Availability of Drinking Water

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Drinking water or potable water is water of sufficiently high quality that it can be consumed or used without risk of immediate or long term harm. In most developed countries, the water supplied to households, commerce and industry is all of drinking water standard, even though only a very small proportion is actually consumed or used in food preparation.

Clean drinking water has yet to be completely recognized as a basic human right. While water plays a vital role in every aspect of life, some do not realize the gravity of the shrinking clean water sources. When unclean water is consumed, it can cause serious illnesses, sometimes leading to death.

According to statistics provided by the World Health Organization (WHO), about 1.1 billion of the world's 6 billion people do not have access to clean drinking water sources.

Drinking Water is essential to the survival of all organisms,water has always been an important and life-sustaining drink to humans. Excluding fat, water composes approximately 70% of the human body by mass. It is a crucial component of metabolic processes and serves as a solvent for many bodily solutes. Health authorities have historically suggested at least eight glasses, eight fluid ounces each (168 ml), of water per day (64 fluid ounces, or 1.89 litres),and the British Dietetic Association recommends 1.8 litres. The United States Environmental Protection Agency has determined that the average adult actually ingests 2.0 litres per day.

70% of the Earth's surface is covered by water. Water is available almost everywhere if proper methods are used to get it. Sources where water may be obtained include:

ground sources such as groundwater, hyporheic zones and aquifers. precipitation which includes rain, hail, snow, fog, etc.
surface water such as rivers, streams, glaciers
biological sources such as plants.
the sea through desalination

Access to safe water can be measured by the number of people who have a reasonable means of getting sufficient water that is safe for drinking. Availability of safe drinking water is an indicator of the health of a country. A developed country will be more efficient in collecting, cleaning and distributing water to consumers. It is a sad fact but is true that ninety percent of urban sewage in the developing world is discharged into rivers and other water bodies. In the developing world, millions of residents lack a source of safe drinking water near their homes. People get safe drinking water from various sources such as household connection, borehole, protected dug well, public standpipe etc.

But the Question that arises is : " Does everyone has safe drinking water available?"

Availability of drinking water scenario in India is very Bad as compared to other countries like USA, England, China etc. as can be observed from the underlying table:

Countries Amount
United Kingdom:100%
United States:100%
South Africa:86%

A detailed analysis can be seen in the graph shown :

Paste this map over here.. http://www.mapsofworld.com/thematic-maps/safe-drinking-water.htm

The availability of Drinking Water is hampered and altered depending upon various factors such as, Drinking Water pollution, Wastage, Demand supply ratios, Treatment methods etc.


Indian Standards has set various limits over different chemical and physical properties of Water, in order to label it as Safe and Drinking Water, a sample of water, lying in the permissible range set as per IS, is safe for drinking. Following are the IS Specifications for Drinking Water :

desirable Limit

May be extended up to 50 if toxic
substances are...
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