WHERE DOES THE BEST WATER COME FROM?

Water-around-the-globe-300x250Published by http://www.H2OEnergyFlow.com, Written by, Samuel K. Burlum, Investigative Reporter and author, SamBurlum.com

Source: So many bottled water companies claim that their water comes from the best sources; and with all of the different types of water out there for human consumption, it can be confusing. We investigate into where some of the best sources of water comes from, spanning around the world on a search of the planets freshest and cleanest water supplies.

Although 70% of the Earth’s surface is covered in water, only one percent is available for fresh drinking water. So where does the best water come from?

Words like “all natural,” and “spring water,” can seem very appetizing, however when it comes to getting a better understanding of where the best sources of water are originated in the world, we need to dig a little deeper, actually sometimes a lot deeper, and sometimes we must look at earths most highest peaks.  Most sources of drinking water at that come from the faucet comes from one of two places; surface water or ground water.

Surface water is water that is collected from lakes, reservoirs, rivers, and streams. This is the case for most major metro urban centers, where they rely on these sources for their fresh drinking water. Ground water on the other hand comes from aquifers (highly permeable rocks, soil, and/or sand) which can be extracted through wells that pump the water to the surface or found as natural fed springs. In places where these resources have been over taxed, waste water is treated and put back into water distribution systems for use. In some areas where fresh water is scarce, salt water is refined into fresh water through the process of desalination.

So where does the ground water come from? Ground water is water that is located under the surface land ground locked up in spaces called pores, which are between rocks, sand, soil, and can be located between cracks and crevices deep below the earth’s surface. In some instances, these water supplies are under such immense pressure, it can spring up through the surface on their own. In most cases, a well must be dug, and water must be pumped to the surface. Most of these types of water pockets are trapped in what is known as aquifers. There are two common types of aquifers; sand and gravel aquifers and bedrock aquifers. Water found in sand and gravel is located where water is trapped between the individual chunks of gravel and grains of sand. In situations of bedrock aquifers, most water is found along fractures within the rock, joints, voids, and valleys between different slides of rock formations. This is the hardest of water to drill for since this water is surrounded by more solid material, however this water usually is more pure than sand and gravel aquifers because just as much as it traps water within, it blocks other materials from seeping into these spaces.

How ground water is replenished, is process of natural cycles. Rain water, melting snow and ice seep through the layers of soil and make their way into these natural aquifers. Most water that enters topsoil layers is absorbed by plant life; some water is held by the soil as topsoil acts as a natural sponge. The rest of the water moves down into the layers of the aquifer. In order for water to be allowed to flow to a well or a stream, an aquifer must be at its maximum potential. The surface of these aquifers, which leak water into wells, streams, and springs, is called the water table; which is the very top of where water levels are located. In cases where there is an over-abundance of surface water, streams, ponds, and lakes begin to take shape.

This natural “factory,” an eco-system that regenerates water and produces our most valuable resource is extremely sensitive. This is why our number one concern is how do we properly handle waste management, surface runoff, and limit the number of harmful toxins we introduce to this cycle.

Surface water is usually categorized as water that comes from streams, rivers, lakes, and reservoirs. Surface water is more preferred since it is less expensive to extract, collect, and redistribute to faucets of households. Because surface water is more available, and does not have any natural barriers to help filter pollution or containments, it must be property treated using both chemical and mechanical filtration processes. Surface water is more sensitive and susceptible to pollution due to it being out in the “open.” Brownsfields, which are properties contaminated by pollution in the ground, are monitored, so that run off contamination does not seep into surface water supplies.

Artesian wells are a pumpless water source that uses pipes to allow underground water that is under natural pressure that pushes it to the surface. Scientist say this type of well defies the laws of gravity, because the pressure that builds up between layers of rock has a chance to subside when water finds at path to the surface. This water is considered one of the most pure sources since the water from and artesian well becomes naturally filters as it passes through porous rock. Artesian wells are very popular due to their lack of needed infrastructure to access the water from these sources. This form of water source needs minimal filtration and can be brought to the surface with little or no effort.

The most pure of water supplies, which equates two-thirds of the available fresh drinking water for human consumption, is trapped inside frozen ice caps, icebergs, and glaciers. Knowing this, countries within the artic circles, have the most valuable water, as those with the highest elevated mountain regions which have the most snow fall. Yet is takes many years for this water source to reach a point where humans can access it.

The Institute of Earth Sciences, located at Germany’s Heidelberg University, claims that the cleanest and most pure water source within the article circle is located in the small village of Elmvale, Ontario. The reason for this is that this water is accessible and contains less atmospheric lead than any other source within the Article Circle.

Water located under Mt. Fuji, in Japan is considered one of the most pure sources in the Pacific. Located under the famous volcano, just 600 meters below the surface is the natural spring that provides this fresh water natural resource.

The Andes Mountains and Valleys contain some of the most pure water in the world, due to the minimal human urban development. With far and between modern manufacturing, and the added bonus of ice caps, snow caps, and glaciers, water that makes it into these aquifers have had minimal contact with any man made infrastructure or human influence (waste water, pollution, toxic run off, etc.).

