Everyone is aware that water is important. You don’t need to be a biologist to know that a big percentage of the human body is made of water and without it, you die. However, there are so many reasons why water is one of the world’s most precious resources. Some have to do with how water nourishes the body, while others describe how a successful society functions. If you ever find yourself taking water for granted, here are ten reasons why it’s so important:
#1. Water keeps your organs healthy
Water is necessary for life, but what does it do exactly? Your organs need water to work properly. The brain, which is about 75% water, gets oxygen from water. When you’re hydrated, the brain stays clear, focused, and functioning at a quick pace. Your kidneys, which are responsible for detoxing the body, need water to remove toxins through urine. All your organs need water and with strong, healthy organs, you can enjoy a good life.
#2. Water prevents fatigue
Fatigue is one of the first signs of dehydration. You lose water through urine, sweat, and breathing, and if you don’t replenish, your body starts to slow down. Having the energy to complete work and other daily tasks is essential. If you’re fatigued, you can’t be productive, which can lead to a loss in income. It also makes activities like driving more dangerous.
#3. Water is necessary for washing and sanitation
Good hygiene is important for good health. When you don’t wash, you become exposed to bacteria that can cause sickness. Letting sweat, grime, and bacteria build on your skin also leaves you more vulnerable to infections. Keeping your environment clean and sanitized is critical. While you can keep yourself and objects like dirty dishes clean with various products (baby wipes, vinegar, etc), the manufacturer of those products used water.
#4. You need water for cooking
Many staple foods (like grains and rice) need to cook a certain way to be edible. Water is necessary for common preparations like steaming and boiling. In emergencies, people can eat freeze-dried and dehydrated packaged foods. This type of food is invaluable for emergencies because of its long shelf-life, but water is always needed to prepare it.
#5. Water is necessary for growing food
Speaking of food, it’s all grown with water. To produce enough food to feed communities and entire countries, a lot of water is needed. Known as agricultural water, it’s used for irrigation, crop cooling, frost control, and more. You only need to look at areas suffering from drought to know how devastating a lack of water can be for crops.
#6. Raising animals requires water
Agricultural water also includes the water needed for livestock husbandry and fisheries. Like humans, animals need water to live. It’s also needed to produce the food that the animals eat. Research shows that producing a single pound of beef requires around 1,700 gallons of water. If the world wants to keep eating meat in large quantities, it can’t ignore the significance of water.
#7. Water produces energy
Thermoelectric/thermal plants rely on water to produce energy. Inside these plants, the steam produced by boiling water generates electricity. Hydroelectric power plants use the energy generated from moving water. Other energy sources need water, as well, such as fuel extraction and production. The process of refining natural gas, oil, and uranium also requires huge amounts of water. Without the energy made possible by water, entire cities would fall off-the-grid.
#8. Water is an important part of many medical procedures
In addition to using distilled water to clean equipment, water is necessary for procedures like hemodialysis. Patients with kidney problems need this treatment to remove toxins from the body. Known as dialysate, the fluid in the dialysis machine is essential for cleaning a patient’s blood and removing waste. Water that meets strict criteria is an essential ingredient in this fluid. It’s also used in the manufacturing and processing of many medications.
#9. Clean water prevents fatal diseases
The importance of clean water can’t be overstated. When drinking water is contaminated, it transmits serious diseases like cholera, dysentery, and typhoid. Waterbourne diseases like malaria and worm infections also have serious consequences. By prioritizing clean and safe water, communities can prevent potentially-fatal diseases and save lives.
#10. Safe water is a human right
The last reason why water is important is that it’s a human right. All humans have the right to life and life requires safe water. Unfortunately, social inequalities threaten many people’s right to water. The consequences of unsafe water – like disease – keep people trapped in cycles of poverty. When clean water access is recognized as a human right, people’s lives change for the better.