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Old 04-05-2013, 02:28 AM
Location: Denver, CO
1,627 posts, read 3,706,819 times
Reputation: 1778


IIRC it has something to do with you not owning the water rights on your property, which are (again, IIRC) not necessarily the same as your land or mineral rights in Colorado.
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Old 04-05-2013, 03:00 AM
Location: Denver, CO
9,102 posts, read 5,439,105 times
Reputation: 4015
Default Water, water everywhere, but not a drop to drink

My best friend lives in Wheat Ridge and retired not long ago after working with Denver Water for over thirty years as an engineer. When we lived in Colorado he enlightened me about how water operations really work.

If there is a shortage of water, they raise the rates to cause the public to conserve on usage. But on several occasions during his career the rates worked so well that consumption went down enough that they could no longer cover their cost of operation. So what did they do? Yup, they raised rates again. He said it is one of the few industries where the answer to too much consumption or not enough consumption is to raise the rates in either situation.

Think about that while you collect water in rain barrels.
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Old 04-05-2013, 09:20 AM
Location: Denver, Colorado U.S.A.
14,174 posts, read 23,188,117 times
Reputation: 10428
Originally Posted by Colorado xxxxx View Post
I re-route my sump pump water to lawn please don't call the water police LOL.

My stealth plan used to be hide barrels in basement connect to gutters and then I saw my bill from Parker Water $90 is flat fee BS and $10 is useage so now I let me sprinklers rip.
I have neighbors whose sump pump runs all the time and they were joking about using it to water their lawn. Right now it drains straight into a storm sewer.
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Old 04-05-2013, 10:14 AM
Location: Denver - Barnum
51 posts, read 99,307 times
Reputation: 78
Originally Posted by lalahartma View Post
Lately, I don't think you'd get a barrel of water. And what you'd acquire would evaporate. :-)
See, that's the trick. Regular water is heavy and takes up a lot of space, but dehydrated water takes up zero space, weighs nothing! My storage problems are solved!
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Old 04-05-2013, 10:27 AM
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
2,139 posts, read 5,626,191 times
Reputation: 952
Ha! ^^
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Old 04-05-2013, 08:47 PM
Location: OC, CA
10,049 posts, read 13,921,844 times
Reputation: 8877
Originally Posted by denverian View Post
I have neighbors whose sump pump runs all the time and they were joking about using it to water their lawn. Right now it drains straight into a storm sewer.
Tell them to go stealth like I did spray paint your PVC pipe to match the landscape.
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Old 04-06-2013, 10:09 AM
Location: Denver - Barnum
51 posts, read 99,307 times
Reputation: 78
Originally Posted by sunsprit View Post
OK, for discussion's sake we'll say 5,000 sq ft of tillable area.

By way of comparison, we have a tunnel greenhouse, which is 30' x 96' = about 3,500 sq ft planted, with 12 rows of drip tape 42' long, 2 manifolds, on timers. With the control of the greenhouse for airflow and temp, this is the most efficient way to water the plants ... a typical vege garden with peas, tomatoes, onions, peppers, green beans, carrots, eggplant, cucumbers, and so forth. The water is slowly delivered into well tilled and amended soil, soaking directly to the root zone of the plants. Our evaporative losses by watering above ground are minimized.
With that system, we deliver 18 psi water for 6-8 hours per day per manifold, monitoring the soil moisture content and adding more timer hours if needed. Our best measurement so far is about 7 gals per/hour delivery.

A conservative estimate of water consumption in this set-up would be 84 gals/day for this one area, and I'd infer about 100 gallons/day consumption for your planted area using drip-tape in-ground watering without any natural rainfall to supplement the minimal moisture to sustain your garden area. (FWIW, I had a garden in my KenCaryl yard that typically used 3,000 to 5,000 gallons/month (depending upon natural rainfall amounts), but that was with sprinklers on an open exposed planted area).

So here's where I'm going with this ...

While the concept of being water-wise conscious of your rainfall run-off on your property, 3 ea 50 gallon drums of captured rainwater doesn't amount to much more than a day's worth of irrigation at maximal efficiences today.

As I pointed out above, if you're capturing and storing a few thousand gallons of water, then we've got something to talk about for water conservation purposes after the rainstorm that delivers a couple tenths of rainfall, giving your garden irrigation a respite for a couple of days.

Part of the problem in our climate zone is the intense sunshine coupled with very dry atmospheric humidity. A drip zone manifold will allow you to selectively water the plants that need more water than others in the respective rows, but you need to be pro-active about maintaining water to the roots as needed before you stress the plants by trying to grow maximum production on minimum water volume.

As an aside, consider that if you are living in a subdivision with an HOA and landscaping covenants, you may not necessarily be able to utilize all of your property for a garden. The HOA cops are out there and you may find yourself with planting ... however beneficial ... that is not cosmetically in compliance with "landscaping". BTDT with KC HOA; I zeriscaped my front and side yards to minimize water consumption so that I could afford to water a garden and a small lawn in my backyard by my patio. The HOA wanted a lawn out front ....

Water conservation is good, but you need to take advantage of every means possible to do so. A tunnel greenhouse is a start, and shade cloth or other means to control heat/sunlight to your plants is essential. All of this takes time and money to acquire, develop, and manage with careful choices for your planting rows. You'll need to aggressively manage growth that you don't want (weeds!), which will be a demand upon the water you deliver to the rows.

In comparison, how much is the water rate per thousand gallons at your location? Will you have a net return on your time and investment in extreme water conservation and storage?

Thanks for the awesome response! I really was still stuck in my Southeastern mindset. I knew I was to some extent, but I've yet to get it through my thick noggin that I bought a house in the desert. I ended up salvaging a bunch of cedar and redwood 2x6's, and built several raised bed planters. I'm drilling them out for water inlets to feed soaker hoses 6-8" down in the beds. They're partially shaded by cottonwoods for a couple of hours of the day.

I'm debating excavating enough soil for a cistern to feed the system next year, but this year we might just go with 4-275 gallon IBC totes in series, elevated for water pressure on 4x4's set in cement. With a sump pump to help, that would probably be a pretty good set-up to get us started. We're kind of in an "anything helps" kind of place right now, just wanting to reduce our water dependency, not necessarily eliminate it.

I'm lucky enough (in my opinion), to live in SW Denver. Pretty much anything goes. People mind their business. Live and let live. There are a lot of urban gardens in this area, and everyone's very tolerant of the lifestyle.
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