Leonardo da Vinci (the famous Italian Renaissance artist and inventor) knew a thing or two as you probably know, but did you know that he wrote this? “Water is the driving force of all nature.” It certainly is, as an adult’s body is 70% water and our brain consists of around 75% of water, so when we sweat and urinate we lose water which needs to be replaced so that our bodies function as they should. Without water we would die, and it has been estimated that we could only live for a week without water, but could live without food for a month.
Our planet consists of more water (around 77%) than land, but unfortunately for us most of that is undrinkable as it is found in oceans seas and geysers and so on. Fresh water makes up about 1 % of all water on Earth, and yet we waste it every day. We use hoses to wash our vehicles instead of buckets of water and take baths instead of showers. We often leave dripping taps to drip without bothering to fix them and we use a lot of water when we flush toilets, although now there are short flush options available.
“All the water that will ever be is, right now.” (National Geographic 1993) This means that the water molecules we drink has perhaps been through the systems of dinosaurs and other long-extinct creatures, as the world’s water supply is the same as it always has been, because of the hydrologic cycle. We can only get more drinking water if we have more desalination plants that can turn salt water from seas into drinking water.
97 per cent of water on the planet cannot be drunk for the reasons mentioned above, while 2 percent is locked away in glaciers and ice caps. That means we have only one percent of fresh water for industrial and agricultural purposes and for our personal use. Icebergs are made up of fresh water (which is why they don’t sink but float) and they are made when ice breaks off from glaciers and ice shelves in the Arctic and Antarctica. They are subjected to wave movements and tides, and so smaller icebergs break off from the huge ones, in a process called ‘calving.’ If the ice at the Poles melts very rapidly this will cause some of the world’s major cities to flood, including London (which is why there is a flood barrier), New York, Sydney and Karachi the main port in Pakistan, which is a megacity.
We need to have around eight cups of water a day, although w get this from all the drinks we consume as well as all the food we eat as water is in nearly everything we consume. Water isn’t always in liquid form.
While I was researching for this article I discovered that in Candy, on the island of Sri Lanka there are public baths with a difference; they have a bath for elephants which really appreciated a daily swim and rub down at the baths!