Scientific research shows that people who live in areas where water is low in calcium and magnesium are more prone to cardiovascular disease than people in hard-water areas. They also have higher incidence of respiratory and gastrointestinal problems and diabetes. The two minerals occur in water in soluble ionic form and thus are directly transferred to cells where they are involved in many enzymatic processes. Thus, even a diet rich in calcium and magnesium cannot fully compensate for daily intake from drinking water. There are currently no limit values required by law for calcium and magnesium levels in drinking water.
The LIFE - Water and Health project is targeting a long-term improvement in residents’ health by re-carbonisation of drinking water. It will carry out biomonitoring of the arterial stiffness of residents before and after calcium and magnesium are added to drinking water in two Slovak towns with soft water. It will use available statistics to assess the impact on respiratory health, diabetes and other conditions. Based on its findings, the project will propose optimum levels of water hardness for human health and seek to have these standards incorporated into national and international guidelines.
LIFE – Water and Health directly contributes to the implementation of the Environment Action Programme to 2020 (7th EAP) and Health 2020: the European policy for health and well-being.