Although water is all about us, seen and unseen, we still find it mysterious and, in many ways, one of the least known of all the natural resources.
We all have first-hand experience with water; every day, every minute. As we breathe, inhaling then exhaling, we are respiring waste material, including water vapor. That water vapor comes from the water we drink, the food we eat, and the air we breathe.
Water surrounds us. It is in the air as rain, ice, snow, steam, and fog. It is in lakes, streams, rivers, oceans, and glaciers. It makes up most of the volume of plants and animals, including humans. Humans are about 65% water. Your blood is about 80-90% water, and your muscles are about 75% water. To keep your body operating, you will need about 5-1/2 to 6 pints (2.6-2.8 litres) of water a day. Although a person can exist on a gallon (3.6 litres) of water a day for drinking, cooking, and washing, this seldom happens. Today, a person in modern western nations uses between 80-100 gallons (300-380 litres) of water per day. That is in comparison to the three to five gallons (10.8-15 litres) used per person in medieval times.
When you go to the water fountain to get a drink of fresh, clean water, that water is new to you. But is really isn't new water at all. That water has been recycled time and time again, from the very beginnings of the Earth, through numerous life forms like a dinosaur, a rabbit, an alligator, or even Abraham Lincoln. One very important fact to remember is that, at this moment we have all the water we will ever have, or ever have had. No new water is being manufactured.
Exactly what is water? Simply speaking, it is two hydrogen atoms attracted to and bonded to one oxygen atom. The hydrogen atoms allow high freezing and boiling temperatures.
Although the Earth's surface is about 75% water, only about 3% is fresh water; of that, 75% is found in polar ice caps and glaciers, making its economical use practically non-existent. Consequently, the amount of water available to humans, relatively speaking, is ample but may be limited...depending on where you live.
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