Water management

Crops need water, especially when establishing themselves. We do have communal water tanks around the site, but this is intended for members with very small plots where alternatives are not feasible, and for emergencies. Members are encouraged to be as self-sufficient as possible in harvesting and storing rainwater, and using well-water. We do not guarantee that these tanks will always have water in them (they have to be manually filled), so it is in members’ interests to maximise water self-sufficiency.

Harvesting rainwater guide


If you are considering digging a new well on your plot, you must first apply to the Committee for permission. When the well is complete, you must let the Committee know where it is so that we can add it to the site well map (wells are a danger and we need to know where they are).

The water is never far below the surface at Cripley, so digging a well is not too difficult. A depth of five feet will be sufficient. Be sure to have someone with you. Don’t try digging on your own in case you get stuck.

Most people at Cripley have lined their wells with two 50 gallon drums. Or you could do it in the traditional way with dry laid house bricks. If you use drums leave the base in the bottom drum and punch holes in the base and around the sides up to about 6 inches. Put gravel in the bottom to prevent silting up. It is one of our rules that that the sides of the well are raised and that your well has a cover which cannot be removed by children.

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