Talk:Drinking water

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Drinking water classifications[edit]

There does not seem to be any detailed information on the types of drinking water (i.e. Spring Water, Artesian Water, etc.) and the way these products are qualified and regulated. I propose a section under Drinking water, covering the various legal classifications of water, with more detailed information. Consumers need to understand the difference between "municipal", "artesian" and "spring" drinking water.--Mabu2 (talk) 21:36, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

The precise definitions of these terms depend on the legal context in which they are used i.e. different countries have different laws governing these defintions. I would suggest you look at Bottled water for an overview of how "spring water" is defined when sold as a product in the US and the EU. Something similar could be done for drinking water on this page also, but it runs the risk of having to deal with too many countries' definitions. What about a general statement on the difference between municipally supplied water and privately supplied water, and then a breakdown of the types of private supply? Jimjamjak (talk) 12:35, 6 March 2008 (UTC)


I hear a lot about how cold water supposedly decreases your immune system and causes stomach ache, and that hot water has lots of benefits such as increased hydration power. Is there any truth to any of this (I've always assumed it all to be rubbish)? Would be great to have something about this in the article. --DreamsReign 03:19, 6 September 2006 (UTC)

Your assumption is correct. It is rubbish. Jimjamjak (talk) 12:24, 6 March 2008 (UTC

[icyx] according to traditional chinese medicine, it does have an effect on our bodies.


The proper term for this is potable water. I'll switch when there is more to work with - Marshman 04:49, 6 May 2005 (UTC)

In the United States, potable water supplied through distribution systems such as owned/operated by water utilities is referred to as "Drinking Water":
See USEPA Drinking Water page.--WCFrancis 14:25, 10 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I would disagree with User:Marshman here. I would suggest that "Drinking water" is the most appropriate name for this article. In the European Union, water intended for human consumption is dealt with by Council Directive 98/83/EC, which is referred to as the "Drinking Water Directive". Within the legislation, such water is referred to as "water intended for human consumption". Potable water suggests that the water is fit for drinking, whereas drinking water (or water intended for human consumption) implies that the water is both potable and intended for drinking/consumption. Furthermore, the parametric quality standards set by the EU in Annex I to this legislation are based primarily on the World Health Organization's 'Guidelines for drinking water quality', where the term "drinking water" is used extensively. The EU is not alone in using the WHO guidelines as the basis for their standards: other agencies and states worldwide use the terminology and standards therein (albeit adapted).Jimjamjak (talk) 11:35, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
  • I agree that potable water is the proper term. Calling this drinking water when in reality it is relatively rarely used for drinking (as opposed to cooking, cleaning, washing) is confusing. II | (t - c) 18:21, 20 March 2016 (UTC)
I think also for laypersons, drinking water is clearer than "portable water", so I would leave it as drinking water. Drinking water does not mean it is just being drunk, but it means it has drinking water quality (even if it is then used to flush the toilet!). EvMsmile (talk) 08:09, 23 April 2016 (UTC)


I have removed the external link to the anti-fluoridation site and added a link to fluoridation article. There is absolutely no need for an anti-fluoridation external link when that issue is covered in existing wikipedia articles especially since this article doesn't even mention fluoridation. Even a more balanced fluoridation external link is unnecessary. If you want to add a direct link to the fluoridation controvery article, that would be acceptable but IMHO unnecessary since anyone can see the link from fluoridation article. Nil Einne 18:49, 29 November 2005 (UTC)

Your replacement of the external link with the link within WP was a good idea. Given the immense scope of the subject of drinking water per se, I don't think that this issue demands any more than a link from this article.Jimjamjak (talk) 11:01, 18 November 2008 (UTC)

Merge from Safe water[edit]

I am proposing that Safe water be merged here. The current article provides a very heavily biased accounted centred on the USA experience with little relevance elsewhere that isn't already covered in Drinking water. Mrs Trellis 15:07, 9 September 2006 (UTC)

ok to merge safe water into drinking water. but neither should be merged with water quality as someone has proposed elsewhere. Anlace 19:33, 10 September 2006 (UTC)
support to merge safe water into drinking water and to keep water quality separate. But I also suggest to merge both safe water and drinking water into water supply. The stub on tap water could also be mergend into it. Water supply is the only article that is not heavily biased on the US experience so it may be a good candidate to host the other articles. Also, the section on water availability should be merged into water resources--Mschiffler 13:48, 16 December 2006 (UTC)
While I agree there is some minor overlap between the two articles, I disagree with merging drinking water into water supply. I think that the two concepts are too disparate. My interpretation of drinking water is that it refers primarily to the quality of drinking water, and that the composition and the presence or absence of drinking water is relevant within this context. By contrast, water supply refers primarily to the management and infrastructure for the delivery of water. While the supply of water is often of drinking water it may also include the supply of non-potable water (such as for irrigation). I think that the origin, treatment, delivery and final products should continue to be separate, if interlinked articles. There is plenty to say on each of them. T He He 09:16, 3 January 2007 (UTC)
Futher discussion of proposed merger with water supply can be found below in section #Merger proposal with water supply —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Gorman (talkcontribs) 05:03, 1 February 2007 (UTC).


