#Thirstday -1- Is your water safe to drink?
Renowned water evangelist, A S Jose. shares his insights on Water - dubbed by some as the new oil. This weekly post, a first in a series of many, aims to break down the basics for the common man.
“Benjamin Franklin said, " When the well’s dry, we know the worth of water"
We have to work towards ensuring the quote while becoming a reality quite rapidly is delayed to the best of our abilities.
Water in all its forms reaching human beings carry impurities. How and why?
Water is a compound consisting of two hydrogen atoms bound to one oxygen atom in a molecule which has a formula (H2O). In its liquid form pure water is transparent, colourless, odorless and tasteless with neutral 7.0 pH and near zero electrical conductivity .
While falling from the sky as rain or snow, it starts picking up impurities from the air dissolving some of the dissolved gases especially Carbon Dioxide (CO2) which reduces the pH (<7.0, acidic) and increases the Conductivity of water; the latter a measure of the dissolved solids.
Insoluble particles including bacteria are carried as suspended matter, though it may not be visible to the naked eye. Rain drops and melted snow percolates through the soil picking up more minerals becoming ground water, while most of the rain water runs off in to lakes or flows through rivers finally reaching sea as surface water.
Water gets contaminated in all its pathways, but through evapotranspiration returns as showers of fresh water as rain and snow as depicted in the water cycle picture below
Energy from the sun falls on soil and water surfaces leading to evaporation assisted by winds, while significant quantities of water is discharged in to the atmosphere by plants by transpiration.
This reverse flow of invisible water vapour in to the air by evapotranspiration is pure water. All contaminants (suspended and dissolved solids and micro organisms ) are left behind the water bodies on earth!
Life on planet is supported and sustained by this amazing water cycle. Nevertheless, the water in the bottle or tumbler in your hand may not be safe to drink.
Water availability and quality are under threat and it is not a matter to be taken for granted. Drinking water has to be tested like a sophisticated industrial product. which must meet the broad WHO Guidelines for Drinking Water Quality (https://www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/water-quality/en).Its 4th Edition (2011) is currently in force.
Water Quality Standards are formulated by each Country or Water Supply Authority giving due consideration to the local conditions and complying to the WHO Guidelines for Drinking Water Quality. Despite all regulations and knowledge you may be apprehensive of the quality of water reaching you.
When in doubt, the least you can do is to boil the source water for at least three minutes.
Watch out to learn more about impurities in water and how to deal with your problems and for solutions apart from boiling water.
About the Author:
A.S.Jose is a renowned water technologist scientist, social impact leader and seasoned management guru who has served on the Board of several companies, global organisations and governments across different verticals bringing a unique breadth and depth with over 5 decades of experience in water, renewable energy, trade, manufacturing, education and social empowerment . A passionate advocate of enhancing human potential , A S Jose is a much sought after thought leader and keynote speaker on topics such as water and community empowerment. A former president of World Malayalee Council and avid Toastmaster, A S Jose currently serves as Chairman of Zacrey Partners, a VUCA Business Transformation Consultancy that champions high-impact design and strategy solutions for individuals, organisations and governments.
About Zacrey Partners: We are a VUCA business transformation consulting agency that champion high-impact design and strategy solutions for individuals, organisations and governments. We architect the convergence of best ideas, best people and best practices from related industries to deliver our multi-disciplinary and often disruptive results to remain ahead of the curve. We are human centred, design empowered and technology driven catalysts of transformation that strive to be the vanguard of Industry 6.0 drivers such as education, environment and the creative economy.
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