I'm building a colony that is an unintended eclectic museum of simultaneous, anachronistic stages of industry: Industrial, Machine Age, and Atomic+ (onward into more esoteric, advanced technologies that are strictly regulated for the sake of social experimentation).
Prior to the construction of a pipeline, road, or rail networks and other transportation, I intend for zeppelins to be used to travel between coastal desalination plants and back to the main city. In addition to delivering drinking water, they would dump some of their water while passing over designated farmland to irrigate the crops, and if needed, also transport and dispense necessary fertilizers, insecticide, etc.
I guess some would also stop at isolated plantations/farms to gather produce and deliver packages or necessary supplies for farmers and agricultural laborers.
This is only intended as a temporary solution until proper transportation and irrigation infrastructure is built...so I can explain the existence of a retrofit fleet of zeppelins being weaponized later...
Edit: Alright, probably unmodified, antiquated zeppelin designs are a miserable idea. Perhaps just magnetoships that use bags of lighter-than-air gasses to stabilize them, and appear aesthetically like antiquated zeppelins? Ach...But then what are all the problems with magnetoships that I don't know about? Or rather: What's a good freight vehicle that can float in the sky like a zeppelin?
And now I'm intending a scenario or circumstance in which there is an obstacle that prevents the simultaneous development of infrastructure alongside the construction of the coastal desalination plants:
"We need water. We need more of it than what's falling out of the sky. It's over there. There's something nasty/loathsome between here and there. So we went over it." It can maybe be a lake/river and its respective filtration/purification plant, since people keep yelling at me that desalination is a dumb idea.
Untamed wilderness...Voracious indigenous organisms...Obstinate xeno-druid roadblocks...What would stop a bunch of salty blue-collar humans in high-vis vests and hard hats? A lot of things I'm sure, but enough that it just makes sense to fly over it in the meantime...instead of say, call in someone to fight it (due to anticipated, constant harassment or guerrilla tactics).
Ugh, but now I've forgotten about the farms I wanted to irrigate with fly-by's...
Edit: Consensus is that fly-by irrigation is impractical, but could I perhaps just have water stored as freight and offloaded at designated stops (plantations/farms) via a simple tower of pipes sticking up in the air, probably connected to a water tower or something? A stable docking procedure is probably required.
- Planet is artificially constructed and terraformed (by a much more advanced faction distinct and separate from the colonists that the narrative is concerned with)
- The conditions were intended to be very close to Earth-like but there are locations where it is obvious that the landscape is artificially sculpted on a massive scale...again, perhaps for the purpose of messing with/experimenting upon developing societies
- in this universe/reality, magic (of many different kinds) is known about, it exists, it is an oddity and impractical because of its known inconsistency over the scope of different celestial bodies ("My fireball spell summons dancing meat-cubes on this planet ._."). People try not to use it and stay away from it as much as possible...and it is considered distinct from occult and psychic shenanigans that are actually, and ironically, better understood and regulated...
- In my intended context, an overarching "social/technological experiment" imposed on the colony is that antiquated technologies are known about, but not understood in-depth. Possibly, they require reverse-engineering from memory or nothing at all? The intention was to motivate the development of alternative technologies: "Building things differently," Or hopefully, better than they functioned as we knew them.
- This is important for the anachronistic stratification of technology levels I mentioned first: Basically, there was a colony drop, the core of the ship is space-age tech, but only so much, and the people in charge of it shoo'd off the colonists, encouraging them to build around it with provided tools and materials from late Industrial Age tech and onward...because it was arbitrarily decided that that's when the curve of technological growth starts to get "interesting" ...I would word that more elegantly later in the terms of aforementioned sociological and technological experimentation of course...