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What´s up with water: Pouring water into your corporate strategy (XII) Water for human consumption. Part A

Happy Friday. It has been a heavy week for everyone all over the world. Usually, the month of June is the peak corporate wake-up call, for the typical review of how far is all of us with the goals that we planned by the end of last year. It is the start of mid/term reviews. Good luck to all of us who are in that process at the moment. Today our aim is to offer you the first session regarding the subject of Water for Human Consumption. So let´s begin.

Drinking water is vital. But glugging excellent quality water is more. In our last episode, we remarked how clever has been God to make us with body components that are the same in content and percentage of weight as what we consume. Nothing escapes in detail from our creator of the universe. Once we discover that we are 60% water, then we know by heart that 60% of our food and beverage intake daily should be at least 60% water every day. Water comes not only in the precious 8 glasses a day but also in fruits, veggies, soups, and many other meals.

Then if we are water, and we need to consume water every day, we need to be picky, and extremely demanding in our requests for water quality. Many times in the past, I have seen my female friends who are mothers, how tremendously worried are they, about the water that their babies consume. I have regarded them, boiling water to prepare the baby bottles of milk, with so much careful consideration. I also watched my sister, buy special costly water to prepare the food for her babies. And that caring for babies’ water, has to continue through all our lifetime. Why do you think that the population’s first mandate to our governments must be to set up excellent water and food standards and their respective guidelines? Regulation of water bureaus (public or private) should be a continuous exigence. Since we are water, it is a priority to ensure our health. We need to be sure that our tap water is perfect for our consumption. And we need to check if our bottled water in plastic is also safe. I am convinced that many of our diseases are caused by microbial and fecal contamination in water: among other microbiological, radiological, and chemical sources of contamination of our water reservoirs and water pipelines.

Water is all around us. In everything we do. Illustrative and non-commercial image. Photo Source: Microsoft Office Library.

Drinking water standards and guidelines. Societies that have comprehended the latter paragraph have invested heavily in setting standards. And these water benchmarks are being constantly reviewed and updated. The European Union has created the European Drinking Water Directive. Americans, have the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Safe Drinking Water Act; China has entitled the Ministre of Environment of China for setting its own water rules; meanwhile, the United Nations are always working to update and improve the WHO Guidelines for Drinking Water Quality  (GDWQ). Basically, the majority of high-income countries are able to create, edit or modify their own guidelines on a constant basis, meanwhile, the majority of the middle-income and poor countries are takers of the WHO Water Standards.

Availability vs. acceptability. It is important to distinguish between strategic problems when we analyze water. One thing is to have water in different supplies (groundwater, rainfall, rivers, etc); another one is to have acceptable water for human consumption. And both considerations are linked to each other. It is possible that the water quality (measured in water standards) could be limiting its availability. For example, in the United States, more than 50% of privately owned wells had arsenic concentrations greater than the minimum standard (10µg/liter).  Health effects from exposure to arsenic in drinking water include increased risk for bladder, skin, kidney, and lung cancers, the risk of diabetes, and heart disease. Even if these wells offer the availability of water, their acceptability is not okay. Arsenic, as a naturally occurring contaminant of water, is a specific issue for more than 48 million Americans, and for those who don´t consume publicly-supplied drinking water (which is monitored frequently). It doesn´t matter if we have available wells of water if the water doesn´t pass all the tests for acceptability (1).

Water is a human right. According to United Nations Human Rights, water is a subject of crucial importance, and it is included by United Nations as a basic human right. UN has defined 5 elements of water as a human right for each person on earth: Water must be (a) sufficient, (b) safe, (c) acceptable, (d) physically accessible, and (e) affordable. We wish to differentiate each term as follows (2):

  • Sufficient: The water supply for each person must be sufficient and continuous for personal and domestic uses. These uses ordinarily include drinking, personal sanitation, washing of clothes, food preparation, and personal and household hygiene.
  • Safe: The water required for each personal or domestic use must be safe, therefore free from micro-organisms, chemical substances, and radiological hazards that constitute a threat to a person’s health. Measures of drinking-water safety are usually defined by national and/or local standards for drinking-water quality.
  • Acceptable: Water should be of acceptable color, odor, and taste for each personal or domestic use. All water facilities and services must be culturally appropriate and sensitive to gender, lifecycle, and privacy requirements.
  • Physically accessible: Everyone has the right to a water and sanitation service that is physically accessible within, or in the immediate vicinity of the household, educational institution, workplace, or health institution.
  • Affordable: Water, and water facilities and services, must be affordable for all.

