California is experiencing the worst draught in the last 1000 years and residents will need to cut back 25% of water consumption. The American west overall is suffering some serious droughts and thousands are already being affected. With a growing population and industry the existing water resources are lacking and this is a problem that is likely to affect even more people in the future.
Here are some tips to prepare for draughts and water shortages in general. Keep in mind, water is an essential supply you should have anyway, drought or not. A number of disasters or simple water line repairs can leave you without water for days at a time. Even an earthquake, which is very likely to affect the west coast in the next twenty years, would damage the water infrastructure and leave people to provide for themselves. We saw how desperate people got due to lack of water in just a matter of hours during the 2010 Chile Earthquake.
Here’s what you should keep in mind.
1)Store actual water. Don’t just have a filter or some bladder to fill. Store water, at least a week’s worth of water for all family members. You should have at least a gallon for each person per day. If you can store even more water, that’s highly recommended.
2)Not all water is used for drinking. Actually, most water will be used for cleaning, flushing toilets and watering your plants. Over 50% of water used in America goes to watering lawns alone. While you may have to cut back on watering your lawn, you’ll still need to water your orchards or gardens if you are producing food. You can use rain water for such things, so it’s a good idea to collect rainwater in am outdoors container.
3)Get a good water filter such as the Big Berkey and pure, unscented bleach. You can use either one or both for treating your water if needed.
4)Try storing some food for emergencies that requires no cooking and no added water. Canned food is usually good that way. Still, you will have other staples that need to be cooked and use water. Make sure its food that cooks fast and uses relatively little water.
5)Get a rice cooker and use your lid in other cook wear. The use of lid prevents the waste of water through evaporation, it also helps cook faster. I’ve been using a rice cooker for about a year now and it saves a considerable amount of electricity compared to ovens and electric cooktops. It also makes great use of small amounts of water, making it one of the most water effective ways of preparing rice and other vegetables.
6)Try not wasting water in general so as to contribute to preserving water. Don’t let the tap water running when brushing your teeth, don’t take unnecessary long showers, try washing your car with just a bucket of water.
7)If the drought persists, you can also change your house garden so as to use more arid climate plants that require little or no water. Parts of the lawn can be replaced with more decks, or dry floors that don’t need watering.
8)Drink enough water. In spite of there being little water to go around, do stay as well hydrated as possible. Take electrolyte drinks and check your urine color. It should be as clear as water when fully hydrated. Pay particular attention to small children and older people.
9)A two gallon garden sprayer can be used to improvise a quick shower in the bathroom. This is a priceless treat when going for several days without water in the middle of summer. Wet wipes can be used when water can’t be wasted on showers. Hand sanitizer keeps your hands clean while not wasting water.
10)Have plans to bug out and relocate if necessary. Small towns may suffer the lack of water the most, being sacrificed to provide for larger population areas. Even in a supposedly self-reliant homestead water wells may dry up due to draughts, leaving you with no other option but to relocate.
Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.