The more I learn about modern survival and being prepared for SHTF (which is one of the reasons I want to live off-grid), the more interesting concepts I undertand. Not being english native for some time I didn’t get the difference between self-sufficiency and self-reliance. It took me some time, and now it’s clear.

You measure self-sufficiency in percent, while self-reliance is measured in hours or days.

If you’re 100% self-sufficient in terms of electrical power, it means that you can produce all the power you need, all the time. In such a case, your off-grid energy source is able to produce enough power for all your appliances, day and night, during winter and summer.

If you’re 50% self-sufficient, you can only produce half of the power you need. For example, you would have enough electricity for computers, lighting, ventillation and central heating circulating pumps. But not enought to use electric stove or air conditioning. If you can substitute electricity with some other energy source (like propane), than you’re independent from the grid.

If you’re 10 days  self-reliant, for example, you can rely on your water storage that is enough for 10 days. After this water runs out, you can’t get any more. If you had some water source, like your own well and water pump, or rainwater harvesting system that would provide you with all the water you need, you would be 100% self-sufficient in terms of water.

So — water well is a way to become self-sufficient, while water storage will only make you self-reliant for some time. Alternative energy source might get you self-sufficient, and torch will make you self-reliant for a while.