In our last post we began to discuss Chris Martenson’s article, “What Should I Do?” The first step was to get familiar with the basics concepts. Step 2 involves water. We need to have water for survival. Since most of us see large bodies of water in our view scape several times a day, water may not be high in our list of potential problems to deal with in a long term or short term emergency. However, water is crucial and we need to have water on hand and methods to filter it.
Water on an island without natural lakes or rivers is dependent on recharge from rain. There is the potential problem of dry years and of salt water incursion into our wells. In normal times our island is in pretty good shape for water with so many different wells, water systems most of which have some sort of storage capacity with above or below ground cisterns. And, islanders have started to harvest rainwater with more and more above ground tanks capturing water. Even rain barrels are a good start.
An economic slowdown benefit is that if fewer new homes are added to the island, the pressure on our water supplies will be reduced.
In addition to storing water we need to purify it. Martenson recommends the Big Berkey filter. We’ve had one for a couple years and use it to filter our drinking water. It even has filters for arsenic, a problem that crops up in certain areas. The Big Berkey is easy to use; the filters are easy to clean.
Chris’s article on water is short and focuses on storage and purification. The comments added by readers are worthwhile and suggest some great ideas. They add to the discussion. One fellow describes in detail an ingenious purification system. Another has a good idea for storing water that will also help keep your freezer cold during a power outage. There’s also the Water Bob if you have some advance warning. Composting toilets and low volume flush toilets can save thousands of gallons of water each year.
One thing islanders need to think about is desalinization. The technology is expensive, though available. Islands like Eliza have desalinization systems. There are small units that can do a few gallons at a time. These are too expensive for one family to purchase but are excellent candidates for cooperative ventures.
Clearly, building resilience into one’s life has to start with water.