Drinking water

Tap water is drinking water supplied through indoor plumbing for home use

Drinking water, also known as potable water, is water that is safe to drink or to use for food preparation. The amount of drinking water required varies. [1] It depends on physical activity, age, health issues, and environmental conditions. [1] Americans, on average, drink one litre of water a day and 95% drink less than three litres per day. [2] For those who work in a hot climate, up to 16 liters a day may be required. [1] Water is essential for life. [1]

Typically in developed countries, tap water meets drinking water quality standards, even though only a small proportion is actually consumed or used in food preparation. Other typical uses include washing, toilets, and irrigation. Greywater may also be used for toilets or irrigation. Its use for irrigation however may be associated with risks. [3] Water may also be unacceptable due to levels of toxins or suspended solids.

Globally, in 2015, 89% of people had access to water from a source that is suitable for drinking - called " improved water source". [3] Nearly 4.2 billion had access to tap water while another 2.4 billion had access to wells or public taps. [3] 1.8 billion people still use an unsafe drinking water source which may be contaminated by feces. [3] This can result in infectious diseases, such as gastroenteritis, cholera, and typhoid, among others. [3] Reduction of waterborne diseases and development of safe water resources is a major public health goal in developing countries. Bottled water is sold for public consumption in most parts of the world.


A fountain in Saint-Paul-de-Vence, France. The sign reading Eau potable indicates that the water is safe to drink.

The amount of drinking water required is variable. [1] It depends on physical activity, age, health, and environmental conditions. [1] In a temperate climate under normal conditions, adequate water intake is about 2.7 litres (95 imp fl oz; 91 US fl oz) for adult women and 3.7 litres (130 imp fl oz; 130 US fl oz) for adult men. [4] Physical exercise and heat exposure cause loss of water and therefore may induce thirst and greater water intake. [4] Physically active individuals in hot climates may have total daily water needs of 6 litres (210 imp fl oz; 200 US fl oz) or more. [4] The European Food Safety Authority recommends 2.0 litres (70 imp fl oz; 68 US fl oz) per day for adult women and 2.5 litres (88 imp fl oz; 85 US fl oz) per day for adult men. [5]

In the United States, the reference daily intake (RDI) for total water is 3.7 litres per day (L/day) for human males older than 18, and 2.7 L/day for human females older than 18 which includes drinking water, water in beverages, and water contained in food. [6] An individual's thirst provides a better guide for how much water they require rather than a specific, fixed quantity. [7]

Water makes up about 60% of the body weight in men and 55% of weight in women. [8] A baby is composed of about 70% to 80% water while the elderly are composed of around 45%. [9]

The drinking water contribution to mineral nutrients intake is also unclear. Inorganic minerals generally enter surface water and ground water via storm water runoff or through the Earth's crust. Treatment processes also lead to the presence of some minerals. Examples include calcium, zinc, manganese, phosphate, fluoride and sodium compounds. [10] Water generated from the biochemical metabolism of nutrients provides a significant proportion of the daily water requirements for some arthropods and desert animals, but provides only a small fraction of a human's necessary intake. There are a variety of trace elements present in virtually all potable water, some of which play a role in metabolism. For example, sodium, potassium and chloride are common chemicals found in small quantities in most waters, and these elements play a role in body metabolism. Other elements such as fluoride, while beneficial in low concentrations, can cause dental problems and other issues when present at high levels.

Fluid balance is key. Profuse sweating can increase the need for electrolyte (salt) replacement. Water intoxication (which results in hyponatremia), the process of consuming too much water too quickly, can be fatal. [11] [12]

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Drinkwater
العربية: ماء الشرب
বাংলা: পানীয় জল
Bân-lâm-gú: Ím-iōng-chúi
български: Питейна вода
bosanski: Vodovod
català: Aigua potable
čeština: Pitná voda
Deutsch: Trinkwasser
eesti: Joogivesi
español: Agua potable
Esperanto: Trinkakvo
français: Eau potable
galego: Auga potable
贛語: 白開水
한국어: 음료수
hrvatski: Pitka voda
Bahasa Indonesia: Air minum
íslenska: Neysluvatn
italiano: Acqua potabile
עברית: מי שתייה
қазақша: Ауыз су
Kiswahili: Maji salama
Kreyòl ayisyen: Dlo pou bwè pwòp
latviešu: Dzeramais ūdens
Lëtzebuergesch: Drénkwaasser
Livvinkarjala: Juonduvezi
magyar: Ivóvíz
Nederlands: Drinkwater
नेपाली: पिउने पानी
日本語: 飲料水
norsk: Drikkevann
norsk nynorsk: Drikkevatn
occitan: Aiga potabla
Plattdüütsch: Drinkwater
polski: Woda pitna
português: Água potável
română: Apă potabilă
Runa Simi: Upyana yaku
sicilianu: Acqua pi bìviri
slovenčina: Pitná voda
slovenščina: Pitna voda
српски / srpski: Питка вода
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Pitka voda
suomi: Juomavesi
svenska: Dricksvatten
தமிழ்: குடி நீர்
తెలుగు: తాగునీరు
Türkçe: İçme suyu
українська: Питна вода
Tiếng Việt: Nước uống
粵語: 食水
中文: 饮用水