Caffeine fiend, forager, and science nerd currently in South Florida.
Life on earth requires water. Although water covers over 70 percent of the planet, only 2.5 percent of it is freshwater. Only one percent, located in rivers, lakes, reservoirs, and in groundwater shallow enough to tap, is readily available for people. That is also the amount of freshwater regularly renewed by precipitation and is thus sustainable. One percent of all the water on earth must stretch somehow across a human population of seven and a half billion people and counting.
How Does Freshwater Become Tap Water?
Water treatment produces water of varying qualities for industrial, medical, or laboratory, environmental, or public use. For this article, water treatment is the process by which water is taken from natural sources in the environment and made safer for drinking.
The water treatment process may comprise many different steps depending on the initial quality of the natural source. Some common steps in the treatment process may include:
- Coagulation: Added chemicals like alum form tiny sticky particles known as floc which attract and stick to dirt suspended in water.
- Sedimentation: The combined weight of dirt and floc become heavy enough to settle to the bottom to be removed while the clear water at the top moves on to filters.
- Filtration: The clear water passes through a set of filters including carbon filters that help remove even the smallest particles while improving the taste.
- Storage: Filtered water is placed in a closed tank and disinfected.
- Disinfection: A small amount of chlorine is added or some other disinfecting method is used to kill any bacteria or microorganisms that still may be present. The disinfected water then flows through pipes to taps in the community.
Some additives are necessary to make water safe to drink. Right now much of our water is treated with chlorine to kill the many water-borne microorganisms that are harmful when ingested. Chlorine is probably not the healthiest solution possible to this problem but is cheap and very effective. Unfortunately, the addition of chlorine to untreated water causes the formation of DBPs, which are linked to elevated cancer risk according to the CDC. The health benefits of adding chlorine arguably outweigh the health risks of doing so. This does not mean that we should give up looking for safer options to provide better public health in the future.
Fluoride is another common additive in drinking water, especially in the United States. Fluoride, unlike chlorine, does not make drinking water in any way safer. It is known to cause health problems when ingested. The human body doesn't require a minimum amount of ingested fluoride the way it requires calcium or iron. Adding fluoride into drinking water is a bad old idea that should be stopped immediately.
Current proponents of drinking water fluoridation likely haven't considered all the facts as they are known today. Proponents will point to the decrease in cavities reported in children's teeth since fluoridation first began in the US, probably unaware that children's cavities have decreased at a similar rate in non-fluoridated populations across the world wherever most kids have ready access to fluoride toothpaste (which isn’t swallowed) and regular dental care.
In the United States today, the majority of teens (about 80%) exhibit signs of fluorosis, or fluoride poisoning. Ironically, fluoride poisoning causes tooth decay in young and old alike.
Unfortunately, teeth are not the only parts of the body harmed by fluoride. Fluorosis adversely affects bones and organs, including the brain. It may cause bone loss and is linked to the risk of osteoporosis in the elderly, as well as to the increase in childhood bone cancer. It has also been associated with lower IQs in children in 43 separate scientific studies conducted across the globe (which represents 86% of all studies ever conducted on the topic.)
Currently, newborns and older people without any teeth to worry about, teens already suffering from fluoride poisoning, and the rest of us (regardless of the states of our health) are receiving medical treatments that we didn't ask to get and may not want. We receive them anyway every time we cook with or take a drink from the water from our taps.
There is no way to control the fluoride dosage that each person receives when tap water is fluoridated. How much a person ingests depends on too many factors. Some of these factors include:
- The fluoride levels in tap water.
- How much water a person drinks daily (active children and teens, dieters, heavy caffeine users, and athletes tend to drink more water. The poor and elderly tend to drink more tap water as opposed to bottled water, which may or may not contain fluoride.)
- How much fluoride comes from other sources including foods (many of which are grown, processed, and cooked using fluoridated water.)
- Whatever is absorbed or ingested through the use of toothpaste, mouthwash, and dental fluoride treatments, and bathing in fluoridated water since fluoride penetrates the skin.
