The way in which drinking water is perceived and regulated is constantly changing, and this has been reflected in the past decade by a far more rigorous health-based approach in setting water quality guidelines. Changes in climate associated with global warming is seriously affecting sustainability of supplies as well as impacting on water quality. Advances in chemical and microbial analysis are revealing many new contaminants that were previously either undetectable or unknown; while toxicological and epidemiological evidence is continually altering our perception of risk from contaminants.
Water can become contaminated anywhere within the supply chain, at the resource (e.g., arsenic, fluoride, nitrate, organic micro-pollutants, endocrine-disrupting compounds, metals, algal toxins, radon and radionuclides), during treatment (e.g., aluminium, acrylamide, fluoride, disinfection by-products) or distribution (e.g., asbestos, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) and even within the home itself (e.g., metals). With pathogens found at all stages of the supply chain. Our understanding of these risks and how to manage them is continuously evolving with new innovative technological and management solutions being introduced in the constant battle to ensure water is safe to drink.
This special edition focuses on the current state of drinking water quality research and how this affects the health and welfare of those who drink it.