Here's a unique canning question from a reader which I don't think I've ever seen before:
Okay this is going to sound like a stupid question.... But have you ever tried canning WATER? Yes plain water!!!!
Here's why. We need extra water stored for emergencies, but plastic bottles of water are only designed to keep for one year or less, then they start leaking. The water storage bottles are very expensive. I was wondering if it was possible to can (filtered) water? It wouldn't cost anything if you had extra space in your canner, and used Tattlers (and extra unused jars). I was just wondering if anyone considered it. I found the link below for LONG term water storage in emergencies ... but that's way toooooo pricey for my wallet.
The link this reader included sent me to this site featuring... canned water!
She's right, the prices are shocking. Six cans at 24 oz. per can is 144 ounces of water. There are 128 ounces in a gallon, so this gives you just a hair over a gallon of water... for $20!! Not counting shipping!! And people complain about the price of gas!!
Besides, at the recommended storage of one gallon of water per person per day, we're talking potentially thousands of dollars "invested" in long-term storable water, if you purchase this pre-canned water. Yikes.
The answer to this reader's question is two-fold. One, you can certainly can water. But two, the better method is to have a limited amount of stored water on hand and then have the means to purify surface water.
I would imagine that water-bath canning filtered water for, oh, fifteen or twenty minutes (feel free to use half-gallon jars for this project) would sterilize water just fine, but you're back to the drawing board about how much water you can practically store.
In our case, besides a 50x50 foot stock pond we dug last year, and a 1500-gallon runoff tank for (filterable) house water, we keep about 30 gallons of water in gallon jugs set aside. Each is treated with a few drops of bleach and capped. We freshen the water every year.
I recommend everyone have multiple ways to sterilize water -- bleach, iodine, Berkey filter (if you can afford it), etc.
Canned water is fine, but it's only a short-term solution. Water is too important to consider only for the short-term.
An excellent question from this reader -- thanks for asking!