How Important is Water for our Health and Planet?

Where would we be without water? Nowhere! We wouldn’t exist without water, the vibrant colours of our planet would vanish, life would disappear, Earth without water would be pretty awful.

Not only for our planet, water is also so important for our health. Without water our bodies begin to shut down, and it can happen surprisingly quickly, to even the fittest of us. Humans can generally live a mere three days without water.

Our bodies are made up of around 45% - 65% water, itis the dominant element in our brains, heart, skin, lungs and tissues. It’s no wonder dehydration makes us feel so awful, in fact, dehydration can be lethal.

The most severe consequence of dehydration is a drop in blood pressure. When we are extremely dehydrated our blood volume drops, causing a drop in blood pressure that ultimately reduces the amount of oxygen in our bodies which can have deadly consequences. Thankfully this is extreme and rare, but can go to show just how vital hydration is.

Hydration is key for healthy organs, bones, muscles, skin, even hair and eyes, but it’s not just our bodies that water is essential for, all known animals on the planet need water to survive and our planet wouldn’t look anything like it does if it wasn’t for its ample water.

71% of the earth is water, but only 2.5% of that is fresh water that we can drink. The fresh water is finite, it only replenishes with rain, which we have no control over. We use science to turn salt water into fresh water, but this also takes a lot of other resources. A growing population demands more fresh water as well, so we need to consider our lifestyles. The production of a plastic bottle can use three times the amount of water it takes to fill it - a fact many people are unaware of, and another reason to use a refillable bottle.

We also need to look at our other lifestyle actions that use fresh water - farming and manufacturing use a lot of water as well. This doesn’t mean we need to stop these actions, but how can we produce less and still sustain ourselves? Reduce fast fashion and reducing food wastage are two ways we can each make a difference to our water wastage.

We can’t drink the water in the ocean, but this salty water is still a life essential on our planet, not only does it create a vibrant habitat for a range of life but right now the ocean is doing all of the heavy lifting to absorb the heat in the atmosphere. The oceans have absorbed 90% of the Earth's excess heat, without this kind gesture we would be cooking!

In Australia right now we may not be thinking about water scarcity, but remember water scarcity is a frequent reality here, and although our dams are full right now, there will be dry days ahead so creating good habits that conserve our water is essential.

We also need to acknowledge that we are the lucky country and there are many who live without clean water as accessible as we do. People who need to walk for hours to get water for their families, which can be a simple fix. Next time you are thinking of making a charitable donation, consider one that will help bring fresh water to communities that don’t have it.

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