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brainstorming creative ideas for a fierce water issue on my island  RSS feed

 
Markos Papageorgiou
Posts: 2
Location: Aegina, Greece
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Hi guys!

I live on a beautiful island called Aegina, about an hour from Athens in the Saronic gulf.
Aegina suffers from a terrible water issue - apart from some families living on the mountain slopes, all the others are pretty much dependant on water from the mainland, as most wells have been dried long ago.
The water that we get in summer is full of invasive seawater - ultra salinated. whoever tries to water his plants with these waters - , combined with 45 degrees C heat, kills his whole garden within weeks. everyone relies here on tons of bottled water coming from north Greece and Crete every day (ridiculous!)
Several attempts have been made with installing expensive filters on the taps - most of them break down within months.

I wonder if there is any decent way of desalinifying and cleaning the water for garden use, without selling a kidney or make the whole farm a one big rain water collection basin to last the whole summer.
 
Casie Becker
gardener
Posts: 1474
Location: Just northwest of Austin, TX
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forest garden urban
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I wonder if it would be worth looking at the kinds of solutions people use to make grey water safe for their gardens. https://www.milkwood.net/2012/10/16/building-a-simple-biological-diy-greywater-system/

I know there'd still be maintenance involved, but something like a reed bed is a low tech option that doesn't require experts.
 
David Livingston
steward
Posts: 3665
Location: Anjou ,France
176
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How about this idea http://www.dummies.com/home-garden/green-building/how-to-build-a-solar-powered-water-purifier/
there are many variants of this about on the net

David
 
hans muster
Posts: 61
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Hi,

Casie, reed beds don't work for salt, only for organic compounds.

Markos, distillation is a way of doing it, here a link. You need some greenhouse plastic and a bucket. You could even add a solar powered water pump to pump up the salt water, but you would need to get rid of some water, otherwise you will fill up your bucket with salt. If the bucket (called solar still box in the drawing) is painted black it works better.
http://www.alternative-energy-tutorials.com/energy-articles/freshwater-production.html
See the drawing under "freshwater production from distillation".

Edit: David posted the same way.
PS: Another link https://www.motherearthnews.com/real-food/passive-solar-water-distillation-zmaz02aszgoe?pageid=1#PageContent1
 
David Livingston
steward
Posts: 3665
Location: Anjou ,France
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I accept what you are saying about reed beds Hans but if you can recyle the water that you already have thats good too Often a multi pronged approach works best
David
 
hans muster
Posts: 61
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True, that would be best, because you also use the nutrients. I was into the question "desalinating the water".

But I guess the shower water is salty as well, or not? Markos?
 
Josh Kunkel
Posts: 40
Location: Central Texas
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duck goat trees
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I'm sorry, I don't have specific solutions for cleaning your water, my work on learning sand filtration is just beginning, I only know it as a new concept.

Closing eyes and dreaming:
With under 40 cm average rain, every drop is precious to rebuilding the groundwater. It would take every land owner to get involved to make a change. Water spread from the highest valleys to ridges in every way possible, from keyline to swales with a building up of organic matter. Water for human use captured from roofs (and ran through a sand filter?), ground wells made illegal, accept the springs that eventually come to the surface as a gift of fresh water but don't drill down and pull it out. 

Opening eyes to the current:
Grass roots movements to work toward the above. Look at what Holzer did in Greening the Desert and Neil Spackman's work in Saudi Arabia. Your needs and situation are unique. Studying how other 'unconventional' efforts have afforded real change in difficult areas- mimic what fits your context and draw inspiration to create your own solutions from the rest.
 
Adrian Cauchi
Posts: 10
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Hi Marcos,

Adrian from Malta here same situation as you. Just 200km away.

I plant native trees that are drought tolerant. Mainly olives, almonds and apples. From this year I try to keep as much mulch over them as possible. Any weeds I have for the time being. I am planning to plant everything covered in mulch. Even the tomatoes and potato and in the shade of the trees. We have so much sun we have no problems.

Save every last drop of water. Build all the rubble walls.
Make swalles following the land countours. I make sure to plant just before the rain so that way I give a heads up to my small ones.

Collect all the rain you can and water intelligently and most off all reduce water loss due to the Sun. Cover cover and cover.

Some have desalination plants here amd all our drinking water comes from reverse osmosis plants by the government.
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