This article lists "expiration" as a "normal physiological activity" that requires water. Expiration means dying. Were they referring to respiration? -Jimmy 11:44, 28 September 2006 (UTC) Is it OK to merge safe water??? Potable (or drinking) water is used mainly for human consumption. Water that is used for agricultural or some aspects of animal breeding is not essentially potable but must be safe. Therefore I think that these two terms must be separated.

Global availability[edit]

Some of the countries listed in that section have the highest rate of access to safe drinking water in their region (ie Iran) so to cite these countries, who are all political foes of USA, as examples there seems POV and politically driven. --Patrick987 05:17, 13 October 2006 (UTC)

The source is cited. Can you give us a more NPOV summary of global availability? It's a germane issue. Cheers, -Will Beback 05:49, 13 October 2006 (UTC)
I didnt contribute to the original list, but ive added two more. Im not aware these two countries are "foes" of the usa. by the way iran does not have the highest rate of access in its region; iran ranks in the middle third of countries in the middle east. it seems like the list gives a useful insight to the widespread distribution of the problem. the summary already says asia is a big participant (one assumes china and india are the big numbers there). Joan-of-arc 06:01, 13 October 2006 (UTC)
92% of people in Iran have access to safe drinking water, that's one of the highest percentages in the Middle East region. Your list seems like a POV fork for political means, so please don't remove my POV tag. If you're actually interested in impartial data, you should be listing all countries and the percentage of the population without access to safe drinking water just like the actual source you're citing, not just a selective list with misleading crude numbers you've calculated yourself. --Patrick987 07:11, 13 October 2006 (UTC)
Partick, if you see a problem then go ahead and fix it. Why not add the top ten and bottom ten worldwide? Or whatever seems representative. -Will Beback 08:22, 13 October 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for the suggestion. I agree, lets add the the top ten and bottom ten worldwide percentage-wise per population, just as presented in the source without being selective. If Joan won't do it, I'll fix it myself tomarrow.--Patrick987 09:26, 13 October 2006 (UTC)
The top ten and bottom ten will not be very enlightening. the top ten (good) countries in population served will be USA, Uk, Australia, sweden etc who have 100 % access and who mostly are from the west or are US allies. the top (worst) entries will be the lesser developed giants like china, india, pakistan etc. and mostly asian and some african. this format will lead to very little useful info beyond what people could surmise and will look like region bashing. at least now there are examples from all over the world. the format shown is have countries of different sizes and regions of the world. Antennaman 14:37, 13 October 2006 (UTC)
Good point about the top ten. Looking at the source again I see that another useful set of numbers would be the averages for each region. That sidesteps impugning or favoring any particular nation. -Will Beback 18:10, 13 October 2006 (UTC)
I have tried to compromise the approaches by adding some of the top countries in a sentence in the text and not belabouring the point that they are all 100 %. Then ive added a sentence mentioning where the big numbers are of unserved population, again without belabouring the numbers because everyone knows that china and india etc are huge in many measures of population. Thats an excellent idea about the regional averages to add in. Ill try to add that when i have time. I think the midrange countries are interesting and deserve a place here for perspective. Incidently I ve checked a couple of sources on Iran and found Iran is purely average in its region. Cydperez 18:33, 13 October 2006 (UTC)
Citing the top and bottom countries is enough, I'm replacing the POV selective list of countries with a larger list of countries. --Patrick987 23:13, 13 October 2006 (UTC)
Ok I've expanded the list to twenty countries with with % of population with access to safe drinking, to make the section less selective and more NPOV, exactly based the original source's format and findings. --Patrick987 00:03, 14 October 2006 (UTC)
Ironic that the editor who keeps calling others POV is espousing a list with no representation from the most populated continent...Asia. The numeric order listing also makes much more sense for readers to assimilate. Cdcdoc 02:47, 15 October 2006 (UTC)

If folks can't agree on the makeup of the list then let's just leave it off. -Will Beback 05:58, 15 October 2006 (UTC)

