Have You Solved The Paradox of Water Preparedness?

Have You Solved The Paradox of Water Preparedness?

No matter how prepared you are, you always have one concern above all:

Without clean drinkable water, a lot of your other preparations are next to useless.

No water? You struggle to stay clean. Basic hygiene becomes difficult. Cooking simple meals is hard. And then there’s the thirst.

Forget 72 hours, try going just 1 day without drinking water.

So how much water do you need to store for an emergency?

Here’s what the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) say:

‘Store at least 1 gallon of water per person per day for 3 days for drinking and sanitation. Try to store a 2-week supply if possible. Consider storing more water than this for hot climates, pregnant women, and persons who are sick.’ [1]

For just one person, a two week supply is 14 gallons, which is just over 63 litres. But is this even enough? Not according to the World Health Organisation (WHO). 

The WHO guidance on emergency water requirements is based on field-tested humanitarian needs, known as the Sphere Standards. What they say is surprising:

Most people know you need 2.5-3 litres per person per day (pppd) for basic survival - and that’s assuming a favourable climate. Yet add water needs for basic hygiene practises (2-6 litres pppd) and cooking purposes (3-6 litres pppd), and your baseline water requirement is now 7.5 - 15 litres pppd.

That’s a lot of water. But even 15 litres pppd is an underestimate.

‘The Sphere Standards suggest a basic survival-level water requirement to use as a starting point for calculating demand. However, research indicates that 20 litres per capita per day is the minimum quantity of safe water required to realise minimum essential levels for health and hygiene.’ [2]

So genuine water preparedness for basic survival over the longer-term means 20 litres for each person in your family or group, each and every day. That’s almost 4.5 gallons pppd.

And at 1kg per litre, water is heavy: 20 litres is 20 kgs.

So if you are preparing to shelter in place, even storing only a few days of water for basic emergency requirements starts to add up in space and weight demands.

For a family of four this means 80 kgs of water per day for drinking, sanitation and cooking.

If you need to quickly relocate during an emergency, chances are you won’t be able to move much more than a fraction of your water stores easily. Even with a vehicle.

Likewise, for hikers and adventurers, water supplies are often limited by what you can carry from point to point - if ever you carried a Jerry can you know that water feels much heavier than it is because of how it moves around freely.

So this brings us the paradox of water preparedness:

‘Because water is so heavy and hard to carry, you often can’t take very much of it with you.’

Good alternatives to carrying extra water are to take ‘an option on clean water’.

This could be in the form of chemical sterilisation, such as Oasis tablets. Or one of the popular water filter straw designs such as LifeStraw or Sawyer Mini, or a filter-press device such as the Grayl purifier bottle.

These are all practical items to consider including in any life-saving supplies: some of the staff here at QuenchSea use these for their own personal survival kits for hiking and multi-day trips. But all of these options have a major limitation:

They only work with freshwater.

Chemical tabs, water filter straws and purifier bottles are all useless with saltwater. Meanwhile 96.5% of all water on earth is seawater not freshwater. 

The missing piece of the puzzle in personal preparedness is a low cost, lightweight and portable device which gives you the ability to filter seawater into clean and safe drinking water anywhere in the world.

Want to improve your home preparedness or outdoor adventure readiness: click here to discover how QuenchSea turns seawater into freshwater.



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