A Flood of Value

By Mike Johnson

Our homestead environment is high desert. We only get 9 to 11 inches of moisture a year.
For household water, we share a limited, snow-melt-fed mountain spring with neighbors, so aren’t allowed to irrigate.

So when we built a walipini (below ground level) greenhouse, we designed it with a rooftop water collection system. The plexiglass roof is angled toward gutters that direct snow melt and rain first into an underground solids collection barrel, then into an underground cistern. A pressure tank, pipes and automatically-timed hoses in the greenhouse then deliver the water where we need it for plants. Nice self-sufficient, passive system.

But out west, you can always use more water. So we’ve looked into digging a well. The trouble is, no one can guarantee the water depth. The best guess is 160 feet but some people had to go 700 feet. Huge difference in expense.

So we’ve decided to collect the water off our metal barn roof. It’s got five times the roof footage as the greenhouse. I’ve researched historical rainfall and done the math. We ought to be able to collect about 15,000 gallons a year off that roof.

We’ll just direct the existing gutters to fill a solids collection barrel that flows into some buried cisterns. Then we can pump the water where needed in the yard. The stored water will be valuable for fire suppression too.

This is a good example of putting yourself into a stream of value that already exists. Right now, the value is wasted, randomly draining into the ground. Soon it will be draining into our collection vaults. We’ll be harvesting new value out of thin air.
To put a money value on it, getting 2,000 gallons of water delivered from town costs $225. So our cistern plan should pay for itself within a few years. Plus we gain more self-sufficiency.

Look around. We’re surrounded by this type of value everywhere. Just ask, “What’s missing?” and “How can I profitably provide that?”

The answers can quickly provide a flood of value.



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