The most recent headlines mainly focus on political matters and terrorist threats. However, we seem to be underestimating a more urgent problem that is already here: the California drought.
We tend to not think much of it since the phenomenon is isolated, but the truth is California seems to only mark the beginning of a far more serious crisis. I’m talking about no access to tap water.
As you can see, droughts are spreading rapidly across the U.S. and there are no signs that things are going to get better any time soon. When it comes to survival, food is just one of the problems, but water shortage is a totally different challenge.
If you check out the weather reports you will quickly find out that although El Niño is currently in effect, the chances of it generating the amount of rainfall needed to disperse this drought are very slim.
We could be enduring severe food shortages and long lines for water rations very soon.
When Facing a Crisis Preparation Is Key.
Anticipating the outcome of certain events and knowing in advance how to react and what resources to have on hand can make all the difference between surviving (perhaps even thriving) or not. The faster you adapt to the harsh conditions of a crisis, the better off you’ll be.
Here’s what you can do to secure water for you and your loved ones during heavy droughts. I’ve quickly put together the basic tips.
Water Saving Tips
- Collect rainwater. You can easily achieve this by placing some tanks around your house. There are of all sorts of designs out there. Choose whatever best suits your garden layout, but focus on saving as much rainwater as possible.
- Use a bowl to wash fruits and vegetables instead of using the sink. It may be a bit more difficult until you get used to it, but you will save a decent amount of water this way.
- Reuse the gray water for your garden. There is no harm for the garden in doing this. Remember that from a survival perspective, one of the top uses for water is to hydrate ourselves. Everything else comes second.
- Take a shower instead of a bath. This will save up to 300 liters of water in a week.
- Acquire a water meter and monitor your water consumption. A water meter is also good for checking your entire system for leaks. Simply turn off the water and compare two readings that you will take at a couple of minutes apart. If you spot any difference, then surely you are dealing with a leak. The bigger the difference between the readings, the bigger the leak. Don’t let water go to waste during a drought.
- Use a watering can instead of a hose when you want to do some work in the garden.
- Springs or Streams
They are always a great source of fresh water so take notice if there any surrounding your area.
- Lakes, ponds and rivers
They are less ideal since the water they provide is not drinkable. You will need to filter and purify it first.
- Muddy areas
If you are in the wilderness and find a muddy area, that is your lucky day because groundwater might be available. Here’s how you can harvest it. First dig a 1 foot deep and 1 foot diameter hole then wait.
If you indeed stumbled upon groundwater then your hole will soon fill with water. It will be muddy, but after you purify it you can safely drink it.
Water Purification Methods
1. Boiling water
This is probably the most common method that we use daily. It’s a fast and cheap way of removing bacteria and obtaining drinkable water. Please note that if you intend to drink it you should boil the water for 5-10 minutes after you saw the first bubbles.
Boiling water will not remove solids, metals or minerals. Also another important factor to consider in regards to the boiling time is your current location. If you are on a mountain, keep in mind that the boiling point for water decreases with altitude, so you will need to boil it for a longer period of time.
Once the timeframe for boiling has passed, you will need to let the water sit and settle.
Before storing the boiled water in a separate container, make sure you allow a few minutes for it to settle. You will notice that all the remaining residues will start forming a layer on the bottom. Make sure you collect only the water above, which is clean.
2. Purification tablets
Purification tablets are fairly easy to find nowadays. Here is an Amazon link: Click here. They are good when you need a fast solution. I recommend having them in your survival pack since they don’t take that much space. The water might inherit a slight bad taste as a result of purification tablets, but safety comes first.
Whether you choose to go with iodine or with chlorine tablets make sure you filter the water through a piece of preferably clean cloth before using them. This way you will eliminate all the solid particles from your water.
Most purification tablets deliver between a quarter and an entire liter of drinkable water. Always wait 30 minutes after using purification tablets. Don’t drink the water immediately and always study the instructions provided thoroughly. Make sure to check the expiration dates as well.
Keep in mind that low water temperature will reduce the effectiveness of purification tables, so always heat the water whenever you can. If no heat source is available you will have to wait up to an hour or more before the water is safe to drink.
3. Water Purifiers
You can either purchase them or make one yourself. Here is one good example of a commercial water purifier. It’s called LifeStraw.
It works by forcing water through narrow fibers under high pressure. Clean water exits through tiny pores in the walls of the hollow fibers, but viruses, bacteria, protozoa, and other contaminants are trapped inside the hollow fibers and re-flushed out by backwashing. This is their official website: http://www.buylifestraw.com/. They are also available on Amazon.
4. Water Filters
If you are a one thought survivalist like me then you will not be intimidated by the idea of crafting your own water filter. It’s quite easy and straightforward. First you will need a plastic bottle that has the bottom removed. Get your best knife and start cutting. Once the bottom is removed turn the bottle upside down so that the cap is facing down. Now you will need to add these elements in this particular order:
2. A bandage or cloth
4. Again a bandage or cloth
You can now start pouring contaminated water.
Bandage and cloth help keep the other materials from blending in with one another.
The pebbles and the sand are actually filter the particles and the dirt out of the water.
The charcoal has the role of filtering the chemicals out of the water. You will also need to change the charcoal one a month, depending how much water you use.
Once the whole filtering process is over, you will then need to boil the water. This will take care of any remaining and potentially harmful bacteria.
Do you know any other methods of purifying water? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.