Humans can live for up to a month with no food, but we’ll die in a few days without water. Our bodies are 60 percent water; our brains are over 75 percent water. Water cushions our joints and carries nutrients and oxygen to our body. We lose water every day through our sweat and urine. Clean drinking water is pretty important, but it’s something we rarely think about.
- Our drinking water comes from two sources, ground water and surface water. Ground water is water that seeps into the ground and stays trapped there in sand and gravel. We get it out through wells. Surface water comes from rain and snow and is stored in lakes and rivers.
- Most people in the United States get their water through a public water system. The water is cleaned and treated at a water treatment center. It comes to us through large underground pipes. People living in cities and the suburbs get their water this way and pay a monthly bill to the local government, depending on how much water they use.
- People living in rural areas sometimes get their water from individual wells, usually found on their property or nearby. This water is free, but there are expenses to drill and maintain wells.
- Water can be polluted by anything it comes in contact with — bacteria, lead, antibiotics, or prescription medicines. Water treatment centers can remove most harmful materials, but it’s important that we do our part.
- Sometimes water becomes unsafe to drink. When this happens, people must boil their water, treat it with chemicals, or use bottled water.
Watch a video about how water gets to you.