Venezuela does not have reliable fresh water supplies. The infrastructure is in a such a state of disrepair, that there is probably a 40% loss through leakage. Condominiums will have large underground water tanks and pumps to serve the building's residents, but even that is sketchy at times. Therefore, years ago, Tania and I bought a large 120 L plastic trash barrel to store water in. This is the way we always had an emergency stash on hand.
We carried our plastic water container from our rental to our purchased home in 2007. Late 2009 and early 2010 has been a year of drought, and there has been daily water rationing for about 6 months. This means the water in our building is turned on only from 6:00 AM to 8:00 AM, 12:00 noon to 2:00 PM, and 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM. As a result, we've had to plan all our water-based activities and chores during these times, i.e., take showers, get loads of laundry washed, wash the dishes, etc. Sometimes a shower means using a bucket of water and a sponge. I've never liked bucket showers. I started using a bicycle waterbottle to brush my teeth...same way I do when I go bicycle camping.
About three months ago, Tania and I looked into the possibility of an auxiliary water tank for our condo. I had seen these systems in a friend's apartment in Caracas, so I knew they existed. We started researching and found a complete system; 520 L tank, base, float valve, and a 1/2 HP pump at our local mega-hardware store. Eureka!
We debated for a week or two, wondering if we could afford it, and if we actually needed it. Finally, frustrated from taking a bucket shower after a bicycle ride one Saturday I decided I was going to spend the money and buy one. There were only three left, so we bought the system and it was delivered where it sat un-installed for another month.
We finally got the system installed about two weeks ago and boy howdy is it great! We now have water and water pressure, including hot water, on demand during the hours when the building's water is turned off. We open and close the appropriate valves, flip the power switch, and listo! Water as normal!