It is important to protect our water quality because it plays such a large part in our health, physiology, and lives. It affects our childrens health. It affects all of us. But before we can protect water quality we must first define the parameters of what exactly constitutes "quality" and what is and is not important in relation to the makeup of the water we ALL consume.
There has been little mainstream discussion of the effects of city tap water (for instance) and how it affects us over the long run, and what detrimental factors exist in our current drinking water.
One example is the pipes that bring us our tap water in our homes. It is important to ask these questions: How can this water harm us over time? What about the decaying state of 60 year old pipes (or older) that bring the water that comes out of our sinks? What about calcium deposits that can end up showing up in our bodies as tumors? What is in our water that is NOT supposed to be there, but is simply a byproduct of pollution or contamination (think urban runoff causing traces of antidepressants and other drugs to show up in our water) or the method of delivery to our homes (old pipes that add unintended elements to our water); not to mention that we consume tap water more than you might think: restaurants using tap water as a necessary ingredient in many foods; public water fountains; water used to make the coffee we drink; some of the icecubes we put in our drinks; water as a base for soda and tea; products we buy at the store that contain water, etc...)
The majority of those of us in America ( I can't speak for other countries, I've only lived here) do not seem to question where out water comes from and what we can do to improve its quality. Or questions like "is there really is a quality problem at all?" "Is it simply insignificant amounts of water pollution that will never really affect us in a significant way?"
I am not a scientist or researcher, so I don't know the answer to those questions. But if more people were simply ASKING the questions that we truly need clarification for, we might get those answers. If no one cares and no one is looking, ANYTHING could happen to the quality of our water either without our knowledge or without the knowledge of how serious this issue really is.