National Institute of Health (NIH)

The National Institutes of Health is a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is the Nation’s medical research agency.

National Resources Defense Council (NRDC)

The Natural Resources Defense Council is a group of activists that includes scientists, lawyers and policy advocates.

Natural Disaster

Major adverse events from natural causes (often weather) that sometimes have a large loss of human life or cause great economic effects. Hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, and tornados are all considered natural disasters.

Non-Potable Water

Non-potable water is water that is not suitable for human consumption typically due to a high bacteria or virus count. Sometimes non-potable water might also be called “reclaimed water”. Although inappropriate for drinking, non-potable water can be used in other ways, such as watering lawns or replenishing wetlands.


NSF is actually not an abbreviation, but a stand-alone term. While NSF was originally founded as the National Sanitation Foundation, its name was officially changed to NSF in 1990, because the group had expanded its services so extensively. NSF provides third-party certification on water filtration systems.  They rigorously test products for their performance, and certify those which are proven to perform specific functions. NSF Certified standards — like standards 42, 53, 58, 401 & P473 — are examples that cover a whole host of contaminants.