Water Preparedness for the Off-Grid Homestead

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Reliable access to water is a must for an off-grid homestead. Here are some important water preparedness tips to keep in mind.

Most of us in the developed world take water for granted. We shower, flush the toilet, water our lawns, and wash the car without a thought to how much water we’re using, where it comes from, or even how it gets to our homes.

But if you’re living off the grid, water takes on a lot more importance in your life. Access to water is one of the essential necessities that you must plan and prepare for before you ever take the leap to off-grid living. In fact, without a reliable plan for water access, it can be impossible to ever be fully self-sustaining.

Water is a basic necessity for daily life, whether or not we spend much time thinking about it. And living on a homestead can even increase your need for water, as you add gardens and livestock to the picture.

This why it’s important to plan ahead before beginning your homesteading venture, and when it comes to water, you may need to build new skillsets, new habits, and even new ways of thinking.

Here are a few considerations you will want to keep in mind:

Mental Preparedness: Breaking the Habit

…Going off-grid, even on a modern homestead, does require a different set of mental skills and thinking.

If this lifestyle is new to you, one of the biggest water obstacles may be your habits! It’s easy to become habituated to easy water access. But the reality is that off-grid homesteading dictates that water can easily become scarce and can affect your daily life when it’s difficult to obtain or becomes unavailable.

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Learning to rethink water consumption starts with basic changes: Take shorter showers, turn off the water when brushing your teeth or washing hands, do dishes once a day, and get your car washed when you go to town. Longer-term planning should address giving up a big lawn and choosing a garden method that doesn’t require watering everyday.

Every facet of water planning needs to start with changing the mental habits we have created over time.

Water Preparedness: Backup Water Systems

Depending on the region of the country you are located, water may be readily available and a back up system isn’t needed…. If you are in a dry area where water is such a commodity, let’s consider some practical preparation for preservation. and storage.

Aboveground tanks: Aboveground tanks are a very viable solution and are widely used for the collection and storage of rainwater, backup water use, and fire-protection reserves….

Sizes range from anywhere to 20 gallons up to thousands of gallons! Keep in mind that water tanks on a homestead should be used as a sensible backup. They can be used for drinking water, but on most homesteads, these are utilized for garden, livestock, laundry, showering, etc., during dry times.

Truck tanks (portable water tanks): These tanks are manufactured in one piece with seamless construction and are designed to fit both full-sized, American-made and “mini” pickup trucks.

Many homesteaders that do not have abundant water at their fingertips will haul water from another source. Your municipality is a option, but even the local river, creek or lake (which is free) and more readily available is a great off-grid source.
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Rain Catchment (an option with limitations):

Rain catchment can be a cheap and easy way to harvest free water. Any roof can be turned into a rain-harvesting system with just a few pieces of gutter strung together.

Even roofs such as on the chicken coop, the tool shed, and the woodshed can be used. All can provide you with downspout ability. In addition, the more barrels you have to catch the rain, the more gallons you will have for off-grid use. Scour Craigslist for free or very economically  priced barrels.
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Developing water (seeps, spring and ponds): Don’t overlook the very doable possibility of developing a seep spring or even a pond. If you have any of these options on your off-grid property, this can be a very valuable investment for your water preparation needs.
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…The bottom line is that off-grid water is indeed a precious commodity. Turning those preconditioned habits from your old water-wasting lifestyle into a greener, more conservative attitude will increase your future success on your first off grid homestead.

For more information, check out the full article at MotherEarthNews.com

 

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