After the rain

The downpour started at 3.30 am today. Although it was loud enough to wake us up we didn’t complain. This rain delivered 23.5 mls in less than an hour. The last time we experienced anything close to this amount was on the 6th of July 2014 when our rain gage read 21 mls.

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Here is the rain gage we use for our record-keeping

Stephen is the keeper of rainfall records on our property. He notes daily amounts, monthly totals, number of rain days and keeps a running total for the year. Before this morning’s downpour the running total for 2015 was 35.6 mls. This includes a total of 30.8mls over 6 days in January, zero rain in February and 4.8 mls over 4 days in March. Over the years these records have shown a consistent downward trend in the overall average rainfall.

The South Australian Bureau of Meteorology also reports the state-wide average rainfall last month was 87% below the historical average, resulting in the driest March for South Australia since 2005, with several sites across the state having their lowest total March rainfall in 20 years .

Although water security appears to be looming as one of the biggest issues in the coming years, we continue to squander this most valuable resource. According to the  City of Holdfast Bay – Eco City Plan 2012-15,  Adelaide and its surrounds use around 200GL (or 480 000 Olympic swimming pools) of mains water each year with approximately 63 percent of this being used in homes or gardens. Check out this chart from SA Water for daily average water use in our region. How does it compare to your region’s and your household’s water use?

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Fortunately, there are many ways we can improve our household’s and State’s water security and the most important one of these is to simply use less water. There are many useful tips on how to do this in ‘Cultivate water saving habits. Installing and using rain water tanks is an additional option for homeowners. This is what we did a few years ago.

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Back in July 2011, we added two rainwater tanks to our back yard. Their combined capacity is 20,000 litres. They are connected to each other and the water is pumped to the house via a small electrical pump which sits in the shed. The overflow water goes to the fruit trees and all outlets are mosquito-proof. We are still very frugal with our water use although for much of the year we don’t use mains water. The chart below shows the changes to our use of mains water.

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Thanks to implementing water saving measures our water use was already way below the average for our region before installing the tanks. For us one of the main advantages of harvesting rain water was to reduce our dependence on the town supply and improve our household’s water security. Thanks to this early morning’s downpour the volume of water in the tanks has doubled overnight, the garden soil is soaked and it’s the perfect time to plant seedlings for this winter’s supply of home-grown vegetables.

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5 Responses to After the rain

  1. Jill says:

    Hi Veronique
    I enjoy your Blog and admire your commitment to ‘sustainability’.

    As a resident of Brighton I wanted to find out if you are aware of the proposed ‘intensive development’ (including luxury apartment towers up to nine storeys high) on Minda’s land and the changes to the Holdfast Bay Council’s development plan? The proposed policy changes to the Holdfast Bay Council’s development plan represent a deeply concerning reduction of the legal rights of residents to be heard in relation to large scale and unsympathetic proposals such as is being proposed. The magnitude of such a development is totally at odds with the character of the area and will destroy its ambience and aesthetic appeal to the lasting detriment of those who live in or come to the area. These concerns should be held by others throughout Adelaide as it seems likely that implementation in North Brighton is not the end of this approach.
    I’m asking you to sign an online petition and share it via your social networks and let’s inspire the government and Minda to take a more balanced approach and do the right thing by the people of Adelaide and Holdfast Bay.
    Thanks 🙂
    Google search ( minda) and you can read in more detail about this

  2. Jill says:

    p.s. I hope you don’t mind that this has nothing to do with your last post.
    Given you are a very ‘community minded’ person I thought it important that you know about these proposed DPA’s changes as very few people in the Holdfast Bay area do aside the immediate neighbours. Minda were legally required only to notify those people on its boundaries.
    I am now part of a working party focused on getting this information out to the people of Holdfast Bay. 🙂 Jill

  3. Dani Austin says:

    Re the rain. Loving this rain! Veronique where did you get those rainwater tanks? I like the corrugated metal look. Are they metal or plastic? Thank you 🙂

    And Re Dunes there is a meeting soon…

    The meeting will be on Wednesday 8th April @ 7 PM at the Glenelg Football Club (in the Bignell room upstairs). Looking forward to seeing you there. Bring friends and family along with you.

    Facebook group:


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