The Darling river in Australia is drying up due to droughts and excessive water extraction. Similar events are being witnessed in several other big rivers in the world like the Po river in Italy, the Aral sea in Central Asia, and the Nile in Africa. It presents a scary picture where the scarcity of freshwater could lead to massive conflicts. It is said that the third world war could happen over water. We are looking at dire consequences for humanity if water conservation is not adequately focused upon. Life on earth is unimaginable without water. With rising population and economic activities, the pressure on the already scarce freshwater resources of the world has been enormous. We have to come up with a way to safeguard our water resources quickly otherwise we are looking at a dystopian future. The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. In this case, water testing is the first step to protecting our water resources.
What is water testing?
It refers to determining the quality of water by collecting a sample from any water body or underground aquifer and analyzing it in a laboratory to know whether the water is fit for human consumption or not. Certain companies offer specialized services to various organizations regarding the assessment of water supply which is a significant aspect of occupational safety. They employ technical and environmental experts to advise such organizations to comply with environmental and work safety regulations.
Here are some of the essential components of water testing that help in deciding the quality of the water source.
- Sample collection-Water samples are first collected using specialized equipment. The samples are collected with the utmost care to be tested in a laboratory.
- Lab analysis- After the samples are collected, they are brought to a National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA)accredited lab where it is subjected to a host of water testing procedures to determine their quality.
- Quality testing- Various quality parameters like pH, salinity, hardness, mineral elements like chlorine and sodium, absorption ratio, etc are tested extensively.
- Data assessment- After the multiple quality tests on the water samples, the relevant data is analyzed and presented comprehensively through detailed reports. The data assessment is important for the authorities to carry out timely interventions like water purification treatments to safeguard the health and safety of people.
- Better water awareness
With regular water testing procedures in place, people are reminded of the importance of a safe water supply. This instills the value of water conservation in their minds inadvertently. Companies are more likely to invest in water preservation and purification techniques to assure a regular supply of water. Testing, especially that of groundwater, is an often ignored process. Assessing groundwater availability and quality at regular intervals is critical for adopting water safety measures as groundwater is depleting fast when compared to aquifer replenishment.
- Preventing disease outbreak
Most of the big cities and towns are established near rivers due to the obvious reason of a quick water supply. However, with increasing construction activities as well as domestic and industrial consumption, water usage has risen significantly. The effluents released from these areas are dumped into the rivers and ponds which speeds up the eutrophication process and the water sources are getting irreversibly damaged. This has resulted in the inevitable – contamination of the water supply with harmful micro-organisms like bacteria, protozoa, and viruses. The overexploitation of groundwater on the other hand has shifted the water table to dangerously low levels. This has led to the mixing of heavy metals like lead and arsenic entering the water supply. The whole process is cyclical and has seriously started to affect the health of all living beings. The vicious cycle needs to be broken to protect our water resources.
- Technological innovation
Realizing the necessity of purifying our water systems, companies are now coming up with technology upgradation measures like investing in water purification technologies using emerging fields like biotechnology and nanotechnology.
Water is without any doubt the most critical resource that ensures the survival of living beings. The conservation of water is not negotiable. It is thus necessary to come up with collective efforts to save the very element that continues our existence on earth. However, before formulating a detailed plan to protect our water resources, we need to determine the extent of its protection. For this purpose, water testing is the first step in this endeavor. Be it for household consumption, industries, agriculture, offices, and commercial spaces- water is something that is used everywhere. Water is drawn from groundwater aquifers, rivers, lakes, and even seas. Hence, to determine the exact health parameters of the water drawn- like mineral content, salinity, domestic or industrial effluents, and presence or absence of pollutants like heavy metals, it is important to entrust such a vital responsibility to a trusted organization that can deliver the exact results.