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A resource to be protected
Water, which is often wasted in rich countries and scarce and often polluted in poor ones, is one of the resources that is most in need of development worldwide. It is estimated that there are about 35 million cubic metres of fresh water on Earth of which 24 cubic metres in the form of glaciers and perennial snow and therefore not accessible. 11 million cubic meters remain, far too little.

Nevertheless, water continues to be wasted and polluted all over the world, both in urban and in rural areas. 18% of the world’s population cannot access drinking water and 40% cannot rely on basic sanitation. Every day, about 6,000 people, mostly children, die for reasons related to water: its scarcity or lack of hygiene. Even in Italy lack of water is often a problem, worsened by the climate change the world is experiencing. The amount of rain fall in our country lessens every year and meanwhile extreme events, such as intense or infrequent rainfall that the soil cannot store, are increasing. Water scarcity is a problem that affects the entire planet and therefore, protecting this precious gift, ensuring its distribution to all the people in the world without waste should be the priority of all the nations of the globe
(Source: Altroconsumo)

Water saving
People use only about 3.5 % of drinking water for drinking and cooking. The rest goes in showers, laundry and dish washing, flushing, various cleaning and unfortunately taps left carelessly open. How can we learn to use it in a responsible, sustainable and waste free way?
Here are simple tips:
_Always choose the economic cycle of the washing machine and have a full load, this will save both water and electricity.
_A full load of the dishwasher requires less water compared with the same washing done by hand.
_When doing the washing up, put water in the sink and wash with that, which will save thousands of litres of water every year.
_When brushing teeth, washing hands or hair or shaving, only open the tap for the time needed.
_Save a third of the water by showering.
_Put a water flow reducer on all taps: using the principle of turbulence, it mixes air to the water flow and creates a lighter but equally effective water jet.
_Water plants in the evening, when the sun goes down and water on lawns and plants does not evaporate immediately.
_Install programmable irrigation systems on balconies and gardens, which can operate at night when consumption is lower.
_Use the water already used to wash fruits and vegetables to water plant pots.
_Sweeping is better than using a hose to clean paths.
_Do not neglect loss of water from taps and toilets, which could waste 100 litres of water per day!  Proper maintenance or small repairs could save a lot of water!
_Do not use the toilet as a refuse bin.
_Do not overdo car washing for which as much as 150 litres of water is used every time!
_Recycle water by collecting rainwater in bowls and when the tap is running to get hot water, collect it in a bowl and reuse both for watering.
_Wash fruits and vegetables in the sink and  use only running water to rinse
(Source: Altroconsumo)

How to choose mineral water
_Always read the label carefully and choose mineral water.
_Avoid water which is too carbonated: it is more refreshing but can cause heartburn.
_Nitrates, sodium, fluorine and sulfates should be low in concentration: a high content of these substances can have serious side effects.
_Always check the packaging and the expiry date: even though it is not a perishable product, bottled water should not be stored for more than two years from the bottling date.

Bottled water
A legislative decree of 1992, which included a European directive, states that bottled water must be pure at the source and must remain pure until consumption, without any treatment. It must be chemically and microbiologically pure.
These are the main types of bottled waters:

_Minimally mineralised: this has a mineral salt content lower than 50 mg/l, which is light, poor in mineral salts and able to help water retention and facilitate the expulsion of small kidney stones.
_Slightly mineralised (oligominerali): this has a mineral salt content not exceeding 500 mg/l, is excellent table water, suitable for daily consumption as it contains little sodium and is excellent diuretic.
_Mineral: this has a fixed residue between 500 mg/l and 1000 mg/l, contains a substantial proportion of mineral salts and should not be drunk in excessive quantities (up to a litre per day), care should be taken to alternate it with slightly mineralised water; it can be used in different ways depending on the substances contained such as calcium, sulfur, magnesium, bicarbonate, etc.
_Rich in minerals: it has a fixed residue of more than 1500 mg/l, it is very rich in salts so must be drunk specifically for healing purposes and on medical advice; it is available in pharmacies and also in some supermarkets.

Fonte: http://www.lenntech.it/acqua-minerale/composizione.htm#ixzz1ETvuWJHD

Water: instructions for use
 In the world there is no more important resource for mankind than water. It constitutes 50 to 60% of our body weight and is involved in all vital processes of our body: it allows digestion, processing of food and elimination of waste. Every day humans drink water or water-based food to fill their metabolic reserves.
But what is the water we drink made of?
The chemical formula of water is H2O, two atoms of hydrogen and one of oxygen, but it exists in this form only in distilled water. Only rainwater, snow and ice is close to distilled water. In nature, water contains, albeit in small traces, minerals important for health: salts and small elements dissolved as water passes through the soil or along the path of rocky streams.

