General discussion

If you had one choice, would it be water or electricity?

My home's main electrical panel is being fixed and I have been without electricity for a couple of days. It has been an inconvenience for me and my family, but it also serves as a good reminder of how much we take things for granted until it is gone.

Given the situation we are in, I decided to ask my two older kids, if you had one choice, would you rather be without running water or electricity in our house?

The immediate answer from them: they much rather be without water! With electricity they said they have internet access, TV, and computers, and of course lights! Silly However then I threw the scenario out there for them--if you didn't have running water, you couldn't wash your hands, flush the toilet, take showers, or have water to drink. Their answers, go to the store and buy water or order it from Amazon! Ahhh kids these days--internet and electronics gets priority, necessities are secondary Sad

I personally would choose running water over electricity for the reason I stated above. Luckily for me I have a lot of camping equipment and I can make use of being without electricity for a while. Except all the food in the fridge would eventually go bad, if not eaten soon.

What about you? If you had one choice for an entire week (given that stores were closed and you had to stay home) would you rather be without running water or electricity?

Share your thoughts with all of us and have fun! I'd love to share your thoughts with my kids. Have fun!

Post was last edited on April 7, 2017 8:53 AM PDT

Discussion is locked

Reply to: If you had one choice, would it be water or electricity?
PLEASE NOTE: Do not post advertisements, offensive materials, profanity, or personal attacks. Please remember to be considerate of other members. If you are new to the CNET Forums, please read our CNET Forums FAQ. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Reporting: If you had one choice, would it be water or electricity?
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.
- Collapse -
Water or electricity

I'd take running water. Shower, wash, flush, yes. I can charge my phone and tablet with solar chargers. A week without TV, no problem. Eat out.

- Collapse -

why not use the juice to power a well pump??

- Collapse -

Some people don't have wells. They live in a city or town.

- Collapse -
Water or Electricity

After H. Andrew devastated S. Florida in 1992, my home was without either fresh water or electricity. However, water came back on after 2 days (boil order on, so it wasn't drinkable), but electricity stayed off for 3.5 weeks. Of course, everything in the fridge spoiled and had to be discarded, and it was a real drag to eat canned tuna, beans, and rice for weeks. We had water in jugs for drinking and cooking, but none for washing. We used the potentially contaminated water for flushing toilets and showering (cold water only). Because of that experience, I'd rather do without water than electricity. It is easier to get water for all purposes if you have electricity, because you can then have regular meals.

- Collapse -
bzzzzzzzzt!!!!....wrong answer.... why?.....

I grew up in Central Florida and weathered several hurricanes during the first 18 years of my life. My mother always kept a Sterno stove handy to heat up quick meals with due to our house being a typical total electric Florida dwelling. (I, personally, have a two burner propane camp stove.) Otherwise, she kept a couple of ice chests to put regularly used staples and the fixings for cold meals in so a. we wouldn't have fire up the Sterno very often and b. so that we wouldn't have to open the refrigerator or freezer all that much, if at all. They were draped with blankets to help insulate them and keep them colder longer. We would have canned meals like Ravioli and such, and we would have cereal and sandwiches with lunch meat and cheese. We had a myriad of kerosene hurricane lamps. In today's world they would be oil lamps or battery operated LED lamps. And we also had assorted candles and flashlights with extra batteries. We also had small battery operated "solid state" portable radios with extra batteries to be able to listen to the weather reports. Because we lived in the country, we did have a water well. So, just before the storm would get to us, we would fill up many saved jugs, bottles, and jars with water and the bathtub, too. The bottled water we would use for drinking cooking and brushing our teeth and then to flush the toilet with after that sort of use. The bathtub water we would use for "spit baths" and then flushing the toilet after washing up with it. Back then there were no computers, cable TV, or cell phones. We only had over the air analog TV and rotary dialed POTTS party-lines. If the storm took out the telephones, oh well.....we did without, just like with most everything else that the storm could adversely affect.

Some of the best times we had were during "Hurricane Parties". Yeh, I know that now those are frowned upon, if not totally illegal. But, we all made out just fine!!!!! Fortunately, I can remember us having to get completely out of a hurricane's way just a couple of times, only.

Being able to exist without the luxuries of running water, electricity and other modern conveniences is a skill that EVERYONE should learn because in this world we never know when or if we will need those skills.

- Collapse -

You specified running water - water can be carried to the roof from the (presumed) well, electricity has no substitute.

Yes, I too have camping equipment - the batteries in the lights will soon die, but water can be carried.

- Collapse -
It's not a choice

If I don't have electricity, I don't have running water. I have my own well and pump.


- Collapse -
Ah I see

I didn't take into those who have their own wells and electrical pumps... I guess electricity is vital to getting water.

