Survival experts recommend having at least a weeks worth of water stored for every person in a household in case of an emergency. There are numerous situations that can lead to a shortage of water. The public water system can become contaminated (Flint, Michigan) or break because of some type of natural or man made disaster. the public water system can even be targeted by terrorists.
It would be prudent for all Americans to be prepared to have water for emergencies. Most experts believe that every person needs a half a gallon to a gallon of water a day to take care of hygiene and dietary needs. If a person is very active and the temperature is very hot, they may need more than a gallon of water a day. A family of four needs to have between 14 and 28 gallons of water stored for each they will be out of water.
Personally, I do not want to store and rotate countless cases of bottled water so i bought a Primo water cooler. The model that I bought cost $99 at Wal-Mart. It has two different settings. One for hot water that I never use and one for cold water. I initially thought I would be saving a large sum of money when I converted from water bottles to the Primo water cooler. Well, I am saving some money but not a lot. A case of water is anywhere from $3.50 to $5.00. If a case of water has 35 16.9 ounce bottles it contains 540 ounces of water or 4 gallons, 2 quarts and 15.5 ounces.
Now there are two different ways to get Primo water bottles refilled. One, exchange an empty bottle for a pre-filled water bottle. It cost $6.50 for a five gallon bottle. That is more expensive than buying bottle water. The other choice is to have your bottle refilled at Wal-Mart. This cost 38 cents a gallons so it takes less than $2.00 to fill a five gallon container. The cheapest bottle water that I found at Wal-Mart was $3.50 for a case of 35 16.9 ounce bottles. So, we are saving about $1.75 a case, which means we spend about $8.50 less a month and about $100 less a year.
It would take over a year to save enough money for your initial investment in the water cooler but there are more benefits than saving a little money. First of all, it is nice to have ice cold water in as little as fifteen minutes. It takes less time for the water cooler to produce cold water than it takes for the refrigerator to cool down water bottles. It is also nice to not have the refrigerator full of water bottles.
Much more important than having cool water quickly, we now produce much less trash. Throwing away five cases worth of plastic bottles a month is terrible on the environment. In my part of rural Arkansas there is no place to recycle water bottles. Maybe more importantly than producing less trash is the knowledge that I have a large supply of water on hand for my family in case of an emergency. I like the Boy Scott Motto “be prepared.” It feels great to know that I have water for my family in case of an emergency.