Water Development for Homesteaders

Author Ken Kern writes about water development for homesteaders and well construction methods to create a well for their property.

| September/October 1971

Well water development homesteaders

Where the water table is fairly close to the ground surface, a well can be advantageously dug. Depths of from 10 to 40 feet are common. A circular hole, about 40-inches in diameter is usual: being round it is less apt to cave in.


Ken Kern, author of The Owner-Built Home and The Owner-Built Homestead, is an amazing fellow and everyone interested in decentralist, back-to-the-land, rational living should know of his work. Back in 1948 he began collecting information on low-cost, simple and natural construction materials and techniques. He combed the world for ideas, tried them and started writing about his experiments.

Eventually, Mildred Loomis started publishing Kern's articles in The Interpreter, Way Out and Green Revolution. Ken has also issued a three year series of pieces (called Technic) on his own and a greenhouse-sun pit design of his has been featured in Organic Gardening.

This series of Ken Kern's work is being taken both from The Owner-Built Home (already published) and The Owner-Built Homestead (to be published).


The Owner-Built Homestead: Chapter 3 Water Development

Water has come to be the most valuable resource to be found on the homestead. Its proper — or improper — development and use will make or break a homestead effort sooner than any other single factor. And yet for a resource of such import, there is a dearth of information!

Water is mankind's most wasted commodity. The water needs of a primitive savage — for drinking, cooking and occasional washing-have been estimated to be 1 gallon per day; the average modern city dweller uses 1,200 gallons per day. This includes his share of industrial and agricultural usage in the country and over the world. It takes, for instance, 65,000 gallons of water to produce one ton of steel; 225 gallons to produce an egg; and 550 gallons to grow the grain and produce a loaf of bread.

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