Thanks for your interest in our informative program about water, the substance that is central to all life on earth as the essence of nature.
Here is your first article in our series, introducing some of the amazing secrets of water.
In this series of brief articles we will learn surprising things about water, why it is so important to us and what we can do to help it in this time ecological crisis.
We hear a lot today (thank goodness!) about air pollution and climate change. But among ecologists and future planners, it is water quality and our use of it that is an even more urgent problem.
So let us take a journey around our planet Earth. Or maybe we should start calling it the planet Water, as water is our main element of life!
Water is the most common element on the planet. All around us is water, in the air, in our bodies and underground, even if you live in a dry area far from the sea.
Anything that lives is made primarily of water. All plants and trees, all creatures including humans, all micro-organisms have water living within them.
Without water obviously they lose life, form and action.
Of course we know these things, but there is much more to the story.
Once we drink water it appears to take on another capacity, not just remaining an apparently inert wet substance.
For it becomes capable of supporting life, of transmitting electro-chemical information amongst all the cells of the body and of carrying nutrients where ever they are needed.
Water also becomes blood, lymph or sap, with astounding rhythmic capacities to maintain life.
Outside of living organisms, water floats as unseen humidity in the soft air we breathe, and as the changeable clouds we gaze at or find cover from when it rains.
When we think of water we often think of a clear wet liquid that rises up in springs and flows happily, light filled along streams, then through darker ponds into rivers and on into the salt sea. These vast oceans encircle our continents and are the main view we have from outer space.
Some of us of have not only played on the beaches amongst the waves but also sailed long distances through calms and storms with land far out of sight, and great dark depths below. What an incredible experience!
These huge oceans cover just over 71% of the earth’s area, interestingly the same percentage of water that makes up an adult human body.
But also water exists as ice, dropping its salt as it freezes. The ice caps and glaciers hold huge quantities of rigid freezing water often miles thick, held there for millions of years quietly trapping air and dust into their make up, layer after layer.
Deep within the earth there is also water as purest ancient fossil water, or as nutrient rich artesian flows trickling through unseen underground shingle beds, often taking thousands of years to travel from nearby hills just over the other side of a small plain.
Of all the water volume on our planet, 97.5% is the salt water of the seas and oceans, and another 1.7% is locked up as ice.
It is incredible to realise that drinkable sweet water is only 0.8% of all the water on our planet! And amazingly 7/8ths of that fresh water (0.7% of the earth’s water) is underground.
This leaves only 0.1% of the earth’s water as fresh drinkable water that we can see in clouds, streams, ponds, rivers and lakes!
Of course some water is also held in all living things on the planet but while it is a vast amount, it is a minuscule percentage of the total.
But water also, we are told, exists on nearby and far distant planets as well as being detected in inter-molecular space at the possible beginning of all things.
Coming back into our cities, factories and houses, we find water used as a primary servant for so many functions. It is the perfect servant, uncomplaining and capable, humble and soft.
We use it in great quantities world wide to clean and transport, for mixing, for creating electrical power and to enable chemical processes to occur. We also move it through pipes under great pressure to drink and wash with and also to carry away our wastes.
But now we human beings are so many, and have become so industrially clever, we are creating an enormous burden for this fresh water to carry.
This is something similar to our scarce top soil covering only a few feet of our land masses. And even these rich food growing plains have been built up through our friend water, placing the topsoil there through ancient floods.
This small amount of fresh sweet water is something to look after. We need that 0.8% clear and fresh. Nature needs it clear and fresh.
We are a portion of living nature, however separate we may feel in our home of an evening. It is time we, as humanity, really took this seriously.
And fortunately, this is just what is now happening.