In a report about Critical National Infrastructures by the government's EMP Commission, the issue of how an EMP might adversely affect community water systems was raised. Keep in mind that his report is about the destruction of electronic equipment to operate pumps, not a simple short-term power outage.
"Demoralization and deterioration of social order can be expected to deepen if a water shortage is protracted. Anarchy will certainly loom if government cannot supply the population with enough water to preserve health and life. The many homeowners with private wells also would face similar problems. There would be fewer workarounds to get their pumps operating again, if the pump controller is
damaged or inoperable. Even if power is restored, it is unlikely the average homeowner would be technically competent to bypass a failed pump controller and figure out how to power the pump with bypass power lines. The first priority would be meeting personal water needs. Federal, state, and local
governments do not have the collective capability, if the water infrastructure fails over a large area, to supply enough water to the civilian population to preserve life."
But even in the event of a more "normal" power outage than one caused by an EMP, the report had this to say:
"Storm-induced blackouts of the electric grid have demonstrated that, in the absence of electric power, the water infrastructure will fail. Storm-induced blackouts have also demonstrated that, even in the face of merely local and small-scale failure of the water infrastructure, the combined efforts of government agencies at all levels are hard pressed to help."
- Don't expect the government to supply you with water (or anything else)
- Become as self-sufficient as possible, especially with regard to your water supply, storing as much as possible on your property
- Locate sources of freshwater that you can access when the municipal system fails
- Be prepared to purify all water that you'll consume, cook with, or wash dishes with
- Learn to conserve in the use of water, so you will already know how to live through a severe water shortage