Introduction to Water
Since the beginning of time, water has been critical to sustain all life. The structure of the water molecule is also the structure of all life forms. The common phrase “Water is Life” is based on this fact. The adult human body is made up of around 65% water; therefore, the quality of the water we drink everyday will ultimately determine our overall wellbeing.
Potable simply means drinkable. This is water that is uncontaminated and safe to drink without risk of any health problems. While around 71% of the earth is covered by water, only 2.5% of this water is fresh. Fresh does not necessarily mean potable; only 1% of this fresh water is accessible.
There is a global crisis of potable water, but most people in the industrialised nations either don’t know about it or simply don’t care. Water is not an inexhaustible resource. In fact, there is a finite amount of water on the earth—and it is rapidly being depleted thanks to worldwide population growth and contamination. How critical is the problem? Look at these statistics and judge for yourself:
- 1.2 billion people get sick each year because of polluted water
- At least 10 million people die from dysentery, diarrhoea, and other diseases caused by impure water
- 25 million children under the age of five die each year due to impure water and related illnesses
According to the United Nations and leading scientists, half of the wetlands on the planet have been destroyed and the rate of destruction is increasing. Our rivers and our streams are polluted and the increasing demand for potable water is leading to serious water shortages. As you can see, there is real urgency to finding effective ways to conserve and purify water.