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Water 101

 

Water is a basic necessity – no living thing can survive long without it. Next to the air we breathe, water is our most important resource for existence. Yet as a society, we pay too little attention to it. Although it seems that there is plenty of water on earth, the amount available for human consumption is surprisingly small.

  • 75% of the earth is covered by water

  • 97% of that is salt water

  • 3% of the earth’s water is fresh

  • 2% of the earth’s fresh water is frozen in ice caps and glaciers

  • 1% of the water on the entire earth is available for human consumption, and all other fresh water is used by plants and animals

 

 

Human Water Consumption

 

People use nearly 30% of the world’s total accessible renewable fresh water supply. By 2025, that number may reach 70%, indicating that our current trend toward the increasing use of available fresh water is untenable. Source.

 

 

 

http://www.lenntech.com/specific-questions-water-quantities.htm

The world’s consumable water is very unevenly distributed and usage patterns vary significantly. Moreover, water is becoming more and more scarce worldwide.

Of the water we do consume, agriculture is responsible for 70% of its use, industry 23% and domestic use 7% (mostly for sanitation, with only a small fraction used for drinking). According to Environment Canada, less than 3% of municipally treated water is actually used for drinking. The rest goes down the drain or is used to wash our cars or water the grass. This means we are using only a minuscule amount of fresh water for its most important reason – personal hydration – and not nearly enough for proper health maintenance.

 

How Much Water Should We Drink?

 

The UN suggests that each person needs a minimum of 20–50 litres of water per day to ensure their basic needs for drinking, cooking and cleaning1 (In contrast, Canadians use an average of 329 litres a day2).

However, the average Canadian adult drinks onlyabout 1.5 litres of water per day, and that includes water used in drinks such as coffee, tea and juice,3 well below the recommended daily amount.

For good health it is recommended that the average adult consume 8–12 glasses of water per day (approximately 2–2.5 litres). You can also calculate your total by multiplying your body weight by 15 millilitres (e.g., a 150 lb. person x 15 ml/lb. = 2.25 litres of water per day). Not all of this needs to come from drinking water. Fruits, vegetables and non-caffeinated drinks also add to your tally. Of course, during exercise or on hot days, you should drink more to avoid dehydration.

This link provides a great source of information on drinking water and health from water expert Dr. Batmanghelidj. Here you can read how many of our common health issues are related to chronic dehydration because we don’t drink enough water.

 

If Drinking the Right Amount of Water is so Important, How Can Canadians Get More?

 

Tap water, spring water, demineralized water, water in refillable or single-use bottles and containers, water filters, water coolers – the list goes on. How do they differ? What works best for you? Where do you want your water? What are the impacts of each choice?

All of these options are relevant, and on our website we hope to bring you answers to these questions and more. If you don’t find what you’re looking for or if you just want to talk water, drop us a line.

 

 

Sources:

1  World Water Assessment Programme (WWAP) http://www.unwater.org/statistics_san.html.

2  Environment Canada, Water Conservation http://www.ec.gc.ca/eau-water/default.asp?lang=En&n=E85F9FC8-1

3  Health Canada http://livingwatersmart.ca/didyouknow.html.

 

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