Writing about the importance of water opens the door for the use of really cliche language – so we’ll spare you an intro explaining how water is essential to all life, potentially the most valuable resource on the planet, etc. As avid outdoor enthusiasts, all of our crew understand the value of, and the connection we all have to, H2o. Living off the grid in a high altitude dessert has opened our eyes to how precious water can be, and how easy it is to take for granted.
We are extremely lucky to have water on the property, even if the well is 20 acres from the house and has to be run on solar or with a generator. We were reminded of this luxury recently when the water pump fractured in the dead of winter – leaving us, the livestock, dogs and chickens – without water.
“What do you do without water?” “How do you get it?” “Fix the pump?”
These are all logical questions. Fix the pump is a good answer. The other alternative, is to go collect water. This may sound crazy – but in reality – this is how many people on the planet still obtain their daily drinking water! (and water for bathing, cooking, and other household needs)
To procure water in times of need, we run to the nearest “town,” (about 20 miles away) and hit the local watering hole. I’m writing about all of this, in part, because I find it fascinating that folks work this hard to gather water. And we have it easy! All we have to do is hook up a trailer & cistern up to a truck and scoot to town. The world’s full of folks carrying water. We all know, but it blows my mind.
This process might sound crazy, but on some level, I think it’s very important. It’s valuable to have this sort of connection to water. I’m was the kinda guy that brushed my teeth with the water running. I knew It was wasteful, but was too lazy to turn it off. I love hot showers and don’t rush through them. I wasted water my entire life – and I felt somewhat bad about it – but at the end of the day was too lazy to really care. I also thought, “hey, I’m just one person. I don’t waste as much as the next person. So I’m fine.”
Now, after living off the grid, I can take a 1 minute shower. I quit brushing my teeth entirely (joking), and we don’t run half-full dishwashers or washing machines. Water matters. It matters big time. Why? Because now using water takes more work than it used to. Now, because I’m lazy, it’s easier to conserve than waste.
As I draw a bath for my 8 month old daughter, I understand what the water is worth. I know it costs time. My time, people’s time to pump and supply it. Money, gas, vehicles, containment vessels – all of which cost more time, more money and resources. Acquiring the bare essentials take energy. And they are limited. I’ve not said or shared anything groundbreaking or remarkable here – but just a simple observation and a simple lesson: Appreciate and conserve your water!
This is one of the fundamental things I’ve learn existing off the grid. Off the Grid forces us to pay attention. It forces us to care. I encourage anyone and everyone to try it. Who knew such a simple way of life would offer so many lessons.
The interesting thing to consider, is what will motivate upcoming generations living on an ever-shrinking planet. Understanding our inherent propensity to gravitate toward the easiest of solution – how will our resources be conserved and spread to those in need? It will be a wild world, as it always has been.
For questions about off the grid waters systems please hit us up.
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