Analysis Part 2: Analyzing the Safety of Your Drinking Water
The water footprint is only one indicator of the impact of your local drinking water treatment and distribution systems. To learn about the ways that you are directly affected you have also researched the actual quality of the water being provided to you.
In the course of your research you have hopefully located or compiled a list of the concentrations of all of the substances that your local drinking water has been tested for. You can now compare those concentrations to guidelines and standards by using the Comparison Chart of Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality and other drinking water standards from around the world.
Note: It is very unlikely that your water has been tested for most of the parameters on this list, most communities test for half a dozen or fewer parameters. If you are concerned by a lack of testing you might investigate into why more testing is not done and/or test your water yourself using Operation Water Drop, another program offered by the Safe Drinking Water Foundation, please visit www.safewater.org/operation-water-drop for more information.
In many cases the regulations in other parts of the world are stricter than those in Canada. This is the case because they have decided that certain chemicals and substances can cause health problems when present in even smaller amounts than those decided on in Canada. To ensure that your drinking water is really safe it should meet the strictest of the standards.
If it is found that any of the standards are not being met additional research could be done into the consequences of this.
Have there been any health problems in your community that could be attributed to this?
The Safe Drinking Water Foundation has several sources of information relevant to this research available on its website. You can check the documents for the Operation Water Drop program found at www.safewater.org/operation-water-drop and the fact sheets found at www.safewater.org/fact-sheets.