The Earth, in its abundance, currently provides man with what appears to be limitless fresh water. Except where man has defiantly chosen to set up housekeeping in the middle of a desert or ocean, fresh, pure water is not expected to be a problem. It rushes by in streams and rivers, pools in lakes, and if not found on the surface can almost always be found in the underground rivers and lakes. Should one be concerned about the purity of the water on the surface, one could always catch the rain which falls, unsullied, from the sky. Up until recently man's only worry about water was how to transport it and how to avoid it during times of flooding. Since the Industrial Age man has merrily poured poisons into his drinking water, both on the surface and through seepage into the ground water. Bottled water has become more than a fad.
After the cataclysms mankind's problems with his water supply will take a quantum leap. Water, from all sources, may be poisoned, with the old standby, rainwater, failing to provide potable water. During the pole shift volcanoes, old and new, will violently explode. The resulting ash will sift down from the upper atmosphere for decades, poisoning ground water. Humans driven to drink this gritty water will find more than grit between their teeth, they will find their nervous system beginning to fail them, their eye sight fading, and their digestive system intolerant of any food they may find. We are speaking here primarily of lead poisoning, which is not a problem man expects from the water nature provides. Lead settles and over eons settles down out of the way, but after a cataclysm the lead heavy mantle has been spewed out over the landscape, most of this vomit in the form of fine billowing dust.
Will the ground water not be safe? Depends. During the cataclysms the ground is heaved and jerked, and any wells or piping will be shattered. In that the ground water is as likely to carry poisons as the surface, having filtered down from the surface, what looks like pure water from underground may be, again, a slow death. Ground water also is subject to contact with the lead heavy mantle, which most often does not make it all the way to the surface during eruptions. If one cannot trust the usual water supply, what to do? Distillation processes or recycling water known to be pure are two approaches likely to provide a steady supply of water. This may seem tedious to those so used to taking fresh, pure water for granted, but those who prepare for the times ahead will not find themselves suddenly without one of life's necessities.
Man dies without air in minutes, without water in days, and without food over weeks. Bread may be the staff of life, but water is life itself!
Note: below added during the Dec 21, 2002 Live ZetaTalk IRC Session.
Our advise on distilling water to remove heavy metals such as lead presumes that volcanic ash will be falling, be included in the rain or fog, and accumulate on the ground. There are several factors to consider. First, the land may be at a site where little rain falls, outside of the volcanic drift, high so that most heavy ash has dropped before arriving, and have little problem with this. Second, heavy rainfall may outweigh the lead content, wash this way in good runoff, such that there is scarcely any accumulation or it is so diluted as to be negligible. Third, the land may be directly in volcanic ash path, from a volcano that lasts for centuries after the shift, and be unlivable for far longer than the 25 years we have given as a guide. Thus, there is simply no general statements about when ground or rain water will be OK. One must use their judgment about such matter.