Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Now for something different...

At last some welcome rain on the East Coast at 40S up against the ranges. Was staring at the local Fire Service water truck between Xmas and New Year with less than 1/4 of one tank this time yesterday.

It has not rained, other than some feeble drizzly stuff, always just enough to wash the bird and possum shit from the roof into the tanks, since about 7 weeks ago. Just around the same time, high winds for a couple of weeks dried the last of the moisture out of the ground completely. Moving the daily electric fence break for the cows has been damned hard to stick the standards in the concrete like ground. The paddocks were still green, not like 2km further east where everything is brown and tinder dry. Still knee deep in green grass here.

Both 5500 gal (25,000 l) tanks are at 80% full and it is still raining. Have had about 80mm of steady rain in last 24hrs. Thankfull it is not a destructive downpour. Light rain will replenish the soil and give the grass factory another kick. Suspect it will not last much longer, although stalled front is helping. Still the rain radar shows a little more to come and prognosis post Xmas, after the next big high, looks tentative for a top up with a low currently filling the Ozzie Bight.

When you have 20x 2yr cattle on the block who drink the same water as we do (no well or stream), on one hot day about 1500 litres will be consumed. A thirsty 300 kg cow sucks about 65 litres per day. That means one tank drops by 100mm per cloudy day, rising to about 150mm on a hot clear day. If both tanks are full when we start the New Year, we can get to maybe mid-March before we look at the fire truck again.

Accidentally pumping about 3500 gallons through an already full tank onto the ground for six hours a month ago has not helped. Yes, it was me and the offending gate valve handle on the inter-tank transfer line has been taken off. The learning curve never stops on a lifestyle block.

At least I know that where I am against the ranges, if my nice green lawn goes brown, then the rest of NZ will be thirsty and on bottled water, even in town. I hope the rain further up at Gisborne and northward is the business and lasts for a day or two.

Off to check the tanks again...

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