Water is such a basic resource that to picture life without running water is a nightmare come true. However, one of the signs of a full-blooded survivalist is to be able to maneuver your way out of any situation you find yourself, no matter how nightmarish it may seem. Turning off your water source (or simply acting as if it is off) for a single day will show you just how dependent you are on your faucets.

This is why you must learn early on to adapt to the possibility of a scenario where running water is no longer a basic amenity. Of course, some people think this is an easy feat; after all, page one of your disaster preparedness handbook should state that it is important to stock up on a gallon of water per person per day; but what happens when you have no running water and you run out of bottled water?

The purpose of this challenge is to learn how to adapt to a world where water is not easily accessible. This will force you to find alternative sources of water, filter it and manage its limited supply. You will also realize along the way that there are tactics and supplies you should have used or had on hand; when this happens, you should add these items to your Bug Out Bag and make note of any new methods you want to research/take advantage of.

Supplies Needed:

To participate in this challenge, you will need the following items to help with filtering, storing, reusing, and conserving water:

  • Bottled Water
  • A Stove Pot for Boiling
  • Storage Containers
  • Clean Clothes or Filtering Materials (like cheesecloth or coffee filters)
  • Chlorine, iodine, or other water purifiers
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The first order of things is to turn off your main water supply. There are several places where the main water shutoff valve might be located. It could be in the garage, the basement, next to your water meter or in your front yard. The shutoff valve might be in a water meter box, so you may need to use a tool to lift the lid off the box.

Of course the whole idea of turning off your main water supply might seem overly complicated & extreme, or maybe you live in an apartment building where it might not be possible? How can you participate in the no-water challenge?

You can either simply ‘act’ as if the water has been shut off by preventing the use of faucets, or you can challenge yourself to limit the amount of water you consume daily. For example, consider taking shorter showers or finding alternative ways to clean yourself up in the morning. You can also learn how to filter dirty water or capture water from alternative sources such as rainwater and store it for future use.

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The no-water challenge, like most challenges, isn’t going to be fun; but then again, having a limited water supply after a disaster and not being prepared won’t be fun either. Although there’s no right time to start this challenge, it’s better to start now than never at all.

Early in the Morning

As inconvenient as it may seem, starting the water challenge first thing when you wake up allows you to start fresh and spend the whole day focusing on your water usage. You can kick start your day with the water challenge by first completing the necessary preparations, such as learning how to filter dirty water for reuse or driving down to the store to get bottled water.

Starting the no water challenge early in the morning can also train your family on managing and conserving water when they are getting ready in the morning. Likewise, it’s also a great time to show them how to filter their water for reuse.

After Dinner

Starting the no-water challenge right after dinner is easier and makes for a smoother and less difficult transition than any other time of the day.

After dinner, your family should be getting showered, fed, and ready for bed. Most likely, they’re not in any hurry to be somewhere else, so you can take your time in learning how to conserve and filter water.

Teach your family the boiling techniques and the right quantity of chlorine or other water purifiers you should be using when purifying your supply. Learning to purify water is a fairly simple skill to pick up.

NOTE: Location and season are also crucial factors to consider when participating in our no-water challenge.

Starting this challenge during the summertime when it is hot and humid will make for a more challenging experience than during the winter when it’s colder and drier. Living in a place like Florida and electing to kick-start the challenge during summer will be a true challenge, but you will learn some valuable lessons along the way.

The most important thing is that you are learning and participating in this challenge as a family. You are acquiring knowledge on the best ways to survive such a disastrous occurrence that could affect or constrain your water supply.

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All images were either produced by or licensed to Prepper Life® - All Rights Reserved


Water is the #1 resource a body needs, without it, you cannot survive. Come a scenario where your water is shut off, your supply is contaminated or you have run out of water, knowing the proper techniques can literally save you and your family’s lives.