This is the silliest edit war I've seen in a long time. Once again, as a compromise I suggest using the regional averages that are in the source. Another alternative is removing the list entirely. -Will Beback 08:30, 7 November 2006 (UTC)
I quite agree! I've not seen many edit wars quite so ridiculous on WP in several months! I suggest that the table should be removed since I am not sure whether it adds particular value to the article, anyway.Jimjamjak (talk) 11:08, 18 November 2008 (UTC)


this section should be deleted as nonsense unless it is explained or expanded promptly Anlace 15:00, 8 November 2006 (UTC)

External link cull[edit]

Following WP:EL, I've gotten rid of a bunch of external links that I don't think relate to this article. In general I've gotten rid of very commercial sites, sites that are only indirectly related to the article (mostly related to water treatment or supply (not the point of this article)) and sites that don't provide more information than the article should. If you disagree with the changes I've made, feel free to discuss it here. T He He 10:09, 3 January 2007 (UTC)

Merger proposal with water supply[edit]

  • stongly oppose merger of this description. there are many water supply systems all over the world of very different types. many of these have nothing to do with drinking water. even in the case of municipal supplies, there is a clear distinction of the engineering aspect of supply from the product of drinking water. besides this argument both of the topics cover trmendously large scope and deserve articles of their own. Anlace 22:43, 8 January 2007 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose This is ridiculous, based even on something as obvious as the size of the articles in question, which would be phenomenal if combined. Yes, one could put the two in the same article without it seeming out of place, but the scope of each article does not sufficiently overlap as to merit a merger. Gorman 05:01, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
  • oppose. Cburnett 13:29, 6 February 2007 (UTC)
Thank you Cburnett for taking the merge tag off per concensus here. Hopefully this article can develop peacefully now without the spectre of an inappropriate merge hanging over it. Cheers. Anlace 15:04, 6 February 2007 (UTC)


Is it just me, or does the exclamation "Water is good for you!" in the metabolism section sound a little silly? Andri Egilsson 16:23, 23 April 2007 (UTC) And/Or the part that says "Water has always been an important and life-sustaining drink to humans and is essential to the survival of all organisms." Of course it always has, we haven't changed... (talk) 04:47, 18 April 2011 (UTC)

Drinking water quality monitoring[edit]

Currently this section contains very little about monitoring. Useful additions would include brief descriptions of:

  • monitoring parameters (classes or groups of parameters would be sufficient, rather than listing/describing each parameter)
  • monitoring techniques (sampling, instrumentation, etc.)
  • detection & quantification issues
  • trends in monitoring results.

The two sentences on the Washington D.C. lead problem, in the way they are discussed here, are off-topic for this article. The "so what?" question was not addressed. A discussion on lead in drinking water per se would be relevant, and the D.C. situation could be cited as an example of a current problem. While the award to the Washington Post authors is commendable, its mention here is irrelevant and should be deleted. Moreau1 05:26, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

I've deleted the "off-topic" template, as the offending text has been deleted. Moreau1 (talk) 05:42, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
Thanks to for adding the paragraphs on monitoring parameters. Moreau1 (talk) 05:42, 31 December 2007 (UTC)


Is this text really important? However, before removing it from your body, after consuming water, you will put on weight, in proportion to how much you have consumed. Mikael Häggström (talk) 17:02, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

Indiana Symbols category[edit]

User:Reywas92 added this page to the Symbols of Indiana category namespace under good faith but I ask, "Is this sort of thing desirable in an encyclopedia for global readership?" It seems to me very US-centric, for a start, which makes it of extremely limited interest/use. It seems like this kind of categorisation just groups together rather unrelated information.Jimjamjak (talk) 16:00, 14 March 2008 (UTC)

I removed the category.Jimjamjak (talk) 10:57, 18 November 2008 (UTC)

Daily water intake requirement[edit]

This article seems to contradict the Requirement section. I'm not sure if it deserves to be added as a counterpoint. --Elliskev 16:34, 3 April 2008 (UTC)


There is a persistent myth that people should try to drink 8 cups of water per day but there is no evidence to support that.

Seems to be a flat contradiction to

Thus, a person needs to drink approximately 2–3 L of water per day.


drinking 2 L of water, along with normal diet will suffice in replenishing fluids.

