Raw water is water found in the environment that has not been treated and does not have any of its minerals, ions, particles, bacteria, or parasites removed. Raw water includes rainwater, ground water, water from infiltration wells, and water from bodies like lakes and rivers.
Raw water is generally unsafe for human consumption due to the presence of contaminants. A major health problem in some developing countries is use of raw water for drinking and cooking.
Without treatment, raw water can be used for farming, construction or cleaning purposes. Farmers use it for watering their crops or give to livestock to drink, storing it in man-made lakes or reservoirs for long periods of time.
Construction industries can use raw water for making cement or for damping down unsealed roads to prevent dust rising. Raw water can also be used for flushing toilets and washing cars, as well as any other purposes that do not require it to be consumed by humans. Water in this form is considered raw, as opposed to water which has been treated before consumption, such as drinking water or water which has been used in an industrial process, such as waste water.