The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Rolling water

Q water container in action 2010

When we first moved to the farm here one of the chores was to haul water from the creek in 5 gallon buckets to a small raised bed of baby apple trees.

Q water container inventor and designer with userThis was before we were living here full time and pre-electricity. I remember trying to run a small pump off the power of the truck in desperation. This produced a small trickle and seemed to strain the engine to the point where I figured it wasn't worth the risk of blowing a fuse or worse.

Pictured here is the Q-Drum, invented by Hans Hendrikse in 1996. It can carry 20 gallons with ease thanks to the rolling nature of it's design. From what I can gather it's only available in South Africa and cost around 500 Rands. This invention might have been enough to hydrate those poor little apple trees. The unusaully dry summer was a problem, but the real mistake was not mulching. A couple of Q-Drums might have saved the day.

I've often tried to imagine what would be the ultimate water storage container for a possible future where energy is scarce. This might be it.

I wonder how much it would take to make the inner walls glass or copper?

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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With a few years of homesteading experience under my belt I can now see that a more practical solution would have been a small to medium gas powered pump. I think they can be found for 100 to 300 bucks. Too bad they don't make some sort of chain saw pump could get the drive with the same chain that cuts, but it would be dangerous.
Comment by mark Mon Jun 28 16:44:29 2010

Why not a wind-driven pump to fill a reservoir on high ground? Whenever it blows the windmill fills the reservoir, and gravity does your irrigation for you.

The tricky bit is to size the pump and reservoir.

Comment by Roland_Smith Tue Jun 29 13:01:17 2010
That sound good elsewhere, but we have absolutely no wind potential here. We live in a little hollow with lots of trees all around us, so we don't even get many breezes. We get appreciable winds perhaps two or three times a year.
Comment by anna Tue Jun 29 16:25:33 2010

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