Post-apocalyptic survival: He who controls the water isn’t thirsty

The other day, I watched the animated movie Rango. While I was watching, a few things occurred to me:

  1. The desert bears an uncanny resemblance to a post-apocalyptic wasteland (assuming, of course, that the apocalypse is something that turns Earth into a dry, barren, dusty wasteland with very little food and water)
  2. A Wild West type of settlement is apparently the best kind of settlement for this kind of environment (The Book of Eli had something similar)
  3. He who controls the water controls the settlement (and, you know, isn’t thirsty)

The biggest difference between the movie’s desert animals and real-life post-apocalyptic survivors is that survivors aren’t likely to stumble upon Las Vegas’ water supply. If Earth does become a barren wasteland, I’d guess that water will be rare everywhere. I highly doubt people will be finding old, intact water supplies.

So how do you increase your chances of survival in this type of post-apocalyptic environment? That’s easy. You just need to control the water. Which is, of course, easier said than done. Finding water is going to be your first (and possibly biggest) challenge. Once you find it, you have to protect it, and your water guards will probably want to be paid in water. Possibly food, but water will be pretty important.
You’ll have to ration the water. And be prepared to have water become the new currency. (This isn’t guaranteed, of course, but if water really is that scarce, it’s a distinct possibility.)
So, okay, you protect the water. You ration it. Chances are, you now control the settlement/camp. You are the water king (or queen, or whatever).
But how did you find the water in the first place?
Unfortunately, I have no idea how you’d find a water source in a barren wasteland like the one that’s currently taken over my imagination. The only thing I can think of is to divine for water using a water divining rod. It’s little odd, I know. But think about it this way: at least you won’t have to carry around a lot of heavy equipment while trying to survive.
It might not be a bad idea to learn how to use diving rods now, when you can still find water. At least that way you’ll know ahead of time if you’re any good at it.
I know you might think it’s a waste of time, particularly if you live in a city that’s nowhere near a desert. But consider it training. You need to be prepared for the apocalypse, after all. And finding water is going to be a big deal post apocalypse. Especially if there isn’t much of it left.
Besides, it’ll help you if you ever find yourself stuck in the desert. Just make sure you keep your divining rods in your back pocket at all times.

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