Adding anything unnecessary into tap water is terrible public policy, no matter how admirable the intentions for doing so. This is especially true if what is being added has harmful side-effects at higher dosages. There are better and safer ways to make fluoride readily available for tooth-care to a population. Germany, for example, does not fluoridate water. The grocery stores there offer table salt with added fluoride as well as fluoride-free table salt, giving people choices. Many households opt to use regular salt for cooking and fluoridated salt as an inexpensive mouth rinse.
What Is a Water Footprint?
In the developed world, we rely on turning on a tap to get as much water as we need to drink, bathe, water our gardens, fill our pools, and wash our clothes, pets, and cars. According to the United States Geographical Survey, 80 gallons per day is the most conservative estimate for how much treated water fit for human consumption the average American uses for indoor and outdoor residential purposes.
If 80 gallons of residential water usage per day per person sounds like a lot of water, it is. In comparison, the average person in the UK uses about 40 gallons per day. The average person in Cambodia, Angola, or Haiti uses just 4 gallons per day.
However, residential use makes up only a small percentage of our water footprint. The rest hides in the foods we eat, the energy we use, and the products and services that we purchase. If America's commercial and industrial water usage is added to our total domestic usage and divided per capita, then the average American uses over 2000 gallons per day. This number is what is known as our national water footprint. America's water footprint is the largest of any nation on earth.
What Is Water Scarcity?
Water scarcity refers to an insufficient water supply to meet the demand in a given region. This is a man-made problem as well as a natural phenomenon.
There is enough water readily available to support the earth's current population. Unfortunately, water is not always located where it is needed. Much of the available freshwater on earth is polluted, wasted, or otherwise poorly managed.
More than half a billion people on earth have no safe drinking water available to them. Every 21 seconds, a child dies from drinking contaminated water. In many parts of the world, the infrastructure necessary for delivering safe drinking water through pipes to communities in need just doesn't exist and may never be built in the average child's lifetime. We are starting to opt for more immediate and portable solutions to provide safe water to the most remote locations on the planet.
Portable Water Technology Changes Lives
One day we may expand the one percent of water readily available to us for drinking. Water purifying technology continues to advance. Solar-powered water desalinization plants could convert enough ocean water on a large scale right now if we had the political will to invest the money. Graphene filters may soon make it possible to filter ocean water into potable drinking water as easily as pouring the water through a funnel.
What Is Water Conservation?
Water conservation is the combined efforts of individuals, communities, corporations, and governments to help reduce unnecessary water waste world-wide. Conserving saves money, extends the life of septic tanks, alleviates stress on infrastructure while helping prevent water pollution and environmental destruction.
When conserving at home, get the whole family involved. Doing the related home projects together make conserving fun, bonding, and educational. Play conservation games together and hold competitions for the kids. You can start good habits now that will last a lifetime, get passed on to your grand-kids, and create new family traditions. Below are some quick tips to get started.
Tips for Water Conservation
Around the House
- Next time you plan to take the entire family out, make sure all the water is off. Before you leave write down the water meter reading. If it is the same when you return you know you don't have any leaks to find.
- Fix your leaks! Even the slowest drip can waste 20 gallons per day.
- Every time you change your pet's water, throw the old into a plant.
- Collect water from your gutters into rain barrels. Use this water for your garden.
- Reroute washer, dishwasher, sinks, and showers to empty into a yard irrigation system.
- Make sure your pavers, stepping stones, and walkways are made of porous material. It will help keep water in your yard.
- Make sure your pool, pond, or fountain has a recirculating pump.
- Don't overfill your pool. With a lower water level, you will lose less water to splashing. Use a cover to keep out debris and slow evaporation when the pool is not in use.
- Don't let the hose run when washing cars. I use a hand sprayer to cut the water off until I need it.
- Wash dogs or let kids play in a sprinkler where your yard needs water the most.
In the Garden
- Help rain and sprinkler water penetrate to the roots and lessen wasteful runoff. Once every couple of months, pierce holes in your lawn about six inches apart and three inches deep. Just be careful not to pierce irrigation or sprinkler pipes in the process. I use a piece of colorful duct tape to mark the correct depth so I don't get too carried away.
- Put layers of mulch around your trees and bushes. It looks nice, holds ground moisture, and discourages weeds naturally.
- Buy soakers and sprinklers that create fat drops close to the ground. High arching spray creates a mist that evaporates or blows away too easily.
