Made up of basic elements, a water molecule contains two hydrogen atoms and an oxygen atom – this is the foundation for life. The human body is 70% water by weight, and humans can only survive for two or three days without fresh water. The world economy depends on water. Water is a basic human need, and the quality of Earth’s water has been compromised by the demands of technology, and the ignorance of the industrial revolution. Drinking water is not the only kind needed.
In North America, fresh water is taken for granted. There is an ample supply. Many countries around the world survive on bottled water, or purified water because they do not have uncontaminated water supplies or fresh water sources. In some cases, children walk for hours every day to get to sources of fresh drinking water. People make careers out of testing water quality. It is an important job. Industrial pursuits require water, and have the potential to contaminate the supply. Drinking and washing water comes from standing bodies of water and rivers that feed different communities, and are in turn fed by underground rivers and lakes.
The world economy is largely driven by the need for oil. Petroleum-based products are used for transportation, household products, and technology. Though energy alternatives are being investigated, it will take time for those technologies to surpass oil within the world economic model. Oil conglomerates run the world’s economy and will not easily relinquish control. Because the production of oil has the potential to contaminate groundwater, checks and balance have been placed into the system to prevent problems. These measures are not foolproof, and therefore water quality test kits are used to establish a baseline for water quality. It is difficult to know what the water quality was before contamination if no studies have been done.
Chemical contamination of groundwater happened in many cases before people were aware that the substances could cause…