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Do you know where your drinking water comes from?

drinking water

Do you know where your drinking water comes from? It’s not as simple as you might think. Here’s the journey your water takes.

In case you are reading this post chances are water is not a problem for you. You could even be having a water bottle just beside you. In any case, you can easily access water whenever you want it. However, that is not the case for a lot of people. Some nations are known even to ration water.

For some people on the planet, fresh drinking water is like a goldmine, and this post will take you through where drinking water originates from, how much remains and ways of getting more water.


Water, Where Does it come from?

97 percent of the water in our planet is in the oceans and that water is not drinkable. From the 3 percent that remains, 68 percent of it is found in the glaciers and ice caps. Groundwater accounts for about 30 percent and surface water is about 1 percent.

Water found in ice caps and glaciers have been stuck for centuries and are located on the south and north poles. Groundwater also knew as aquifers are freshwater from Mother Nature for instance wells. Surface water is water in the streams, lakes, and rivers. Precipitation replenishes all freshwater except for the glaciers.


Ways of getting drinking water

All our drinking water starts as either surface water or groundwater before it concludes its journey in your water bottle. Through pumping water goes through pipes from its primary source then finally ends up in our homes, schools or businesses.

If you live in a large city, then your water comes from a public supply. Private companies, as well as the local authority, will provide water to where you live. Thanks to the underground pipes, the water gets to your home, and you get your monthly water bill. For people in upcountry areas of the U.S, they rely on private water companies for their water.


The present condition of the planet’s sources of Freshwater

With the increase of contaminants and massive extraction, the quality and quantity of fresh water are declining. These activities hurt our ecosystem. For instance, there is a high decline of freshwater species and water contaminants have already made their way into our food chain.


Depletion of Freshwater

It is only 1 percent of freshwater that gets unevenly replenished by rainwater across the world. Thanks to the high freshwater demand, people are heavily extracting water from groundwater and freshwater ecosystems all over the planet.

Nature Conservancy states that depletion of water is causing depreciation of whole ecosystems which are crucial in offering vital services to economies and societies. The agricultural industry is the major cause of water depletion since a lot of water extraction is used for agricultural needs.

This water extraction takes away the homes of freshwater water species. Moreover, the population of birds, fish, mammals, amphibians and reptile species has gone down by 76 percent in the last four decades.


Desalination

Desalination is one of the methods of providing alternative sources of freshwater. Desalination involves getting rid of salts as well as other minerals from ocean water to make it safe for human consumption. With the decrease in freshwater sources, desalination is becoming the most popular solution for our water problems.

Desalination in America

The USA has only started the implementation of desalination especially with the opening of a plant near the coast of San Diego. This plant oozes about 50 million gallons of consumable water daily. More than 100 million gallons of ocean water from Agua Hedionda runs through the plant and pretreatment commences. The plant uses the technology of reverse osmosis to remove salt from the seawater.

The only issue is Money

It is not possible to conduct desalination all over the globe because of its expensive nature. One thousand freshwater gallons from desalination will cost you up to $5. The process of desalination also requires 200 million kWh every day. Most desalination plants require up to 10 kWh of energy to produce a single freshwater cubic meter.

It is not as easy as you think

Therefore when you reach for a cup of water, keep in mind that it comes from an infinite source within our planet. Do not let yourself be comfortable since the present sources are being over-stretched. One answer to our water problem is desalination; however, this solution is not as easy as you think. It is costly and consumes a lot of energy.

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