Despite the fact that more than 70% of the earth’s surface is covered in water, there are many places where droughts are a regular occurrence. Eking out an existence in the middle of a dry desert can be tough, although people and animals do adapt. However, it’s unlikely that you will ever end up living in a desert. Instead it is more likely that you may wind up in a semi desert area where rainfall is sporadic and drought conditions prevail for large parts of the year. But just because there is very little water available, it doesn’t mean that life stops. No, far from it—anyone can survive a drought with a bit or forethought and planning.

Make Plans for Drought Conditions

Surviving A Drought - Planning ahead - every little bit counts

If you choose to live in a part of the world where drought conditions are common, it is important that you make contingency plans for when the rain stops falling and the local creek dries up. If the dry season is looming, buy up supplies of bottled water and store them, just in case. And if you have livestock, make sure you have a water supply in place to replenish their drinking troughs.

Collect Water

When rainfall is infrequent, it is essential to collect and store as much spare capacity as possible. There are various means of doing this, but a traditional method is to use some kind of depositary to store water for the dry months. Underground concrete water tanks are ideal for large properties as they hold a huge amount of water. Smaller storage tanks and barrels can be used for the garden and be connected up to collect wastewater from down pipes and rainwater from gutters.

Conserve Water in the Home

Before and after the rivers get silent - Conserve

There are lots of ways to conserve water during a dry spell and even the smallest of water saving measures can make a huge difference to the amount of water used over the course of an average day. A lot of water is wasted in the kitchen and bathroom, so look at conserving water here first. Have shorter showers and don’t shower as often when water is scarce. Never leave taps running and don’t flush toilets each and every time you use them.

Conserve Water Outdoors

Filling the kettle - Surviving the droought

The garden is often the first thing to suffer during a drought. Plants and flowers that thrive on water soon die when the rain dries up, so if you live in a dry area, it is a good idea to plant drought resistant plants unless you are willing to water your garden regularly. One way of saving water is to use wastewater from the kitchen (don’t throw away the water you use for washing vegetables or the dishes) to water your plants. Another way is to channel water from the bathroom via the waste pipe and collect it in a barrel. Use this to water the garden.

Be sensible during a drought and don’t waste water unnecessarily—don’t throw water away if you can reuse it elsewhere. You should also take note of any water restrictions in place to avoid getting into trouble.

Today’s feature writer, Jim Jackson, is an employee at Tanket, a team providing concrete tank installation services across Victoria. He is an auto enthusiast and he enjoys working on a few restoration projects during his spare time. Log on to tanket.com.au/ to know more about his team.

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