Water is a substance that is necessary for life to exist on Earth. Although water covers roughly two-thirds of the earth's surface, very little of it is safe to drink.
Uses of WaterEdit
The primary use of water is, of course, drinking. The average human body requires 1 to 7 liters of water per day to survive. However, it it important to note that drinking unsafe water can cause serious illness, infection or even death.
Agriculture requires large amounts of water to feed all of the plants and/or animals involved. As a result, there cannot be agriculture without access to large amounts of water. Throughout history, civilization has flourished around rivers and streams for this reason.
Survivors can use water to wash themselves, their clothing, and their equipment. Washing, even without soap, helps to promote a healthy state of mind and a clean living environment. Cooking utensils in particular should be washed frequently to avoid contaminating food.
Water as an Infection VectorEdit
Most zombie viruses die quite fast outside of a host. While there is some correlation to zombie outbreak origins and water sources around cadavers, contaminated water sources have not been known to further spread zombie outbreaks.
Methods of Obtaining Safe WaterEdit
Perhaps the most obvious way to obtain safe water is by looting it from existing sources such as stores. Large cases of bottled water are perfect candidates for looting, as are plastic water jugs. As a general rule of thumb, most water in a sealed plastic container is safe to drink. Water is safe to drink if it sits out in the sun because, the chemicals of the bottle makes all containments decrease. Plastic bottles give off chemicals if left in direct sunlight, making the water inside safe to drink. Bottled water is a great source of water, but it is limited.
Another fairly straightforward method of obtaining water is outright stealing it from other survivors. Although most imagine bandits to be barbaric people who only steal weapons and ammunition, everybody has to drink. Water can be stolen or extorted.
Natural Water SourcesEdit
Although looting and raiding are the two easiest methods of obtaining water, it will be difficult to obtain enough for tasks such as washing. For this, one will need access to a larger water source. Many survivors build their safe houses close to water for this reason. The best type of water source would be a spring or a stream, because they are clean and fast-moving. Stagnant sources of water would best be avoided, as they are a breeding ground for bacteria. Regardless of the cleanliness of the source of water, all water from natural sources should be treated.
Survivors unable to locate a suitable water source may consider digging a well. A well is a deep hole dug to access underground caves full of water. Digging a well can take several days depending on the location. Wells should be lined with bricks to keep the hole from collapsing.Once construction is complete, water can be drawn using a bucket on a rope. This water tends to contain minerals such as arsenic and iron, so methods of softening the water may be required.
Existing Water SystemsEdit
Existing water systems refer to pipes and sewers that were installed before the outbreak. These systems often are shut down during the outbreak. However, if the system is working, it should be considered a source of natural water, and cleaned and treated as such. Also in a house, the water heater/boiler can hold up to 40 to 60 gallons of water, so in order to access the water, close off the main pipeline to prevent contamination and treat the water as usual.