Water usage stats
How much water will you need?
When SHTF, the only water you’ll end up using is the water you find and purify yourself. Realistically speaking, that number will be dramatically less than the average 400 to 500 gallons or so you’re using on a daily basis right now. How much less? Let’s break it down leaving the toilet out of the equation. If you’re interested in what to do about that when the time comes, consider investing in one of these.
How much water do you use on a daily basis? This is the kind of question you wouldn’t normally ask yourself unless you were faced with the possibility of having to provide that water yourself – without the convenience of the tap.
If you really want to drive the point home and just for fun, turn off the water supply to the tap in your kitchen and leave it off for a period of about 12 hours. Odds are you will try to use it throughout the day at least a dozen times. If it’s one thing we collectively take for granted in this country, it’s the tap in the kitchen. As long as there’s flowing water, your day to day life can carry on without the interruption of having to provide water the hard way.
According to the USGS, the average household runs through 80 to 100 gallons per person, per day. This number factors in everything from brushing your teeth to flushing the toilet. So, if you have a family of 5 that means you’re running through anywhere from 400 to 500 gallons of water – per day.
Did you know that a family of 5 will go through up to 15,000 gallons of water each month?!
Basic hydration does not include coffee, tea, etc. I know it’s not easy drinking plain water for some people. Your concern will be to get as close to that number as possible. If it helps, picture an average bottle of water. The average bottled water contains around 17 to 20 ounces. There’s about 32 ounces in one quart. Since you need at least 2 quarts of water per day to stay hydrated, this means you’ll need about 4 full water bottles to achieve your hydration goals.
# of People
1 Gallon + 2 Quarts
2 Gallons +
# of Water Bottles
If you think about all the ways you use water when you cook, from rinsing potatoes to boiling a pot of water, you might be surprised at just how much water that turns out to be.
A good guess would be about 2 gallons of water per meal per day to cook with at a minimum. Three meals per day comes out to 6 gallons of water. Some meals will need more water and others will need less. This number is strictly an estimation.
That means you’ll probably need around 6 gallons of water per day to cook with. For 30 days, you’ll need about 180 gallons of water.
How much water will you need...for 30 days?
How much water for hydration will you need for a month?
A realistic SHTF survival plan should include provisions for at least 30 days. When that first 30 days is over, either life will come back together or you'll have to let your survival skills pick up where your supplies and provisions lack. A good step in the right direction is to have bottled water stocked up. The following are estimates in terms of how many water bottles to have on hand per person for 30 days. I've also included an estimation in gallons of water.
1 person will need 120 bottles of water or about 15 gallons.
2 people will need 240 bottles of water or about 30 gallons.
3 people will need 360 bottles of water or about 45 gallons.
4 people will need 480 bottles of water or about 60 gallons.
5 people will need 600 bottles of water or about 75 gallons.
Cleaning uses more water than you might think. Every time you turn on the tap to wet your towel, you’re using about 1 quart of water. Add in laundry, dishes, mopping the floor, cleaning up spills and so forth you’re actually talking around 50 to 75 gallons per day – just to clean with. Again, this is a rough estimate based on the convenience of the tap and depending on how much cleaning you actually do throughout the day.
While the subject of cleaning may not seem as pressing as hydration and cooking, half the battle in a SHTF situation will be to prevent as much infection as you can. The best way to do that is to keep your hands clean by washing them frequently and by keeping your counter tops, floors and clothing as free from infectious material as possible. Think bug guts, animal guts, and about all the little impurities hiding in unfiltered and unpurified water. Cleaning is just as important as filtering your water in that sense.
These numbers are based on doing 3 loads of laundry per week using 5 gallons to wash and 5 gallons to rinse for each load.
The average dishwasher currently uses about 6 gallons per load. When SHTF, you’ll be doing them by hand and as a result, you’ll use much less water. This number is based on doing 2 loads of dishes per day using 1 gallon to wash and 1 gallon to rinse.
Everything else in the cleaning category includes wiping down the counters, mopping the floors and everything in between. These are rough estimates only. The exact number you’ll need to work with depends on how much cleaning you need to do on a daily basis.
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