To establish water purification operations and water storage sites in field environments, it is necessary to
perform reconnaissance of possible areas. Before the reconnaissance, you must brief the reconnaissance
team supervisor on the total daily water requirements (in gallons). The reconnaissance team may perform a
ground reconnaissance, an air reconnaissance, or both. The results of the reconnaissance are recorded on
DA Form 1712-R (Water Reconnaissance Report). In cases where NBC agents are present or possibly
present, the reconnaissance team should wear MOPP 4 until the area has been declared clear.
PART A - PROVIDE MISSION GUIDANCE
Responsibilities. You are responsible for providing detailed information concerning the status of water
supply throughout its respective areas to the supporting water unit. The supporting water unit, in coordination
with the appropriate MMC and rear area terrain manager in the rear CP, directs the water supply section
leader to seek new water supply operational sites in support of tactical combat operations. The water supply
section leader is responsible for supervising and performing reconnaissance of new operational sites for
water supply operations. Water reconnaissance is a special type of survey made to gather information about
potential water purification sites and bulk water storage and distribution sites.
Provide Mission Guidance. It is your responsibility to notify water section supervisors of water
requirements (in gallons), and recommend area of operations. To do this it is necessary to compile
intelligence and field reports, aerial photos, and maps of recommended areas of operations.
Field Reports. The most important and reliable sources of information on water resources are field
reports. Field reports contain summaries of recent observations. The G2/S2 provides this information
from prisoners of war (POWs), interrogation of native personnel, tactical data, and other records.
Existing, damaged facilities can be changed or repaired for use.
Maps. Study maps and aerial photographs before the actual ground reconnaissance. Military maps are
frequently incomplete and outdated. You can use maps to locate surface water points, select water
points upstream from villages, and decide whether the existing road net in an area can handle the
necessary traffic. You must look at the date of the map to see how accurate it is.
Water Requirements. Planning for water support begins with determining the amount of water required.
This will depend upon the battlefield environment, the expected time of hostilities, and the size of the force.
Water requirements are flexible. Some may be defined indefinitely and some for several weeks. Some are
Use water planning factors to determine total daily demand based on information received from higher
headquarters, the OPLAN, or the OPORD. Determine area of operations based on mission requirements.
Water Consumption Requirements. A number of water consumption requirements are directly
related to the number of people in the force structure. These are:
Drinking. Drinking water must be potable. The amount needed depends on the climate, intensity of
work, and type of battlefield. Since the water reserve of the body is small, soldiers must replace water as
it is lost.
Heat Treatment. Water needed for heat treatment includes ice or cold water to reduce the body
temperature quickly of a heatstroke patient. It should be potable. However, in an emergency, use any
available water. Heatstroke affects about one of every 1,000 soldiers in arid and tropical zones. The
water needed for heat treatment is small in temperate and arctic zones. Wearing MOPP for long periods
will increase heat treatment requirements.
Personal Hygiene. These requirements include water for shaving, brushing teeth, and washing. This
water must be potable. Daily shaving is needed since the protective mask does not fit properly over a
beard. Since showers are scheduled only once a week, daily sponge baths are necessary. Teeth are
usually brushed after each meal.
Centralized Hygiene. These requirements include water used in showers. Potability is not mandatory,
but treated water may be required by local medical personnel. The Surgeon General recommends
showering at least weekly regardless of location, season, or level of combat activity.