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Drinking water or potable water is water safe enough to be consumed by humans or used with low risk of immediate or long

term harm. In mostdeveloped countries, the water supplied to households, commerce and industry meets drinking water standards, even though only a very small proportion is actually consumed or used in food preparation. Typical uses (for other than potable purposes) include toilet flushing, washing andlandscape irrigation. Over large parts of the world, humans have inadequate access to potable water and use sources contaminated with disease vectors, pathogens or unacceptable levels of toxins or suspended solids. Drinking or using such water in food preparation leads to widespread acute and chronic illnesses and is a major cause of death and misery in many countries. Reduction of waterborne diseases is a major public health goal in developing countries. Water has always been an important and life-sustaining drink to humans and is essential to the survival of [1] all known organisms. Excluding fat, water composes approximately 70% of the human body by mass. It is a crucial component of metabolic processes and serves as a solvent for many bodilysolutes. The United States Environmental Protection Agency in risk assessment calculations assumes that the [2] average American adult ingests 2.0 litres per day. Drinking water of a variety of qualities is bottled. Bottled water is sold for public consumption throughout the world.
Contents
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1 Requirements 2 Access 3 Improving availability

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3.1 Well contamination 3.2 Diarrhea as a major health effect among children

4 Water quality and contaminants

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4.1 Safety indicators 4.2 Water treatment

5 Regulation

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5.1 European Union 5.2 United States of America

6 Preferences of animals 7 See also 8 References 9 External links

A fountain in Saint-Paul-de-Vence,France. The sign reading Eau potableindicates that the water is safe to drink

Main article: Fluid balance Some health authorities have suggested that people drink at least eight glasses, eight fl oz each (240 [2][3] mL), of water per day (64 fl oz, or 1.89 litres), and the British Dietetic Association recommends 1.8 [1] litres. This common misconception is not supported by scientific research. Various reviews of all the scientific literature on the topic performed in 2002 and 2008 could not find any solid scientific evidence [4][5][6] that recommended drinking eight glasses of water per day. In the US, the reference daily intake (RDI) for water is 3.7 litres per day (L/day) for human males older than 18, and 2.7 L/day for [7] human females older than 18 including water contained in food, beverages, and drinking water. The amount of water varies with the individual, as it depends on the condition of the subject, the amount of [8] physical exercise, and on the environmental temperature and humidity. An individual's thirst provides a [citation needed] better guide for how much water they require rather than a specific, fixed quantity. In terms of mineral nutrients intake, it is unclear what the drinking water contribution is. Inorganic minerals generally enter surface water and ground water via storm water runoff or through the Earth's crust. Treatment processes also lead to the presence of some minerals. Examples [9] include calcium,zinc, manganese, phosphate, fluoride and sodium compounds. Water generated from the biochemical metabolism of nutrients provides a significant proportion of the daily water requirements for some arthropods and desert animals, but provides only a small fraction of a human's necessary intake. There are a variety of trace elements present in virtually all potable water, some of which play a role in metabolism. For example sodium, potassium andchloride are common chemicals found in small quantities in most waters, and these elements play a role (not necessarily major) in body metabolism. Other elements such as fluoride, while beneficial in low concentrations, can cause dental problems and other issues when present at high levels. Water is essential for the growth and maintenance of our bodies, as it is involved in a number of biological processes. Profuse sweating can increase the need for electrolyte (salt) replacement. Water intoxication (which [10][11] results in hyponatremia), the process of consuming too much water too quickly, can be fatal. Further information: Water resources

Only 61 percent of people in Sub-Saharan Africa have improved drinking water.

Drinking water vending machines inThailand. One litre of purified water is sold (into the customer's own bottle) for 1 baht.

Although covering some 70% of the Earth's surface, most water is saline. Freshwater is available in almost all populated areas of the earth, although it may be expensive and the supply may not always be sustainable. Sources where water may be obtained include: ground sources such as groundwater, hyporheic zones and aquifers. precipitation which includes rain, hail, snow, fog, etc.

surface water such as rivers, streams, glaciers biological sources such as plants. the sea through desalination Water supply network

