Did you know that there is something like 326 million trillion gallons of water on Earth? Less than 3% of that massive number is fresh water and believe it or not, more than a whooping two-thirds of that small percentage is trapped in ice caps and glaciers. It's hard to imagine that even with all of that water, one day we could be without it or at least fighting to keep it. So, why shouldn't we take water for granted? It has been predicted that by the year 2025, most countries of Africa and West Asia will face severe water scarcity due to increasing population and the unfortunate exploitation of this valuable natural resource. Water could easily be considered "renewable" but because of Man and their processes, this resource is not renewing itself as fast as it globally should. Some of these processes that is no doubt affecting our water supply are:
To fully understand how this is a danger, you must first understand how acid rain happens. Burning of fossil fuels releases compounds into the air that interact with water that is in the air. This is how an acid raindrop is formed and this man-made raindrop is made of nitric and sulfuric acid, which pollutes the water and ground that's affected by the rain. This causes damage that is sometimes beyond repair in plant life and soil. This is the reason why soil is considered a "non-renewable" resource.
Non-point water pollution comes from indirect sources such as agricultural runoff, waste mining, paved roads, and common industrial activity. How? The toxic chemicals that is created from such as mentioned above gets washed into our water system as any other water would. Rainwater drainage is just one example of many.
The Oil Industry
You can pretty much take all of the components of the production/retraction of oil and include it in the reason why it is affecting our water supply. Drilling, laying pipeline etc. all opens up the potential of water pollution. Barges that have accidental spills have a major effect on our fresh water supply and marine life. Even though these things are not done purposely, accidents do happen and unfortunately, these accidents can and will happen more often than not.
The Popularity Of Bottled Water And The Negatives
As the groundwater sources are becoming more and more polluted, more people are realizing that it may not be safe to drink tap water anymore. Between this fact and the important role that water plays in keeping the body healthy, the popularity of glass bottled water has been on the rise. Bottled water companies have made huge profits by using their resources to bring us the best of the best in water quality and surprisingly, some not.
With parts of our world facing shortages everyday, this increases the worth of having purified water readily available to drink especially in a glass bottle. For example, makers of Bling H20 uses water from the English Mountain Spring located at the base of the Great Smokey Mountains.
This spring is located in Dandridge, Tennessee in the USA. Their water is in high demand and it's shipped from Tennessee to many highly populated and sought after locations in the world like Hollywood, Tokyo and London. The price of this high-end water probably wouldn't be as expensive if it were not for the "bling bling" bottle that it comes in. This product, endorsed by many elite celebs and athletes is on average $55 USD per bottle.
While the maker (Hollywood producer Kevin Boyd) of Bling H20 says that the "luxury" water has gained its popularity mostly from the flashy image (frosted glass bottle laced with real Swarovski crystals) as opposed to taste, we have to admit that the process that goes into making the water is state-of-the-art. The water is Filtered to clean up the taste by using ozone, ultraviolet and microfiltration. If you can't picture yourself drinking expensive water from a glass bottle but understand the appeal and want pure water in your life, you must be careful in choosing.
PepsiCo, the makers of Aquafina bottled water admitted in the year 2007 that their water is nothing more than water from the tap. Unfortunately, Nestle’s Pure Life and Coca-Cola’s Dasani, the world’s largest corporate water brands, are also guilty of fooling the public and making billions off of the fact that people are naive and gullible. They have marked up the price of a gallon of tap water 2,000 times and have gotten away with it. “Bottled water manufacturers are not required to disclose as much information as municipal water utilities because of gaps in federal oversight authority, according to reports released yesterday by government auditors." - Sarah Goodman (New York Times Newspaper). Something very important to remember, if the bottle says something along the lines of "from a municipal (public) source" or "from a community water system," that means it's coming right from the tap.
Plastic Bottle vs. Glass Bottle
The truth is that many people drink plastic bottled water and even worse, they sometimes reuse them. Plastic water bottles are barely safe for one-time use but to reuse them can be disastrous. Phthalates, which is a chemical that can disrupt testosterone and other hormones can make its' way into your water bottle through the plastic bottle itself, the cap or liner. Yes, there are regulatory standards that limit the presence of this chemical in tap water, but there is nothing in place to limit the amount of phthalates in bottled water. If you have to drink water from plastic bottles, you should NEVER leave it unattended in a vehicle because weather can speed up the process of developing residue. This residue can and will end up throughout the water inside and even worse, inside your body after consuming. These chemicals digested into the human body has been said to cause issues in expectant mothers, young children, male reproductive organs and rumored to have cancer-causing agents. In other words, plastic is toxic! It's true that glass water bottles may be more susceptible to breaking or shattering but there are easy workarounds to avoid that from happening. Some water bottle companies are starting to make their glass bottles with sleeves for a better grip and/or clumsy people. The advancement in technology also is changing the way the glass bottle is made by making it shatter-proof. If that doesn't push you more toward choosing glass, just know that glass bottles are permeable to air, doesn’t impact the flavor of its contents, and has the longest history of safe human usage. The manufacturing process is also environmentally friendly when you compare the fact that there are 80% of plastic bottles made ending up in a landfills globally.