Thanks for sharing, Rita!

- Collapse -
Water without a doubt

For 5 years I lived in a cabin in the mountains west of Denver Co. We were on rural electric and I had a 50 ft. well. The electricity was out about 10 percent of the time and if you used too much water you'd run the well dry. As a result we often were without one or the other, or both.

We had a propane tank that fed both the stove and a convection heater (no fan, no electricity), also kerosene lamps to read by. No electricity, no problem, no water ouch. We kept a 55 gallon drum with a sand filter and a nice red hand pump to flush to toilet and a few gallon bottles of potable water. But over all no electric, can go days or even weeks, no water really bad.

- Collapse -
Lets look at it like this!

We can live without electricity but we will die without water. So short term I can live without water, long term I can without electric. With the evil greedy zealots we have running this country we are going to find out sooner than later what we can or can't live without unless you are really, really wealthy!

- Collapse -

Politics? Really? That's something few would miss.

- Collapse -
(NT) Love this post. : )
- Collapse -

Running water of course. The first time those kids had to go out on a freezing stormy night to take a dump in an outhouse or use a thunder mug they would change their mind.

- Collapse -
VERY GOOD point!!!!!!


- Collapse -
Survival doing without

Almost all of the living (not on life support) would cease to live without water loooooooong before they would from lack of electricity.

- Collapse -
Water, of course!

Basically clean water is a necessity, Electricity is a luxury.
People survived for centuries without electricity but cannot live anywhere for more than a day without clean drinking water. Just about everything we do with electricity today can and has been done in some other fashion in the past.
Peter C.

- Collapse -
Best reply I've read!

Absolutely agree. Happy

- Collapse -
Which One?

without a doubt ELECTRICITY!!

- Collapse -
Don't forget!

You can't post to CNET without juice. Devil

- Collapse -

Ask yourself this question: "Can I stay alive without water?"

Than ask yourself this question: "Can I stay alive without 'ELECTRICITY'?"

There is the answer, oh foolish one. Wink

- Collapse -
Ask yourself this question

"How hard is it to get water?"

Now, ask yourself this question: "Is it hard enough to make it worthwhile to go without electricity?"

There is your answer. It will vary from person to person and from situation to situation.

- Collapse -
If Electricity Out

There could be a chance your local ISP facility is out too. So, no TV, no Internet and (possibly) no phone even if YOU have elctricity. Especially if we're talking about a week.

- Collapse -
Water or Electricity

Water is my choice. Water can generate electricity, just need to know certain principles of how to do it. Electricity was not around for generations but people survived without it, but you can not survive without water. Dams generate electricity using water, so my choice is water

- Collapse -

I cook on average 5-6 times a week, so definitely running water for me, though without electricity (and therefore without a refrigerator) I'd have to shop for ingredients basically every day. If I had an electric stove, the choice would be easier because I could use bottled water to cook. At the same time, laundry and showers require water. Tough choice.

- Collapse -
I can live without electricity

After hurricane Irene I was without electricity for 8 days. I was taking care of my bedridden mother at the time. We did fine - she was a trooper. A lot of food in the freezer got thrown out, but I bought ice and used a couple of coolers for the day to day refrigerated items. I can't imagine living with no electricity anywhere at all.

- Collapse -

I went through an experience where we had no water for 24 hours - it was the worst! I'd rather have running water than electricity.

- Collapse -
Without? Electricity

I can always buy a generator, but buying and/or toting home enough water to wash clothes, flush the toilet, take showers, or have water to drink? Nein danke!

- Collapse -
Hard choice

When I was 11 (1981) we moved from a place where I don't really remember the power going out and where we were on a municipal water supply to a very rural area where we were on a private well for water. We subsequently had the worst winter I have ever seen, snow plows were getting stuck in the roads, school was cancelled for three weeks straight (not that that was horrible for an 11 year old), and the power was extremely intermittent.
Thankfully my parents had put in wood heat and a propane stove before we moved. Not everyone was so lucky. We filled a tub with water for flushing the toilet and had jugs filled for drinking. We could still cook but my aunt and uncle across the road weren't so lucky so they came over when they had to and cooked up a storm when the power would come back on for a while.
We had kerosene lamps for light and played an awful lot of games to pass the time. I don't know how well I would fare in this much more connected age but I would like to think I would prefer the water to the power unless I needed the power to provide the heat in a cold situation.

- Collapse -
When I was without water...

I also would periodically fill the tub so I could flush the toilet. It is a really sensible way to deal with the situation.

- Collapse -
Couple days?!

I know this is not the point, but what in the world is going on with your electric panel that you would be without power for a couple of days? To replace a 200amp 40-space panel and the outside service should only take 1 long day.

To your question, if you must, please take my electricity.

CNET Forums

Forum Info