- Water the lawn or set sprinklers to go off at sunrise so that the water doesn't immediately evaporate. Don't water at night though because that can encourage unwanted fungus and root rot.
- Place an empty tuna can on the lawn. Turn on the sprinkler and time how long it takes to fill. That is the amount of time you need to run the sprinkler to properly soak a lawn to the roots.
- If you don't have a timer on your sprinkler system, use a kitchen timer so you won't forget to turn the sprinklers off again.
- Skip watering on windy days when your water is more likely to blow into the street.
- If landscaping, consider how much lawn you need and want to mow. Lawns are thirsty and require a lot more constant care to look great than other more environmentally friendly and water-saving ground covers. Some people think kids need lots of grass but my kid played happily with friends on an herbal ground cover, which always smells great, requires no mowing, and tastes delicious in any chicken or veggie dish!
- Landscape using native trees and beautiful native perennials which promote a healthy ecosystem and usually don't need much watering or care except during droughts. Many native perennials attract birds, butterflies, and other pollinators and beneficial visitors to your yard. Plus, perennials come back again after winter, saving you the work and cost of having to replace them. Some evergreen varieties look vibrant and lush all year long.
- Use composting, earthworms, and other organic gardening solutions instead of commercial fertilizers. That way any runoff from your yard nourishes the earth and keeps the water clean instead of polluting it. This will also save you money
In the Bathroom
- Install water-saving aerators in faucets and showerheads.
- Take shorter more efficient showers.
- Turn off the water when shaving, brushing teeth, soaping, shampooing, conditioning, then turn it on again to rinse.
- Install low flow toilets in new construction or when renovating.
- Place a couple of inches of sand or pebbles in a plastic bottle then fill it with water. Set it in an older model toilet tank (3-5 gallons) to reduce wastage during flushing. Make sure it is well-placed and secured to the side with duct tape so it can't interfere with the flushing mechanism.
- Put a few drops of food color in the toilet tank. Come back to check on it again after twenty minutes without flushing. If the color has bled into the bowl, your tank is leaking. Most likely the flapper or the gasket directly under it is the culprit that needs replacing.
In the Kitchen
- If you don't have a fridge with a cold water dispenser on the outside, keep a bottle of chilled water in the fridge. Running water until it is cold, before you pour a single glass, wastes a lot of water over time.
- If you wash dishes by hand and don't have two sinks to spare, use bus tubs to wash and rinse your dishes instead of washing and rinsing with running water.
- Use the most environmentally friendly dishwashing liquid you can find. Then you can retain the gray water for your trees and shrubs. My azaleas seem to love a good dishwater cocktail.
- Use a bowl to wash fruit or vegetables. Give that gray water to your plants.
- Save on the amount of water you use cooking. Steam instead of boiling when you can. Retain the nutrient-rich steamer water to make soups or feed all those tasty minerals to your houseplants.
- Don't just throw away used or dropped ice cubes, put them into a thirsty plant. If you are emptying a cooler or defrosting a freezer, feed the unwanted ice to a tree in your yard.
The solutions to our world water problems will likely be complicated ones, that will involve better water management and conservation, as well as improved infrastructure and new portable technologies.
How Can We All Help?
We can all help to make a real difference. No matter how old or how young, one person can inform and inspire lots of others to create a better future for everyone. Get your neighbors involved by sharing conservation tips. Don't pollute. Get involved in a water project or clean-up effort in your community. If there isn't one, why not start your own? If you think of any creative ways to conserve water, add them to the list below in the comments section.
Any of us can also help by supporting responsible charities dedicated to solving our world's water problems. Here is one worthy of consideration:
- Charity:Water is a nonprofit organization that brings clean, safe drinking water to the neediest communities in the developing world. This nonprofit gives kids, schools, clubs, and people who can't afford to donate on their own the chance to start fundraising campaigns on the Charity:Water website. Because the cost of operations is covered by private individuals, 100% of donations go directly to providing wells, water filtration, and other needed water technologies through water projects in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean.
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.
Besarien (author) from South Florida on September 04, 2019:
Hi PAINTDRIPS! Thanks for your comments. California has learned the hard way. In S. Florida, I see sprinklers going off at high noon. People out washing cars letting hoses run in the gutters. It drives me nuts! I hate to see water (or anything else) wasted even in areas where shortages aren't frequent yet. Waste not, want not is just good advice for everybody. Wishing you and yours every blessing as well, Denise.