Spring water is groundwater that rises to the ground surface. Springs are often used as sources for [12] bottled waters. Tap water, delivered by domestic water systems in developed nations, refers to water piped to homes and delivered to a tap or spigot. For these water sources to be consumed safely they [13] must receive adequate treatment and meet drinking water regulations. The most efficient way to transport and deliver potable water is through pipes. Plumbing can require significant capital investment. Some systems suffer high operating costs. The cost to replace the deteriorating water and sanitation infrastructure of industrialized countries may be as high as $200 billion a year. Leakage of untreated and treated water from pipes reduces access to water. Leakage rates of [14] 50% are not uncommon in urban systems. Because of the high initial investments, many less wealthy nations cannot afford to develop or sustain appropriate infrastructure, and as a consequence people in these areas may spend a correspondingly [15] higher fraction of their income on water. 2003 statistics from El Salvador, for example, indicate that the poorest 20% of households spend more than 10% of their total income on water. In the United Kingdom [16] authorities define spending of more than 3% of one's income on water as a hardship. The the World Health Organization/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Program (JMP) for Water Supply and [17] Sanitation is the official United Nations mechanism tasked with monitoring progress towards the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) relating to drinking-water and sanitation (MDG 7, Target 7c), which is to: "Halve, by 2015, the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking-water [18] and basic sanitation". The JMP is required to use the following MDG indicator for monitoring the water component of this: Proportion of population using an improved drinking-water source. According to this indicator on improved water sources, the MDG was met in 2010, five years ahead of schedule. Over 2 billion more people used improved drinking water sources in 2010 than did in 1990. However, the job is far from finished. 780 million people are still without improved sources of drinking water, and many more still lack safe drinking water: complete information about drinking water safety is not yet available for global monitoring of safe drinking water. Continued efforts are needed to reduce urban-rural disparities and inequities associated with poverty; to dramatically increase coverage in countries in sub-Saharan Africa and Oceania; to promote global monitoring of drinking water quality; and [19] to look beyond the MDG target towards universal coverage. In the U.S, the typical nonconserving single family home uses 262 L of water per capita per day. In some parts of the country there are water supplies that are dangerously low due to drought, particularly in the [20] West and the South East region of the U.S.

Solar water disinfection application inIndonesia

One of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) set by the UN includes environmental sustainability. In [21] 2004, only 42% of people in rural areas had access to clean water. Solar water disinfection is a low-cost method of purifying water that can often be implemented with locally [22][23][24][25] available materials. Unlike methods that rely on firewood, it has low impact on the environment. One organisation working to improve the availability of safe drinking water in some the world's poorest [26] countries is WaterAid International. Operating in 26 countries, WaterAid is working to make lasting improvements to peoples' quality of life by providing long-term sustainable access to clean water in countries such as Nepal, Tanzania, Ghana and India. It also works to educate people about sanitation [27] and hygiene. The Global Framework for Action (GF4A) is an organization that brings together stakeholders, national governments, donors and NGOs (such as Water aid) to define manageable targets and deadlines. 23 [28] Countries are off-track to meet the MDG goals for improved water availability. [edit]Well

contamination

Some efforts at increasing the availability of safe drinking water have been disastrous. When the 1980s were declared the "International Decade of Water" by the United Nations, the assumption was made that groundwater is inherently safer than water from rivers, ponds, and canals. While instances of cholera, typhoid and diarrhea were reduced, other problems emerged. Sixty million people are estimated to have been poisoned by well water contaminated by excessive fluoride, which dissolved from granite rocks. The effects are particularly evident in the bone deformations of children. Similar or larger problems are anticipated in other countries including China, Uzbekistan, and Ethiopia. Although helpful for dental health in low dosage, fluoride in large amounts [29] interferes with bone formation. Half of the Bangladesh's 12 million tube wells contain unacceptable levels of arsenic due to the wells not being dug deep enough (past 100 metres). The Bangladeshi government had spent less than US$7 million of the 34 million allocated for solving the problem by the World Bank in [29][30] 1998. Natural arsenic poisoning is a global threat, 140 million people affected in 70 countries on all [31] continents. These examples illustrate the need to examine each location on a case by case basis and not assume what works in one area will work in another. [edit]Diarrhea

as a major health effect among children

Over 90% of deaths from diarrheal diseases in the developing world today occur in children under 5 years [citation needed] old. Malnutrition, especially protein-energy malnutrition, can decrease the children's resistance to infections, including water-related diarrheal diseases. From 2000-2003, 769,000 children under five years old in sub-Saharan Africa died each year from diarrheal diseases. As a result of only thirty-six percent of the population in the sub-Saharan region having access to proper means of sanitation, more than 2000 children's lives are lost every day. In South Asia, 683,000 children under five years old died each year from diarrheal disease from 2000-2003. During the same time period, in developed countries, 700 children under five years old died from diarrheal disease. Improved water supply reduces diarrhea morbidity by twenty-five percent and improvements in drinking water through proper storage in the home [32] and chlorination reduces diarrhea episodes by thirty-nine percent.

