The importance of water, in relation to the Earth and its inhabitants, can only be rivaled by the importance of oxygen. Living things depend on water in their habitat. However, the abundance of water is not as important as the usefulness of the water. Much of the Earth is made up of this unique liquid combination of hydrogen and oxygen, but the amount that can be used for human consumption is less than one percent (Boland, 2003). In essence, humans use potable water, water that is suitable for drinking and cooking, to satisfy their basic needs. Drinking (potable) water is free from poisonous substances, contaminants, and disease-causing organisms, which would be unsafe for human consumption (Gulflink).
In pre-historic times, inhabitants understood the importance of water sustainability for survival of the population. In ancient civilizations, water sustainability and potable water were both emphasized as ideals for the progress and continuity of the societies. Today, humans continue to progress in their understanding and utilization of technological processes to develop potable water. As a result, water filtration, water management, and water conservation efforts are becoming more effective and commonplace. Thus, as the technology continues to improve the quality of water as a resource, we cannot forget the basis to which past cultures had accepted: the continual existence or sustainability of this limited resource.
A Historical Perspective
Man’s existence relies on water, and he cannot survive for more than seven days without it. M.N. Baker, a water quality historian, states, “In the earliest days of the human race, water was taken as found. It might be pure and abundant, plentiful but mud...
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Phippen, Kari. Ancient Egypt – culture: The ancient Egyptian people’s dependence on the Nile. <http://carbon.cudenver.edu/stc-link/AE/culture.html>. Accessed 11 October 2004.
Potable water through solar energy. The Tribune – India. 18 March 2003. <http://www.gci.ch/Communication/DigitalForum/digiforum/ARTICLES/article2003/potablewater.html>. Accessed 11 October 2004.
University of South Florida Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Water resources and environmental systems. Flyer.
VOC polluted water remediation technology. Sasakura Engineering Company Ltd. <http://www.sasakura.co.jp/sasakura_e/html/e_water16.html>. Accessed 11 October 2004.
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