The dam also extends up along the valley into a property at our left, making a very large expanse of natural-looking waterway fed by a creek that flows down from a steep little mountain at the end of the valley, a kilometer or so upstream. That source means we enjoy a reliable supply of water throughout the year. Ever since we wisely invested in a tough farm-style pump and laid down underground pipes to bring the dam water up to the farthest corner of our block, we have had water on tap at seven different locations around our block. That may be something about which it is ecologically irresponsible to boast. But even though I’m a confirmed heavy mulcher and selective irrigator (I certainly don’t water any lawn; in fact I would happily do away with all grass if I had the energy or resources to plant out and care for an acre of trees and shrubs throughout the years it takes to turn grass back into bush), nevertheless I have to confess that my life here changed forever on the day our wonderful ‘pump specialist’ installed the irrigation system and we turned on the first tap bringing that luscious water uphill to the veggie patch and fruit trees and other less utilitarian plantings.
I suppose I could create an irrigation-less garden somewhere if (or when) I eventually have to move to a smaller ‘town’ block, where water rationing is the norm. But for now I'm afraid I probably do use more water on the garden than I should, though I certainly no longer indulge in the kind of water-dumb practices that we older folk remember from a time back in the pre-El Niño Dark Ages, such as watering driveways, instead of just sweeping, to clear away fallen leaves. And I know it's only rationalisation, but I remind my guilty self that any water running off our property goes straight down the hill, back into that life-giving, garden-saving dam.