Monday, April 27, 2015

California Drought

Part of simple living is being aware of potentially bad situations beyond your control, but also not losing any sleep over it. As many people know, California is experiencing a multi-year drought. In a small town at central California (East Porterville), residents are experiencing life without regular water. Yes, that thing we take for granted every day, no longer coming out of the magical pipes in all houses.

Water is precious
 It's hard to understand a first world country lacking something as basic as water, but, similar to Detroit, some Americans go without running water or electricity. I don't believe in prepping for a zombie invasion...I think it's a waste of storage in my mind, and also the processing it takes to calculate unlikely variables. However, it makes sense to have basic precautions for something like water not coming out of the faucet, or not having electricity for a few days. No country or city is invincible.

I know a lot of people who are afraid to be afraid, and bury their head in the sand. Fear often causes poor decisions, but discounting any fear inducing idea produces blindness.

Okay, so the practical stuff. A great experiment is to turn off your water for two days and see how you do. If that isn't possible, then perhaps prevent yourself from using water by signs or other measures. Needless to say, it would be a good idea to prepare prior to this test so you don't get ill. The point of this is to reduce worry by increasing your ability to survive.

Here are some basic tips:

  1. About 1 gallon of drinking water per person per day. The actual drinking recommendation is less but water is often used in cooking too.
  2. Have water for everything else you do. This is vague, but how am I supposed to know whether you water your lawn every hour, or live out of a two gallon bucket? This is where testing is helpful. This water doesn't necessarily need to be drinking grade, but should be least enough to water plants. Hopefully you have vegetable plants if you are reading this blog. A good water plan is scaling down your consumption.
  3. The water you use above that isn't consumed (drinking, given to plants, wasted on hourly watering...) should be saved for pouring down your ol' toilet. Yep, the toilet can flush just by pouring water into it. At a job I had, some houses we went to didn't have water turned on and this is what we did to flush.
  4. Have extra water. Be aware that pool water isn't really the best thing for you to drink...or water plants with. Remember that for larger, open storage containers (like rain collectors) it can be wise to add a couple goldfish during mosquito season.
  5. Consider having a water filter to supplement your drinking water stock.
  6. Plan out your storage. Below is one of the storage cases we use. Remember to add the required drops of bleach.

1 comment:

  1. I would like to hear more of your thoughts. Why haven'y you posted lately?