Water is Life and Death–

Post Apocalypse Hard Truths, Page 2


Three simple molecules, two hydrogen and one oxygen, bind together to form each molecule of water. According to Elson Haas M.D. Staying Healthy with Nutrition, “Pure water does not exist naturally on our planet; water is the universal solvent, and most other substances present on Earth dissolve in it to different degrees. The earth’s natural water varies in mineral content, as does water found within our bodies. Without clean water we cannot experience optimal health.”

Bacteria, viruses and protozoa are different kind of substances, however, unlike mineral which can be dissolved.

Could this be an explanation of why bacteria and protozoa love standing, dirty water? It allows them access to growth and reproduction?

“Although the U.S. has one of the safest drinking water systems in the world, there are an estimated 4.32 million cases of acute gastrointestinal illness (AGI) per year from public drinking water systems 1,2. This estimate does not include waterborne illness from non-public drinking water systems (for example, private wells), recreational water, or water for other uses (for example, irrigation, medical uses, or building water systems.) The frequency of disease from all water exposures is likely higher, but the overall prevalence of waterborne illness in the U.S. is unknown. It is important to understand the full scope of waterborne illness in the U.S. so that researchers and public health agencies can assess the public health risk of illness due to contaminated water, advocate for resources, and develop preventive measures.”   (

 Thirst and Dehydration

  1. At just 2% dehydration, thirst is perceived.
  2. At 5% dehydration, a person becomes hot and tired.–strength and endurance becomes decreased.
  3. At 10% dehydration, delirium and blurred vision becomes a problem.
  4. At 20% dehydration, the person dies.

In one day of heavy work the body can lose between 2 to 3 gallons of water through urine, sweat and breathing. If water in the body is not replaced within a matter minutes dehydration begins.

The average adult human can only absorb about 4oz. every 30 minutes. It has been said that people should drink at least 2.75 quarts of water per day, that’s 250 gallons a year.

Water is not changed in the body, it goes in as water and comes out as water. It picks up waste and debris on it’s way out. If you have no water; DO NOT EAT.

But if icky water is all that you have, know what you may be getting into. . .

Cholera and Dysentery

These little nasties are microbes that get into the food and water supplies via fecal contamination.

Cholera and Dysentery are usually thought to be 3rd world diseases as after such disasters like the Haiti earthquake. The real truth is unsanitary conditions can become prevalent after almost any community disaster where standing water and septic overflow occurs. (See section 3, Water and the human body, and section 11, Before the toilet gets nasty, in How to Survive and Thrive When the Power is Out)

Cholera usually begins abruptly when contaminated food and water have been ingested, bringing on watery diarrhea.

Dysentery is characterized by inflammation of the rectum and large intestine with frequent loose bloody stools and mucus. Dysentery is scary due to constant watery diarrhea which causes severe dehydration and eventually death if not treated properly. The elderly and children are most susceptible to the debilitating effects of the constant water lose.


Giardia is not a bacteria or a virus but a protozoa, a tiny animal. It has a crusty hard outer skin that lets it survive outside the body for a short while and because of it’s hard shell it won’t be killed off by putting chlorine drops in your water bottle. Transmission of these parasites comes from contaminated fecal matter in the water.

Incubation can take up to 2 weeks, but some people never develop symptoms at all. Giardia is recognized by diarrhea, gas, bloating, stomach pain and vomiting, greasy stools and dehydration. This bacteria is less severe in adults but can effect children with many permanent consequences.


Polio virus is seen in contaminated water, untreated sewage and unsanitary living conditions. According to the CDC; Most people who get infected with poliovirus (about 72 out of 100) will not have any visible symptoms.

Polio only infects humans and is very contagious spreading from person to person through personal contact. As with many diseases it is the vulnerable who are most at risk, those with a less or debilitated immune system. Keeping your environment as clean as possible after a crisis is the most important aspect of remaining healthy.

This is only the beginning

This article only covers four of the most often seen diseases after a crisis. With all respect to my audience, might I suggest that you take some time and research further. Other diseases and conditions are as follows;

Botulism- Clostridium botulism bacteria can grow in food and water. Can be deadly.

Typhoid- Salmonella typhi bacteria found in both food and water.

Cryptosporidiosis- Crytosporidium parvum protozoa contaminates many water systems and is resistant to household chlorine.

Hepatitis A- Hepatitis A virus lurks in food and water usually put their by another contaminated person.

New and emerging contaminates from industrial and farm pollutants and runoff. Also, scientists are discovered fish, frogs and other amphibious creatures are morphing into something never before seen on this planet due mostly to birth control pills and antidepressants polluting our once pristine rivers and lakes.

There is a lot to think about within this article, which is in no particular order. But please, please take your situation with the utmost seriousness. Where will you find long term, clean water after the SHTF?

 What are your thoughts and comments, please feel free comment below.



3 thoughts on “Water is Life and Death–

  1. I am really enjoying your website. Lots of valuable information. I did want to point out an error. You wrote, “It has been said that people should drink at least 2.75 gallons of water per day, that’s 250 gallons a year.” The math here doesn’t add up. Perhaps it should be 2,75 quarts of water a day. That sounds more reasonable to me.


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