District News Articles

  2. Water is all around us. It is colorless and tasteless. The air we breathe contains water. Water has many purposes throughout the world, aside from human consumption and purposes related to that. With 80 percent of the earth's surface covered with water, it makes water the most common substance on earth. Without water, there could be no life. Every living thing needs water to live, and every living thing is made of at least some water. Next to the air we breathe, water is our most important need. Without water there wouldn’t be any life on Earth.
    Water is the only substance on Earth naturally found in the three scientific element forms: solid, liquid, and gas (vapor).
    Water has many uses inside and outside your home. It is used for transportation, heating and cooling, farming, power, recreation, fire fighting, bathing, cooking, manufacturing, and many other uses.
    Water And The World Around You
    Would you believe that your last drink of water could have once been used by a dinosaur? Today, the amount of water on Earth remains exactly the same as it was billions of years ago, no more, no less. Because of the water cycle, water moves from the earth to the air to the earth again. It changes from solid to liquid to gas, over and over again.
    Without water the earth would look like the moon.
    Almost 80% of the earth's surface is covered with water.
    97% of the earth's water is in the oceans and seas.
    75% of the world’s fresh water is frozen in the polar ice caps at the North and South Poles.
    Only 3% of the earth’s water can be used as drinking water
    Water and Your Body
    The human body is made up of about 70% water. Every system in our body needs water. Water helps us digest food, lubricate joints, transport waste, and keeps our body’s temperature correct.
    Human blood is 83% water.
    Bones are 25% water.
    Human beings can live several weeks without food, but only a few days without water. Each day, we must take in at least 8 glasses of water. But drinking water or other liquids provide only half the water we need. The other half comes from the foods we eat.
    Water at Home
    The average household uses 107,000 gallons of water per year.
    It takes 2 gallons to brush your teeth, 2 to 7 gallons to flush a toilet, and 25 to 50 gallons to take a shower.
    The average person in the United States uses 80 to 100 gallons of water each day. During medieval times a person used only 5 gallons per day.
    History of Water Treatment
    Water in nature is not pure. Nature and People deposit substances in the water that then dissolve. People have tried to remove these substances from water since very early times, mostly to make it look cleaner and taste better.
    Ancient Egyptians treated water from the Nile River by placing their water in big jars and allowed large particles, such as mud, to settle to the bottom, then siphoning the clean water off the top of the jars.
    In 400 B.C. in Greece, Hippocrates, known as the father of medicine, directed people in Greece to boil and strain water through a piece of cloth to remove particles before drinking it.
    Although these earlier treatments of water could make the water safer, it still allowed small organisms to remain. In the 1850’s scientists began to suspect that water might carry diseases and came to the conclusion that just filtering the water wasn’t enough.
    In 1902, Belgium was the first country to use chlorine to kill bacteria in water systems. England followed in 1905, and the United States in 1908. Today almost every large city in the world chlorinates or uses other methods of disinfection to control waterborne diseases.
    How Does Water Get to You?
    The ancient Romans built aqueducts to bring water from the mountains to the city. About 260 miles of aqueduct brought 200 million gallons of water to Rome each day. Some of these aqueducts are still in use.
    Most people in North America get their water from public utilities like Platte Canyon Water and Sanitation District. Public utilities are companies or government agencies that supply basic needs such as electricity, gas, or water to the public. These utilities get their water from a natural source. These sources can be lakes, rivers, groundwater (which is fresh water found on the surface of the earth, and aquifers where water is stored underground in rock, clay, and sand. (see related article here)
    After the water is treated (cleaned) the utility then sends the water to homes and businesses for people to use through large pipes called mains.
    The first water pipes made in the U. S. were fire-charred, bored-out logs. Today they can be made of concrete, asbestos cement, iron, or plastic pipe. (see related article here)
    There are over one million miles of water pipelines and aqueducts in the United States and Canada carrying water great distances to the people. That's enough to circle the globe 40 times.