Yesterday we had to throw the tank and pump on the truck and haul water in for the gardens. We have been in a dry spell for a couple weeks now and the last couple rains we had we got very little accumulation so the cistern is too low to be watering from. The gardens were getting very dry and the cistern was down to just two blocks, 500 gallons, or about 1/3 capacity so we needed to haul in the water for the first time in a couple years.
We use two portable pumps here on the homestead. The larger one is a heavier duty semi trash pump that can pump well over 10000 gallons an hour if needed and we use that to pump water from the pond as needed in to a 275 gallon tank that we put on the back of the truck. We then use a reducer to hook the several hundred feet of garden hose to it in order to water most of the upper beds. The pump is rather loud and obnoxious to listen to but it is much quicker than using gravity to distribute the water where we need it and it uses very little gas o pump it off in that manner. In the lower garden we use a small homelite pump with a bucket placed in the creek and a couple hundred foot of hose, then we can water the lower bed directly from it. The small pump is much slower than the larger one but it runs very well for a cheap investment.The two of us can water all of the gardens in about 4 hours using this method and is well worth the buck or two in gas that it takes in order to keep the gardens growing well and us fed.