Water in the Desert

Water needs in a desert environment are paramount. Finding it is VITAL. If you have it, ration it immediately. If you are stranded during a planned desert crossing, you should have plotted your route with an awareness of possible water sources, wells and/or waterholes. Wells can be very deep and the water level may require a container lowered on a line to reach it. Small water holes in river bottoms are often seasonal. They are usually covered with a stone or brushwood.

If you are away from known waterholes, try digging at the lowest point of the outside bend of a dry stream bed or at the lowest point between dunes. Do NOT dig in the heat of the day, the exertion will use up too much fluid and you may find none to replace it. You must always balance fluid loss against possible gain.

Exploit cactus and roots as water sources and, in deserts where the day/night temperature range is great, exploit this to produce water by condensation, i.e. solar stills, etc…