The Need for Water and Basic Facts about the Resource Water

Human body weight is approximately 50 to 65% water6, which must be replenished on a daily basis; with a minimum of eight glasses per day recommended for each person. A human can survive without food for several weeks but without water we die in around 3 to 4 days! Water stands as the second most urgent body need after air. Like the human body, many of the fruits and vegetables, which we eat, are also mostly water. Obviously, water is an extremely important resource even though people in many developed countries often WW ater is the second most take its relative abundance and high quality for urgent body need after air. granted. The availability of fresh water is essential for our societies to thrive and flourish.

The world's surface is made up of approximately 80% water, which is an indestructible substance. Of this water approximately 97% is salt water, 2% frozen in glaciers, and only 1% is available for drinking water supply using traditional treatment methods. Through the natural patterns of world climate conditions and the hydrologic cycle, the availability of this water varies widely over time and distance. In any point in time, some part of the world is enduring severe drought while other parts are experiencing floods. Rarely does this natural cycle coincide with the routine variation in man's use of water. The amount of water on the earth is fixed and limited. Our predecessors have probably drunk several times in the past the water we drink today! The water cycle hasn't really changed much since the beginning of time. The water cycle is essentially evaporation, cloud formation, rainfall, and passage to the sea by rivers and streams. In a 100-year period, a water molecule spends 98 years in the ocean, 20 months as ice, about 2 weeks in lakes and rivers, and less than a week in the atmosphere. People interfere with the later stages of the cycle and redirect that passage back to the sea through water piping or distribution systems, human bodies, sewer systems, and then back to the sea.

Although the water cycle hasn't changed since the passage of time, the treatment technology used to make it usable, and the distribution technologies, have changed considerably. This is particularly true with the advent of consolidation of populations into major city centers; usually with increasing industry, pollution, and demands for services. The more polluted water becomes, the more expensive it is to treat. The farther away the source from the population center, the higher the transportation cost of water. Given continuing worldwide population expansions and relocations, it is inevitable that the provision of water is becoming increasingly expensive.

Recent initiatives to better utilize water resources include water conservation, recycling, and the use of reclaimed water. Desalination, a way of tapping into the vast resources of sea water, has historically been very energy intensive and costly; however, improvements in the technology have reduced costs and pressures from supply shortages and population growth have resulted in a growing number of desalination plants around the world. Still, desalination is an option largely for coastal cities at this time. Water conservation is a proven technique for customer consumption management. It is now realized that conservation is not just a stopgap action during drought, but an nly 1% of the earth's water is freshwater that is readily available for water supply using traditional treatment methods—we should take more care of it!

efficient and cost-effective way of life for sustainable communities. Various technologies to reclaim, reuse, or recycle water for nonpotable uses are now required practice in many forward-thinking communities, as these methods satisfy multiple needs for water supply. Some communities are constructing separate, dual distribution systems to convey reclaimed water for uses such as outdoor irrigation and fire fighting. All of these innovations reflect progressive thinking on ways to supply growing populations despite static or declining resources. Still, these modified methods of supply and demand management require notable investments in infrastructure, public education, and legislation. It makes as much sense to seek to economically control losses since loss volumes represent water that has already been treated and energized for delivery to prevailing standards, only to fail to reach customer use (real losses) or generate revenue to the water utility (apparent losses).

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Dealing With Bronchitis

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