Preppers: Is Water or Lack Thereof a Possible Doomsday Scenario in This Country
More than 3.4 million people in the world die every year from water, sanitation, and hygiene-related causes. Poor sanitation due to lack of water, and lack of education about diseases, creates a cycle that spreads diseases throughout a community. More people than you would imagine in the world to include our own country do not have a toilet or a working toilet in their homes.
More people in the world have a cell phone than a toilet. Human waste contaminates water sources causing diseases to run rampant through a community, and it is happening everyday somewhere in the world, even in this country (water.org, 2014).
If you had heard that 3.4 million people had died in plane crashes over the last year, or because of repeated bombs exploding in large cities, the country and world would be outraged, devastated and clamoring for change or massing troops to root out the bombers.
However, death by disease caused by lack of safe drinking is an institutional problem in some countries. It is ingrained and frankly, people are used to hearing about developing countries lacking food, water and medical care. What happens when it starts occurring here on a larger scale however?
It Is Not Only “Over There”
California is out of water, and heavy fines are imposed on anyone caught wasting water. Rationing is the new normal, and there seems to be no end in sight.
The State Water Resources Control Board in California Put Out a Statement
“Reservoirs and rainfall levels remain “critically low”.”Communities may risk running out of drinking water as nearly 80% of the state is now experiencing an extreme drought”. “The conditions have also led to more wildfires and damage to animals’ habitats” (Steinmetz, 2014).
Fined for using water in some states is now a normal practice, and considering the way water is treated, and then distributed, it is the only recourse in most cases. People rely on municipalities for the most part, for their water, and when local governments get it wrong, citizens suffer and literally have to pay the price.
Drilling for water is expensive and likely will be heavily regulated before long. California regulators fear that excessive drilling and tapping of the aquifers for businesses, farmers and for drinking water will create a water shortage in the aquifers themselves. It can cost thousands of dollars to drill a well in some areas of the country. Wells can be hundreds if not thousands of feet deep.
A Water Crisis May Be On the Horizon
Setting aside some of the Western states, the biggest concern for most people that rely on so-called city water is the treatment of the water to make it safe to drink. Treatment of the water relies on computers, electricity and human experts all of which can fail at anytime. Lack of water is lack of water regardless of the cause, and limited clean water supplies will create sanitation issues, which eventually lead to contaminated drinking water.
If you receive your water from a municipality, you are at their mercy. The reservoirs may be full but if the water cannot be treated, it cannot be supplied to homes and businesses. Any number of things can create a situation where the water cannot be treated and thus not safe for consumption and people will be forced to seek water elsewhere, unsafe water in all likelihood.
Any stockpiled supply of water you have will run out eventually, there is no denying this. While having a sufficient reserve of water stockpiled for a crisis is necessary, it is only a temporary solution. Any water source has to be sustainable and renewable.
Rainfall and the collection of rainwater is the only way to ensure you have a sustainable source. Rainfall fills city reservoirs, underground aquifers, lakes, ponds, and any number of rainwater collection devices. Having a system to collect rainwater as a homeowner is the most logical choice other than having a private well drilled, or you have a lake that can be secured during a crisis on your property. Dug wells are an option but typically, they are not deep enough to sustain you through any type of drought situation.
Some cities and towns outlaw the practice of rainwater collection, or some people assume such. Water collection is not illegal in most cases, but simply regulated, and failure to follow the regulations makes it illegal. Getting permits can be complicated and once government is involved, they can do inspections, demand certain requirements and generally make the situation worse. Many people simply assume they cannot collect runoff, where in some, if not most cases, you can if you have the proper paperwork.
Regardless, of the laws and regulations to survive a crisis you should either have a system in place and not operating if you fear a fine, or have a system that can be put in place quickly in the event your water supply is disrupted.
Survivalists have a saying. “It is better to be judged by 12 than carried by six”. Sometimes you simply have to do what is needed within certain legal limits to ensure you are protected during a crisis.
Runoff of course relies on rainfall so herein lays the problem, do you get enough rainfall to sustain you if runoff is your only supply of water. Twenty inches of rainfall, a year is the average.
For information on precipitation totals in your area visit: http://water.weather.gov/precip/
For every inch of rain that falls on your roof and let us assume it is 1,000 square feet at a minimum, of catchment area, you can expect to collect approximately 600 gallons of rainwater. If your roof totals 2,000 square feet you would of course, collect 1,200 gallons provided you have a catchment system in place.
Therefore, if you have 1,000 square feet of catchment area and receive 10 inches of rain over a certain period you would collect 6,000 gallons and double that if you have 2,000 square feet. Do you get 10 inches in three months or over six months or is it considerably less? These are the question you need to explore and to come up with a reasonable expectation of rainfall.
There are no easy answers and certainly no easy fixes especially at the individual level. It is easy for article writers to state the obvious, you need barrels for rainwater collection, a stockpile of drinking water and the means to purify water sources, all easier said than done however.
The problem is big and it does need to be addressed, and the only thing you can do as an individual or family is to begin working through the problem. You have to come up with a solution before you do run out of water, or there is an extended disruption, because remember in the best of times over 3 million people die each year right now, what happens when a crisis disrupts the system even more.
Steinmetz, K. (2014). Retrieved 2014, from http://time.com/2990069/california-drought-regulations/
water.org. (2014). Retrieved 2014, from http://water.org/water-crisis/water-facts/water/