2 L is just about 8.5 cups, so if there isn't any "evidence to support that" then the second block should probably go. If there is evidence to support those numbers, then the first line should probably go. --Avedomni (talk) 15:23, 1 May 2008 (UTC)

A recurrent problem with these calculations appears to be that the water ingested with food tends to be left out of the estimate, and this misunderstanding is probably behind the apparent contradiction. Even dry foods contain an estimated 30% of water; fruit and vegetables a much higher proportion. So a very high proportion of the needed water intake is acquired in food - the mistake is in thinking that we need to literally drink the adequate water intake requirement. Interestingly, this error seems to have underpinned the original "8x8" estimate. See this article: for one perspective on this. In general, water intake appears to be quite well regulated by normal feelings of thirst, although this can be undermined in the very young, elderly, or those who have taken drugs. The bottled water industry does not appear particularly anxious to dispel overestimates of water requirements, can't imagine why!Orbitalforam (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 16:19, 6 August 2011 (UTC).

Problems when drinking too few or too much water[edit]

See following site on extra info on this topic which needs to be added to the article: Water imbalance problems

Thanks, KVDP (talk) 11:34, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

density etc of real typical drinking water[edit]

This article needs much more physical data, density etc of real typical drinking water. Actual concentration levels of various typical dissolved materials. All of the other water articles only have data for pure-theory water, not real water! - (talk) 10:48, 6 June 2008 (UTC)

"Water that is not safe for human consumption, but is not harmful for human use"[edit]

What? So it is unsafe, but not harmful, so we're taking some risk by drinking it? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:21, 2 November 2008 (UTC)

You are right, it is a confusing sentence and right there in the introduction. The whole article is in urgent need of revision but I will start at the beginning and try and ensure it makes more sense. Velela (talk) 17:50, 2 November 2008 (UTC)
"Drinking water is water that is of sufficiently high quality that it can be drunk without risk of immediate or long term harm." I would suggest revising this sentence so that it implies that the risk is low rather than absent, since that is clearly not the case. Drinking water standards are developed to minimise risk to populations consuming the water, but technical and economic constraints necessitate some level of acceptable risk being allowed (albeit relatively small in developed countries).Jimjamjak (talk) 10:35, 18 November 2008 (UTC)

Extensive bottled water information unnecessary here[edit]

There is no need for this page to deal extensively with bottled water since this is dealt with on another page. I will delete the content added here on this subject.Jimjamjak (talk) 10:38, 18 November 2008 (UTC)


There are several hand drawn diagrams on this page which I don't think should be included here. I would suggest that User:KVDP moves these images to pages on Survival skills or similar. I will delete them from these pages unless it is considered appropriate to allow them to remain.Jimjamjak (talk) 10:57, 18 November 2008 (UTC)


I don't think that the paragraph under "Indicators of Safe Drinking Water" is particularly clearly written, nor am I too sure what this is attempting to explain. It seems that there is a lot of text here to basically explain that areas with developed drinking water infrastructure are likely to have higher quality drinking water. I think it needs rewriting or deleting.Jimjamjak (talk) 11:15, 18 November 2008 (UTC)

Restructuring of article, particularly relating to disease[edit]

The provision of drinking water can be considered a public health measure. At present the way the article deals with the health aspects of drinking water is rather confused. I would suggest that sections should be developed that deal separately with:

  1. the nutritional value of water (necessity of consumption, requirements etc.);
  2. acute disease (i.e. infectious, water-borne disease); and
  3. chronic disease (i.e. environmental disease due to the presence of chemical contamination).

Perhaps mention might also be made of acute disease caused by high levels of chemical contaminants (e.g. Camelford water pollution incident, Arsenicosis in Bangladesh.) Jimjamjak (talk) 11:40, 18 November 2008 (UTC)

Objectives, not plans[edit]

"Plans to improve availability of drinking water". This title suggests that the UN has a concrete plan for achieving increased access to water. The Millenium Development Goals actually represent objectives, rather than plans. Member states sign an agreement to meet these objectives - how they do so is to a large extent up to them.Jimjamjak (talk) 15:36, 18 November 2008 (UTC)

In addition, it might be worth pointing out that this section should be covered elsewhere in the article, for example beneath the heading access to water.Jimjamjak (talk) 15:37, 18 November 2008 (UTC)

Globalize: Drinking water regulation[edit]

Could anyone with information about regulatory procedures/entities outside the USA please add information to the Drinking water regulation section. --ADtalk 17:59, 23 December 2008 (UTC)


Perhaps it could be added to the article that in the "developed countries" up to 31% of (potable water-grade) water is simply flushed (for toilet use), only 5% or less is consumed (often by bought, commercial water; not those from the water supply system) and the remaining 64% is used for hygiene and dishes.

