Water is at the heart of most human activities. Agricultural activities, including irrigation and livestock, are the main sources of water consumption worldwide. Water is also used in many industrial processes, for example in the chemicals, metallurgy, and paper and cardboard industries. Finally, water is consumed for domestic use by communities (schools, hospitals, street washing) and homes (hygiene, cleaning, food).
There are 4 categories of water intended for human consumption:
tap water, made potable by treatment, meets the regulatory criteria for drinking water, defined in France by the Ministry of Health;
spring water, drinkable in its natural state undergoes no treatment. It comes from a source, a water table or an underground deposit.
mineral water, by its content of minerals and trace elements, has properties favorable to health. It comes from a groundwater table or an underground deposit, and its composition is constant.
running water bottle, sold today in bottle may have undergone treatments, unlike spring and mineral waters.
The price of tap water includes the costs of its treatment, its distribution to users and its sanitation after use.
The price of bottled water is much higher because it takes into account the manufacturing, transport and possible recycling of bottles, as well as the costs of marketing it. Global consumption of bottled water is increasing by more than 10% per year on average. This phenomenon, which is harmful to the environment, is difficult to explain, especially in industrialized countries where bottled water is often not healthier than tap water. It is mainly due to effective marketing strategies on the part of private players in the water market.
Water consumption varies widely from country to country. It certainly depends on the availability of water, but mainly on the country’s development (GDP). Thus an American (USA) consumes on average 9,985 m³, against 3,000 m³ for a European and only 7.3 m³ for a Malian.
The concept of virtual water appeared in the early 1990s. It associates consumer products with the amount of water necessary for their production or manufacture. For example, the virtual water quantity of one kg of wheat is 1000 l. Virtual water can be an effective way to regulate resources and save water. It is indeed difficult to transport water, while it is easier to exchange agricultural products whose production consumes a lot of water. About 15% of the world’s water is exported in the form of virtual water. This notion of virtual water can also have educational virtues to raise awareness of the problems associated with overconsumption of water.
A water bottle should not leak, that’s all. Especially not at a time when the cell phone stored in the same bag can cost more than a thousand euros. We filled each bottle tested with food coloring water and put it on a sheet of absorbent paper for twenty-four hours to check for leaks.
Our main discovery was how sensitive so-called “sports” caps are to user errors. It makes perfect sense to find them on flexible gourds for sports, but the caps on top of the double-walled steel bottles are stiffer, and therefore more likely to be left open inadvertently. Because of that, one of my canvas bags got completely flooded. Sometimes, due to their design, it is not even possible to verify that the cap is closed properly, even using his hands.