Do you have a backup source of water? I do. I am also preparing for the ability to treat water at home. Not everybody will have the knowhow/space/desire to follow my plan, but there are things you can do to protect yourself in the event of a prolonged disaster or emergency. Let’s look at what happened in the town of Walkerton. In may of 2000 there was a prolonged and persistent contamination of the public water supply. The causes of which are well known and on the simplest level; the human, mechanical, and monitoring systems broke down. Seven people died directly from drinking contaminated water and 2500 people became seriously ill, some are still sick to this day from the resulting kidney damage. This was human made disaster, the same thing can just as easily come from a natural disaster.
The lesson learned is when your primary source is contaminated, what are you going to do? You can store water to get through minor disruptions (or major ones if you have a lot of storage). Storage is a good idea, it removes the need to go get water immediately during a crisis. Bottled water will disappear off shelves, as will bleach, and even pool chemicals. Where will that leave you? (besides thirsty that is). If you have no storage of beverages in your house you have three days to get water. After three days you will die. Usually there is water around, in ditches and rivers and ponds. People will drink from these sources (I would before I die of thirst) but being dehydrated and then drinking contaminated water could kill you fast. Contaminated water often gives people diarrhea, and that severely dehydrates people in normal conditions let alone someone already dehydrated. This is a greater risk for children and the elderly. A backup water plan is essential for their health.
Human settlements and even civilizations have fallen due to changes in water both quality and quantity. Look at the rise and fall of the Anasazi people in what is now New Mexico in southwest USA. Here is an excerpt from http://www.essortment.com/anasazi-culture-63692.html:
“Today, with the ancient villages and buildings in ruins, scattered about the U.S. southwest and northern parts of Mexico, we don’t really know for sure what caused the collapse of such a thriving civilization. It is only theorized that, after a couple hundred years of thriving culture, the civilization began to fall apart. Anasazi people began to move out of the region, and joined with other bands of people throughout the southwest and down into South America.
One theory suggests that a 50-year series of drought, beginning about A.D. 1130, may have dried up all the water resources. And, without this necessary water supply, the abundant culture could not have hoped to survive in such drastic desert conditions. A similar theory even suggests that some of the Anasazi may have resorted to cannibalism to survive. Another factor in the decline of the Anasazi culture is thought to have been a decline in the turquoise trade. Even with all of these, it is certain that a growing and thriving population like the Anasazi must certainly have faced food shortages as their numbers grew.”
Is it just me or does some of this sound like it could have been written today? Currently people live farther away from water sources then ever before. Massive pipelines bring water from hundreds of miles away in some cases. How long will these cities last without water? This may sound alarmist, but water has been pivotal in creating and destroying human civilizations for our entire history. I don’t think that fact is going to change any time soon.
I hope I have convinced you of the importance of backup water sources. Maybe I have even convinced you to form a water supply plan and start storing some water in your house. Whatever you do plan, I hope it is sustainable for you in the long term.