water gushes out. It is cold. It is freezing. You try not to drop your flashlight and try to control your language just in case someone overhears and thinks the irrigation schedule has beaten you again. The best way to handle this is to make your husband do it. At least that's what I try to do as often as possible. Sometimes you have to pretend you hurt your foot or something but it's well worth it to pass the job along to someone else. (but don't tell my husband....he thinks I'm just really, really clumsy and hasn't connected foot and leg injury to irrigation delivery times - ha)

We take 50 minutes of water. During that time you just kind of wait because you don't want to forget to turn your gate off. If you forget two things happen - your yard floods to the top of the banks and it goes all over your patio and makes a mess to clean up AND your neighbors get really, really ticked off (they call it stealing water and you definitely do not want to do this EVER)

We pay $80.00 per year for all that water. It is economical, efficient and does the deep watering so necessary in our desert environment. More on that later.

This is getting pretty long so next time I'll talk about redirecting our irrigation water and the supplemental watering method we use for our garden and I should have the photos of the sign up board and canal for you then, too.

Happy gardening!

No comments:

Post a Comment