What are water standards? Water standards are the set of minimum requirements to ensure the safety of drinking water. These are measured in terms of indicator groups and their respective parametric values. Each country on earth has to invest resources in identifying its own indicators of water contaminants and define its mandatory limits. These are called indicators of water quality.

The WHO provides the first loop of a guideline about these standards. But there should be a national water strategy for each country, that then has to be incorporated into a legislative and regulatory framework for further compliance.

Water is contaminated and needs integral care. In general, the standards are set because there is contamination in our water. The WHO started to publish these standards and guidelines in 1958. At the moment no groundwater source or well on earth, not even the glacier water that is kept in mountain reservoirs is 100% pure. So let´s be anxious adorable readers. We are handling contaminated water, that requires treatment before its consumption. The source of contaminants can be distinguished into two main groups: naturally occurring contaminants and human-introduced contaminants.  

We live with contaminated sources of water. Everywhere. Once we accept that we live in a current state of contaminated water all over the world, then and only then, we can comprehend why the WHO, EPA, European Union, Canada, China, etc. have adopted a framework for safe drinking water, in which the standards are classified in 4 aspect groups: microbial, chemical, radiological and general acceptability.  In our next publication, I will provide a general essential overview of all these aspects in several slides. This document will help us to ask questions for our strategic review.  

Let´s stop here. In our next post, we will also continue with the strategic reflections about water for human consumption. Today we simply started the descriptive story,. After showing you the general panorama, then and only then we can proceed with our strategic reflections, to be disclosed next week. Let´s carry on with our musical module.

Strategic Music Section:

Why did we choose David Garrett? David Garrett plays the Stradivari “Ex Busch” (1716) and the “Prince Doria” Guarneri del Gesù violin (1734). David took our attention because he has redirected his career, cutting the cords from the traditional classical path, and without any hesitation, sans losing his essence as a classical music performer, he has taken other music genres like rock, pop, and electronic pieces on stage for violin interpretation. If you wish to know more about his endeavors, please visit his official website: . In an interview that he offered to CNN some years ago, he defined himself as a diplomatic of music, explaining why by mixing rock with classical lyrical ways, he was trying to reconcile both. The rationale behind his strategy is to play popular well known music from Metallica or David Guetta or Michael Jackson, “in order to get younger people interested in what he does when he plays the Beethoven, the Bach, Mozart, Tchaikovsky, which are big pieces in his heart”. Our reflection about his music corporate decision-making when it comes to playing the violin is: sometimes artists (including authors) rely on generally accepted widespread tactics, to pull people to get to know what we do, and then stick to us. By doing it, in short, our audiences can initiate their classical learning process for more elaborated and beautiful oeuvres, which by far are much difficult, complicated and of higher quality. I have already told you this before: youngsters will only begin to appreciate the classical music concerts when they can see all these orchestras interpreting the musical backgrounds of the new popular young stars. So it is time for young singers to choose orchestras. Once the youth’s ears get used to listening to these backgrounds, they immediately will try to explore and listen to the classics. It is a matter of time, a lot of patience, and triggering exploration of the classics. By listening to these new hits with instruments constantly on the radio or digital media, we will start to pay attention to their arrangements in terms of discovering the compositions. I am not sure if the tropical reggaeton can be played by a philharmonic orchestra, but we are truly convinced that people only love what they know, and what they constantly can appreciate.  

Songs of today belong to Julia Fischer.
The first video is about understanding why Fischer is playing Beethoven. A week ago,  Michael Tilson Thomas came to Munich to direct Julia and the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks (BRSO) with Beethoven.  The second song is the interpretation of the piece composed by L. v. Beethoven: Romance for Violin and Orchestra No. 2 in F major, op. 50, directed by Felix Mildenberger leading the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen. Enjoy the violin!

See you next Tuesday, with the 13th episode of “What´s up with water: Pouring water in your corporate strategy: Water for human consumption Part B”. Thank you for reading to me.

“Violin Maya”. An aquarelle exercise by Eleonora Escalante 2019. I started to paint this artwork in Starbucks Los Proceres, San Salvador. Size: 48 cm x 68 cm

Sources of Reference utilized to prepare the slides and the material above:



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