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At Least 5 Things You Didn't Know about Water

Updated on July 7, 2014

H20. The earth’s most reliable resource that has numerous uses and functions. For most of us, it’s just a liquid that comes out of our faucets for drinking and bathing. But if you step back and take a broader look, you will see there is so much more involved when it comes to water. In fact, there are many things about water you don’t know that you will read about here. You will realize there are more things you didn’t know about water that can have a direct effect on you as consumer of this precious resource.

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Like carbon, you have a water print

In developed countries, water is used every day – for everything. Bathing, drinking, washing and of course, watering. How much water is used to conduct these daily activities? Most people don’t think about the trail or record that left as water consumption takes place. The water footprint concept is being implemented for people to be aware of their water usage habits. Not only be aware of them, but to see if they need to change certain habits towards their use of water. Taking shorter showers, even where you buy your groceries contributes to water usage. This awareness will continue to arise as more attention goes to water usage.

There’s no real difference between tap and bottled water

This has been an ongoing debate for years. These two types of waters come from different sources; tap (or municipal) water originates from lakes, streams and groundwater. But many times when it comes to processing bottled water, tap water is used instead of the commercialized glaciers and artesian sources. Even though bottled water is regulated by law and screened for possible contaminates, there is no verification process in place to make sure it’s actually coming from glaciers or a source of artesian springs. One such study involved the comparison of content in tap and bottled waters due to increasing concerns of adverse health effects from consumption of tap water. Samples were taken from municipal water supplies from 25 of the most popular cities in the U.S. Adverse health effects included certain types of cancer, dysfunction of the central nervous system, heart disease, and even death. Mineral levels of Calcium and Magnesium were measured in tap water of the major cities and bottled water companies in the U.S. and Europe. It was found that there was no significant difference in the consumption of minerals from the two drinking water sources; both sources provided as an important dietary source of Calcium, Magnesium, and Sodium. If one was concerned about their mineral content, they would have to check their tap and bottled water for these levels. So when it comes to nutrition and original source, there is no significant difference between bottled and tap water.

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Do you trust your municipal water system?

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3. No more dams.

At least they’re not building new ones anytime soon. In fact, they’re decreasing their roles in the environment and have a Dam Removal project in place. Although dams were originally built nearly 100 years ago for irrigation, hydropower and flood control purposes, they have caused extensive damage to the environment. They’ve reduced the natural levels of rivers, altered the temperature of waters which have adverse effects on species, and fluctuated the levels of reservoirs. Instead of having to pay for repairs, dams will become non-existent.

But won't abandoning dams become an environmental problem? Not if it's done correctly. For example, a dam that turned 100 years old in 2006 (The Marmot Dam in Oregon) was left for demolishing instead of trying to restore it. There was an entire process involved which involved building a temporary dam upstream in order to remove the original dam, then remove the original dam with dynamite. Once that was completed the pumps were turned off and engineers decided to leave any sediment behind that had collected over the years. They watched nature take its course when they discovered that all the build up naturally wash away as an overnight rain came and washed everything downstream by as much as two miles. In fact, Salmon were spotted swimming upstream in that same area. Although there are geographic and natural differences in various dams, experts assume this can happen again if the same approach is used to get rid of a dam.

Source: United States Environment Protection Agency (2014).
Source: United States Environment Protection Agency (2014).

An Interesting Read

Water stock could go haywire as value increases

There are many companies currently involved in the water business. With the recent issues of water that include drought and shortage, the water industry is becoming a booming business. In fact, investors have started paying attention and taking action towards stock. Some of the companies include Home Depot, General Electric and Siemens. Water stock is not only precious for consumption purposes, its also a critical element in various industries; water is used to run certain types of machines and equipment in factories. Without water a lot of these businesses wouldn’t thrive. It will be interesting to see how everything unfolds in the next few years.

Some More Interesting Water Facts from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

  • Using WaterSense labeled faucets or faucet accessories could reduce a household's faucet water use by more than 500 gallons annually—that's enough water to do 14 loads of laundry.
  • Approximately 5 to 10 percent of American homes have water leaks that drip away 90 gallons a day or more! Many of these leaks reside in old fixtures such as leaky toilets and faucets. In fact, water lost by these leaky residences could be reduced by more than 30,000 gallons if new, efficient fixtures were installed. If the 5 percent of American homes that leak the most corrected those leaks—it could save more than 177 billion gallons of water annually!
  • At least 36 states are projecting water shortages between now and 2013.
  • Each American uses an average of 100 gallons of water a day at home.

Some Additional Excellent Water Information

There is useful, free information available on the different issues with water. Are you wondering how many contaminants you have in your drinking water? Do you want to understand your water bill more? Check out these links for additional information:



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    • Glenn Stok profile image

      Glenn Stok 2 years ago from Long Island, NY

      I didn't realize that bottle water might actually come from tap water. That's really deceitful labeling if that's the case. What was the source of your information? That would be a very important addition to this hub to backup your claim.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      That was quite interesting. Thank goodness they are ending the dam building....interesting about bottle water, but I suspected it already. Here in Olympia we have an artesian well, and city residents go downtown and fill containers with is from the public tap....remember Olympia Beer...the slogan "It's the Water"...same artesian well. :)

    • Zainab Tarawali profile image
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      Musu Bangura 2 years ago from Nation's Capital

      Yeah, no sense in building things that just cost money and ultimately take a toll on the environment. As for the bottled water, I first heard about it from a Biology professor and I couldn't believe it. Then I took an Environmental Studies class when we were told the FDA has no regulation or guidelines on manufacturing bottled water. They don't oversee it, so those companies can bottle water and claim anything. So the public tap sounds safer to me!

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