Denise McGill from Fresno CA on September 04, 2019:
Here in California, we have had more droughts than I care to talk about so we have become good at water conservation. During the hardest droughts, water was rationed and people watering lawns were charged a fee/ticketed (it depends on how you look at it). Most of us let lawns die during those times. Alternate methods of watering trees and shrubs became necessary. I loved reading this. Thanks for all the info.
Besarien (author) from South Florida on September 03, 2019:
Hi Billy! Thank you for keeping me in your thoughts. Hurricanes are hard to predict. So far Dorian has more or less left my area (so long as it stays on its current projected path.) It has downgraded to a category 2 hurricane- so it is a whole different storm than the monster that battered the Bahamas.
I still am seeing occasional tropical storm conditions as the outer arms of storm rotate over. The canal at the back of my property is full. The lower part of my yard is a big nasty puddle but the house itself is still high and dry. The power is still on. The roof seems fine. Even the amount of my yard debris looks insubstantial last I checked. Nothing out there that I can't move by myself. I feel very, very lucky.
Unfortunately one of my older neighbors on the corner has part a tree on his car. I'm going over tomorrow morning with my friend from next door and my tiny girly chain saw to help remove it after we take some photos for the insurance company. Then I'll come home and start putting things back in order. Yard furniture is currently cluttering up my dining room. Out-door container planters have taken over the living room. I hate to think what has crawled out of them. My garden needs a full-time gardener but sadly is stuck with me. Will try to post something new soon. :)
Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on September 03, 2019:
I guess I've read all of your articles. I went back through them all and I don't think I've missed any. I guess I'll just have to wait patiently until you write another one. Sigh....waiting....waiting....waiting....
I hope the new hurricane leaves you alone...be safe!
Besarien (author) from South Florida on July 19, 2019:
Thanks au fait! I appreciate your kind words.
C E Clark from North Texas on July 18, 2019:
A great article that again (like your others), is very thorough on this issue, and packed with important information!
Besarien (author) from South Florida on July 08, 2019:
Hello Scott! Thank you for taking the time to comment. I agree with you that the problem will get worse. The rain can't come soon enough in southern India. Thank you for your kind words about the article and for the link. I'm leaving it up so others may read it.
promisem on July 05, 2019:
Besarien, this is a thoroughly informative and useful article about water usage and conservation. It's criticial that more people learn how to manage water in light of growing shortages and pollution around the world.
Some entire cities are literally running out of water. I can't help but think the problem is getting much worse.
Besarien (author) from South Florida on June 30, 2019:
Thank you Robin! Apparently Florida where I am currently living has a high concentration of micro-plastic particles in the treated water. I have no idea if carbon filters help. We have a reverse osmosis system. I don't get any sediment when I put the water that comes out of that into a distiller. But would micro plastic show up as sediment or just stick to the bottom like a film? I guess all we can do is try to be as safe as we can about what we are are drinking and putting into our food. It makes me sad what we have done and continue to do to this beautiful planet.
Besarien (author) from South Florida on June 30, 2019:
Thank you marcuscaine for taking the time. I'm glad you found it worth reading.
Robin Carretti from Hightstown on February 15, 2018:
They always say drink water but you are so right about whats inside our water bottled water and tap water to me is just as bad everything is organic. But is it really we need to read about all ingredients we are being lied to they always advertise and say how good water is but everything has toxins but I do drink water and its the best thing for me but I am very curious now from what I hear
marcuscaine on October 05, 2017:
Great article. It was really informative.
Gunny Cracker from Elkhorn, WI on February 08, 2016:
A proper root-canal procedure would not likely cause immediate problems as much of the tooth was drilled out. In time the remaining tooth will develop bacteria which cannot escape through the capped surface and will enter the body through the gums causing unknown & untold maladies not just MS.
Besarien (author) from South Florida on February 08, 2016:
Yikes, Sgt Prepper, my sister just had a root canal and a crown done before the holidays. Thanks for the info. We will keep an eye on it. A good friend of my parents who has MS died a few years back. No idea about her dental situation. I do know she was a dental hygienist though. Have heard it is more common inside the medical/dental professions than in the general populous. I figured it was because they are exposed to everything more often but who knows?
