How Common Is Lithium in Water?

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  • Written By: Amy Rodriguez
  • Edited By: Jessica Seminara
  • Last Modified Date: 25 October 2019
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The element lithium is found in a wide variety of different water bodies, including oceans, rivers, and mineral springs. Drinking water is normally derived from groundwater sources, entering processing facilities for filtration before community consumption. Lithium in water is not normally pinpointed for removal, making it extremely common in almost any drinking water supply.

One of the lightweight elements on the periodic table, lithium is found in a number of naturally occurring minerals. As groundwater moves through rocks, the lithium moves from the minerals into the water. The quantity of lithium in water is extremely low, making it safe for consumption by animals and plants.

Some studies have found that higher levels of lithium in water contribute to lower suicide rates. In fact, scientists are experimenting with supplementing more lithium into drinking water supplies for enhancing mental satisfaction. Specific lithium quantities can help brain neurons create better connections, which helps to reduce overall suicide occurrences.

Naturally occurring lithium in water actually aids in plant growth. Some studies have shown that lithium increases metabolism processes, allowing plants to grow stronger and faster. In contrast, extremely high levels of lithium are toxic to plants, as well as animals.


Mineral water sources typically have the highest levels of lithium, due to the close proximity of groundwater through the rock formations. A number of holy water sources have high lithium levels, contributing to a feeling of happiness once ingested. High levels of lithium naturally provide a mood enhancing advantage, which is one of the reasons the drug is prescribed for bipolar disease sufferers.

Opponents of lithium in water are concerned about medicating a large group of people without their consent. Advocates of the supplemental lithium within water supplies suggest that levels added will be low, much like fluoridating water in the past. Many people are only familiar with the form of lithium prescribed as a drug, as opposed to the naturally occurring levels in water and within the human body. Lithium is an essential element for life processes, contributing to enriched brain functions and emotion.

Many people consume purified water, such as bottled water, for its clean and fresh taste. The purification process removes contaminants and minerals, as well as nutritional value, from the water. A lithium addition to municipal drinking water can enhance the liquid's nutritional value, allowing the human body to absorb needed minerals for brain and muscle functioning.


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