August 22, 2014: Four months and going strong.

Drought is bad for water harvesting but good for a solar powered house!

Today we’re one third of the way through our year-long experiment and things are going very well. It’s been a very dry winter, not quite drought here but very little rain. The silver lining to the lack of clouds is that it’s been very sunny so we’ve been making lots of solar power and hot water. It also means that the passive solar design of the house is working very well. The downsides of clear, dry weather are that it gets very cold at night (down to almost minus five at one point) and our rainwater tank has been dry for most of the last month.

So, as you can see from the monthly Results Table, our use of town water has shot up while we’ve hardly used any tank water this month. Not only did we not have tank water but we also planted a couple of trees and a bunch of veggie starts in the new raised beds at the front of the flat so we had to use quite a lot of water getting them started. We’re at the point now where, in total, we’ve used slightly more town water than tank water. But the really good news is that we had over 150mm of beautiful rain last week which more than filled our tank and gave our new plants a good soaking. So we now have 5000L of delicious distilled water sitting in the tank ready to use so that will put us well ahead again in our goal of using more tank water than town water over the year.

In other news, we will be opening the Greeny Flat for this year’s Sustainable House Day event which runs on two consecutive Sundays, the 7th and 14th of September. There’s at least one other house in the Southern Highlands that will be open for the event. That one is Glenn and Alison Robinson’s house in Bundanoon which sounds like a fantastic project. I can’t wait to see it myself. For more information on the event go to¬†

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