We are usually very fortunate in the water department. We have a spring source that is gravity fed to all of the houses on our main street. The tank hold 10,000 gallons which is enough to get us through a short term power outage and there is a generator to run the pump after that. But this week the pump broke down and, while we were never out of water, we did have to conserve until the pump could be repaired and the tank refilled. The amount of water a household uses really becomes apparent when you are focusing on it.
I fill a couple of 3 gallon water jugs twice a day just to water the greenhouse plants and the newly planted sets. Several times a week, I fill those jugs another 4 or 5 times to water the new fruit trees and berry bushes. We run the soaker hose a couple of times a week for a fer house to give the new raspberry and blackberry canes a good drink. The pigs require a good deal of water and surprisingly enough, the bees use quite a bit too. Bruce mixes up their supplemental feed 4 days a week. Now I haven’t even thought about the house yet.
With 4 adults and 1 child, there are showers and laundry and toilet flushings, dishes and cooking and general washing up. We must wash our hands 10 times a day because of all the dirty work we do. We handle cow poop, pig slobber and have our hands down in the earth.
In the midst of trying to conserve, I put up 7 pints of rhubarb and the canner uses a lot of water. All of this leads me to ask-Where are you in terms of water security? I was able to haul water from our stream for flushing, animals and plants. We just didn’t shower for a day and we let the laundry pile up. I had enough water stored for drinking and cooking so my only use was for the canner. I guess I could have used stream water for that as well as it never comes in contact with food and is boiled in any case. I used my tap water just for washing hands and teeth brushing.
I hope this is something you think about. Check out your neighborhood for sources of clean, or not so clean, water. Invest in a water filter if you can afford it and get the directions for building one if you can’t. The Internet is full of good instructions. I think that Ole Remus at The WoodPile Report had some good ones and so does Rawles at Survivalblog.
If you are ever thinking of relocating, I would put availablity of water at the top of mulist of got to haves. Bruce is actually thinking of finding our old well head and getting it back in working order. We havea dowser friend who could find it in minutes. With a hand pump we would be in business even if the power fails and pump breaks.