The countries of Canada, Finland, Switzerland, Fiji, Norway, Austria, Sweden, and New Zealand are deemed to have the richest and pure water sources in the world, both from ground water, surface water, and when it is delivered to the tap.

Countries to have the worst water quality include Mexico, Indonesia, Tajikistan, Mongolia, and India; due to the high concentrations of manmade pollution that has found its way into water sources. Years of abusive land management practices, harsh agriculture (due to the over usage of fertilizers and chemicals), poor waste management, manufacturing and mining pollution had been major contributing factors to why the majority of these countries water supplies have been compromised.

Poor water quality has a significant impact on human health. Many poisonous and fatal bacteria, viruses, and disease thrive in dirty water conditions. Insects that carry harmful illnesses and disease find haven in polluted water sources which only makes matters worse. As human beings we have a social responsibility to contain as much of our negative influences upon fresh water sources as much as possible, and curb practices that compromise both surface and ground water resources. To ignore our own findings from professionals, advocates, and schools of thought about the importance of preserving fresh water sources will only lead to our own demise. We should not discount these warnings and take responsibility for protecting the most important natural resource to our existence.

Samuel K. Burlum is an investigative reporter who authors articles related to economic development, innovation, green technology, business strategy, and public policy concerns. Burlum is also a career entrepreneur who lends his expertise as a consultant to start-up companies, small businesses, and mid-size enterprises, providing advisement in several areas including strategic business planning, business development, supply chain management, and systems integration. He is also author of The Race to Protect Our Most Important Natural Resource-Water, Main Street Survival Guide for Small Businesses, and Life in the Green Lane-in Pursuit of the American Dream.

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NEW TECHNOLOGY AIMED AT REDUCING WATER USAGE

Water-Technology-300x250Published by http://www.H2OEnergyFlow.com, Written by, Samuel K. Burlum, Investigative Reporterand author of The Green Lane, a syndicated column Published on 01/15/17, SamBurlum.com Exclusive

Source: In order to preserve our most valuable natural resource – clean, fresh, drinking water, we must explore new ways of handling and protecting current water supplies, as new technology is made available. There have been many technological advances aimed at conserving water usage. They range from small, at home products and scale up to technology and systems for industrial use, all focused on reducing our use of fresh clean water.

Technology that allows us to live cleaner, more convenient lives is constantly developing. One area of concentrated focus where technological advances and improvements are moving at a rapid pace concerns water – its conservation, distribution, and treatment. In some areas of the world, these technologies could not come into existence or be instituted any faster, as some geographic locations deal with a growing population spiraling out of control, placing new demands on available clean fresh water supplies.

Some of these technologies are simple upgrades to already available water treatment products within the home. Others however, are completely innovative and radical by traditional standard, designed to handle water treatment and/or water conservation on a massive scale. The practice of water conservation is nothing new, with methods and technology that have allowed us to improve over time. As we have serious concerns surrounding waste water treatment, and how we can reuse gray water, new ideas have been instituted on deciding when we can use gray water when the situation does not require fresh drinking water supply to complete a function.

One place in the home where water is wasted most frequently is in the bathroom. The toilet’s design has not really changed all that much, but in some cases, the internal parts within the tank have advanced. Some of these toilets have become very efficient in the amount of water it takes to operate it. Tap and flush technology are new regulators and float systems allow for more precise measurement of water needed by the toilet; allowing for the necessary amount of designated water measurement to be used. This is more advanced than the traditional float style regulator. Another innovative, inexpensive technology is a toilet tank bag, which is simple to use and install. The bag is filled with water, then placed in the tank of the toilet. The toilet bag displaces some of the water in the tank and allows for the toilet to use less water when it is replenishing the toilet with water following a flush.

The shower ranks second place in the area of water efficiency loss in the home. Many faucet manufactures have begun to offer high efficiency faucet aerators, shower heads, and faucets. The purpose of these the new faucets is to push the water around through powerful jets, providing a similar effect as if you had more water. These new faucet designs can cut back usage of ten gallons for every ten minutes of shower time. That may not mean much to a household of one, but it would in a household of four to six people, where each person may shower at least once a day. It is estimated that a household of four to six people can save up to 400 gallons a month in water usage using these types of apparatuses. That is over 4800 gallons of water a year savings, which translates into savings in the pocket.

Water flow valves are not well known technology, since they are standard in most homes. Home owners are largely unaware that they can already regulate water usage just by turning the knob of these valve devices. Closing the valve by 50% will allow you to see drastic savings, for in most cases, you do not need the amount of water which exits the faucet to do the job at that time. There are do-it-yourself complete at-home water conservation kits, which range in price, with many under just a few hundred dollars. These kits also provide additional information on how to save on your monthly water usage and include a water flow meter that can measure usage around the house. Then you can fine tune faucets, water valves, and appliances yourself.

