You wouldn't be so lucky to have a spring that would give you a spring fed well all year round ?? That would be perfect !! Otherwise maybe you could store water somehow. Rain water for washing and plants and buy tanked in water to be stored from the outside. Good Luck !!
Well the simplest reply is --- install it or live without it.
Depending upon your state and area water may not be too hard to obtain. Can a driven well point suffice to get it if shallow? Will it have to be drilled and to what depth and at what cost? Can a windmill be used to pump the water or will you need a greater quantity? Would you be satisfied using a gravity water system if a windmill pumps into a raised tank? If a windmill and well cylinder are used make sure the well casing is large enough for a cylinder to fit into without rubbing a hole in the side while operating. A pump jack powered by electric motor, gasoline motor, or possibly some other power would work too for a well with cylinder. If not too deep and you won't require much water a hand pump is also an option.
As to electricity--what are your needs? Can you get by without? Will you demand air-conditioning in the summer? If you are ultra conservative you may wish to consider staying off grid but remember that at this stage of the game purchased power per KWH is nearly always considerably cheaper than a photovoltaic set up, or PV & wind.
Other things to consider--are utility companies willing to bring you their product, and at what cost? Can you afford that? I am lucky in that my property has a fantastic water supply which will allow continual 35 gmp pumping for market garden irrigation. With drop tubing that is a lot of water. Also electric lines cross the edge of the property and gas lines are within a few hundred feet and would only have to cross one other land owner to reach my property. I'm set if and when I want utilities.
Water and power are irrelevant, imho. As long as your not living in a cave, you can go solar, and possibly wind. Water can be hauled.
The big question is.......... Are there neighbors? No water or power is great if it's going to be impossible to get those utilities in the area... as w/o those two, most folks won't live there. No neighbors would be a huge bonus.
Solar (PVs) and/or wind for electricity, and rainwater collection for water. Not having any idea where you are located makes it impossible to give more detailed suggestions. Look at what these folks are doing to get some ideas: http://www.geopathfinder.com/index2.html
Personally, I would not want to live at anyplace that did not have a good, clean, plentiful, reliable source of onsite water -- and especially if I was planning any kind of livestock farming operation. I have lived without water for short periods, the longest being 3 weeks, and while I can do it, I sure do not like it a bit. About Day 20 of that 3 weeks, which was due to an ice storm, and I was sick and tired of having every drop come in only as a result of my hard labor hauling it. It takes a lot of time and planning, too.
That's just me, though -- you may love it, and be able to get by on rainwater and a cistern or something.
I'd check with folks around your site to see how feasible a well is, how deep you'd have to go, water quality, etc.
The electricity part, as others said, is easier. I know people doing it just on 4 marine batteries, solar panels, a 12V water pump and LED lighting. If it were me, I'd want at minimum that system plus a backup generator for those times when I need to run heavy duty equipment like power saws, etc. Another generator alternative is one mounted to a tractor PTO, or you can go with an inverter (110 out of 12v; people call them different terms depending on where they live in the USA) connected to a car or truck 12V system for short-term use (it costs too much fuel to use it long-term), or an inverter connected to the solar system (which may require more battery capacity).
Propane refrigerator and wood-fueled cook/heat stoves, and you are good to go.
Thank you so much for all the wonderful input. This is very encouraging. We are looking to live on a land, but are also considering a land, for camping purposese, or one for short term living...a year or so. We are gathering information and gathering ideas, so that we are more prepared when it is our time!!!
A forum community dedicated to living sustainably and self sufficiently. Come join the discussion about livestock, farming, gardening, DIY projects, hobbies, recipes, styles, reviews, accessories, classifieds, and more!