Gunny Cracker from Elkhorn, WI on February 08, 2016:
Besarien, my bestfriend, Mark, was also my best-man and I was his. After years as wild& crazy bachelors we found our soul-mates and settled down. Mark's dentist gave him a root-canal & a gold-crown in a single visit. I thought that was great however Mark suddnly developed several allergies and MS he battled for ten years before his death. Now studies have shown people with MS are very likely to have root-canals and crowns. One lady had her crowned-tooth extracted and her MS went into immediate remission. Go figure!
Besarien (author) from South Florida on February 08, 2016:
Hello Sgt Prepper ! I have heard those theories too. Sad that all of it is so much easier to believe than buying that our government really gives a hoot about people's teeth. Getting rid of toxic waste may be how it started but now we actually import fluoride from China to poison our water supplies, environment, farmland, and bodies. Dentists still debate whether fluorosis is a real disease or not. Most will not admit fluoride is a neurotoxin or even that it is unsafe at higher levels than "ideal" for drinking water. Nor will most admit that fluoride is cumulative from many sources. When a dentist is about to give a fluoride treatment she first must ask a series of questions and make certain that the patient doesn't have active caries. Yet, the government just dumps it into drinking water. Other countries have fluoridated by offering fluoridated salt which is cheap and voluntary. You swish and rinse like your own fluoridated mouth wash. Don't want it, cool dude, don't use it! Here, if your local water if fluoridated, rich people who can afford to attach reverse osmosis units to incoming water mains are the only ones who have the privilege of not bathing in it. I'm not even against the responsible use of fluoride to impede tooth decay. I am against a)everyone not having a choice and b)what I consider an irresponsible method of delivery.
Gunny Cracker from Elkhorn, WI on February 06, 2016:
I have read that fluoride was used by the Nazis to dumb-down and make docile the residents of concentration camps and that communist Russia implemented a similar program more recently. Fluoride is a toxic by-product of aluminum production corporations would otherwise have to pay big-time to dispose of. Better for their bottom-line to sell it to municipalities to add to city water.
Ask yourself this question! Do I really know anybody whose teeth were saved by flouride?
A mayoral candidate in my city running for reelection once confided in me there is a move to put everybody in our county on city water even if the groundwater has to be poisoned to make it happen. His Number One issue now is drilling a "new city well" to provide flouridated water to the entire county. Water is very profitable because it starts out free. Just ask the Nestle CEO who at a meeting of the global-elite recently said "Water should not be free." Many tree-huggers & yuppies agree.
If it is yellow - let it mellow! I drink almost no water whatsoever, except in my coffee and I often make that out of free springwater which is unflouridated. Showering, cooking & using baking soda to brush my teeth I still get flouride from my city water through my skin pores, stomach and mucus membranes.
As a Squad Leader for a year in the Kuwaiti Desert I had to monitor the urine output of my men to make sure they drank the required one and a-half gallons of BOTTLED water daily. With hundreds of thousands of troops and contractors drinking ONLY bottled water for a dozen years in Southwest Asia Evian, Anheuser-Busch & Nestle have made billions off the taxpayers through our Defense Department. It is more because of water, lithium, nickle and the White Poppy we have troops in SW Asia than it is about oil.
And soon the United Nations will require everybody to pay for every drop of flouridated water they drink, cook with, flush and wash with. See Project-2030 which has been called "Agenda-21" on steroids!
Val Karas from Canada on January 03, 2016:
Very interesting and well written hub, Besarien. Here in Ontario we have pretty good drinking water, but I am still using "Zero" filter to eliminate solids. Then I replenish minerals by adding Celtic salt to it. Well aware of "nocebo effect" (negative of placebo), I don't fuss much about issues, because worrying may be more toxic to our bodies than the substances themselves. Well, anyway - that's me. Again, you are a real pro, Besarien, and it's pleasure to read your stuff.
