Subj: Water, Drought and Preparedness

Date: 12/14/1999

From: (Holly Deyo)

Dear Building Community Family,

Due to lack of time like everyone else at this time of year, Stan and I are sending newsletters on an as-needed basis. Like you, we're getting last minute things done before millennial rollover. Two quickies of info and then onto biz:


1. We took delivery of organically grown hard white wheat from Millennium Food Reserve Monday. Graham delivered it himself and already 1/2 of it is properly vacuumed sealed in mylar bags inside buckets. Stan used to work as a farm hand many years ago and says this is absolutely beautiful wheat as well as beautifully priced! When we have positive firsthand dealings with a company, we like to pass on our experience with them.

2. Especially for those in the US and Canada, Mike Connolly and his wife are liquidating all their dehydrated food stock at WizCity. Prices have been slashed 25-60% on $15,000 worth of inventory. Anyone who identifies themselves as a part of our Building Community group will receive an additional 10% off, plus free shipping in the US for orders over $500. These are only for items in stock and listed on this page Feel free to forward any questions to or contact Mike personally at

Hard as it is to believe at this critical time, numerous emergency preparedness product companies and food suppliers are experiencing slumps at the moment. Guess it is understandable with the holidays. This might be a prime time to add to your supplies or begin your pantry if you're still debating. I have not had time to check many companies we list on our site, but know that Walton Feed is also having some sales as well.


A week or so ago, technical remote viewer Ed Dames guested again on Art Bell's radio show. Probably the most significant information that came forth was a discussion on drought and the extreme importance of having an abundance of fresh water close by. While we may not use the techniques of Ed Dames, we couldn't agree more with his statement. To prove the point, for those who have been with us for several years, you know having our own source of potable water was the prime reason Stan and I moved 3000km cross country. It certainly would have been more convenient, not to mention less expensive and time-consuming, to plunk down stakes somewhere around Perth, but many areas are just too dry and existing water is getting saltier yearly. In fact, the property we were going to purchase there before moving to Ballarat had a salt content in the bore water of ~one pound salt per gallon of water. It came out of the ground a brown syrup so we had to look for property elsewhere.

We have sent numerous newsletters focusing on problems with the sun. Many folks talk about flares, CMEs and sunspots now like old hands, but the other aspect of the sun we want to discuss tonight is this dry cycle many are experiencing with La Nina and that many more of you will likely see in the coming months and over the next few years with or without La Nina. The time to prepare for this likelihood is now, not in another year.

Perhaps you're already thinking, "Puulease, this is Christmas. I don't want to think about this right now." We understand, but we also know that this may be one of the most important messages we've ever sent and with Y2K unknowables for reliable power, we want to get this to you.


Drought is computed based on the _averages_ for a given area. For instance, Western Australia is a significantly drier state than our own Victoria though this map would not give that impression, nor does this one: However here on the Drought Map Victoria shows to be in drought for the past 36 months - practically the only place in the country. In fact, where we are, it is the second to worst rating given. It's not just us, though, experiencing drought.


The Dec. 11th Palmer Drought chart shows parts of Oregon, Kentucky and Indiana in "extreme drought - the highest rating given. Parts of California, Idaho, Arizona, Texas, Nevada, Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana and Georgia are experiencing "severe drought". Parts of southern California and southern Arizona are ripe for wildfires, but particularly CA. At least 50% of each the following states are in "moderate drought": California, Utah, Nevada, Wyoming, Iowa, Kentucky, Indiana and Louisiana. The westernmost areas of Washington and Oregon are above normal levels of precipitation and well as the easternmost areas of the Atlantic states. The U.S. Drought Monitor at for Dec. 7th also adds parts of Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota to the "severe drought" category and with roughly half of the entire US ranking either "abnormally dry", "1st stage drought" or "severe drought". There is one glaring discrepancy between these two drought maps which is South Dakota; one map shows it abnormally well, the other shows it abnormally dry.


The Dec. 10th Houston Chronicle reports a "5-year-old drought, already the longest to scorch this stretch of the Texas-Mexico border since Falcon Reservoir was created in 1953, drags on with no end in sight."

Tropical Storm Charley brought temporary relief to desperate farmers and ranchers, but the unusually severe cyclone killed nine and left 700 families homeless due to flooding in Del Rio. Now dengue fever is creeping back into Southern Texas in the fourth major outbreak since 1980.

Scientists increasingly believe humanity will have to contend with a rapidly changing climate in the next millennium, thanks to an accelerating buildup of heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere that dates to the Industrial Revolution.


