WATER = LIFE
Cheesy but true…
Human bodies are roughly 70% water (but not like a bottle full of water!), with every single part of our bodies using water, even down to the cells that we are made of. We’ll survive about a week with no food but only a few days without water.
In fact, most things that live on Planet Earth need some form of water to survive, and without water the Earth could look pretty boring – like the moon even!
Water in the Hydrological Cycle moves around, keeping plants and animals alive, providing places for some to live, and also wears down rocks and mountains providing fresh sediments like mud and sand for places like beaches, and keeping mountains from getting too high (the Rock Cycle). On land, most animals and plants need freshwater, including us, and out of all the water in the world, there is less than 1% is freshwater that is possibly okay to drink and use for our daily needs.
We think we see a lot of water on the surface of the Earth, like in streams, lakes and rivers but a far greater amount is under the ground, being held in and moving through small pore spaces in the sediments and rocks underneath us. This groundwater is usually slow-moving and we are doing a lot of damage to this natural system by overuse and contamination of these water sources.
We all need to know enough about how water systems work and how easily we affect them so that it won’t come as such a surprise when our limited freshwater supply starts to run out in the face of rising populations, increased land use and whatever else the future throws at us. To use a familiar saying – forewarned is forearmed.