Jackie Lynnley from the beautiful south on December 13, 2015:
If I drink tap water I either boil it or send it through a coffee maker and filter. I hope it helps. I catch water outside for my garden and plants so hope that helps some. Thanks for all the info; very interesting read.
poetryman6969 on December 02, 2015:
I think the world's water problems could easily be solved through solar desalination. The problem is that at both the state and national level we have politicians who like to use problems as excuses to achieve political objectives. They seem to be allergic to actually solving problems.
sujaya venkatesh on September 15, 2015:
a responsible hub
Sharon Lopez from Philippines on July 23, 2015:
Great article! Water is indeed the primary problem in the community I am currently assigned with. Hopefully I could be able to help them addressed this before I return to my place or be assigned in another place. But they have other priorities that they need to address at this time.
Deb Hirt from Stillwater, OK on June 17, 2015:
Excellent article. Nestle continues to yank water out of California like it is without end. Unless we all come together to do what we can, we will be in serious trouble. Even though some of us have plenty of rain this year, doesn't mean that it will continue to proliferate. Awesome and up for getting the word out that we must conserve as much as we can no matter what it is.
Ronald E Franklin from Mechanicsburg, PA on May 12, 2015:
It's amazing that with the earth being 70 percent covered by water, only about 1 percent is directly usable by humans. That stat alone helps to put the importance of conserving our water into perspective.
Demas W Jasper from Today's America and The World Beyond on May 09, 2015:
I will simply ditto Au fait's comment and scored this Up, Useful, Awesome, and Interesting. Well done.
peachy from Home Sweet Home on May 02, 2015:
we use water filter but the sands still gets into the kettle
Dinesh from Delhi on April 28, 2015:
Really very informative post. Thanks for sharing such valuable information.
Audrey Hunt from Idyllwild Ca. on April 28, 2015:
Very good hub filled with useful information. I drink 'Smart Water' because of the added electrolytes. Thanks, and will share.
Dianna Mendez on April 28, 2015:
I hope readers pay attention to the important warnings you post about fluoride in water. It is harmful. You write very well and with great style!
C E Clark from North Texas on April 26, 2015:
What a lot of information you have here, and I must say I learned a great deal and was reminded of a few things, too. Excellently written. I hope everyone will read and learn from this article and your great work of putting it all together. Voted up!
Akriti Mattu from Shimla, India on April 24, 2015:
i want to thank you for writing such an informative piece. Well done.
DebMartin on April 23, 2015:
Well done, Besarien. I live with plenty of water here in N. Michigan and N. Ontario. But I feel the wolf at the door and more and more drought-challenged areas look to our water supply. I grew up with fluoride in my water and fortunately do not have dental issues because if it. Now I've moved away from all city water sources and well water has served me for many, many years. Water is an issue that must stay in the forefront! Especially given the fact that even though we acknowledge some areas are stressed for lack of water we are still carelessly polluting our water through disposal of plastics, fracking, and other manufacturing processes.
Susette Horspool from Pasadena CA on April 22, 2015:
This is very well written, besarien. For a water expert like me, it's not often that I read articles on water quality that keep me fully engaged, but yours does. Keep 'em going!
Giovanna from UK on April 21, 2015:
Such an interesting and well written hub. Thanks for all the information. I am very worried about fluoride but here in the UK it's impossible to avoid it has been imposed upon us in our water. Also, adverts telling us that it's good for teeth etc don't help - where can I buy toothpaste with no fluoride in it! Voted up.
Melody Lassalle from California on April 21, 2015:
Besarian, a well thought out article. This is so timely for those of us who live in California where water is scarce this year due to the drought. Conservation is always at the forefront. Every bit we save makes a difference.
I'd like to see more effort put in desalination. The cost and environmental impact needs to be decreased, but the ocean is all around us and could provide water in much needed areas.
There is also the concept recycled water. There is a plant in my area that has perfected eliminating human waste from waste water and making it potable. It's an unsavory idea. Then again, what gets in our reservoirs, lakes, and rivers that we don't think about? This could be another way to bring water to people.
Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on April 21, 2015:
I taught about this often in my science and environment classes. I was amazed then how many kids simply didn't care about it. I hope things are changing. Articles like this one will help to raise awareness. Nicely written my friend.
Lana Adler from California on April 20, 2015:
Very informative and well-written! I've written about the woes of water fluoridation myself, but I still found lots of interesting relevant information in your hub. And I agree: water fluoridation and fluoride dental treatments should be banned, now!!
