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5 ways to save water to survive drought 2

5 ways to save water to survive drought

In the unpredictable world we inhabit, the reality of drought is a harsh one, affecting millions globally. Preparing for such eventualities is not just wise; it’s essential for survival.

As a former soldier, I’ve experienced firsthand the critical importance of water conservation in some of the most arid and challenging environments on Earth. The skills and strategies I learned in the military have applicability far beyond the battlefield, particularly in the realm of survival and preparedness.

This article draws from those experiences, offering practical advice and insights into saving water to survive a drought.

Key Takeaways

  • Prioritize Water Efficiency: Every drop counts. Adopting efficient water use practices is crucial in prolonging your water supplies.
  • Innovative Collection Methods: Learn and implement innovative water collection methods to augment your supply.
  • Reuse and Recycle Water: Simple techniques for reusing greywater can significantly reduce water waste.
  • Understand Your Environment: Knowledge of local water sources and seasonal patterns can be lifesaving.
  • Prepare and Educate: Being prepared with the right tools and knowledge can make all the difference during a drought.

The Foundation of Survival: Water Efficiency

Water is the lifeblood of survival. In my time as a soldier, we operated under the principle that efficient water use was not just a part of survival; it was the cornerstone.

One of the most effective strategies for ensuring a sustainable water supply is to reduce consumption.

This can be achieved through simple measures such as fixing leaks promptly, installing water-saving devices on faucets and showers, and using water-efficient appliances. Personal discipline in water use, such as limiting shower time and reusing towels, can also have a significant impact.

Harvesting Rainwater: A Tactical Advantage

In arid regions, rainwater can be a rare but invaluable resource. During my deployment in desert environments, we often set up rainwater collection systems to capture any precipitation. This practice can be easily adapted to civilian life.

By setting up rain barrels or cisterns, you can collect rainwater for non-potable uses such as irrigation and, with proper treatment, even for drinking. Positioning these collection systems to capture runoff from rooftops maximizes efficiency and yield.

Greywater Recycling: Lessons from the Field

The concept of greywater – or the reuse of water from sinks, showers, and laundry – was a game-changer for us in the field. This practice can be adapted for home use to water gardens or flush toilets, significantly reducing the demand on your primary water source.

Simple systems can be set up to divert greywater for these purposes, but it’s important to avoid using harsh chemicals in your home to prevent soil contamination.

Utilizing Local Resources: The Art of Adaptation

Understanding your local environment is crucial in identifying additional water sources.

In survival situations, we were trained to recognize and utilize natural water sources, from collecting dew with cloths to digging for groundwater. While these methods may seem extreme, they underscore the importance of being resourceful.

Learning to identify local water sources and understanding the best times of year for water availability can bolster your water reserves significantly.

Education and Preparedness: The Backbone of Survival

Knowledge is power, especially when it comes to survival.

Educating yourself and your community on water conservation techniques and emergency preparedness can make a critical difference in times of drought. Stockpiling water is a basic step, but understanding how to purify and conserve water can turn a dire situation into a manageable one.

Regularly updating your knowledge and supplies, based on the latest survival strategies and technologies, ensures you remain prepared for any eventuality.

Personal Anecdotes: Lessons from the Field

During my service, I encountered a situation where our unit had to rely on minimal water supplies for an extended period.

We implemented several of the strategies discussed above, particularly focusing on water efficiency and greywater recycling. One innovative method we used was to create a makeshift condensation collector using plastic sheets, which provided us with an additional source of clean water.

These experiences taught me the importance of creativity and adaptability in survival situations.


Q: How much water should I store for a drought? A: It’s recommended to store at least one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days. However, for extended drought conditions, aiming for a two-week supply is prudent.

Q: Can I drink rainwater collected from rooftops? A: While rainwater is generally safe, it can be contaminated by bird droppings, pollutants, and other materials on your roof. It’s advisable to treat rainwater before drinking, using filtration or purification methods.

Q: Is it safe to reuse greywater for vegetable gardens? A: Greywater can be used for irrigation, but it’s important to avoid using it on plants that are eaten raw. Also, ensure that your greywater does not contain harmful chemicals or cleaners.

Q: How can I purify water during a drought? A: Boiling is the most effective method to purify water. Filtration systems and chemical treatments like iodine or chlorine tablets are also effective.


Surviving a drought requires foresight, preparation, and the ability to adapt. The strategies outlined above, drawn from my personal experiences as a soldier, provide a framework for conserving and managing water resources effectively.

By prioritizing efficiency, embracing innovative collection methods, recycling water, understanding your environment, and preparing adequately, you can navigate the challenges of a drought.

Remember, in the world of survival, knowledge and preparation are your best allies.