4 Viable Off-Grid Water Solutions
When considering a low-impact or homestead lifestyle, water is obviously one of the essential resources that you will need to find a solution for. While many modern homes are connected city or county water supplies, a homestead will often not have this amenity readily available, and those looking to have an extremely low-impact lifestyle will want to go completely off-grid. Our modern water consumption, environmental factors, clean water standards, and national and state red tape will, however, make ingenuity when it comes to completely off-grid living a plus.
1: Well Water
One of the most popular options for getting an off-grid water supply is digging a well. Groundwater will give you relatively safe fresh water that will last you decades. Well water is a great option for those who don’t have a water source on their property and don’t wish to depend on city water. There are two main things that you must remember before committing to well water. First, it isn’t a viable option for everyone, since groundwater isn’t evenly distributed in the earth and the process of digging a well can be incredibly expensive. Second, you will need a heavy-duty water filter, such as this Whirlpool water softener and filter, to ensure that impurities and heavy minerals won’t contaminate your drinking and cooking water.
2: Wind Power
If you decide on a well, you will need a way to get it up from the ground and into your reservoir and pipes. Many of the pumps you will find from a quick Google search are powered by electricity. If you are off-grid electrically, these may not bother you, but the best way to have low-impact living is to reduce your passive electricity consumption as much as possible. That’s where wind power comes in. Wind powered water pumps will raise the water from your well and into your reservoir and pipes, allowing you to have an alternative to electric power that’s better for the environment and doesn’t depend on an electric grid.
3: Or Go Solar
Another low-impact option for water pumps is to go solar with your electricity. Obviously, solar power wouldn’t just power your water pumps. It would give you electricity for an entire low-impact lifestyle. Even if the power in your area went out completely, you would still have power and, with a solar-powered well water pump, water. In an age where the strain and problems with our electrical grids are more obvious than ever before, going low-impact and off-grid is looking better and better.
4: Collect Rain Water
If you live in an area that gets a significant amount of rainfall per year, rain water can be part or all of your low-impact water plan. Even if you can’t replace city water completely, rain water can slash your bills and, if you keep rain barrels and reservoirs, can tide you over in case of emergency. It is especially useful if you keep animals, but humans can also use rain water for drinking and cooking if it is properly purified.
What you may notice is that there isn’t one solution that you’ve probably thought of almost automatically – pulling water from a river or lake on your property. This seemingly intuitive solution is actually illegal in the vast majority of the U.S. due to Appropriative Water Rights, which means that property owners don’t own the rights to water present on their land. Unless you’re planning on going guerilla and illegally building a water intake pump, this seemingly easy option is, unfortunately, probably not available to you. Well water with a solar or wind-powered pump or collecting rainwater are the two most viable options for low-impact, off-grid water.