How much water is sufficient?

June 5, 2015

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Dr. Joe Cotruvo talks about the life-sustaining resource in his monthly column.

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — In the May issue of Water Technology, Technical Editor Dr. Joseph Cotruvo writes about drinking water consumption in the monthly Professor POU/POE column. He looks at how water functions as an essential support for all living things.

Cotruvo explains water is consumed daily from five sources, including metabolic water, which living organisms create by metabolizing food. This process adds hundreds of milliliters to people’s daily water intake.

Water is necessary to maintain health. It balances salt and cellular osmotic pressure in addition to aiding in digestion and a host of other functions. Cotruvo shares water can contain many nutrients including calcium, magnesium and potassium.

Life is also sustained by water as it prevents losses and dehydration, writes Cotruvo. For groups like young children, pregnant women, the elderly, heavy exercisers and people with certain diseases, increased hydration is necessary. Those who are physically active sweat more than others, increasing the need to pay special attention to their daily water intakes.

“Several national military organizations have conducted studies of the water needs of troops under stressed survival and endurance requirements,” Cotruvo states. “A study of members of the Zimbabwe National Army doing strenuous work over 12 days showed that consumption of the test group was 11 liters per day versus seven liters per day in the control group.”

To keep up with hydration needs, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates a 70kg adult consumes two liters of water per day, while a child drinks one liter per day, asserts Cotruvo. Other research found similar results.

Cotruvo concludes that roughly 90 percent of adults consume two liters or less of tap water per day. The health benefits and life-sustaining properties of water make it necessary to properly treat and protect this indispensable resource.

You can find May’s Professor POU/POE on drinking water here.

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