This while in some African countries (example of Luanda-Angola's capital) the water is sold in bags and is extremely pricy (5$ is think) and eg the water amount for body hygiene is very small (often washing is done with a cup; eg in most Sahel-countries) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:23, 23 January 2009 (UTC)

DIY Water filters[edit]

Water_filter#Homemade_water_filters are also an appropriate water filtering technology. Include in article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:11, 9 February 2009 (UTC)

No. they are a most inappropriate technology and should be actively discouraged. If used, they pose very significant health risk. Velela (talk) 15:25, 9 February 2009 (UTC)
I beg to differ, it is all in the way how the filter is made. If done correctly, they can be a very good and low cost water purifier. This does not however always mean that they can make the water potable, and may require the putting in sequence of several filters after another. See treatment pond for an example of a filter that can be put in place. Sand filters can be made DIY aswell. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:33, 10 February 2009 (UTC)
Treatment ponds (as described in the article) do not produce drinking water. No amount of home made filters made from grass charcoal of grass will produce drinking water. Even the reference that you yourself provided only suggests using these methods prior to through boiling. Sand filters only work if they are properly constructed and conditioned Slow sand filters. Suggesting in an encyclopaedic article that drinking water can be produced in the wild using home made filters is wilfully dangerous. Velela (talk) 13:41, 10 February 2009 (UTC)

Indicators of safe drinking water[edit]

This edited text was reverted:

Access to sanitary water comes hand in hand with access to improved sanitation facilities for excreta. These facilities include foremost systems based on ecological sanitation (ideally composting toilets), or -if this is not possible- regular toilets connecting to public sewers, or connecting to closed septic systems, or in the worst case drainage-based septic systems, and latrines as the pour-flush latrine and ventilated improved pit latrine. Other unimproved sanitation facilities include public or shared latrine, open pit latrine, or bucket latrine[1].

Please reformulate and reintroduce or implement guidance on ecological sanitaton somewhere else in article. It makes it sound as if feces and organic waste is something to be disposed off (which is incorrect, it is fertiliser and a valuable resource!), and gives credit to latrines!, which are a major source of the water contamination in the first place as they use drainage (meaning the feces is given free runoff into the soil, under the top layer of it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:30, 10 February 2009 (UTC)

I reverted your edit because it lacked both relevance and applicability. It might well fit into Sewage treatment as a consideration of alternative options to large scale municipal treatment. In reality, in the developed world, the supply of drinking water and the disposal of sewage have been almost completely distanced from one another because of the great improvements in technology in the treatment of sewage and in the treatment of raw water to provide drinking water. But even here most well treated sewage effluents contain large concentrations of human gut bacteria including many pathogens. High quality raw water treatment ensures that these are prevented from entering the drinking water supply system. In the less developed world, improvements in sanitation would undoubtedly reduce the overall bacterial load in many surface and some ground waters but not to the extent that many disease would be impacted. This only happens when appropriate treatment for raw water is put in place. It is worth bearing in mind that in many areas and especially the tropics, water borne pathogens and parasites, not necessarily of human origin, remain a major risk associated with drinking and bathing waters. No amount of compost toilets will reduce those risks. In summary this article is not about sewage treatment but Sewage treatment is. It might also be helpful if you were to get a user name and a user page so that editors can more readily assess the likely veracity of your edits based on past edits. Even if you decide not to do so, it is a courtesy to sign your edits using four tildes ~~~~ Velela (talk) 20:44, 10 February 2009 (UTC)

Humans vs Animals[edit]

Might be interesting to cover the differences in this respect, e.g. how animals can get away with drinking from puddles and other "unclean" sources that would make humans ill. EdX20 (talk) 17:44, 9 June 2009 (UTC)

It might on the other hand be better to cover the topic in Water pollution. Humans contract diseases from untreated waters because so many of them are contaminated by human sewage containing human pathogens. No other animal is either so populous or has developed a sewage disposal infrastructure that disposes of a bacteria and virus rich waste into surface and ground waters. Having said that there is no reason why animal diseases cannot be spread by water and it is probable that some are spread in this way. Brucellosis spread amongst cattle is one obvious example.  Velela  Velela Talk   09:50, 10 June 2009 (UTC)

Disinfection of water using alternative methods[edit]

I see that the alternatives presented are described as suffering "from the same problems as boiling methods." Which problems are these? Does this refer to the problems of storage?Jimjamjak (talk) 22:45, 10 September 2009 (UTC)


Perhaps 2 links and or images can be added: 1 of the WaterPyramid/Aqua Aero WaterSystems BV 1 of Hatenboer-Water/TU Delft water-desalination wind turbine, see (talk) 13:33, 27 January 2010 (UTC)

There are far too many images on this page. Several of them are strikingly uninformative e.g. the photograph of mineral water. I will remove a couple unless there are good objections.Jimjamjak (talk) 14:44, 2 September 2010 (UTC)

Totally agree. If you ever have a minute perhaps you could try the same trick on River! I tried once but the images just reproduce like rabbits.  Velella  Velella Talk   15:44, 2 September 2010 (UTC)

Disconnecting rivers from seawater mouths[edit]

A schematic showing how a freshwater river can be disconnected from a seawater mouth.

