Surviving Water Shortages and Crisis

Survive a water crisis

Image by Grant Cochrane

Surviving a water crisis is not on most people’s minds because a glass of water is only as far as the kitchen faucet. Viewing images of nations that are currently experiencing water shortages may cause a person to consider what to do during a water shortage. Preparing for a water shortage is not an irrational action because a water crisis can occur in many different situations.

People from many countries have to deal with water shortages on different levels. Countries such as China use half as much water as the United States. Other countries must ship in their water supply due to depletion of their natural resources. Natural events can also force communities to undertake water conservation steps.

Depletion of water is not the only threat. Contamination of water happens in many different ways such as irresponsible manufacturing to overpopulated areas. Contaminated water spreads disease to both people and wildlife and quickly which leads to much larger problems. Knowing water supplies may become a bigger problem causes a person to stop and question if they should take action.

If a person feels their water supply is dwindling, than taking measures to store clean water is a sensible step for their family. A three day supply of clean water for each family member should be stored in a dark place. The containers to store water must be opaque and sturdier than a milk jug. Stored water only lasts six months, so label the containers. It is also necessary to scout out emergency water sources such as rainwater collection, emergency reserves such as the water heater, or the possibility of an untapped well. Thinking outside the box may be a lifesaver.

Practical tips:

  • Be prepared by having water on hand at your residence.  Full 5 gallon containers are readily available for purchase at home improvement stores.
  • If a catastrophic event occurs, fill all tubs and sinks with water for later use.  If tubs are dirty, line with plastic garbage bags or filter as needed from the storage vessel.
  • Have a plan for purifying water should an emergency take place.  Ideally, this will be a portable plan for potable water.
  • Store 1 gallon/person/day and extra for pets.  Store enough for at least three days of urban water shortage, longer if you are located in a rural area.

If there comes a time that clean water is inaccessible, it can be purified in various ways. Boiling water may kill bacteria, but it also uses up a lot of necessary fuel. Bleach, iodine, and purification tablets can also clean the water. A carbon block can contribute to the purification but does not entirely remove bacteria. A reverse osmosis filter can turn salt water into drinkable water but will not filter out all bacteria.  See this article on the best water filter to use in case of crisis.

Water crisis management can apply to individuals and continue to a worldwide spectrum. Preventative measures against a water crisis are the responsibility of everyone. A person should stay active in their own community’s conservation methods. Responsible community members will encourage others to conserve and be aware of alternative water supplies. Being involved with conservation efforts may prevent a water crisis from happening in the first place.

Water crisis

Image by Idea Go

Other water crises may stem from contamination via air, ground, or explosion.  If you live near a lake community, consider what happens on that lake.  Sometimes nuclear energy plants use lake water for cooling operations.  If something goes wrong at the plant, you’re going to need another plan for your water supply.

The consumption of water in a typical person’s life is more than what they see come out of a faucet. Dwindling levels of water supply, contamination, or a drought can create a water crisis. Many countries must already provide water crisis management techniques because they have depleted their water supply. Preparing for a water shortage is only part of what a person should do. Conserving personal use and staying involved with conservation efforts will also contribute to averting a water crisis.

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