In most of our lives, water seems to be an endless resource and we have immediate access to it whether it comes from our faucet or out of a bottle. It's interesting when you really stop and pay attention to what is happening in much of the world though. Water is a scarce resource, one that many people don't have the privilege of enjoying. Clean water is even more scarce and there are many parts of our world that do not have access to clean water.
Did you know that....
- At any one time, half of the world's hospital beds are occupied by patients suffering from water-borne diseases
- Over one-third of the world's population has no access to sanitation facilities.
- In developing countries, about 80% of illnesses are linked to poor water and sanitation conditions.
- 1 out of every 4 deaths under the age of 5 worldwide is due to a water-related disease.
In a recent United Nations report, unclean water is an absolute predictor of shortened life expectancy. Clean water is vital to our health and it's importance cannot be overstated.
Is Your Water Clean?
Most people assume that the water flowing from their faucets is clean. The word "clean" though is relative and it takes investigation to understand whether your water truly qualifies as clean.
It's amazing to think that our earth initially produced more than sufficient amounts of clean water. Streams were filled with crystal clean water. Clean water bubbled from every spring. There were no concerns about whether water was safe to consume. Centuries later people did begin to take precautions to determine whether water was clean. It was, however, much simpler in that the theory was if the water tasted good it was clean, if it tasted bad it was not clean.
As water became more contaminated people started lining pottery with silver to ensure clean water or boiling water to make it safe.
Methods continued to evolve on how to clean water, as people became more aware of it's potential dangers. Unfortunately, today we must be more concerned than ever as water studies have show that our drinking water is contaminated with bacteria and other toxins. The government requires that municipalities add disinfectants to clean our drinking water - but is it really clean?
Studies have show that many U.S. city drinking water systems are outdated and as rotting pipes break, they could potentially leak contaminants that make clean water dangerous. These very old treatment plants (some dating back to 1915) were built to accommodate the knowledge and conditions of the late 1800's and they are not adequate to meet today's needs as far as removing modern contaminants and bacteria.
Today it is not enough to assume that our water is clean. It is important that you take as many precautions as possible to ensure that you and your family are consuming clean water. Below are few suggestions:
- Have your tap water professionally tested or purchase an inexpensive kit to test it yourself.
- Research water testing reports available from your public water system.
- Install a water filter or purifier.