Water is one of the primary reasons for the survival of human beings and other living beings on this planet earth. The most important factor behind existence of life on earth is considered to be water next only to oxygen. Seventy percent of human body is made up of water. Major quantity of this water is lost from the body though the production of urine and sweat. This is primarily the reason why doctors, physicians, medical experts and nutritionists emphasize upon the need for the human bodies to be hydrated at all times. This hydration is specified to be at least 3 to 4 litres of water to be consumed everyday by each and every individual depending on one’s body weight.
Water carries out the following important functions :
· Helps in flushing bacteria out of the bladder
· Helps in aiding digestion
· Helps in carrying nutrients and oxygen to the cells
· Helps in preventing constipation
· Helps in maintaining the electrolyte (sodium) balance, etc.
Water has been having a strategic importance since centuries for humankind. It is a tradition in India to always offer a glass of water to anyone who comes to the home. This can be a guest or a relative or a vendor or a member of the family returning home after a long day at the workplace. Water is a colourless and tasteless elixir of life which comes in many types. The following is a water guide for all those wondering the difference between sparkling water and regular mineral water varieties.
Water can be distinguished into different types on the basis of its origin, consistency, composition and treatment. The different types of water that exist can be classified as follows:
1. Tap water
Tap water is the type of water that one can get directly flowing from the faucet. This water may or may not be suited for drinking purposes depending on the extent of purity and source of the water. This water can be widely used for different household chores such as cooking, gardening, cleaning, bathing and washing clothes. Apart from households, the tap water is also consumed by complexes run by the corporate, commercial, institutions and government for washroom facilities. A vivid traveler across different countries, must realise the fact that tap water can be directly used for drinking in many countries whilst in some other countries, they cannot be consumed without boiling the water or filtration of water. The tap water should meet the standards and regulations set by the local Municipal corporations.
2. Mineral Water
Mineral water is the type of water which naturally contains different types of minerals. This water is obtained directly from underground sources. This makes the water rich in various minerals such as calcium, magnesium and manganese. No further minerals can be added to the water. The water also cannot be subjected to any further treatment with the exception of limited treatments such as carbonation, iron removal or manganese removal, before packaging of the water. The essential minerals make it safe enough to be branded as healthy drinking water. The component of mineral water may differ from one brand to another brand. Some of the brands may have more number of minerals in the water while other brands may have lesser number of minerals in the water. The presence of these minerals is the prime reason for the water to have a salty taste.
3. Spring water
Spring water is the type of water that comes out from underground. In some places, rainwater accumulated underground tends to “leak” out at the surface such as a spring or a puddle. Natural springs do not pass through a community water system.
4. Well water
Well water is the type of water that is stored underground. When rainfall happens, the water trickles down through the inner crevices of the soil, beneath the ground to form underground lakes. This normally happens over a long period of time. Water level in the wells depends on the quantum of rains in the monsoon season. Wells dry up due to the shortage of rains. One of the primary sources of water in rural areas is what is dug out from deep wells. Access to the water in deep wells (when there was no electricity distribution) was manually done using buckets tied to long ropes and pulled up via a pulley to the surface. Currently there are motor driven pump sets that can bring groundwater to the surface and stored in overhead tanks from which people can consume the water in their households.
5. Purified water
A purified water is the type of water which has undergone purification treatment in a water treatment plant after deriving from its source. In water purification, The act of purifying entails removing all bacteria, contaminants and dissolved solids making the water suitable for drinking as well as other purposes.
6. Distilled water:
Distilled water is the type of water where the water has been subjected to a treatment that removes all its minerals as well as salt by the process of reverse osmosis as well as distillation. Another name for distilled water is demineralized water. This is an absolutely pure form of water. But this is not recommended for drinking purposes, since it can cause mineral deficiencies. This water is devoid of all salts as well as natural minerals as a result of this process. Drinking this water will cause a rapid loss of sodium, potassium, chloride, and magnesium in the human body.
7. Sparkling Water
Sparkling water is the type of water that has undergone a carbonation process. This carbonation process makes the water fizzy just like the soda water. Sparkling water can be produced by addition of carbon-di-oxide to spring water, purified water or mineral water.