Photo Credit: PM Netanyahu

A reliable water supply is one of the most fundamental needs of any civilized society. The hugely ambitious fifth water pipeline project covers more than 40 KM and is predicted to ensure the city of Jerusalem has adequate infrastructure to meet its water supply needs till around 2065.

Ensuring we remain properly hydrated is not just about quantity, though. You also need to consider quality. With the exception of the Dead Sea area, water in Israel is considered drinkable and safe. However, what do these words really mean? In essence, the water meets minimum health and safety requirements, and will not do you any harm. Yet there is a significant difference between being able to say that water is safe to drink and as opposed to it tasting good.

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What are the alternatives?

The obvious alternative is to consume bottled water. And if you compare a glass of tap water with bottled water, you will immediately notice the difference. Let’s be honest, tap water doesn’t always taste so good. It has a definite tang to it, which is usually a result of chlorination, an important process that gets rid of bacterial organisms. The trouble is, even though the chlorine level is small, it still leaves a taste, and your body is better off without it.

Bottled water has its own downsides, however. It’s expensive, and unless you really spend a lot of money on it, its origin can sometimes be in doubt. There are also the environmental implications of all those millions of plastic bottles being manufactured and then discarded.

The other thing to keep in mind is that bottled water is simply tap water that has been filtered. So surely it’s better to just buy a water filter?

Benefits of a home filtration system

There are numerous different types of filtration system you can choose, ranging for a simple activated carbon filter in a jug to a whole home system that is plumbed in at entry point to the home. It is worth evaluating all the options, but one of the most popular, efficient and cost-effective options is something along the lines of the bigberkeywaterfilters that are an increasingly common sight in kitchens throughout the world.

These have the best of both worlds, in that they filter out all the main contaminants, including fluoride, which many other types do not. However, unlike a distiller or reverse osmosis filter, they will not filter out the important minerals that your body needs in order to stay healthy.

Saving money with a filter

A home accessory that will produce drinking water that is as good or better than bottled water, but does not come with the ecological downsides, sounds great in theory. But you would probably think it is something for those who have the money to afford it.

Actually, the opposite is the case. Bottled water has been described as one of the great frauds of our times. To reiterate, in most cases, unless you are buying something that is demonstrably from a particular source or spring, it is just tap water that has been filtered.

How has it been filtered, using what sort of system? Nobody knows. Exactly what has been filtered out? Another good question. The point is, in most jurisdictions, bottled water is not subject to health regulations that are any more stringent than for tap water. In fact, in the USA, the chemical pollution standards for both are practically identical.

Yet Americans spend, on average, $1.50 per gallon on bottled water. The cost of one of those Berkey filters? About 2 cents per gallon over the course of ten years.

We see the same the world over – look to some of the most hard-hit and war-torn areas of the world. We see the news coverage every day, people struggling to survive and keep clothes on their back and food in their children’s stomachs. And what else do we see? Plastic water bottles everywhere.

Savings are more than financial

With all the above points in mind, it is hardly surprising that water filters are becoming an increasingly common sight. However, we need to snap out of the idea that they are some kind of luxury accessory or gadget for those who are rich.

The new pipeline is going to deliver plentiful water to everyone in Jerusalem for generations to come, but you can bet that bottled water sales will continue to be as strong as ever unless we can bring about a change of mindset.

It’s not just about saving money. Across the globe, we consume an amazing 200 billion plastic bottles of water per year. Of these, only a tiny minority are properly recycled. More than half go into landfill, while a shocking 20 billion end up in the ocean, causing further ecological damage.

The truth is, we are already creating more than enough problems for future generations. This is one area in which we can all act now.

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