After the vandalism I was able to get the water garden going again fairly easily. I did run into problems, however, not related to the vandalism. The barrels did a good job of holding water for a while but I started having continuous trouble with the top portion drying out causing the planks of wood to separate and begin leaking. I have decided that any future water gardens will most definitely use a liner.
I'm not sure how yet but I'm am confident I can figure out a way to prevent the liner from affecting the appearance of the barrels. It won't be necessary for now, however, as I have decided to try a different approach for my next "patio pond" since I am now living in California.
The picture below is a rough drawing of my plans for the new back porch. I will probably only be building the fountain and not the arbor.