Survival Question Number One: Water

We begin our discussion of some of the “Basic Survival Questions” I mentioned in an earlier post.  Today, we’ll be considering water.  This can be rather a sticky topic.

The original posting asked: “How much potable (drinkable) water do I have stored and how long would it last if all sources of water were cut off?”  It then goes on to suggest that “[i]deally, you should have 2 gallons per person per day”, or three if your food is freeze-dried or dehydrated.

So, how much water do you need?  Really, estimates vary.  I’ve seen numbers as low as a gallon per day, up through the 2 or 3 gallons/day posted and even higher.  I’ll take 2 as a nice, round starting number.  So, my family of four needs eight gallons a day.  And you should also consider your pets–my two large-ish dogs drink maybe a gallon a day between them; our pride of indoor cats might drink a half-gallon a day; rounding up, that’s two more gallons.

Ten gallons per day, for drinking and a minimum of washing and cleaning.  The problem becomes one of storage: where to put ten gallons of water?  It’s not an unfair question; 10G of water occupies 2310 cubic inches of space–quite a bit of room on the shelf.  Multiplied over a several-day period, and it can quickly become unmanageable.

A variety of solutions are available.  The first one for me and mine: one of my hobbies is homebrewing; as such, I have numerous 5- and 6-gallon glass jugs (“carboys”), similar to the plastic water-cooler jugs so ubiquitous in offices.  I use them to ferment my beer and wine; when they’re not in use, I clean them & fill them with filtered water.  At present, this gives my family about 3 days worth.

Another solution is the water bob, a flexible bag of sorts that fits in your tub, to be filled with 100 gallons (10 days!) of clean water.  (The aqua pod is similar, but slightly smaller.  I should also mention that I have no affiliation with any of these companies!)  It even has a pump, for easy distribution/removal of the water.  Yet one more solution, one which my wife is enamored of, is the water brick, a water container that is stackable, and even has some degree of architectural use.  They hold 3.5 gallons; for that volume they’re a little expensive, but are quite functional.

Something not addressed in the original question, but which is a logical follow-on, is: what do you do when your emergency supply is running low, or has run out?  How do you get more water?  Will it need filtering/sterilization, and if so, how will you accomplish this?

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About leftwingsurvivalist

I'm a survivalist and prepper with a difference!
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One Response to Survival Question Number One: Water

  1. wyndwalkr says:

    For Pete’s sake, a group of domestic cats is called a clowder, not a pride. Geesh!

    People should remember that their water heater holds 30-50-80 gallons of water as well. Know how to drain it out. Unless one has converted to an on-demand water heater that is.

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