When we moved to the Northwest we got to experience being completely off-grid. Not by choice mind you… In the Northwest it rains. It rains a lot. We also have trees, lots and lots of trees. Trees plus massive amounts of water plus wind equal downed power lines. Compound that with the fact that we live in the boondocks and the power lines run through thousands upon thousands of acres of forested area. Suffice it to say power outages are frequent and long.
At first you only think of the inconvenience, but then you realize the benefit of this experience. The benefit is that you gain perspective and understand your priorities very quickly. You realize that it isn’t your computer, your lights or even your air conditioner that you miss most. You miss running water.
Water may not be as appealing as planning for shelter or food but it is your first priority. The only other subject which is more important, at times, is security. Water is life. On your homestead you need to figure out how to:
- Collect Water
- Filter Water
- Clean Water
- Store Water
- Distribute Water
- Heat Water
all without the aid of electricity. Not all solutions will work for you. You need to consider your property, rainfall in your area, waterfowl migration, bodies of water, groundwater – shallow and deep, droughts, seasons, delivery and disbursement systems, small-scale filtering and large-scale filtering options, cleaning possibilities all without the aid of electricity.
To be on the safe side come up with three different sources of water: cistern for rainwater catchment, body of water and groundwater. Consider your area. Is groundwater far beneath the soil? Consider a deep well hand pump which can pressurize a water tank. Does it only rain during the rainy season once per year? If so, consider a very large cistern. Are wild waterfowl migrating along the path of your body of water? Consider an activated charcoal filtration system. What about water for your livestock and to irrigate your crops or garden? All important questions for you to answer. We will review over some of your options and would love to hear back from you as to some of your solutions.