Eau? ...NO! Part Three
History repeats itself.
CLIMATE CHANGE SEASONS
Today, as I write, I think back to February, twenty one years ago, when we were settling into our new home. Just as I am doing today, I was anxiously checking the weather forecast. And just like today I saw days and days of sun lying ahead, with not a single drop of rain forecast. "Don't worry," we were told. The spring rains will come and the source will flow. But of course that year no spring rains fell, and we had to resort to pumping up water from the maison forestiere. Locals told us to expect the hot dry summer to break towards the end of August. But that year was different. As autumn progressed, still little or no rain had fallen.
What could we do?
"There's nothing else we can do , B. said. We'll have to sink a bore hole . Growing up in Africa, this concept was not new to him , so we set about involving a company that would help us achieve our aim.
Enter the water diviner.
With the help and advice of our forester neighbour we recruited M. Bayron , water diviner, to choose the best spot to drill for water. He duly arrived in early October, bearing two metal divining rods. Taking a cursory stroll over our property with his rods held horizontally before him, he soon pointed out where we should drill. "But wait a minute," we said , "our property is quite extensive. How can you be so sure that this is the best spot?" M. Bayron reluctantly extended his search, but soon returned to the same spot, saying firmly that we would find water there at a depth of eighty metres.
The question of water divining remains a contentious one. But we were in no position to question the local modus operandi. Moreover my father in law had been known to locate water sources in Africa in the same way. And so we set about obtaining an estimate for drilling a forage(or bore hole) at this spot. We considered the cost for finding water at eighty metres , and fitting a suitable size pump , and decided that it would be well worth it. There would be no more anxiety over our water supply. And so in early November two men duly arrived with their drilling equipment. Perhaps it was no coincidence that the spot that the diviner had chosen for drilling was accessible to their vehicles.
But would we actually find water?
The drill was put into position and drilling commenced the next day. On the third day they expected to reach a depth of eighty metres, so we put a bottle of champagne on ice. Alas , the spoil from the drilling site remained bone dry , so the champagne was left uncorked.
We now had a dilemma. Every extra metre drilled would add to the cost. What's more , the deeper the forage, the larger and more expensive the pump to draw water. We approved a further twenty metre exploration. But the spoil from the drilling remained stubbornly dry and by the beginning e of the fifth day we had reached the depth of one hundred and twenty metres; and the champagne had been removed from the fridge.
"O.K." Brian said. " Go as far as a hundred and fifty , but then we've absolutely got to stop. We felt utterly despondent. But then as the final drilling effort continued , the sound of the drilling seemed to change. We headed for the drilling site, feeling more hopeful. But alas! One hundred and fifty metres had been reached, and still nothing. We'd take a punt and go a little further. We were watching closely now. As the drill continued, the spoil seemed to darken and sparkle slightly. And then I gasped, for I noticed a tiny trickle of water coming through a pipe. The operator turned to me dismissively. "Un peu" he said, not wishing me to get too excited. But then the trickle became a gush. At one hundred and seventy metres we had struck water. The engineers continued for another ten metres in order to create a sump. We had reached the level of the valley floor at least, and our water worries were over.
The champagne was warm, but we drank it anyway.
And here is the final result, ready for connection to our water supply.