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Water Test

We talk about needing 2L to 3L of water a day to live but have budgeted for 6L per day in our calculations. This is a significant investment in storage for us and yet I would guess most of us do not know how much water we actually use in reality. What I propose here is a simple test that I am sure will give you surprising results.

Monitor your water usage for one full week. I’m suggesting a Sunday morning, say 1000, to 1000 the week after. The reason I chose that time was to allow you the final part over the weekend and to give you time to evaluate the situation and get ready for the next week. Kind soul that I am.

Simply take a 2L water bottle and fill it from the tap. When you wash yourself, clothes or dishes, make a drink, cook or anything involving water use the water bottle. Don’t use any dishwashers, washing machines, showers or anything connected to the water mains. Instead, use what equipment you have put aside in your stores for those tasks and use the water bottle to supply the water. Keeping track of what your water is used for. Refill the bottle when empty and keep a note of how many times it is refilled to keep track of your total usage.

The main issue here is going to be the toilets. A real situation would have the toilets not working but I would suggest that you do not do that for convenience. Use the house toilets and we will assume that you will make a toilet trench or compost your waste in an event and not use water for that so for this test we will ignore the toilet water usage. Purists can, of course, expand the test to include your toilet waste. It is up to you.

The next issue you will have will be simply keeping yourself clean. Washing without running water and washing clothes outside of a washing machine will be a bit of a challenge. Most of us shower and the water flow removes the soap well. Washing with soap and then cleansing the soap is different and to do it with minimal water waste is something we do not normally worry about. A sponge bath is probably the best way to go about cleaning yourself with minimal water usage although there are other techniques that have been around for centuries.

Looking at how to save water by doing what they used to do a long time ago such as sharing bath water, using scrapers and/or sand. For example, mothers would heat up water and put it in a tub then put their children in the bath together or in an order to maximise water usage. Romans used scraping tools to clean themselves, desert people use sand to scrub themselves. Any waste water would then we used in other ways where possible. Bearing in mind that soap and/or chemicals could now be in that water. You should always consider your waste products as inputs to other usage requirements.

At the end of the week you should total your water usage. How well did you do bearing in mind that 2L is the volume suggested as a minimum and 6L is what we are suggesting putting in our stores? If you are well over what can you do to reduce usage? Look at what you used your water for, was it mainly drinking or was it washing the car? If it is something that you can reduce then look at alternatives. If you don’t think you can then reconsider how much you are putting aside. If you modify your plans for usage or your tools for prepping then perform this test again to see how they change the results. Either way let us know how you get on and any tips you have.