_Calcium (Ca), essential in our body for teeth and bone formation, for blood clotting and the correct function of the nervous system. An excess of calcium can alter the taste of the water or cause scaling in pipes and domestic appliances. The content of calcium should not fall below 60 mg/l in order not to cause heart disease.
_Magnesium (Mg), important for many metabolic functions as well as muscular and nervous activity; the per capita daily intake is 150-500 mg.
_Sodium (Na), important metabolic regulator of nerves and muscle impulses: due to a diet already rich in salt, it is advisable particularly for people suffering from hypertension and for children to drink water with sodium content lower than 20 mg/l.
_Cromo (Cr), important trace element if a certain value is not exceeded and it is not present in toxic or carcinogenic combinations, due to industrial pollution; at present there are not recommended daily intake levels.
_Copper (Cu), essential for our health, is toxic at high levels: a daily intake of 1.2 mg is recommended.
_Iron (Fe), important for children and women of childbearing age, a daily intake of 10 mg is recommended. The OMS suggests a maximum of 0.3 mg/l and the EEC 0.2 mg/l.  Any increase, is not harmful even though it makes the water unpleasant to drink.
_Chlorine (Cl), an important constituent of body fluids, a daily intake of 7.15 mg is recommended.
_Manganese (Mn), the daily requirement of 2-3 mg is normally covered by diet: an excessive concentration is not harmful but can cause the same problems as iron.
_Selenium (Se), toxic in high doses, is an important antioxidant, useful for fighting free radicals and preventing aging; the recommended daily intake is 40 pg and deficiency may raise the risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease.
_Fluoride (Fl), useful for the health of bones and teeth in children, especially if added; the values of useful fluoride are close to toxic ones, so untargeted and personalised administration can pose a risk of overdose and chronic poisoning.

Other inorganic toxic substances
There is often a high concentration of toxic minerals in water supplies. Treatment and drinking water plants are able to reduce it to secure levels. They can penetrate surface water or groundwater through natural sources, from industrial discharges, flows from urban or rural areas, from water pipes, walls and even from domestic sources.
The list of organic substances that can be found in drinking water as waste from the industrial process is long; the most common are listed and briefly described below.
_Phosphates: they come mainly from detergents and fertilizers; levels above 0.1 mg/l are a pollution index.
_Sulfates: sulfuric acid salts combined with metal ions are released into the atmosphere from road traffic, industry and energy production.
_Nitrates and nitrites: the main source of nitrogen for plants and an essential constituent of nucleic acids and amino acids, must be limited to 10 mg/l; high concentrations are due to human intervention (fertilizers, traffic pollution).
_Aluminium: very abundant in the earth’s crust, it is not important for human nutrition and has toxic effects even in small quantities; the OMS recommend a concentration lower than 20 mg/l.
_Arsenic (As), toxic even in low doses. The level of toxicity varies depending on the concentration especially in food where it has a different value, since it carries some metabolic functions beneficial for our body.
_Cadmium (Cd), a highly toxic and carcinogenic heavy metal.
_Mercury (Hg), more or less toxic depending on its chemical bonds, the OMS suggests a daily intake of 0.3 mg for a person who weighs about 60 Kg.
_Asbestos, very harmful, can reach the drinking water through natural sources, pipes made of a mixture of cement and asbestos or from the atmosphere.
_Chlorine (Cl), chlorination is the most used treatment in Italy for removing bacteria that could cause health problems; the law allows 30 mg/l of chlorine while the European Directives indicate 1 mg/l, recommending the possible lowest concentration.
Organic chemicals
They come directly from plants and animals and there are over 100,000 different compounds, many of which are quite toxic.
_Pesticides, among the most abused substances.
_Surface-active agents, substances used in detergents to reduce the surface tension of water, allowing better wetting of the fabric.
_Microbiological pollution: viruses, bacteria and parasites.

Home treatments: avoid the DIY
Are you sure about the colour, the taste or the smell of the water you drink? If not, there may be many causes. If problems persist, better to contact the water suppliers avoiding “Do It Yourself” solutions or choose high quality mineral water!

Domestic filters
The home filter market flourishes thanks to concerns about water quality. Tap water, subject to strict and daily controls, is guaranteed. Sometimes, though, clichés and lack of information lead to misconception and concerns, often unfounded, about drinking water and this is fuelled by the persuasion of advertising.

Why filters are not needed
Domestic filters may correct the taste of chlorine or cancel traces of certain pollutants, but this is useless since tap water is already clean and any traces of unwanted substances are always under legal limits.
However, if proper maintenance is not done, filtration plants could harbour bacteria. In addition, plants soften water too much, falling below the limit of hardness recommended by law: this could be a problem for certain categories of people, such as children and the elderly.

An expense that can be avoided
Is it true that filtering water is cheap as promised in advertising? Unless there are major problems with tap water in your area (which necessitates the managers of water companies paying more attention to the disinfection process, particularly chlorides), buying a filter is unnecessary and expensive: the initial investment is on average about 2,000 euros, plus the cost of maintenance. If there is something wrong with the tap water, take a sample to the laboratory. In case of problems, the water company should be able to sort them out; domestic solutions do not pay off.
If the problem is the taste, and in fact tap water does not usually taste good, buy bottled water: at the end of the year you will have saved a bit of money compared to home filtration.
(Source: Altroconsumo)

Filtering jugs: outlaws for Turin’s Prosecutor
They are unnecessary and sometimes they worsen the quality of water. That was the statement made by the Prosecutor of Turin about the complaint submitted by Mineracqua, the Italian Federation of Industries of mineral water, about jugs used to filter tap water. This claim arose after laboratory tests requested by the Prosecutor of Turin, the results of which were given on 4th May 2012 by Prosecutor Raffaele Guariniello to the Ministry of Health and Institute of Health: now any further decision is up to them.
According to the analysis conducted by Ivo Pavan, a professor at the University of Turin, filtering jugs do not improve the quality of tap water but can become a danger for people at risk such as those with diabetes or heart disease. With regard to the hardness of water (amount of calcium and magnesium), values are lowered but the filters should not be used with water that has a hardness lower than 19 French degrees: in this case mineral salts would be lost.
Also the analysis showed that other substances are introduced in tap water (ammonium, silver, sodium and potassium) and the pH rises to illegal levels (9.5 against the limit of 6.5) for drinking water.
(Source: Mondo Horeca, May 11 2011)


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