If you’re planning on growing anything, water is always the primary necessity. Its availability should be a key consideration in your decision to purchase. A reliable water source is mandatory.
When evaluating water access, you look at two things:
- Existing water sources and their output
- Water harvesting and storage potential
By diagnosing these two parameters you will be closer to an answer to the question of whether you’ll have enough water for your needs or not.
To perform this assessment, you’ll have to conduct an on-site investigation or at least some well-thought-out inquiries about the existing wells, springs, ponds, ditchwater, municipality water supply, etc. and the volumes of water they can provide. You’ll want to know exactly what’s there and how much water you can get…
The second part of assessing for the water harvesting potential includes analyzing the size of the watershed and the potential water storage locations.
This is principally performed online using Google Earth and topographic maps, and then confirmed on site. In our case, we’ll use the topography data we’ve already created for the terrain assessment.
Type #1 Risk Assessment:
People generally underestimate how much water they consume and how much water they’ll need for their farm. The maths around these numbers can be brutal, for example – a typical North American consumes 75 to 100 gallons or 300 to 400 liters a day per person. That works out at about 366,000 liters (96,686 gallons) a year just for personal water consumption.
Even a modest garden will require thousands of liters/gallons a week. Irrigating a 1,000-square-foot (~100-square-meter) garden at the recommended rate of one inch per week will use 600 gallons (2730 l) each time. If for example, a garden is 5,000 square feet (465 square meters), that’s 3,000 gallons(13600 l) a week!
Buying a property where you can’t build a structure to harvest necessary water or buying land without a well offers a serious risk of type #1 error.