Humans depend on water treatment to survive, both because they need to drink water and because agriculture depends on it. The technology’s unparalleled importance means that every persons should strive to understand it and the impact that it has on their lives.
It Uses Ancient Technology
Distillation is the oldest water treatment technology, and it still forms the basis of of some desalination and purification techniques. The oldest form dates back about two thousand years. The technology has improved quite a bit since then, but an ancient scholar would recognize that the ancient and modern processes run on the same core principles.
It Hydrates Nations
Many people, especially those who live in the Middle East, would not have access to water without modern treatment technology. The fresh water supplies in those places are simply insufficient to meet the needs of the population. Modern treatments remove salt from seawater and contaminants from fresh water, which is enough to meet the need for hydration.
There are a a lot of different ways to treat water. Distillation is the oldest, but there are also a variety of different filters and other methods that can purify water. A treatment plant will use a variety of techniques depending on the contaminants that are common in the nearby environment, and it will regularly test the water to make sure that it doesn’t need to adjust those methods.
It Can Be Portable
Most water treatment does happen in large facilities, but some of the methods are portable. For example, an individual with a relatively small number of tools can set up an adequate solar still in the wilderness in order to harvest drinking water. Other portable methods rely on small filters or even chemical tablets that can remove most common contaminants. These methods are popular with campers, but they also see some use in the developing world or during natural disasters.
It Protects Nature
Impure water is a major environmental problem, since it can poison plants and animals. That leads to the collapse of ecosystems, which leads to further environmental problems in the long run. Modern water treatment can remove most contaminants from water before it enters the ecosystem, which prevents the majority of the damage.
It Preserves Health
Modern water treatment techniques can eliminate virtually all pathogens from a water supply. That makes it one of the most important tools for public health, since untreated water can carry many of the most dangerous diseases that can afflict humanity. That is also the reason that many of the advances in technology focus on making clean water accessible to the developing world. Eliminating waterborne pathogens in those regions reduces the rate of disease, which makes people more productive and gives them new opportunities.