It may be useful to implement the info above on how we can increase the water availability to reduce the amount of polluted or insufficient drining water in developing countries. (talk) 09:18, 15 January 2010 (UTC)

Dew harvesters[edit]

Dew harvesters are not described at the acess-section. These include nets, aswell as Andrew Parker's new device based on the stenocara beetle; see, (talk) 14:57, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

Feel free to add this to the article yourself.Jimjamjak (talk) 11:23, 29 January 2010 (UTC)

Diarrhea as a major health effect among children[edit]

The lead statement in this section is badly misquoted from its source document. There is a world of difference from saying that "Over 90% of deaths from diarrhoeal diseases in the developing world today occur in children under 5 years old." to saying that "diarrhea causes 90% of deaths of under 5's. As of 2004 pneumonia had passed diarrhea as the primary killer of under-five's at 19% and diarrhea had dropped to 17% ([2]). I believe there an even lower, widely published, more recent estimate as of 2008 at around 14%, but will come back with the source. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Konaallan (talkcontribs) 11:49, 21 May 2010 (UTC)

Absolutely correct. Text has been changed but please feel free to update in the light of more recent evidence..  Velela  Velela Talk   12:12, 21 May 2010 (UTC)

Planetary boundaries[edit]

Add Consumption for freshwater per person is a Planetary boundaries metric. (talk) 03:44, 30 March 2011 (UTC)

Why? — Arthur Rubin (talk) 08:39, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
Why, what? (talk) 17:09, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
Resource for Planetary boundaries: "Boundaries for a Healthy Planet" by Jonathan Foley, Gretchen C. Daily, Robert Howarth, David A. Vaccari, Adele C. Morris, Eric F. Lambin, Scott C. Doney, Peter H. Gleick and David W. Fahey Scientific American April 2010 (talk) 19:02, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
You're advertising the topic, just as you were advertising when I first noticed you. However, even assuming it were an appropriate topic to link, drinking water is not the primary use of "freshwater consumption]]", so you'd need to find another article to spam the link to Planetary boundaries to. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 19:16, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
Do you have a reference for not the primary use of? If this is not original research please add that here; since per Talk:Planetary boundaries Potable water (which is drinkable water) is a Planetary boundary. Even if it were not, what article link would you suggest (just curious from Special:Contributions/Arthur_Rubin your comment An example of political commentary on Talk:Individual and political action on climate change as a caption for File:Nested sustainability-v2.gif linked from a Wikipedia:Good articles Sustainability)? (talk) 22:08, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
You said, "freshwater". If you meant "potable water", then you should have said that. However, the question of the notability of the topic "Planetary boundaries would still be relevant. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 10:13, 31 March 2011 (UTC)

Per Planetary boundaries the planetary boundary in the table is Global potable water use and the description is consumption for freshwater per person (metric). (talk) 00:45, 1 April 2011 (UTC)

Even if that were accurate, potable water is not drinking water. However, it's not accurate: Subtitles in real articles (reliable sources) are not considered "reliable"; how much less is a subtitle in a Wikipedia article? — Arthur Rubin (talk) 05:46, 1 April 2011 (UTC)
Check for yourself where Potable water goes ... (talk) 06:30, 1 April 2011 (UTC)
My mistake. The other 3 arguments are still good, though. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 06:44, 1 April 2011 (UTC)
What subtitles? (talk) 18:15, 1 April 2011 (UTC)
While I'm reluctant to involve myself in this discussion that may have antecedents of which I am not familiar, and although I don't think "planetary boundaries" merits inclusion in the WP:LEDE, I would not objected to brief inclusion in the article body with the Scientific American citation. Walter Siegmund (talk) 20:24, 1 April 2011 (UTC)
That would be an excellent solution, provided that the Scientific American article refers specifically to drinking water or potable water in the text, not just as a subtitle or table heading. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 06:07, 2 April 2011 (UTC)
Good point. I found no mention of the two terms you mention in the Scientific American article. Careful reading of the article indicates that it is fresh water that is a Planetary Boundary. Drinking water is a miniscule portion of fresh water. So, my corrected opinion is that it is fresh water that may and should reference Planetary boundaries (with the Scientific American citation) . Thank you. --Walter Siegmund (talk) 06:30, 15 April 2011 (UTC)

