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The original item was published from 7/14/2017 11:21:00 AM to 9/1/2017 12:00:03 AM.

News Flash


Posted on: July 12, 2017

[ARCHIVED] Truth on Tap


If you’re enjoying a glass of water right now, consider that a dinosaur drank it before you did. This is not a metaphor. Not one of the trillions of gallons of water on Earth is new — all of it has been here as long as the planet itself. Water circulates endlessly through the hydrologic cycle, evaporating from the ocean’s surface, condensing to form clouds, falling down as rain and snow, and rising up through springs and aquifers. Less than 3 percent of this water is fresh; the rest is salty. And the water we have now is all we’re ever going to get. The very thought of limits on fresh water can make a person thirsty, which makes sense. The human body is about 60 percent water, and we can’t survive longer than three days without drinking it. What’s more, we can’t just lean down and lap water from a puddle next to the curb, like dogs or birds — largely because we don’t have the bacteria in our guts that help us digest its particular microorganisms. We need water without microbes, which could make us sick immediately, and without chemical contaminants — like perchlorate, chromium-6, and methane, which have all been found in groundwater sources and may make us sick eventually. Notably, the majority of us in the United States have drinkable water with the simple turn of a faucet — yet we often choose to avoid it. Anxious about increasing groundwater pollution, as well as recent infrastructure disasters like the one in Flint, Mich., and elsewhere, many of us habitually turn away from the tap and toward bottled water, which is marketed as a healthier alternative. But unless we’re in an emergency situation (or no other water is available), the assumption that bottled water is safer or better than the tap is usually wrong. “The fact is, despite Flint — and Flint is a tragedy for a lot of reasons — more people get safe tap water today than ever before in human history,” says James Salzman, JD, MSc, a professor of environmental law at UC Santa Barbara and UCLA. “People take that for granted.” Salzman and other public-health experts suggest that the belief that bottled water will protect us from the risks of groundwater pollution and an aging water infrastructure is misguided. This conviction also comes with a high price tag, both economically and environmentally. In the link below, these experts and others explain how to choose — and treat — our drinking water more wisely. By Courtney Helgoe , Senior Editor, Experience Life Magazine

Choose and Treat Our Drinking Water More Wisely
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