Water, an abundantly scarce resource

19 thoughts on “Water, an abundantly scarce resource”

  1. Is there any way you can run some pipe from the creek into cisterns on your property? I don’t know what water rights are in Washington, but here in Oregon we own our creek and that’s what we do. We have two 1500 gallon cisterns that constantly refill and feed our house and garden. Good luck!

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  2. What about rainwater collection in large cisterns with filters set up for potable drinking water? (i.e., https://www.rainbrothers.com/single-post/2016/1/20/How-to-Filter-Rainwater-for-Drinking) I’ve seen them before (and drank out of them) and it might be worth considering…we are planning to build this spring and have two 5,000 gal cisterns on the shopping list to add so that we can go beyond graywater recycling and barrels and actually use the Northwest rain for regular stuff as well – yes, an endeavor, but like you said, backup systems can be worth their weight in gold, even if you’re not a ‘prepper’…


    1. This is a great suggestion. Harvesting rainwater apparently requires a permitted system of collection, purification, and storage, which is surely a big up-front cost (wells aren’t free though). Not sure why more people are considering this, especially when feeling trapped by a mortgage on undeveloped land.


      1. Actually in Washington and Oregon that is not accurate. No permits are needed to harvest rain water in either state (and many others as well). We got our first rain barrel free because a lot of companies have food safe barrels they’re happy to get rid of (ours used to have soy sauce in it!), And you can also buy them online at Amazon and in stores like Home Depot… We got our 300 gallon cistern through Amazon which included free shipping for about $350, which waters our entire garden with rainwater all summer, along with providing water for our ducks to drink and swim in here in the northwest. If you want to use rainwater for drinking then yes you need purifiers but you can get a small inexpensive one (like ones used for camping) to at least cover emergencies.

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      2. Of course! Here’s the picture of our biggest one (we have 2 smaller ones as well) all painted up: https://theecofeminist.com/2016/04/26/tuesday-get-an-ecopeek-3/cistern/. The brand is Good Ideas (Rain Wizard 300) and I ordered it from Amazon in 2012 so I don’t see the exact model but there are a ton of others available for sale on Amazon. I always recommend watching Amazon for a couple weeks before making a purchase, as the prices always fluctuate wildly for these kinds of things!! With our Northwest weather I end up attaching a hose and leaving the spigot open during the winter so it overflows away from the house (then close it up in early spring to let it refill), and keep the smaller barrel spigots closed to use those for duck watering…but I know if we had more animals we would totally be using the big one in the winter as well!


  3. I just started reading your blog, glad I found it, thank you! Ooo, no water is no fun! I grew up off the grid and remember those days with my dad trying to source the problem. I also deal with it every year now at our food truck. Its amazing how life stops where there is no water! As soon as the thermometer starts hovering around 32 it is time for us to pay attention. It’s there worst if I forget to bring in the hose and have to sit out in 28 degree temperatures dumping water on the hose, the pipe, and myself, only to realize it’s frozen inside the cart too and I then just have to wait until it warms enough in there to let the internal pipes thaw. Glad it wasn’t your issue to fix! I hear you with he prepping I always have it in the back of my mind. We are so far from prepared is a crisis happens, but I do try to add little things here and there that will help. Hope the water issue was mended quickly… Cheers ~ Marica

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  4. Gwen,
    We don’t live too far from you guys – if you need anything (shower, do laundry etc) please let me know and you’re more than welcome to come on over and take care of a few things!


  5. I’d say having a berkey purifier is your first step in the right direction. The other thing we do in the winter is keep a couple of 5 gallon buckets full of water in the bathtub to use for flushing or we can warm it up for washing if need be. This is not a long term solution but it has helped out a couple times when our water was out short term.

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