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How Much Water Do I Need?

Did you know that the average US family uses 400 gallons of water per day, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency?

Most of that goes to watering lawns and gardens. During a disaster, the grass can die, but the garden most certainly cannot.

The big question is how much water will you really need post-SHTF. It takes a little math, some thinking, and a lot of best estimates.

Some Things To Consider

Consider why you use water now. Things will not change much during a disaster or SHTF event, you just won’t have as much water to go around.

Personal hygiene – Hand washing (the number 1 way to prevent the spread of disease), brushing your teeth, taking a bath or shower…. all of these are important activities that help you stay healthy and keep moral up.

Physical activity – You sweat when you work, so more work means more water requirements. That, or smelly pits.

Pets and live stock – They need water to. The larger the animal, the larger the water requirements.

Garden – In times of drought, the garden is going to need water. Outside of yourself and your family, your garden is your main water focus. You can skip a bath, but you can’t skip watering your main food source.

Some of the big questions are: How many family members and friends will be sharing your water source? How many pets and types of animals will your water stockpile need to support? How big is your garden?

So How Much Do You Need?


You, as an average human being doing average things, need about 5 gallons of water per-person, per-day. Personally I like to plan for double this, 10 gallons per day.

This includes personal hygiene, cooking and drinking water. This does NOT include washing clothes since this should only be done every few days unless you have a running stream.

if you don’t have any running water you can get a Rapid Washer, A DIY Manual Hand Washing Machine. It’s a great off grid washing system that takes just 4 gallons of water to wash an entire load of clothes.

Plants And Animals

You can forget about stockpiling water to keep a garden or livestock alive. You will need a fresh source source as a well, stream, or pond.

Why, you ask? Your garden will need about 1″ of water every week, plants like tomatoes and watermelons require more.

To apply an inch of water to 1,000 square feet of garden requires 620 gallons of water. That is a measurable and repeatable fact. That is a lot of water.

Your animals vary in their needs based on how big they are. A cow needs much more water per day than a rabbit or chicken, for example.

Most larger animals can be kept watered with a pond or a lake, and small animals can be sustained with collected rain runoff from gutters.

If you have a well or pond you could harness the power of a windmill to pump water to a cistern and holding tanks for your gardens and livestock. You don’t want to be in a situation where you depend on an electric pump to carry water to your animals.

Smaller animals will need their water brought to them and changed every day.

Quick Pro Tip – each person should have their own water bottles – and do not share bottles between people. This is to help control the spread of disease. After the bottle has been emptied, leave the cap off and allow the inside to dry. This will help prevent the growth of mold or bacteria inside the bottle.

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Sergeant Survival

I spread the news of disaster preparedness and homesteading skills to the masses. My mission is to teach the keyboard commandos out there some real life skills.

1 Comment

  1. *1.9848 acre per person living in a sustainable village (234 people and 464.4432 acres for the village)*
    80% crafted, made and grown in said village And 20% are raw materials, food not grown, medical equipment/supplies, electronics and etc.

    – 0.6250 acre of farmland/person (146.2500ac)
    – 0.0892 acre of farmland to be sold/person (20.8728ac)
    – 0.2321 acre of living area/person (54.3114ac)
    – 0.0214 acre of wine vineyards/person (5.0076ac)
    – 0.0714 acre of ponds/person (16.7076ac)
    – 0.1069 acre of coffee/person or 3,456 trees (25.0146ac) [555 trees/2.4711 acres or 1 Hectare]
    – 0.0071 acre of teas/person (1.6614ac)
    – 0.0142 acre of herbs/person (3.3228ac)
    – 0.1428 acre of schools/person (33.4152ac)
    – 0.2142 acre of park & wildlife/person (50.1228ac)
    – 0.1428 acre of village square/person (33.4152ac)
    – 0.1785 acre of livestock/person (41.7690ac)
    – 0.1392 acre of roads & etc/person (32.5728ac)

