Drinking water

Drinking water or potable water is water safe enough to be consumed by humans or used with low risk of immediate or long term harm. In most developed countries, the water supplied to households, commerce and industry meets drinking water standards, even though only a very small proportion is actually consumed or used in food preparation. Typical uses (for other than potable purposes) include toilet flushing, washing and landscape irrigation. Over large parts of the world, humans have inadequate access to potable water and use sources contaminated with disease vectors, pathogens or unacceptable levels of toxins or suspended solids. Drinking or using such water in food preparation leads to widespread acute and chronic illnesses and is a major cause of death and misery in many countries. Reduction of waterborne diseases is a major public health goal in developing countries. Water has always been an important and life-sustaining drink to humans and is essential to the survival of all known organisms.[1] 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. The United States Environmental Protection Agency in risk assessment calculations previously assumed that the average American adult ingests 2.0 litres per day.[2] However, the United States Environmental Protection Agency now suggests that either science-based age-specific ranges or an all ages level (based on National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2003-2006 data) be used.[3] Drinking water of a variety of qualities is bottled. Bottled water is sold for public consumption throughout the world. Some health authorities have suggested that people drink at least eight glasses, eight fl oz each (240 mL), of water per day (64 fl oz, or 1.89 litres),[2][4] and the British Dietetic Association recommends 1.8 litres.[1] This common misconception is not supported by s

ientific research. Various reviews of all the scientific literature on the topic performed in 2002 and 2008 could not find any solid scientific evidence that recommended drinking eight glasses of water per day.[5][6][7] In the US, the reference daily intake (RDI) for water is 3.7 litres per day (L/day) for human males older than 18, and 2.7 L/day for human females older than 18[8] including water contained in food, beverages, and drinking water. The amount of water varies with the individual, as it depends on the condition of the subject, the amount of physical exercise, and on the environmental temperature and humidity.[9] An individual's thirst provides a better guide for how much water they require rather than a specific, fixed quantity.[10] In terms of mineral nutrients intake, it is unclear what the drinking water contribution is. Inorganic minerals generally enter surface water and ground water via storm water runoff or through the Earth's crust. Treatment processes also lead to the presence of some minerals. Examples include calcium, zinc, manganese, phosphate, fluoride and sodium compounds.[11] Water generated from the biochemical metabolism of nutrients provides a significant proportion of the daily water requirements for some arthropods and desert animals, but provides only a small fraction of a human's necessary intake. There are a variety of trace elements present in virtually all potable water, some of which play a role in metabolism. For example sodium, potassium and chloride are common chemicals found in small quantities in most waters, and these elements play a role in body metabolism. Other elements such as fluoride, while beneficial in low concentrations, can cause dental problems and other issues when present at high levels. Profuse sweating can increase the need for electrolyte (salt) replacement. Water intoxication (which results in hyponatremia), the process of consuming too much water too quickly, can be fatal.