The ozone hole has steadily grown in size and duration of existence (from August through early December) over the past two decades. To put this hole into perspective, here are a few comparisons:

In Square Kilometers:

Ozone Hole 27,000,000
Size of U.S. 9,363,130
Australia 8,923,000
N. America 25,349,000

In Square Miles:

Ozone Hole 10,424,758
Size of U.S. 3,615,124
Australia 3,445,190
N. America 9,787,304

Two weeks ago, national news reported Australia is one of the _worst_ offenders globally for greenhouse emissions generating 25% more than the US. This is a remarkable statement considering there are 272 million people in the US and only 19 million in Australia.

Without its protective covering, more radiation and energy pummels the planet and with it comes increased dryness. Australia in January 1998 was given the dubious honor of "cancer capital of the world". No wonder we're cooking!


Back on May 10-12, 1999, the solar wind that blows constantly from the Sun virtually disappeared -- the most drastic and longest-lasting decrease ever observed.

Dropping to a fraction of its normal density and to half its normal speed, the solar wind died down enough to allow physicists to observe particles flowing directly from the Sun's corona to Earth. This severe change in the solar wind also changed the shape of Earth's magnetic field and produced an unusual auroral display at the North Pole.

The importance of this event not stated in the above press release is that for the sun to stop emitting solar wind very unusual event in the life of a star especially since our sun is almost at the peak of this solar cycle. The solar wind _should be_ high and constant. This may indicate further anomalous behavior in the sun's output levels in the immediate future. The report did mention that there was a severe drop in the number of helium particles in the solar wind during this 3 day event. A Russian physicist was the first to calculate that the sun has already consumed over half of its helium supply and this was noted over 2 decades ago. It is possible that the sun is going to change the type of nuclear reaction that it now utilizes to produce our sunlight.

A number of events may accompany or precede such a change. The light from the sun may change color toward the blue spectrum which makes the sun appear whiter to the eye. Many people have already reported this over the past year and a half. Also, the sun may throw off huge amounts of matter of energy in the form of radiation while it changes its nuclear reaction. This could see severe heat and magnetic storms hit the Earth during the transition.

The preceding two paragraphs are Stan's opinions and assessment based on data he has gathered and synthesized. This information is not being voiced nor endorsed by NASA or ENCAR or any other official organization. It is interesting to note that NASA released this notice a full 7 months to the day AFTER the event.


The Houston Chronicle article continues to underscore what we have sent out to you REPEATEDLY and what I wrote about extensively in Dare To Prepare

'"The changes they are hedging against, as projected by climate scientists, are not confined to a simple average increase in surface temperature. The models call for fiercer storms, longer droughts and other problems. 'Extremes and variety are the wave of the future,' said Kevin Trenberth, head of the climate analysis section at the National Center for Atmospheric Research.

Last month by Robert T. Watson, chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change stated, "It is undisputed that the last decade has been the warmest this century, indeed the warmest for hundreds of years, and many parts of the world have suffered major heat waves, floods, droughts and extreme weather events leading to significant economic losses and loss of life," he said. "While individual events cannot be directly linked to human-induced climate change, the frequency and magnitude of these types of events are expected to increase in a warmer world."

Watson further stated it is no longer "a question of whether the earth's climate will change, but rather when, where and by how much."

Additionally these greenhouse gases will cause more evaporation, place greater stresses on plants and help fuel stronger storms.

'Last year alone, drought-related agricultural losses on the Texas side of the border were estimated at $200 million, and water shortages have been more severe in Mexico.

"Most of the world's major rivers are seriously depleted and polluted as it is, which threatens their continued use for irrigation as well as for drinking and industrial water, the World Water Council reported last month."'


OK, now that I _really_ 'get it' that it's going to get drier and worse, what should I do? Our first recommendation, if at all possible and feasible, would be to relocate to a typically moister climate, preferably one where you have your own source of water. If that is not possible, consider some of the following suggestions:


Store additional water in quantity. Many people are currently cleaning out grocery shelves of bottled water when this is so unnecessary. Some bottled water tests are showing higher than permitted bacterial content - some of the brand names you would easily recognize. Bottled water DOES have an expiration date and many times it pertains to the biodegradable container, not the water! Avoid flimsy containers like the kind for distilled water to avoid messes when they naturally break down in 6 months time.

Instead, treat already chlorinated tap water with 4 more drops of chlorine and store it in cleaned 2-liter pop bottles. Make sure to use unscented, additive-free chlorine bleach like Clorox or White King. If you started with a bacteria-free storage bottle and stored away from light and heat, this water will be quite suitable to drink several years down the road. One woman keeps a small bottle of chlorine and an eyedropper by her sink. As pop is consumed, she immediately cleans the bottle and prepares her water for storage. Takes all of one minute and the water adds up quickly.


