Water, water everywhere?
Updated: Mar 29, 2018
Do You Know How To Find Water If You Need To?
If you’ve been keeping a close eye on the news recently, you might well have heard that Cape Town is about to run out of water – the first city in the world to be dealing with this particular problem.
The city is facing its worst water crisis ever and authorities recently said it would be allocating just 50 litres of water a day to the four million people in the metropolis. To put this into perspective for you, here in the UK, we use an average of 150 litres of water a day each!
Water scarcity is going to be in the news increasingly as time goes on, thanks to climate change and global warming pressures – so would you know how to go about finding water if you absolutely had to?
Water is the second survival priority and doctors don’t recommend that we go without it for more than 24 hours. In the wild, your most obvious sources of water are streams, rivers and lakes – but you need to make sure the water is clear and flowing, as stagnant water will be rife with bacteria. Look for smaller streams, lakes and ponds – and bear in mind that bigger rivers may well have pollution in them coming from upstream, so do take care.
You’d be wise, if you have the facilities, to boil water for five minutes in order to kill all bacteria – but bear in mind that this can concentrate chemical pollutants.
Stand and listen – if you can hear running water, you’re in business. But also look out for animal tracks and follow them to see if they take you to a water source. Follow ditches and valleys, since water runs downhill and you’re more likely to find it.
Another option is to collect rainwater if you have a suitable receptacle. This is one of the safest ways of collecting water without risking bacterial infection. You could even make the most of plant transpiration by attaching a bag around a leafy tree or shrub and catching water over the course of a day. Look out for birch and maple trees, as these can be tapped in the spring.