Accurately Calculating Your Water Storage Needs

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Accurately Calculating Your Water Storage Needs


There is a lot of emphasis on storing drinking water, and this is a critically important component of any preparation strategy. However, there are many other uses for water that are just as important to consider when deciding on how much to store for emergencies. Let’s take a look at a few things to think about so that you can assess your needs and ensure that you don’t run short of water when you need it the most.


Different calculations estimate that each household goes through anywhere from 250-400 gallons of water per day. While this may seem like a lot, it is very easy to see how using a few gallons of water while rinsing dishes, taking a shower, doing laundry or topping-off a pool can quickly add up. During a survival or prolonged off-the-grid scenario, water conservation will more than likely be a very important concern. Many government estimates suggest that we can get by with using around four gallons per day, but this falls very short of what our habits require.

3 days =

  • 4.6  water cases (36 16.9 oz bottles)
  • 12 2.5 gallon rectangle jugs
  • 21 gallon jugs
  • 42 2 liters

7 days =

  • 10.8 cases
  • 21 2.5 gallon rectangle jugs
  • 49 gallon jugs
  • 98 2 liters

Head starting to spin yet?

10 days =

  • 15.5 cases
  • 30 2.5 gallon rectangle jugs
  • 70 gallon jugs
  • 140 2 liters

14 days =

  • 21.7 cases
  • 42 2.5 gallon rectangle jugs
  • 98 gallon jugs
  • 196 2 liters

Only you can decide how much water you want to keep on hand, and much of the decision making process will undoubtedly be based on how easy it is for you to access a safe and stable water supply. Just remember to follow one simple rule- It’s always better to have extra than not enough, and you need to factor in everything when making your estimations.


The first thing to figure out is how much water you will realistically need. The best way to find out is to test your conservation methods and try to live within your estimated limits. This will give you a good sense of how much you are actually using as well as how you can make adjustments.   For example, the government estimates that we use a third of our water for outdoor purposes. It’s important that you include everything from washing dishes to watering your garden. Remember that up to a third of our total water usage comes from outdoor activities.

Once you have a sense of how much water you go through, you can start to see how important it may be to augment your current storage plan. While it’s pretty easy to store a couple hundred gallons of water in your basement or bunker, accounting for all of the extra uses that are encountered, even while living a very simple life is going to require a lot more space.

There are a lot of different ways that you can store water. You can use above-ground rain barrels or in-ground storage tanks. There are also many different types of above-ground storage tanks as well. You can recycle and filter grey water or store rain water. You can build irrigation systems for your garden and install well-pumps. The bottom line is that you need to know that you are situated in a place that has enough water to support your survival strategy.

The good news is that building water storage or recycling systems is very easy and not all that expensive. It will require a little bit of work and some time, but the finished product can turn out to be one of the most important investments that you make with respect to survival preparation. Make sure that you think this through so that you are not caught off-guard during a crisis that can lead to a water crisis and plan accordingly.