Most of us take water for granted. Usually we just turn on a faucet when we need "clean" water and it is there for us. (Imagine if you turned your faucet on and no water came out!) When we want "purer" water for drinking, we often buy bottled water because it is supposed to be cleaner and healthier than tap water. And most of those empty bottles end up in landfills creating an environmental problem. Regardless of what water you choose, there are issues that you may or may not realize. Below are some startling water facts and information to help you understand the state of water on earth and how it impacts you.
- The United Nations officials continue to warn that the next world wars will be fought over survival issues, and topping that list is drinkable water as the world faces a severe water crisis (1)
- As early as 2013, the EPA estimates that 36 states will face water shortage problems*
- The Natural Resources Defense Council estimates that in the US alone more than 900,000 people become ill each year from water-borne disease and as many as 900 will die
- Water in the coming years will be the "Next Oil Crisis" (1)
- Tap water may contain contaminants including metals, pesticides, fertilizer run-off, pharmaceutical drugs, arsenic, MTBE which is fuel additive, and countless others (2) – (3)
- There are dozens of contaminants in city water systems that are never tested for but are present in the water (2)
- Chlorine, which has been used for over 100 years, is used to kill bacteria in tap water, and is the cheapest form of disinfection; not the safest or most effective (4)
- 75% of American homes use chlorine-treated water which has been linked to causing rectal, bladder and breast cancers attributed to byproducts related to water chlorination (4)
- Atmospheric water (vapor) is among the most abundant sources of water on earth which is estimated to be over 3 quadrillion** gallons at all times
- Treated atmospheric water is the healthiest, safest and purest water you can drink, and will
- The freshwater supply in the Great Lakes totals about 6 quadrillion gallons
- The average American wastes 30 gallons of water per day
- Many water bottlers "package" filtered tap water and resell it at very high profit margins, although they may contain bacteria and various contaminants (5)
- Over 1.5 million barrels of oil are used to make plastic water bottles; enough to fuel 100,000 cars a year (5)
- We discard over 30,000,000,000 (billion!) plastic water bottles annually and most of them end up in landfills (5)
- Of the over 2000 faucet type filters, only a few remove significant amount of parasites, viruses, bacteria, pesticides and heavy metals.
- Water coolers using 5 gallon bottled water if not maintained properly, and most are not, may possibly be contaminated with a build up of algae and bacteria
- If you were to take a 5 gallon pail of water which would represent all the water on earth, and empty all but 2-1/4 cups, that would be all the freshwater on the planet. However, only 1% of this water is available for consumption because most of our freshwater is located in glaciers, ice caps and soil. (6)
- Population growth, environmental changes and pollution have pushed fresh water supplies past the brink of collapse.
* Environmental Protection Agency, May 3, 2007
** A quadrillion is 1000 x 1 trillion = 1,000,000,000,000,000
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