Besarien (author) from South Florida on April 20, 2015:
Hey Suzanne! As I understand it hypercalcification can cause white spots especially amongst people who have worn braces. Also Celiac's disease and certain genetic disorders can cause white spots but by far the most common cause seems to be Fluoride poisoning.
Suzanne Day from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia on April 20, 2015:
An informative hub. I didn't know white spots on teeth were caused by fluorosis - my mother has these and told me it was calcium tablets or some such thing. Thanks for letting me know, voted useful!
Besarien (author) from South Florida on April 19, 2015:
Hi hardlymoving! My dentist told me back in '97 that he uses fluoride toothpaste but drinks the reverse osmosis water from what was then a local version of Whole Foods since they added back minerals.
We got a reverse osmosis unit not too long after. I add a pinch per gallon of Himalayan salt which has a mineral balance and tastes great.
There has been a lot more research since back then. I hope you get the chance to a look at it and draw your own conclusions. Thanks for taking the time to comment!
Mel Carriere from San Diego California on April 19, 2015:
A very appropriate hub for us in California, where our governor won't invest in desalination plants because he wants to run his bullet train through the Central Valley, where there is not a drop of water anymore. I had ni idea the fluoride in my water was making me dumber, it all makes sense now! Exceptionally well written and informative hub!
hardlymoving from Memphis, TN on April 19, 2015:
Had an interesting discussion with my dentist about Fluoride. He is emphatic that, ingested, it does no harm to the human body. That a lot of the so called ill effects is not scientifically substantiated. Otherwise, a good article.
Larry Rankin from Oklahoma on April 19, 2015:
There just isn't much that is more important than the water we drink.
manatita44 from london on April 19, 2015:
What a beautiful, necessary and holistic Hub. Very educational also. My friends have contributed to water filters in Africa and will do much more.
Good for those needing to highlight the plight and trouble with one of our foremost commodities for living. Love.
Michael Higgins from Michigan on April 18, 2015:
Great hub, Besarien. Water is something that is really taken for granted. Enjoyed the read and voted up.
Besarien (author) from South Florida on April 18, 2015:
Hey poetryman6969 ! I hadn't heard about worms to desalinate but that is really exciting. I am definitely going to check it out.
I do know Lockheed Martin is the defense contractor working on graphene salt removal tech while Saudi Arabia is building the largest solar desalinization plant in the world. That's right, SA isn't waiting for cheap oil to run dry!
poetryman6969 on April 18, 2015:
The graphene salt water filters sound quite interesting. I hope they will take advantage of that in California.
They are talking about treating water with worms in an article I came across:
Cleaning water with worms: technique is industrialized in Colombia
Frank Atanacio from Shelton on April 18, 2015:
very detailed, informative and helpful thank you for sharing this hub my friend :)
Besarien (author) from South Florida on April 17, 2015:
Hi everybody! Thanks for your kind words. I'm glad you think this topic is important too. Luke M. Simmons and Richard (both of whom I am following) wrote great water hubs recently. I took care not to repeat their info. If you want to read more on water conservation and water crisis definitely check them out!
peachy from Home Sweet Home on April 17, 2015:
yes, fresh water if you can get from the stream would be better but living in the city, no way to get near there
John Hansen from Queensland Australia on April 17, 2015:
This is an important hub besarien. Many people just use water however it comes and use more than they need because it is on tap. I live in the "driest continent on Earth" and my family knows the value of water. We live in a rural area without town water, so have rainwater tanks. We filter all our drinking water...so are free from fluoride contamination through our water. We wash our clothes in a basin as we shower and then reuse that to water plants. We do get fluoride through toothpaste and some food but that's all. It has been left up to local councils her to either add fluoride to the water supply or leave it out and many have chosen to forgo it's use due to citizen's concerns. Voted up.
Al Wordlaw from Chicago on April 17, 2015:
Hi Besarien, thank you for sharing such ideal information. I try to drink alkaline water as much as possible. I hear it is better for our body systems.
Howard Schneider from Parsippany, New Jersey on April 17, 2015:
Excellent Hub, Besarien. The current California drought is the worst on record and highlights the importance of conserving water. It is truly a vital resource.