A commitment to a simpler lifestyle doesn’t eliminate the essential needs of life. Even off the grid, humans need certain things to survive. A really lucky homesteader may even find a water source that can double as a hydroelectric power source. This article will discuss several ways of obtaining water off-grid.
Staying off the grid means finding natural water sources to feed the homestead rather than relying on municipal water suppliers. A homesteader has several options for obtaining water for themselves, depending on what their property has available.
Dig a Well
The underground water well is one of the most common methods of obtaining water outside of a municipal water system. A homesteader can have a well on just about any property, though the necessary depth will vary based on the water table in the region. While a particularly determined person can DIY a water well, it’s illegal to do so in some localities. Professional installation is costly but will provide consistent water off the grid after that.
Find a Spring
A natural spring is essentially a well that formed in the earth without human intervention. Water from the water table bubbles up through cracks and fissures in the earth, creating a source of fresh, clean water at or near the surface. A spring that emerges above ground from a gap in a rock formation, for example, can provide water with a simple collection basin.
A seep, which emerges as a pool of water or soggy earth, requires a little more effort to collect. Seeps, in particular, are susceptible to environmental factors, but pollutants can harm both. Droughts will also dry up natural springs, and homesteaders may require backup water sources in the event of a dry spell.
Collect the Rain
In most off-grid areas, rainwater is an excellent source of clean, abundant water for free. Homesteaders can build rain collection systems inexpensively with accessible, reusable materials. Rainwater gathered in an elevated collection tank can feed a gravity-fed plumbing system for added convenience.
Homesteaders can increase the volume of water collected by increasing the surface area of their roofs. It won’t matter how big the roof is if no rain comes, though, so one would be wise to have a backup water supply available in the event of a dry spell. Still, rainwater collection can serve as a supplement to any other water source available.
Rivers, streams, lakes, and ponds may seem like logical water sources for an off-grid life, and they’ll do fine in a pinch. However, their cleanliness will vary depending on the source and the region, and all surface water is susceptible to environmental pollutants and animal activity. With proper sanitation, surface sources can provide some or even all of an off-grid homestead’s water needs.
One of the most critical resources an off-grid homestead needs is water. Most homesteads will have access to one or more of these water sources on site. Even if one source provides enough water to supply the homestead’s everyday water needs, a homesteader should always try to have a backup source available in the event of drought or other failures.