There is a reason that the bottled water industry rakes in billions of dollars every year. There is a reason that most municipalities in the developed world pipe treated water to their residents, whether they are in a public or private place. Clean, fresh and sanitary water is essential to our health and well-being. Most of us need at least 8-12 glasses of water every day just to stay afloat, and that water must be free from bacteria, parasites, toxins and chemicals. Otherwise, we run the risk of encountering a wide-range of diseases, illnesses and conditions that can ultimately kill us.
Cholera, polio, e-coli, botulism, hepatitis and even SARS can be found in non-treated water, and these are just a small sample of a wide range of little things that can ultimately cause big problems. Water borne contaminants impact an estimated 4 billion people a year in one form or another- 4 billion. Considering that the world’s population hovers around the 7 billion mark, this is a significant public health crisis to say the least. Drinking water from lakes, rivers, streams, or even from underground sources is not necessarily safe, and unfortunately countless people end up in the hospital because they accidentally or intentionally ingested tainted water.
We all know that water is fundamental to life on Earth, especially to our survival. Dehydration can kill us in a matter of hours in some circumstances, especially if we are exerting a lot of physical energy in hot or arid climates. If there is ever an issue with our access to fresh and clean drinking water, we only have a very short amount of time to deal with the situation before it becomes a serious life and death crisis. Think about this in the context of a major disaster, supply or delivery crisis. It only takes one event, one serious emergency or one intentional act of terror to create a public health hazard that can put the lives of thousands, if not millions in immediate danger.
A flood can put raw sewage in to the public drinking water supply. An earthquake or catastrophic failure of our infrastructure can destroy water mains and take distribution and treatment systems off line in the blink of an eye. An act of terror can introduce harmful chemicals and contaminants in to anything from bottled drinking water to what we get from our tap or bathtub. In short, it only takes a few seconds to turn the lives of a huge amount of people upside down.
Without fresh drinking water, we don’t have much time to live. Our internal organs, cells, muscles, nerves and brain will all begin to fail one by one. Because of this reality, everyone should go to great lengths to ensure that they have a reserve supply of water on hand, or a way to purify non-treated water if necessary. A disruption can come at any time, and being prepared with tablets, a filter, extra bottled water or a way to boil what comes through the tap may very well save your life.