Long term, the hope is that the food forest will establish and grow such that additional water inputs will be minimal or not needed. Capture and infiltrate as much water as possible during the rainy season, then minimize hot season evaporation by covering and shading the soil.
However, the system was just planted. The swales captured and infiltrated rain, but the plant roots are tiny. Most of the soil is bare, and the ponds are empty because they still need sealing. We knew that we have to design and build an irrigation system, but figured we still have time until late spring to do it since winters are usually quite rainy.
There's a drought this winter. It rained in December, but almost not at all in January so far. The situation is expected to continue well into February so we need to water now, somehow.
Fortunately, we have a water source: the well and pump system installed by the previous owner. The pipes don't reach all over the garden and we only have a few sprinklers, but they'll have to do for now.
Moving the hoses around is a laborious and delicate job: there's small trees everywhere, easily hurt or destroyed by a sliding hose. It's even more annoying in the area that used to have eucalyptus – there's roots and branches everywhere, easily snagging and kinking the hose.
We'll make it work somehow, and hopefully the trees will make it too. The work should be easier once we have pipes and drip hoses everywhere, and hopefully unnecessary in the long term.