Water quality and contaminants discrepancy[edit]

Fifth paragraph, the article is talking about the ineffectiveness of boiling water as a method of decontamination. It mentions specifically that parasites such as Cryptosporidium had somewhat of an immunity to the process, which interested me, so I checked out the Cryptosporidiosis page where it's cited that boiling water is the preferred method of preventing it. (talk) 17:35, 3 April 2011 (UTC)

The problem with Cryptosporidium is that it usually exists as a resting stage or spore which is very resistant to boiling. Various authorities generally agree that about 3 minutes at a roiling boil is required to ensure that Cryptosporidium is inactivated. However, for domestic users this is still probably the best way as chlorine based products are rather ineffective. In modern water treatment works, UV radiation is now the preferred means of disinfection in situations where Cryptosporidium may be present. Thus the current content does not present a discrepancy with the Cryptosporidiosis page.  Velella  Velella Talk   18:03, 3 April 2011 (UTC)

"A daily diet of fruits, vegetables and grains requires more than 1,500 litres of water, as compared to 4,300 litres needed for a diet rich of animal protein."[edit]

What does this mean? My assumption is that it pertains the amount of water required to cultivate the amount of fruit and vegetable matter a person might eat in a day, versus the amount of water required to raise the amount of meat one might eat in a day, but this is very unclear. -- (talk) 18:40, 31 May 2011 (UTC)

A daily diet of fruits, vegetables and grains requires more than 1,500 litres of water, as compared to 4,300 litres needed for a diet rich of animal protein.<ref>{{cite news|title=Water is not an infinite resource and the world is thirsty|first=Gianfranco|last=Nitti|date=May 2011|newspaper=The Italian Insider|page=8|location=Rome}}</ref>

I've cut the above out. It can be reinserted if we can make sense of it.MacStep (talk)

Drinking water safety[edit]

This article provides no useful information about drinking water safety standards. What are the safety standards? What levels of e-coliforms, coliforms and bacteria, for example, are considered safe in various countries? Greenman (talk) 18:40, 10 July 2011 (UTC)

In the UK the Water Quality Regulations prescribe maximum values for substances that affect wholesomeness - follow links for figures. MacStep (talk) 08:02, 11 July 2011 (UTC)

Government Accountability Office and EPA-related resource[edit]

Is It Safe to Drink? The Problem with the Nation's Drinking Water Standards; The government may not be doing enough to regulate contaminants in tap water by Melinda Wenner Moyer in September 26, 2011 Scientific American. Excerpt ...

The GAO report asserts that the agency has been ruling only on the “low-hanging fruit”—contaminants for which regulatory decisions are easy rather than those that might be the most dangerous. “They’re not actually doing anything to protect public health,” says Mae Wu, an attorney at the Natural Resources Defense Council. (talk) 19:29, 27 September 2011 (UTC)

Related to fresh water, from Talk:Planetary_boundaries ... Why the World May Be Running Out of Clean Water by Bryan Walsh Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2011 Time (magazine); excerpt

A parched lake in Texas illustrates the effects of a record-breaking drought that hit the state and much of the American Southwest this year (talk) 06:52, 18 November 2011 (UTC)


Sorry, but it seems silly, but just what is the correct pronunciation of "potable". I have been corrected on this by friends, (not remembering which way I pronounced it then), and always a skeptic as to my friends' accuracy. I find most words do not have this problem. I think it may be possible there is a dialect issue, such as the English word "coupon". Bcwilmot (talk) 10:22, 25 February 2012 (UTC)

Drinking Water Article Has Multiple Issues[edit]

I certainly agree with the multiple issues tag recently attached to this article. I plan to edit some of the sections and I encourage others to weigh in. I have made a few changes to the opening paragraphs to make them more readable. Also, I changed "pure" to "safe." We will never have enough money to remove all constituents from water except hydrogen and oxygen, nor should we try. Our goal should be to make the water safe for human populations to consume it. We can discuss what is safe, but that usually boils down to meeting the required drinking water standards of a country or community. Drinkingwaterdoc (talk) 06:03, 14 June 2012 (UTC)

... in developed countries, 700 children under five years old died...[edit]

"During the same time period, in developed countries, 700 children under five years old died from diarrheal disease." -- this is ambiguous, does it mean 700 per country (average) or 700 from all developed countries combined (sum)? I cannot get to source, so I'm unable to verify personally. Hopefully someone can.

