Earth Sciences

Potable water

Today, it is known worldwide what potable water is, however, many have not taken charge of delving into the subject because just having the cup of potable water that they will drink in their homes satisfies them, however, it should be of general knowledge about where it lies, what is its process in order to be consumed, how that water is treated and which products are used in order to do this, different topics regarding potable water that will be discussed below.

What is potable water?

It is called potable water, the water that has been treated previously to make it fit for human consumption, this water must not retain substances or microbiological organisms that cause disease or that may harm human health.

Definition of potable water

Potable water, in this context, is suitable water for human consumption.


Since the beginning of time, people have stored water in containers and pots, in the past, when man was a hunter and collector, the water used for drinking was from rivers, approximately 7000 years ago in Jericho, Israel, the water stored in wells, which began to be used as a water source, then they began to distribute water, through simple and practical channels dug in sand or rocks, later increased hollow pipes and then used ceramics, wood or metal.

Drinking water consumption

Drinking water can be consumed in many ways, is mostly used to treat supplies before cooking and is used in the kitchen in the same way when preparing food, plus people drink it alone.


The main characteristics of potable water are:

What is it for?

This water goes through an extremely exhaustive sanitary treatment, which releases it from bacteria, toxins and radioactivity that could very well be harmful to a population’ s health; the function of water not only lies in that it can be ingested by people, but also with potable water, crops are irrigated in agricultural fields, in order to avoid and prevent crop contamination.

Where does drinking water come from?


The water found in wells or springs to be ingested must be treated, however, this does not mean that the population of some cultures need to do so, since by tradition and custom, they take it directly from wells, springs or streams.

This process or treatment that is given to water is done in potable water plants, in which spring water or well goes through various changes and stages, to be able to achieve the final product that would convert it into potable water.

Since water is odorless, colorless and tasteless, it can be distinguished that it is already suitable for drinking, therefore, at this point, water is already drinkable.



All water distribution requires a highly organized infrastructure, to provide users with the vital liquid, these infrastructures are diverse and range from a complex system of pipes that facilitate the resource mobility, to containers or water tanks, therefore, the way in which it is distributed will cause a given price, the more complex the system, the greater the cost, however, since potable water cannot be stored in common containers because it can be contaminated.

Potable water shortage

Potable water shortages have been proliferating throughout the world, thanks to the improper use of it, the irrational use of the vital liquid is costing its existence to many countries, so many of them have started to ration potable water; the liquid demands in recent years have risen greatly due to population growth and because a single person consumes approximately 300 liters of drinking water a day, which makes the situation more complex.

And although the scarcity of drinking water may be due to natural circumstances, the human being has cooperated to reduce the existence of water, not being aware when using it.


Contaminating the environment is simple, and it seems to be the hobby of most people, some wells and springs had to be treated, cleaned and closed to the population, since there were plastic residues or waste that should not be there, and that obviously are factors that pollute fresh water, which is why measures were taken, trellising the wells and springs, so that, unconsciousness does not affect the little fresh water reserve that remains in existence.

Ph of drinking water

The pH of drinking water must be between 6.5 and 9.5 in order to be considered safe.


Importance of potable water

Drinking potable water is one of the most vital resources needed in the world, not so much for coexistence, but also for people’s health, many people a year die from infections because of the lack of vital fluid, however, not many value having such an important resource at their disposal, the importance of drinking water is not only in these areas, also lies in the agricultural field, because it is used to ensure that crops are optimal and therefore, suffer less risk when consuming them.

Written by Gabriela Briceño V.

How to cite this article?

Briceño V., Gabriela. (2019). Potable water. Recovered on 24 February, 2024, de Euston96:

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