One puzzle remained: how could it pump steadily over most of 2 days and then go dry or erratic? The answer lies in wind speed. When it is low, the mill turns slowly and water supply is enough for continuous pumping. Once the speed rises, long pauses begin to occur and last until water slowly fills again.
It is a clear supply constraint problem. The borewell companies and low level bureaucrat advising the poor farmer faced with a dry well similar to mine, will ask him to try drilling another well in a different place- and he often does that, by borrowing money. The burden of debt and repeated failures to strike water [-where is it anyway?] have driven many farmers to suicide. I know how depressing a dry well can be. I have experienced it.
But why are there not enough people encouraging farmers to learn water economics? That is, understanding demand, supply and creatively managing water as you would your money. Living within water means and then slowly adding a pond, arresting run off, adding humus to increase soil sponginess will slowly lead him out of despair and into prosperity. It is a long, hard haul, yes but rewards are generous and very fulfilling. It’s a commonplace experience when you build a business or a career, but forgotten soon as you get presumptuous with nature’s ways.
So where am I in the pointReturn adventure? When I embarked on it, I sought a piece of land where water was not easy to come by. I sought the opportunity to show how a wasted land can be made alive again. My wish has been granted rather more fully! – and here I am with reserves having to be built almost from zero.
The lessons my windmill has taught have made me rethink my plans. The recharge pond and run off control plans must be put into practice sooner rather than later. Committing new plants into the ground has to be a far more circumspect exercise than I was preparing myself for; there is just not enough water. Another quick requirement is to build a lot of capacity, to store the water whenever the windmill lifts some.
In short, for the pointReturn site to survive and flourish, it first has to make rainwater feel welcome and comforted enough to stay awhile, take up residence in the ground below- and then bless the soil above.