Sources Of Water
There are multiple sources of water available to us besides tap water. According to EPA standards, tap water is okay to drink even though it only goes through a basic filtration process. This basic filtration process includes adding chemicals to supposedly rid the water of more harmful chemicals. Chlorine is also added to kill off bacteria in the water so it's no surprise that people seek alternative types of water to consume. It's also common for people to want to utilize other water sources (besides tap) for things such as farming. Below is a list of common alternatives and the reasoning why there are great choices opposed to regular water from the tap. It may also help you to understand as to why having real pure water can sometimes cause a dent in your wallet. The process involved in producing real pure water is not easy nor cheap.
Deep Sea Water and Iceberg Water
Some many thousands of years ago, icebergs in Greenland melted causing a water makeup that was different in composition compared to the surrounding sea water. Because of these differences, the iceberg water sank deep into the ocean floor some 3,000+ miles and now circles the Earth every several thousand years. This iceberg water is desalinated and is in high demand by corporations to sell to the public. The Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority (NELHA) gives access to this desalinated water through a massive pipeline that is drilled down below the sea. As this process became more known, the market for iceberg water (or the purity that is produced from it) grew. Icebergs are formed by glaciers so there is more to the process than just picking a random iceberg and bottling the goodness from it. Those who are experienced in this industry say that you should never pick from an iceberg that came from the side or bottom of the glacier as this would be where the most sediment would be. These same experts have the ability to tell whether or not snow that fell in many years earlier had fell trapped underneath additional snowfall. Why does this matter? Because those particular icebergs contain that fallen, trapped snow deep inside where it has been protected from the mass majority of toxins and bacteria in the seawater and air. This type of water without exposure to pollutants and such, can easily create some of the best and purest water known to man. You would think that more people would flock to this industry and make great money but the problem is that it is very dangerous. Harvesting icebergs can only produce a limited amount of water at a time due to logistical difficulties for example, the weight/height of an iceberg can sink a ship. This includes the ships that are designed to take the contents back to shore for rinsing, melting and bottling.
Spring water may be the most controversial on the list due to the fact that not all spring water is pure and actually a high percentage of it is not pure at all. A vast majority of bottled spring water is 100% from the source, not 100% free of impurities. People automatically assume that "100% Pure" means just what it says but unfortunately, that is the game that big corporations play when it's time to put a label on what you are buying. If the water collected is brought to the surface by the use of its own pressure from the spring, the presence of bad bacteria is almost non-existent but not truly. By definition, spring water is water that flows through the surface of the earth with no help from man-made machines. However, if there is a need for a drill in the vicinity, there is still a big chance of contamination. To really know what you are drinking, you have to take into consideration the TDS level of the water and this can be determined by the geology of the local area where the water comes from. TDS is a measure of the combined content of all inorganic substances contained in a liquid (in micro-granular suspended form).
Harvesting and collecting rainwater, especially in remote areas of the world like Tasmania is a very good way of producing pure water. In these remote locations of the world, air pollution is almost non-existent so that means that the water that comes down during a rainstorm is some of the purest. Even still, the collection and harvesting process must be done properly in order for the water to be drinkable. For the most part, rainwater has extremely low mineral content and a lot of times is nitrate free.
To understand why distilled water may not be the best choice, you have to understand how the filtration process works in this instance. Contaminated water is boiled to remove harsh toxins, micro-organisms and bacteria. This process is supposed to create pure water steam and that steam is captured and cooled leaving the bacteria behind. Unfortunately, organic compounds and some metals that is found in the pre-boiled regular water have a very high boiling point. This very high boiling point exceeds the boiling point for water so technically, distilled water is not 100% pure either.
A tapped artesian aquifer, which is usually made from sandstone, will force the water up to the top of the well without the use of a man-made machine. The pressure built up in an aquifer will bring the water to the surface with force and can even sometimes create a permanent fountain. Artesian water matches spring water’s range of characteristics as you can tell, but the possibility of contamination is low due to no toxins from a man-made machine.