Water plays an essential role in public health but can also carry harmful microbial or chemical contaminants. In the United States, many water quality regulations help to ensure that drinking water is adequately managed to protect public health. Some microbial and chemical contaminants still pose a threat.
Arsenic, a toxic chemical element, is found in the water of tens of millions of Bangladesh homes at concentrations 10 to 50 times what is considered safe. Arsenic poisoning leads to several types of cancer and may also be linked to diabetes, respiratory and cardiovascular ailments, and birth defects. Bangladesh switched from using surface water to using groundwater relatively recently due to high levels of microbial contamination in surface water sources.
Drinking Water: Understanding the Science and Policy behind a Natural Resource "Processing and Treatment" section (p. 3)
Arsenic contamination threatens water in Hanoi from the NY Times
Safe Drinking Water Is Essential - "Overview" and "Sources" sections
First Select a language, then click on "Overview" and "Sources". Be sure to click on Play Documentary in each section to view the included video.
Challenges to modernise the public water distribution system
Next, submit the following below:
Complete the Science Toolkit (download template) for the NY Times article, using the video, website, and the NAS Safe Water booklet as the scientific sources. In addition to completing the Toolkit, answer these two questions:
Did the NY Times article accurately report the problem with arsenic in Hanoi? Justify your answer; you do not need to refer to the source article in Nature.
Both the NAS booklet and the NY Times article refer to arsenic poisoning in developing countries where drinking water comes from wells. What prevents arsenic poisoning from occurring in the United States?
Your completed Toolkit and the answers to the above questions should be submitted together in one document. The Science Toolkit included in this activity provides a template for all of these required pieces.
Compose your work using a word processor (or other software, as appropriate) and save it frequently to your computer. When you are ready to submit your work, click Browse My Computer and find your file. Once you have located your file, click Open and, if successful, the file name will appear under the Attached files heading. Scroll to the bottom of the page, click Submit, and you are done. Be sure to check your work and correct any spelling or grammatical errors before you post it.
Before you submit this assignment to the dropbox below, be sure to upload a copy to the "Final" dropbox for this assignment on Turnitin.com.