    *By using a mix of permaculture and aquaponics which in turn use 90% less water to grow food and a minimum of twice as fast :*

    * Reduces Labor by 75%
    * Reuses 95% of the water
    * Low Electricity Need (use solar to stay off the grid)
    * Faster Vegetable
    * Longer Shelf Life
    * Organic Mineral Rich
    * Produces Its own Fertilizer
    * Non-Contaminated Fish
    * Use of Tiger Shrimp &/or Crawfish to clean algae
    * Uses of the Bacteria and fecal matter are collected to make Methane in place of natural gas &/or Decomposed solids to worm bin which turn is used to make Compost Tea is brewed from worm casting and water. The tea can be used for Fruit Orchard to increase Microbial Content in the soil.
    *The Helpful Garden*
    _*Budget : $500,000*_

    *1.)* Land : 3+ acres (Budget $25,000.00 or less)
    *2.)* Tiny Homes: 9 to 13 (12 x 18) 216 sq ft [on ½ acre] (Budget $156,000.00 or less)
    *3.)* Intake Office: 600 Sq ft (Budget $25,000.00 or less)
    *4.)* Farmers Market: ½ acre (Budget $45,000.00 or less)
    *5.)* Parking Lot: ¼ acre (Budget $5,000.00)
    *6.)* Aquaponics and Permaculture Farm: 1 ¾ acres (Budget $109,000.00 or more)

    a.) Up to 3 different fish
    b.) Tiger shrimp
    c.) Crayfish
    d.) 3 different apple and pears trees so [to have them throughout the year]
    e.) Citrus trees like lemons, oranges and 2 two others.
    f.) Chickens (meat and eggs)
    g.) Goats (milk and cheese)
    h.) Honey Bees 4 to 6 hives
    i.) 2 fig trees (maybe)
    j.) Freshwater mussels (maybe)
    k.) Rabbits (maybe)

    _*Powered : [Total Budget $135,000.00]*_

    *1.)* Solar (Budget $90,000)
    a.) Tiny Homes 13 set of 4 – 250 watt cell with light sensors (52 solar cells) cost between $27,287.00 and $36,387.00
    b.) Aquaponics System – (?)
    c.) Intake Office – set of 6 – 250 watt cell with light sensors
    (cost between $3,148.50 and $4,198.50)
    d.) Farmers Market – (?)

    *2.)* Wind Power – (Budget $45,000)
    a.) Windmill electric generator 15 to 30 KW cost between $18,000 – $48,000

    *Just some working notes:*

    Payroll for security : $3,900/wk $16,900/mo $202,800/yr
    3 full time: ($24/hr) $2,880/wk $12,480/mo $149,760/yr
    4 part time: 17 hour work week ($15/hr) $1,020/wk $4,420/mo $/yr

    Payroll for gardeners : same as security

    Volunteers : 36 (though it’s like $6/hr to help pay for their gas and childcare if needed).
    $4,320/wk $18,720/mo $224,640/yr

    Total payroll : $427,440/yr

    Money needed for sheltered women: $144,000/yr or $12,000/each allotted to each tiny home (12)
    Money of the other 60% profit equals $270,000

    $450,000 plus payroll equals $958,769.04
    Needed $263.34/[email protected]/[email protected]/wk=$958,769.04

    235,000 lbs vegetables
    @$0.5/lb=$32.28/hr or 64.56 lbs/hr or 645.5 lbs/day

    30,000 lbs fish/crayfish/shrimp
    @ $3/lbs = $247.251/day or $90,000.00/yr

    *These are all low ball figures*
    $174,720 online sales per year
    $117,500 vegetable sale per year
    $90,000.00 meat sales per year
    $500 honey sales per year

    At point soda sales per year

    Snack & hot food sale per year

    Cloths & wares sales per year

    Frozen food sales per year

    Canning goods sales per year

    Dairy/cheese sales per year


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