One of the latest at-home technologies showing up along Main Street, USA in clean fresh drinking water is the installation of Smart Metering of water usage, and the integration of Smart Watering controls. Regulating and measuring water usage has gone digital, and some would say it is more accurate, saving us thousands of gallons of water per household per month. These meters are more precise in the way they measure usage and control distribution. Advancements in ultrasonic metering have led to many water utilities installing these new meters across the landscape. Ultrasonic water metering and water controlling devices have no or minimal moving parts, allowing for more accurate data about water usage to be provided, and less maintenance of the actual metering unit.

In commercial and industrial applications, the reuse of treated gray water has been gradually accepted for some applications. For the purposes of operating air conditioning and cooling units for buildings and businesses, the reuse of gray water for use inside these machines has been more prevalent in these past few years. Gray water that has been filtered has been used for secondary uses, such as water for cooling systems, irrigation for farming and gardening, and even for reuse at car washes. More research has been conducted in how to extract soap and cleaners from gray water so at some point gray water can be recycled for use in other things such as laundry. Gray water that has been treated is now being sold as a secondary water commodity by waste water treatment facilities and water utilities to help offset treatment cost, while conserving clean fresh water for drinking, showers, and cooking.

Systems for collecting rain water have also grown in popularity. Before we had an understanding on the importance of rain water to our fresh water system, we were unaware of the many opportunities that allowed for us to collect rain water. New practices in creating parking lots with pervious surfaces, either by way of drainage, or by using stone and brick instead of asphalt or concrete paving, has allowed for some commercial building owners to collect runoff rain water into giant holding tanks and cisterns. Subsequently, the collected water is then pumped to distribution locations. This water is then recycled for irrigation of gardens and lawns, or for allocation towards decorative fountains. Rain water has also been used for the washing of buildings and sidewalks.

Commercial businesses are encouraged to install ultra-low flow toilets and faucets as one way to reduce water usage. Commercial buildings that use water to cool equipment can recycle gray water or switch to air cooled equipment for heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration. These types of buildings which still use steam boilers for heat, can upgrade the type of boiler to a machine that will use treated gray water. Many businesses have switched from fossil fuel and water driven utilities to electric, in order to save on the use of water and energy. New commercial dishwashers and ice machines use far less water than previously designed equipment. Although it may seem an expensive investment at first, use of the new equipment will save a restaurant, hotel, hospital, or school thousands of gallons of lost water a year to aging and cafeteria degrading equipment. Commercial appliances with the EPA Water Sense decal have been tested and rated for water conservation and cost savings.

On the side of sustainable manufacturing are the many practices of water conservation, mandated by law. Gone are the days when manufacturing sites were allowed to discharge waste water into local lakes, rivers, and streams. The old mindset was, “out of sight, out of mind,” and polluted water would be sent down the river, only to end up as some else’s environmental hazard. Many manufacturing factories that exist today are responsible for proper hazardous waste disposal, separating waste from the water that carries it. Just like the human body, there is no substitute for clean fresh water in manufacturing goods and products, especially in the making of plastics, vehicles, appliances, and other popular modern conveniences. Factories now filter and recycle water to be reused in processing raw goods.

Water treatment systems for recycling and reusing water have evolved over time. One of the most popular of today’s latest systems is the Membrane Bioreactor system (MBR), which separates and treats different types of liquids and solids. Dissolved air floatation is a type of device that bubbles any contaminate to the surface of water. Then the frothy foam can be skimmed from the top surface of the water. Filtration and softening systems are most commonly found in factories. There, an individual would see oversized units that resemble what a person can find in their home. New systems known as Reject Recovery Reverse Osmosis Water Treatment systems can be found being used in the soda and beverage industry. Sequencing batch recovery systems are found in engine and automobile manufacturing sites.

Other methods of water conservation now practiced by environmentalist include the replacement of protected wetlands and the reclaiming of these natural eco-systems. Research has found that wetlands have served us as a natural filter and barrier. The natural ecosystem of plants, animal life, and soil when mixed with water, naturally filters sediment and other material carried downstream. The wetlands function as a natural water purification system, as it collects pollutants and heavy metals, well before these materials enter the natural waterways or ground water aquifers. Wetlands trap many of these harmful agents and either converts them to less harmful materials, or traps them and buries them into the under-muck layers. Surrounding ecosystems, where ground water has been restored, has aided in lessening the need for humanly created irrigation systems for lawns, gardens, and natural plant life found either at a well decorated office complex or housing unit.

Samuel K. Burlum is an investigative reporter who authors articles related to economic development, innovation, green technology, business strategy, and public policy concerns. Burlum is also a career entrepreneur who lends his expertise as a consultant to start-up companies, small businesses, and mid-size enterprises, providing advisement in several areas including strategic business planning, business development, supply chain management, and systems integration. He is also author of The Race to Protect Our Most Important Natural Resource-Water, Main Street Survival Guide for Small Businesses, and Life in the Green Lane-in Pursuit of the American Dream.

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