[edit]Water

quality and contaminants

Main article: Drinking water quality standards Further information: Water quality, Water pollution, and Appropriate technology#Water

EPA drinking water security poster

Parameters for drinking water quality typically fall under two categories: chemical/physical and microbiological. Chemical/physical parameters includeheavy metals, trace organic compounds, total suspended solids (TSS), and turbidity. Microbiological parameters include Coliform bacteria, E. coli, and specific pathogenic species of bacteria (such as cholera-causing Vibrio cholerae), viruses, and protozoan parasites. Chemical parameters tend to pose more of a chronic health risk through buildup of heavy metals although some components like nitrates/nitrites andarsenic can have a more immediate impact. Physical parameters affect the aesthetics and taste of the drinking water and may complicate the removal of microbial pathogens. Originally, fecal contamination was determined with the presence of coliform bacteria, a convenient marker for a class of harmful fecal pathogens. The presence of fecal coliforms (like E. Coli) serves as an indication of contamination by sewage. Additional contaminants include protozoan oocysts such [33] as Cryptosporidium sp., Giardia lamblia, Legionella, and viruses (enteric). Microbial pathogenic parameters are typically of greatest concern because of their immediate health risk. Throughout most of the world, the most common contamination of raw water sources is from human sewage and in particular human faecal pathogens and parasites. In 2006, waterborne diseases were estimated to cause 1.8 million deaths each year while about 1.1 billion people lacked [34] proper drinking water. It is clear that people in the developing world need to have access to good quality water in sufficient quantity, water purification technology and availability and distribution systems for water. In many parts of the world the only sources of water are from small streams often directly contaminated by sewage. There is increasing concern over the health effects of engineered nanoparticles (ENPs)released into the natural environment. One potential indirect exposure route is through the consumption of contaminated drinking waters. In order to address these concerns, the U.K. Drinking Water Inspectorate (DWI) has published a "Review of the risks posed to drinking water by man-made nanoparticles" (DWI 70/2/246). The study, which was funded by the Department for Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), was undertaken by the Food and Environment Research Agency (Fera) in collaboration with a multi-disciplinary team of experts including scientists from the Institute of Occupational Medicine/SAFENANO. The study explored the potential for ENPs to contaminate drinking water supplies and to establish the significance of the drinking water exposure route compared to other routes of exposure. Access to safe drinking water is indicated by proper sanitary sources. These improved drinking water sources include household connection, public standpipe, borehole condition, protected dug well, protected spring, and rain water collection. Sources that don't encourage improved drinking water to the same extent as previously mentioned include: unprotected wells, unprotected springs, rivers or ponds,

vender-provided water, bottled water (consequential of limitations in quantity, not quality of water), and tanker truck water. Access to sanitary water comes hand in hand with access to improved sanitation facilities for excreta. These facilities include connection to public sewer, connection to septic system, pour-flush latrine, and ventilated improved pit latrine. Unimproved sanitation facilities are: public [35] or shared latrine, open pit latrine, or bucket latrine. [edit]Water

treatment

Most water requires some type of treatment before use, even water from deep wells or springs. The extent of treatment depends on the source of the water. Appropriate technology options in water [36] treatment include both community-scale and household-scale point-of-use (POU) designs. A few large urban areas such as Christchurch, New Zealand have access to sufficiently pure water of sufficient [37] volume that no treatment of the raw water is required. Over the past decade, an increasing number of field-based studies have been undertaken to determine the success of POU measures in reducing waterborne disease. The ability of POU options to reduce disease is a function of both their ability to remove microbial pathogens if properly applied and such social factors as ease of use and cultural appropriateness. Technologies may generate more (or less) health benefit than their lab-based microbial removal performance would suggest. The current priority of the proponents of POU treatment is to reach large numbers of low-income households on a sustainable basis. Few POU measures have reached significant scale thus far, but efforts to promote and commercially distribute these products to the world's poor have only been under way for a few years. In emergency situations when conventional treatment systems have been compromised, water borne [38] pathogens may be killed or inactivated by boiling but this requires abundant sources of fuel, and can be very onerous on consumers, especially where it is difficult to store boiled water in sterile conditions and is not a reliable way to kill some encysted parasites such asCryptosporidium or the bacterium Clostridium. Other techniques, such as filtration, chemical disinfection, and exposure to ultraviolet radiation (including solar UV) have been demonstrated in an array of randomized control trials to significantly reduce levels of [39] water-borne disease among users in low-income countries, but these suffer from the same problems as boiling methods.