Potable Water, Methods to Make Potable Water, Facts About Water, Conservation (For CBSE, ICSE, IAS, NET, NRA 2022)

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Importance of Water

Scientists theorize that life originated from water, hence nearly all organisms need water to exist and survive. Water also forms the base for all living organisms. As much water is lost from our body, the same or more needs to be replenished.

  • Water is used in everyday life, for drinking, farming, construction, agriculture, industries, hospitals, water cycle to name a few
  • Water boosts metabolism, helps in blood circulation
  • Helps create saliva and provides oxygen to cells of the body
  • It houses different aquatic creatures
  • Used as a means for transportation
  • After understanding how important water is and how there is a scarcity of fresh water in the world, let us look at some of the ways in which we can sensibly use water and conserve it as much as possible.

Water Conservation

Water can be conserved and used for various purposes. Dams and water harvesting help towards fulfilling this criterion.


  • How are lakes and reservoirs created? How is electricity generated?
  • Dams are the answers to these questions. Dams are huge barriers created along water bodies to restrict and confine the flow of water. This confinement helps generate electricity because the water is stored at a height creating potential energy, the water confined is also used for irrigation and agricultural purposes etc.

Significance of Dams

  • One of the first and foremost uses of dams has to be the generation of hydroelectric power which produces electricity.
  • Helps in controlling a flood, as the rate at which water flows can be caught and controlled.
  • Dams store water to be used by farmers for irrigation purposes.
  • Serves the purpose of drinking to nearby people as water stored is freshwater and not saltwater.
  • Water stored in a dam is called a reservoir. This water can be used for various water-related activities.

While there are a lot of benefits, dams negatively affect social, economic and environmental factors. For instance:

  • Dams can displace local tribes without providing necessary compensation and shelter
  • Dams can be a financial drain on the public
  • Results in loss of biological diversity and deforestation

Water Harvesting

  • Another method of conserving water is through water harvesting. Water harvesting is a practice of collecting rainwater or runoff/excess water for various household purposes. Care is taken to make sure that the water is pollutant-free at any given time; pollutants could be from the air, water, soil etc.
  • Water for this can be obtained from various resources such as excess water from rooftops, seasonal flood streams, watershed management etc.

Uses of Harvesting Water

Water generally in these methods are not held up in the surface but beneath the ground.

  • Water can be purified and used for drinking purposes
  • Used for daily household chores
  • Water stored is also supplied to large scale industries
  • Serves as a secondary resource of water for animals and plants
  • Helps increase biomass production
  • Mitigates droughts and floods
  • Increases the life of downstream reservoirs and dams
  • Recharges wells, provides moisture to the ground hence vegetation
  • Water does not dry up/Evaporate
  • Chances of water being contaminated by animals and humans are nullified.


Which Water is Potable?


Tap water has usually been treated by the local municipality to make it potable, but there are times when the supply has been contaminated and you must treat water before using it. Non-potable water is untreated water from lakes, rivers, groundwater, natural springs, and untested ground wells.

What is Potable Water and How is Water Purified?


Therefore, potable water is defined as the water that can be considered safe for drinking. Potable water which is available has already passed through the water purification process by factories or by treating it with chemicals to remove the harmful microorganisms.

What is Potable Water Chemistry?


Water that is safe for humans to drink is called potable water. Potable water is not pure water because it almost always contains dissolved impurities. For water to be potable, it must have sufficiently low levels of dissolved salts and microbes. Dissolved salts can sometimes be harmful for humans.

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