Drinking deionised water (ADW) has been around for a long time.
In fact, in the 1960s, people were drinking tap water in a similar way to how we drink water now.
But in many parts of the world, people still don’t drink it.
Now, the Arrowhead Watershed Authority (AWA) is taking steps to help make water cleaner for the future.
The AWA will start selling bottled water in Australia from the end of June.
But it is still a very niche industry.
The WA Government has promised to make water more affordable by $50 million over the next four years.
In the meantime, the AWA is trying to change that.
The AWA has been working to improve the water quality of the water in WA’s Arrowhead watershed, a water body of up to 2,000 kilometres north-east of Perth.
It has been one of the first organisations in the world to create a dedicated water monitoring system to assess the quality of water in Arrowhead.
“This is our most important investment in the future, because we need to be sure that we’re getting the best water we can,” says AWA managing director, David Riddle.
What does that mean for us?
The system will measure water quality and use it to improve water quality by measuring how much of a problem the water is having, or whether there are areas where water is becoming cloudy or too cloudy.
It will also track how much water is being taken from the watershed to supply the water systems in Perth, regional areas and beyond.
“This is a big investment because it’s not just about getting the water we need but also ensuring that we are taking the water that’s already there, that’s been there for thousands of years, that has a lot of potential for good,” says Riddle who is also the Director of the WA Water Policy Program.
In the short term, the system will monitor the water levels to make sure the water level is safe for drinking.
But that could be a long-term goal.
We want to ensure that we get the best quality water possible, says AWAs acting CEO, Peter McAllister.
“If we are concerned about our water quality, then it’s a good opportunity to improve our water management practices and improve the efficiency of water systems,” says McAllisters.
Will we drink it?
This is the first time the AWAs water monitoring program has been put in place, but McAlliers says the AWAS is confident that it will work well.
“The WA water quality management system is based on a real-time measurement system, and we’ve got a real time measure of water quality in the Arrowheads watershed,” he says.
The WA Government is already investing $1.2 billion into water and climate change to help keep the world’s water supply safe and healthy.
More: Arrowhead Watershing Authority to sell tap water from end of April to be sold online and via retail outlets across WA