Earth Is a Closed-Water SystemMarch 11, 2016
Elton John’s 1972 song “Rocket Man” imagined a future world where space travel would be commonplace: “I miss the Earth so much, I miss my wife; it’s lonely out in space; on such a timeless flight.”
But the pop singer’ wayward imagination wasn’t so far out in the first place. In fact, all the planet’s 7.4 billion inhabitants are essentially whipping through the heavenlies on a six sextillion ton spaceship called Earth in an atmospherically enclosed environment. When it comes to obtaining our liquid sustenance during our travels, we live in a closed-water system: nothing gained, nothing lost.
While nearly three-quarters of the Earth’s surface is covered with water, the planet as a mass contains about 332,500,000 cubic miles of water – about 860 miles in diameter, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
We at Azure Water, your premier bottled water producer, mention these numbers to make a point. Water is a unique and profoundly precious commodity against the infinitely sprawling backdrop of the universe.
The Earth’s quantity of fresh water comes to about 2,551,000 cubic miles. If it took the shape of a sphere, it would be 170 miles in diameter, which is about the size of Kentucky. The planet’s fresh water supplies – most of it unavailable to travelers on spaceship Earth – come from groundwater, swamp water, rivers and lakes. And only 2 percent of the world’s fresh water supply is currently accessible for human consumption.
Water Cycles Vary From a Week to Hundreds of Thousands of Years
So how long does it take water to go through the Earth’s various cycles?
Atmospheric water typically remains in the air for nine days. Rain water usually stays on the ground for a couple months. However, some trickles down to shallow groundwater levels where it stays for several hundred years. Deep groundwater typically remains there for 10,000 years.
In some areas, water returns to the Earth as snow and typically becomes liquid in two to six months. Glaciers hold fresh water for 20 – 100 years. Rain water that lands in oceans stays sometimes for several thousand years.
If water makes it to the far north or to the south to ice shelves, it can hang around there for hundreds of thousands of years.
What’s This Mean For You and Me?
What does this mean on a personal level? The average person drinks about 15,000 gallons of water in a lifetime. Since water is inherently used and continuously recycled, the water you’re drinking now could be the same liquid Adolf Hitler, Sigmund Freud, Napoleon Bonaparte, William Shakespeare and Jesus Christ drank.
The Earth isn’t losing or gaining water. The supply is just shifting to other places and sometimes taking other forms.
Our water at Azure Water is drawn from the Floridan Aquifer, which passes through activated carbon filtration to remove chlorine and Trihalomethanes. The water then passes through a softener to extract heavy minerals. A UV light sterilizer provides more intense disinfection of the water as it moves toward the process of reverse osmosis.
The water is continuously circulated through the ozone tank until bottles are available for filling. Read more about our purification processes.
Azure Water’s facility uses state-of-the-art equipment that can generate 5,000 cases a day, including alkaline spring water and artesian mineral water. We can produce custom-bottle shapes, and fill, seal and label your bottles. If you’re looking to expand your business or have questions about co-packing or our capabilities, contact us.