Include rare book on history of drink water[edit]

  • James Salzman (2012) Drinking Water: A History Overlook Hardcover (talk) 05:12, 27 May 2013 (UTC)

This book may or may not be worth including. Could you give a brief annotation about its contents and significance, and/or a pointer to useful reviews? Reify-tech (talk) 14:14, 27 May 2013 (UTC)
A good idea would be to include some interesting fact from the book in the article, and then use it a cited source. That's much better than having yet another wp:external link. - DVdm (talk) 17:42, 27 May 2013 (UTC)

Missing: dangers of drinking too much water[edit]

This article doesn't say enough about the medical problems caused by drinking too much water. Missing are RS estimates of how much water is too much for an adult male or female, or per kilogram of weight. Drinking water has killed people (reference: Scientific American, "Strange but True: Drinking Too Much Water Can Kill") David Spector (talk) 22:52, 2 August 2014 (UTC)

New section/article needed: Potable water additives[edit]

As per the discussion on Talk:Pyriproxyfen, we need to add a list of water additives: the aforesaid Pyriproxyfen, Water fluoridation (what else am I missing?) and the legal aspects of their introduction. Here is a partial list of their uses that I could quickly find online:

[Agents for] Scale control, biocidal control, corrosion control, foam control, cleaning agents, dispersant agent, halite control, scavenger control in your processes.

Let me also ping MjolnirPants hereby. Zezen (talk) 08:53, 27 February 2016 (UTC)

There are of course additives intended to remain in the water up to the consumers tap which include chlorine, chloramine, fluoride ion, calcium and phosphate ions to combat plumbo-solvency and calcium carbonate to increase pH . Other chemical species that are added as part of the treatment process may also be present in low concentrations at the consumer tap. These include sodium carbonate to remove temporary hardness, aluminium sulphate , polyelectrolytes, and alum( all settlement aids) and copper sulphate to control algae in raw water. There may be many more. However, this should be presented in a balanced way with a list of chemicals that occur in potable water but which are not aded but which form part of the inevitable anthropogenic load from modern living. This list includes synthetic hormones from intensive animal husbandry, intractable pharmaceuticals, low level radiation from the multiplicity of radioisotopes in use in commerce, radio-isotopes from medical use, persistent organics from past industrial and agricultural uses, persistent organics from domestic use of plastic products (plasticiers etc) etc. Treatment methods are rarely designed to remove this cocktail of contaminants but they may be present in concentrations that are equally bio-effective as some of the materials added in the treatment and distribution stages.  Velella  Velella Talk   10:16, 27 February 2016 (UTC)

Velella - thank you for your in-depth and extensive contribution with this list. Let us thus create such a list for reasons other than those in the (self-reverted) edit. Alas, I am not competent to take a stab at it. Zezen (talk) 06:49, 28 February 2016 (UTC)

Before making a list here, it is worth looking ar Drinking water quality standards and considering whether it might be easier to supplement that article rather than incluing potentially duplicate information here. One significant issue in publishing a list is finding good sources. Many water suppliers are obliged to report compliance against relevant standards but not to publish data where there are no relevant standards. Surface water quality is sometimes published by regulatory organizations and an inference might be drawn that some chemical species in the surface water might be present in water abstracted from that water for drinking. However inference is not what Wikipedia does. To make progress it probably needs somebody with access to a good University library coupled with a knowledge of the water industry. Could be tricky.  Velella  Velella Talk   09:26, 28 February 2016 (UTC)

Definition of "safe"[edit]

I replaced the word "safe" with a more explicit definition which is taken from memory but I believe was part of the European Drinking Water Directive. I can't access a full version to check. However, the concept is important in that it requires that water contains nothing that, not only protects from immediate effects but also contributes nothing that lead to later problems. The issue of arsenic in shallow tube in Bangladesh is a worrying example of the risks of chronic effects. If somebody could track down and reference the original source of the definition, that would be good .  Velella  Velella Talk   13:25, 4 September 2016 (UTC)


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Cite duplication / Unit abbreviation[edit]

Checked on the Russian SanPiN file, cite 64 and 65 seems to be duplicates, and I found no keyword related to 1116-02 in the downloaded PDF. That's one. Plus, in a table found in the Russian PDF there are a lot of boxes under the "Unit (Единицы измерения)" column filled by the - " - thing. Does this mean "Same as above" or something else? Varxo (talk) 12:14, 19 December 2016 (UTC)

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  1. ^ Meeting the MDG Drinking Water and Sanitation Target: A Mid-Term Assessment of Progress []
  2. ^ "Pneumonia the forgotten killer of children" UNICEF/WHO 2006