Water Providers Play Key Role in Promoting Human Health

May 19, 2000

The American Water Works Association (AWWA) is reminding the American people of the importance of drinking water to their health. AWWA made its recommendations as part of the ongoing national discussion of drinking water issues being held as part of the National Drinking Water Week celebration.

"The human body relies upon water to live," said Jack Hoffbuhr, Executive Director of AWWA. "Americans have one of the safest supplies of drinking water found anywhere in the world, and they owe it to themselves and their health to take advantage of it."

The human body is composed of 60 percent water and the human brain is approximately 75 percent water. Water plays numerous important roles in the human body's daily regiment. It aids the transport of nutrients to cells, expedites the body's removal of waste products, keeps joints lubricated and improves kidney function. Any time the body's hydration level is too low, all of these functions run less efficiently, and prolonged dehydration can lead the body to stop running altogether. Health professionals agree that a drop in just 15 to 20 percent of the water in the body can result in death.

AWWA, along with health professionals, recommend adults drink eight glasses of water a day, and suggest adults increase their water consumption during times when the body loses moisture through perspiration due to fever, exercise or stress. An adult weighing 150 pounds should increase their water consumption from eight glasses to nine glasses after light activity, 10 after moderate activity and 12 after strenuous activity.

"Humans have to drink clean water to live, and the hard work of community water suppliers guarantees they have access to it," Hoffbuhr said. "Drinking water professionals have long understood the importance of providing safe drinking water and remain committed ensuring we all have ready access to some of the cleanest and safest water in the world."

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