Water is one of the four basic elements and it is very important for our survival. Apart from using water to drink, we also need it to keep ourselves clean, to cook food, and to grow crops. Can you imagine a country without any water at all? Sadly, our overall amount of usable water has been getting lower and lower over time. Part of the reason for this is pollution. Some areas in the world don’t have clean bottled water. Instead, they have to fetch water from a river or a well. When there are dangerous chemicals in the river, people can get very sick from drinking that water. Global warming is another reason for the huge decrease in water abundance. As the temperature of the Earth rises, our climate becomes warmer everywhere. This means that many water sources, such as streams or rivers, completely dry up. The people in these areas have less clean water to drink and their crops die too, so they have less food. Since our water supplies are linked around the world, everyone has to take part in helping to conserve water and reduce the pollutants that enter the water stream. Have a look at some of these fascinating facts below to learn more about water.
1. More than 800 million people around the world don’t have safe water to use. That means if there were many groups of eight people, one person in each group would be affected.
2. Think about all the people who die in wars because of guns. Did you know that unclean water actually kills many more people?
3. In America, when we shower for just five minutes, we use more water than a person in a Third World country uses in one full day!
4. Humans can survive for almost thirty days without food, but we can’t live for more than a few days without water.
5. Approximately 70% of our bodies are made up of water! This amount of water is important to help our brains, muscles, bones, organs, and even the smallest cells function properly.
6. Around 40% of rivers in the U.S. are so polluted that we cannot fish or swim in them. They are so dirty that they cannot even support aquatic life, like fish or underwater plants.
7. Out of all the water on earth, roughly 97% of it is salt water in the oceans and seas. This means that only 3% of our water supplies are freshwater.
8. Out of the 3% of freshwater on earth, a huge amount of that is actually ice and icebergs.
9. Almost 90% of the fresh water on Earth is found in Antarctica.
10. Half of the people on earth face a water shortage because their supplies of freshwater are dirty or polluted. This dirty water can carry many germs and diseases.
11. On average, we use two gallons of water when we brush our teeth! You can reduce that amount by turning off the tap while you brush.
12. Almost 80% of the garbage in the ocean comes from people on land. A lot of the plastic trash kills millions of fish, marine mammals, and birds.
13. Remember that all of our water sources are connected in some way. For example, if you use harmful soap chemicals outside while washing the car, it could go into the ground, and flow into a stream and eventually the ocean.
14. Even pet waste can pollute the water and release harmful toxins in the water! This is easily prevented by simply scooping after your pet and throwing it in a sealed bag in the garbage.
15. In the U.S. and many other developed countries, we use a chemical called chlorine in our tap water to make it safe for us to drink. We only started this practice in the early 1900s!
16. Many fruits and vegetables contain a large amount of water too. For example, tomatoes are made of 95% water! No wonder they’re so good to eat on a hot day.
17. Ever noticed a drippy tap in the bathroom? Even though it only releases a little drop at a time, it can waste up to seventy-five liters in only one day!
18. One of the top reasons why people feel tired, especially on hot days, is because they haven’t drunk enough water.
19. Plants and trees release a lot of evaporated water. In a day, one tree can release around 265 liters!
20. Water helps to control the temperature on Earth. It is responsible for creating rain, snow, and clouds.
Water Activities – Check out some fun activities to learn more about the water cycle and why it is important to keep it clean.
Water Pollution – Watch an animated video about where pollution comes from.