Where on Earth is the purest water found? A new scientific study concluded that the world's purest water can be found in fresh waters of Puerto Williams in southern Chile.
A team of scientists from the University of North Texas (UNT), University of Magallanes and Institute of Ecology and Biodiversity of the University of Chile, analyzed water samples taken for more than 10 days from several natural waterways near Puerto Williams. They wanted to determine the quality of freshwater in that region in the Chilean Patagonia, near the tip of South America.
"Our results confirm that these waters are clean, the cleanest waters existing on the planet," said Dr. Guido F. Verbeck, principal investigator and director of UNT Laboratory of Imaging Mass Spectrometry.
"In fact, the instruments we use to study the samples can detect chemical compounds in the water up to two parts per million, and here, we did not detect anything," he added.
The samples of water needed were collected from several sources of fresh water in the area including Bronzes River, Ukika River, Laguna Los Guanacos and Bass River. With the use of high-resolution laboratory equipment, the samples were analyzed and the scientists concluded that fresh water in this area is the purest in the whole world.
The researchers said that the study is highly important for the world because water is one of the Earth's most essential compounds because of its scarcity. This discovery could place the Cape Horn Biosphere Reserve, one of the world's last remaining wilderness areas, as a natural laboratory.
"So far there are no records of other sites as clean as this, and that has to do with its geographical location, below latitude 55 degrees south, out of the air currents that carry industrial pollutants generated in the northern hemisphere," explained Tamara A. Contador, from the University of Magallanes.
According to the Director of the Antarctic Biocultural Conservation Program, Ricardo Rozzi, the air and water in the area "have a purity and an ecosystem that existed before the Industrial Revolution".
Aside from Puerto Williams, the study found that pure water was also found in Torres del Paine National Park, also a part of Magallanes region and in southeastern China, Upstate New York and western Australia.
Pure water or unpolluted water is already scarce worldwide. In fact, of the world's available water, only 0.003 percent is unpolluted.
Puerto Williams is a Chilean town, located on Isla Navarino facing the Beagle Channel and it is located in the Magallanes region. It is located at 3,551 kilometers (2,206 miles) south of Santiago at the country's extreme southern tip.
With only a population of nearly 2,500 people, it is dubbed as the southernmost city in the world. Its name came from Captain John Williams, a person who founded Fuerte Bulnes on the Brunswick Peninsula in 1843.
Its main source of income is through tourism. It offers several trails for days of hiking and backpacking trips in the mountains. This port is a major agenda for scientific studies associated with Antarctica.