Was the water our grandparents drank safer than what we drink now?
In Italy we can certainly say that this is not the case. We know much of what can make water 'unsafe' for health and, through constant technical and scientific improvement, we know how to keep the various dangers or harmful events under control. For example, by preventing the presence of bacteria and viruses or toxic substances.
Unfortunately, these same 'dangers' continue to kill around two million people (especially children) every year in the rest of the world, even if progress in prevention is continuous.
In Italy to ensure the sustainable goal of the millennium n. 6 of the UN: Access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation, collaboration between environmental and health interventions has increased, in order to consider the possible environmental and climatic impact on water resources, with potentially significant effects on health.
Ministry of Health. The quality of the water distributed in Europe and Italy
Ministry of Health. Water contamination and potential risks
World Health Organization (WHO). Drinking water
World Health Organization (WHO). Nutrients in drinking water. World Health Organization: Geneva, 2005