explores why clean drinking water is an essential for survival,
the different sources we draw drinking water from, and the threats
to drinking water.
of Drinking Water
is absolutely essential for survival. A person may survive for a
month without food, but only about a week without water. People
can't survive on any water either, we need to have clean water to
drink. Clean water contributes to good health; contaminated water
can cause disease and even death. In order to be clean enough for
water usually has to be "treated" in some way.
quality of water coming into a water treatment plant is directly
related to the types of activities or land use occurring in the
If there is a lot of agricultural activity, there may be excess
nutrients from farm field .
If there is a lot of industrial activity, theres potential
for chemicals used in manufacturing processes to get into the water.
of a particular watershed is also important. Some areas have naturally
occurring compounds, like arsenic, that are picked up in the water
cycle and must be removed before water is safe to drink. Today,
drinking water in the United States meets a set of standards set
by the .
Does Drinking Water Come From?
communities in the United States rely on public utilities to provide
clean drinking water, but there are plenty of rural areas where
people still get water from their own wells. Some drinking water
comes from groundwater resources like ,
some comes from resources like rivers and streams. Protecting
both surface water and is extremely important. Even with water treatment, it
is possible for some contaminants to make it through the system.
(An outbreak of cryptosporidium in Milwaukee caused widespread disease).
that make their way into water supplies, the less potential there
is for people to get sick and the less water treatment is necessary.
- Public water supply systems in the U.S. produce more than
34 billion gallons of drinking water per day.
U.S. has more than 60,000 community water supply systems
valued at over $175 billion.
average price of water in North America is about $1.27 per
1000 gallons. A penny buys 160 glasses of drinking water.
do you think?
In Iowa, 80% of all drinking water comes from ground water.
Where does your communitys drinking water come from?
In remote rural areas, it is usually too expensive to put
pipes from the nearest public water utility to each house.
Each homeowner is responsible for the drilling of a well,
then getting the water tested, and if necessary, treated.
The county health department can often do testing, while treatment
can consist of everything from adding chlorine to filtering
to water softening.
Environmental Protection Agency. "National Water
Quality Inventory: 1998 Report to Congress." Online. http://www.epa.gov/305b/98report/index.html
of Water Treatment
of water treatment dates far back in history. Ancient Egyptian inscriptions
describe a wide variety of water purification processes including
boiling water, exposing it to sunlight, filtering it through charcoal,
or just letting it settle in jugs.More
you pay attention to the news, you will notice that after a major
national disaster anywhere in the world, one of the first concerns
is to provide clean drinking water; otherwise, diseases may take
hold and create a second disaster.More
waters are constantly moving through the water cycle as they move
downstream rivers or evaporate, condense, and precipitate.More
to Market Online Links
Bucks in Bottled Water."
Think bottled water is better? This Market to Market feature explains
that tap and bottled water may not be so different after all.
Water As Good As Bottled
Despite perceptions that it may be healthier, a recent study found
there is little difference between water from a bottle and municipal
water from the tap
talks to Red Cross relief worker Christopher Thomas on efforts to
distribute aid in
Betty Ann Bowser
the science and price of safe drinking water.