Throughout history, water has been crucial for sustaining life, both for humans and other organisms, making it a significant part of the world. There are many areas of the world where humans do not have access to sufficient potable water or rely on water sources that are contaminated with toxins, suspended solids, pathogens, or disease vectors.
Either drinking this water or using it to cook can lead to both chronic and acute illnesses, which is one of the major causes of suffering and even death around the world. Therefore, reducing waterborne diseases with developing safe water sources has become a major goal for public health, particularly in developing countries.
What Is Potable Water?
You may be asking yourself what is potable water, but the answer is fairly simple. Potable water has been filtered, cleaned, or treated to meet the standards for drinking water, meaning that it is reasonably clear of contaminants and harmful bacteria. This makes the water safe for drinking and cooking. Water purified via reverse osmosis, distilled, or UV filtered and water treated within municipal water systems all qualify as potable water.
Most non-potable water will be raw water from ground wells, springs, ground water, rivers, or lakes that is not treated. It is not safe to drink as there are unknown contaminants in untested water. It is possible for non-potable water to taste normal, but carry health risks.
Potable water access is crucial and people in developed countries may not consider where they get their water from. These countries are frequently able to simply turn on their faucet and get potable, fresh water that may even be enriched. Developing countries, however, particularly those in Africa, feature very limited access to potable or safe water.