Updated: 9/15/2011

There two quotes that often come to mind when I think about water:

Water, water, every where,
Nor any drop to drink.

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner
-Samuel Taylor Coleridge


There are these two young fish swimming along, and they happen to meet an older fish swimming the other way, who nods at them and says, “Morning, boys, how’s the water?” And the two young fish swim on for a bit, and then eventually one of them looks over at the other and goes, “What the hell is water?”

-David Foster Wallace

Water, water everywhere

So what do these quotes mean to me? For much of the world, the famous lines from The Rime of the Ancient Mariner are either increasingly accurate or increasingly inaccurate. A great many of us have easy access to water. However, can we trust the quality and safety of that water? It is no secret that the rate at which science and technology are churning out new products is getting faster. Hundreds of new chemicals and pharmaceuticals are manufactured every year and these chemicals are frequently making their way into our water systems. I’m not suggesting that your tap water from a municipal water supply or personal well contains anything that it shouldn’t. On the other hand, it is time to become aware of the chemicals and drugs that are entering our environment and could eventually wind up in our drinking water.

Water, water nowhere

States like Georgia, Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona are contending with record-setting drought conditions. Texas, in particular, is very hard hit with more than 80% of the state at a D4 or exceptional drought level. Just for comparison, D0 drought level is described as abnormally dry. To make matters worse, many of these states are experiencing above average growth in population. Municipalities are simultaneously dealing with increased water demand and drastically reduced water supply. How do we deal with this problem both domestically and internationally? One of the main discussion topics for this website will be how cities, businesses, and private citizens can reduce wasteful water consumption.

One fish, two fish

I became interested in the area of water quality and water conversation after listening to an interview by New York Times journalist Charles Duhigg about his investigation into the dangers threatening our drinking water. I got my degree in chemical engineering “Far Above Cayuga’s Waters”, but that doesn’t make me the wise-old fish in Mr. Wallace’s quote. It does give me a head start when it comes to understanding some of the science impacting our water quality.

The mission of Home Water Quality is to provide you with accurate and reliable information about your home drinking water, ways to improve its quality, and how to conserve it.

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