If you have a well or water bore, consider adding another bore/well in a different location on your property and at a different depth. Particularly if you are in an earthquake zone, underground springs can be diverted to other areas leaving your well or bore dry. If a spring is surface water fed, this too can mean less available water in dry times. Consider additional water sources like:


This method obviously isn't going to catch anything if it isn't raining (DUH!), but you can store rainfall or snow in the interim. If you have a well or bore, you can also fill cisterns and tanks and store it for dry times. Keep in mind this water will need disinfecting. Poly tanks are relatively inexpensive, compared to cement or stainless steel. All it takes is some guttering and debris filters if you use a gravity fed system. On our water pages, you'll find information on roof catchment, cisterns and tanks:

Whoever built our home some 15 years ago, put in two nice 10,000 gallon cement water tanks. They catch water from only 1/2 of the house's roof and all of the barn. Half the water from the house rooftop and all the water from a decent-sized gazebo roof is funneled off into never-never land. The other day when hanging off the ladder cleaning the gazebo's gutter, it really came home we should be storing all this wasted water. In Australia - the driest country - this really means something! After long discussions, we've decided to put in a poly tank for another 6,000-7,000 gallons of water catchment.

While I have been typing this to you, Stan called on our poly tank. Word is that water restrictions for Melbourne and Geelong will go into effect next month and tank sellers are turning product as soon as they are manufactured. This has created a backlog for new orders till January 20, 2000.

Look in your newspapers for rural auctions. We have noticed that some businesses are selling at considerably reduced rates, top of the line stainless steel tanks that previously stored liquid food products like milk. These would be a wonderful find!

If you have spare 55 gallon drums or other large containers, it would be a good idea to use them for water catchment and store until needed.

Storing water in enclosed areas like these tanks and cisterns makes a lot more sense that storing it in open containers like swimming pools. Not only is it very likely to be contaminated with dead bugs, rodents, birds and the like, but also airborne bacteria, leaves and animal waste. Especially in dry or drought conditions, open containers will lose water at a much higher rate through evaporation. Add wind to this equation and the process is greatly accelerated.


If you have a pool, keep it filled, cleaned of debris and completely disinfected. Due to a number of things that can affect this source, view it as back-up water only - not your main source of stored water. Pools cracks in earthquakes. If water rationing goes into effect, topping off your swimming pool with be the first luxury to go.


Become familiar with alternative water purification methods:


Purchase and store non-hybrid seeds in case there is an extended drought, your own vege patch dries up or in more severe cases, food scarcity sets in. This is another issue that Ed Dames addressed and that we see as a very likely event for a variety of reasons. When purchasing seed, look for drought tolerant varieties. Another aspect to consider is foods you can preserve. Also, some varieties are better for storing longer-term than others.

The little garden Stan and I had last year is not only too small but has now become shaded. Over the past two weeks, we have cleared a 50'x75' area and are readying that for crops. Yes, it is getting late for this year's crop down here, but when you start a garden from scratch that has previously been open paddocks, it takes some doing. Yesterday we completed our non-hybrid seed orders from Eden Seeds in Queensland and The Digger's Club in Victoria. Here are some good sources both on the Net and off.

Australian and New Zealand Seed Suppliers You'll find numerous open pollinated, non-hybrid seed companies on-line here: Another great source for seeds globally: which lists companies for the United Kingdom, United States, Canada and Australia.

This site lists numerous heirlooms seed companies in the U.S. and contact information.

If you've already purchased "Dare To Prepare" then you have all the information needed for sucessfully storing and saving seeds. If not, here is another source to show you how to do it: Tex-Mex s like us who want to save chili seeds, go here:

Another point to consider, if space is not a problem, is to store a larger quantity of canned and preserved foods. They will naturally contain a higher ratio of water and will not require rehydration.

Planting drought resistant trees and vegetation around your home will keep it cooler than having an abundance of cement surrounding it. Adding more insulation is also a clever consideration.

Stan and I can not stress strongly enough the seriousness of this coming water crisis. It will likely be like the major effects of Y2K - cumulative. There won't be a magic switch from normal to drought or moist to dry. It will be a continual process till we wake up thinking "Gee, it's been a long time since we've seen rain..." Do not wait till this point for then options will be considerably fewer.

With affection,

Holly and Stan, weighing water options

Seismo and Taco, swimming in the dam - while they can



Emergency Preparedness: