AZ West started out as a tiny 700 sq foot homestead cabin and over the last twelve years has evolved into an elaborate compound of structures and parcels of land. For my first six years in the desert all water was hauled in by trucks that were notoriously unreliable. We lived by the rule “if it’s yellow let it mellow, if it’s brown flush it down”. House guests who offered to wash dishes were watched with an eagle eye to make sure that they didn’t use more then a trickle. Even the cooling systems (evaporative) require water – so when there is non, life becomes untenable.
Nowadays I have a well, and the house borders on the edge of bourgeois. But there are regular reality checks that serve as remiders that we are living in the desert . Last year the pump in the 660 foot deep well failed and had to be pulled and replaced two times in less then twelve months – and last week a secondary pump that pushes water from a holding talk to all different parts of the property had to be replaced. It isn’t a question of whether a part of the system will fail, but a question of when it will fail. As a result I’ve learned the art of appreciation – this week we are celebrating our shiny new blue pump that is optimistically pushing water to all edges of the property.