All humans are made up mostly of water. It is key to our survival. It is a major economic and political factor of our lives in California and dominates the agendas in many other countries, most clearly seen now in the Middle East.

The quality of our own water is also a hot topic. The way in which water is made drinkable, through chlorination and other methods, and then the use of additives such as fluoride all affect the quality of our lives. Clean, safe drinking water is crucial to our well-being.

However, even before we talk about the quality of water, we need to address the fact that most of us dont drink enough water in the first place. My father is in an old peoples home and was recently hospitalized for a bladder infection. For a while now he has had very bad dandruff and scaly skin, an obvious sign of dehydration. His situation is complicated as he has dementia and will not think to drink for himself. Therefore, if the staff does not insist he drink water and make him do so, he simply will not drink. The only liquid he will routinely drink is tea (he is in England) and an occasional juice. He wont take water alone. This is why he got the bladder infection.

It is commonly known that most old people, especially in old peoples homes are dehydrated. This can have a serious affect on a persons health. Dehydration can kill a person, and this is more likely to be seen in elderly people in homes. They are not given enough water to drink, and when they spend most of their days in overheated buildings, they are drying out from the inside. If you have a relative in a home, make sure that they are made to drink frequently.

It is easy to go through the day without drinking much liquid. Tea and coffee actually dehydrate you and water should be taken soon after drinking much tea and coffee. This is especially the case with coffee. Some people advocate drinking up to 1 gallon of water a day. This may seem excessive, but it is important to keep up a regular supply of water and try to drink about 64 ounces a day.

Try and drink filtered water. Bottled water in soft plastic bottles is questionable as when those bottles become heated they leak estrogen like chemicals into the water. The quality of bottled water is also highly debatable. Whilst some may be very pure, most water is still transported over long distances and kept in plastic containers that compromise its quality. Filtered tap water is fine. A Brita filter will take out the chlorine and some bacteria. More advanced filtrations like reverse osmosis filters will take out more of the potentially dangerous microbes and chemicals.

San Francisco water can often taste quite bad because the pipes are very old, leaching metals into the water and also the chlorination process is also old, with the result of a strong chlorine taste in the water. Attempts to modernize the San Francisco chlorination process have been quashed at the ballot box.

So, do pay attention to your drinking habits and make sure you drink enough good water every day.