The Importance of Water Harvesting and Management
There isn’t a single organism on this planet that can live without water – it’s the very essence of life. In times of crisis, communities might crumble and organised supply chains might collapse. In such scenarios, water becomes a coveted resource and having the abilities to harvest and manage it could be the sole difference between survival and devastation.
What is Water Harvesting?
Water harvesting is a straightforward yet powerful concept – capturing rainfall and runoff for use during the drier periods. It is a crucial skill if you’re serious about homesteading, and even more so in survival scenarios when fresh water supplies may be disrupted or non-existent.
Rainwater is nature’s gift to humanity, and harvesting it is surprisingly simple. Systems range from rudimentary barrels placed under a roof’s draining path, to advanced setups with multiple storage tanks, filtration and UV sterilization. The beauty of rainwater is that it’s generally clean, and with a bit of know-how in filtration and sterilization, it can be made safe for consumption.
Step-by-Step Guide to Building a Rainwater Harvesting System
- Collect a clean 55-gallon drum or larger storage container and a few lengths of PVC pipe.
- Choose a drain point on your roof and install a PVC diverter. Rainwater will flow into this pipe and be directed to your drum.
- Fit a fine mesh filter at your diverter to keep debris out of your water supply.
- Install an overflow pipe near the top of your drum to divert excess water away from the foundation of your house.
- Make sure to include a tap at the base of the drum for easy access to your harvested water.
In a survival scenario, water management stands just as important as harvesting water itself. It’s about knowing how to stretch a small supply over a longer period, ensuring that none of it goes wasted.
Tips for Efficient Water Management
- Re-use cooking water for plants or cleaning tasks.
- Set up secondary storage units for water—store excess rainwater for dry spells.
- Collect condensation from the air for extra water.
- In desperate times, a solar still can be used to distill drinking water from vegetation or urine.
Water is the essence of life, and management of this precious resource is a key skill in homesteading and survival situations. Learning to harvest and manage it, not only secures your independence, but in some scenarios, it could genuinely mean the difference between life and death. It’s a sobering thought, and indeed a compelling reason to start developing these skills today.