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Step 2 Where is the Available Water?

At the same time you are surveying all buildings for the purpose of calculating minimum water supplies needed, you should also conduct a survey to locate your water sources.

The best way to record this second survey's results is to use a large map and note every potential source along every road. Use the map to mark a variety of information: what sources of water exist, where they are located, what quantities may be available at different seasons, what access considerations you find, and who owns the property where access is best.

Keep in mind that a Water Supply Officer can help with this and other tasks relating to water sources and distribution.

Community volunteers can be helpful in a number of ways regarding the survey. They can do much of the preliminary scouting work to record locations of water so that the Water Supply Officer could return later to record more in-depth information. Recruit and use these volunteers whether they are in the fire department or not; their availability may be critical in what has to be a time-consuming process, and the contact provides repeated opportunities to build good relationships with the community and to educate homeowners about fire protection matters.

Long-term residents may have specialized experience that would be helpful, including knowledge of sources of water that cannot be seen during a drive-by survey and memory of the history of individual water sources regarding drought and other reliability issues. Aerial photography can also be an asset.

Sources of water may be natural or constructed. Both are considered in this section.

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