Water Wonders Part II: Life & Water

Did You Know…?

  • …that a redwood tree releases as much as 160 gallons of water into the atmosphere each day?
  • …that you can survive about 3 to 4 weeks without food, but only about 5 to 7 days without water?
  • …that water is our greatest cleanser and detoxifier?
  • …that each year, nearly 10,000 cubic miles of water flow along the world’s rivers to the oceans?
  • …that nearly 97% of the world’s water is salty or otherwise undrinkable, that 2% is locked in ice caps and glaciers, leaving just 1% for all humanity’s needs?
  • …that water regulates the earth’s temperature?
  • …that water regulates the temperature of the human body, carries nutrients and oxygen to cells, cushions joints, protects organs and tissues, and removes wastes?
  • …that about 77% of the human brain is water?
  • …that about 75% of a living tree is water?
  • …that ice floats because water expands by 9% when it freezes, making it less dense than in its liquid state?
  • …that a loss of more than 10% body water can prove fatal?
  • …that blood plasma, our body’s natural waterway, is 90% water?
  • …that we exhale about 20% of our water intake?

Water Wonders: Part II.
Life and Water

The publicity being given to escalating energy costs may give the impression that oil is our most valued resource. Nations fight over it, and prices continue to rise. But did you know that water is more valuable than oil, and more likely to bring conflict? Why?

Because life cannot exist without water.

Without water, the forests would dry up, the grass would die, our farms would fail and there would be no food for our tables. The oceans would be gone and the many creatures that live there. Take a tiny drop of water and view it under a microscope, and you will see many creatures moving about in it. They, too, would perish. Even creatures of the desert, some of which never drink, would die because their food supply would be gone, and they depend on the food they eat to give them the water they need.

A quick look at the quantity of water required to produce various products will help us understand the value of water.

Product Est. Volume of Water, required to produce
a ton of milk 113 tons (7,060 gallons)
a ton of meat 480 tons (30,000 gallons)
a ton of beet sugar 2,208 tons (138,000 gallons)
a ton of textiles 4,656 tons (291,000 gallons)
a ton of aluminum 6,560 tons (410,000 gallons)
a ton of synthetic rubber  7,392 tons (462,000 gallons)
a ton of paper 8,688 tons (543,000 gallons)
Everything living must have water to survive. It might be said that water is even more important than food. It is estimated that one can live about 3 to 4 weeks without food, whereas one would die in about 5 to 7 days without water.

But this only concerns the water we drink.

Have you ever considered the water we breathe—does it surprise you that humans breathe water too? Well, we do, though not to the extent the fish uses it for respiration. But each breath we inhale contains water—it can be as much as 100% RH (saturated with water) by the time it enters the lungs.

It is said that the human body is about 60% water, the brain 77 to 78%, blood 82% and the lungs 90%. Water is basic to all life forms, plant and animal. Were it not for water’s unique ability to dissolve so many different substances, our cells could not use the many nutrients, minerals and chemicals needed to support life. Its ability to transport these vital nutrients to all parts of the body is due to its “stickiness” (from surface tension). By a very complex process water carries the metabolized carbohydrates and proteins our bodies use as food to every part of our being.

Also due to this stickiness, water is one of nature’s best cleansing agents. After dropping off its load of nutrients, it sticks to waste products, picking them up and carrying them through our arteries to the lungs for disposal.

This “stick-ability” property of water makes it a useful cleansing agent, from the simple washing of our hands to the cleansing of the earth’s atmosphere by complex weather systems which produce precipitation. Is it any wonder Christ used the term “water” as a symbol of the cleansing words He spoke?

Rarely do we even think of the drink we are enjoying when we add to water a little lemon and sugar and call it lemonade, or pour it over tea leaves or ground coffee beans and call it tea or coffee. Even the fruit juices we drink are primarily water.

Water is a vital resource, rarely thought about unless you are responsible for providing a clean supply to your community or city, or if you are one of the millions who do not have ample access to it. According to Paul Simon, about 9,500 children die every day because of lack of water or, more frequently due to polluted water. Some areas just have too many people for the amount of available potable water. For example, Qu Geping, head of China’s Environmental Protection Agency, says that the ideal population for China’s water supply is 650 million. Today the nation has almost twice that number, and the population is still climbing. “It is no exaggeration to say that the conflict between humanity’s growing thirst and the projected supply of usable, potable water will result in the most devastating natural disaster since history has been accurately recorded, unless something happens to stop it.”*

The United States is not exempt from water shortages. Because its abundant supply is claimed for irrigation of arid lands, the Colorado River is only a trickle** by the time it reaches the ocean. Aquifers, nature’s large water storage tanks, are being depleted.

Farmers that were depending on irrigation for their crops are turning more and more to dry farming, resulting in more expensive produce.

Sometimes just diverting water-flow can cause great harm. Some years ago Senators Paul Simon and Harry Reid visited Usbekistan. While there they visited what had been a port city on the Aral Sea, reported to have been the third*** largest inland sea in the world. About 1960, Russian engineers had convinced Nikita Khrushchev and other leaders that they could increase cotton and rice production by diverting the waters flowing into the Aral Sea for irrigation purposes. The idea was that once the fields were saturated the water would again begin to flow into the sea. What the visitors found instead were hulks of large boats marooned 50 miles from water. The irrigation idea did not work as planned.

Aralsk was once a major fishing port on the Aral Sea. Today one would have to travel about 100 miles from there to reach the main body of the sea. It is thought that by the year 2015, the Aral Sea could totally disappear.

In order to sustain life, the Everlasting God made abundant provisions for humankind and all creatures on earth. When these provisions are studied, their complexity and delicate interdependence and balance give strong testimony to the wise Master Designer.

But we must not limit our vision to the here and now. The discerning eye sees design with purpose—pointing to the purpose of the Master Designer. There must be more, and there is! Through His written Word the Creator has given us a far vision, a glimpse into eternity. And this view includes short-lived human beings changed to immortal beings.

This earth will be filled with joyful individuals who will never suffer the agony and fear of death, pain or sorrow, where the water of life will flow freely, abundant to all.

Do you want to be included in that joyful time? Do you want that eternal life He is offering? You can have it, if only you make Him your choice now; if only you choose to abide by His precepts with all your heart.
*Paul Simon 1998, in his book Tapped Out, The Coming World Crises in Water and What We Can Do About It.

**gorp.com/gorp/publishers/pruett/ives_exp.htm “Salinity (total dissolved solids) is the most serious water pollution problem in the Colorado River Basin.”
environmentaldefense.org/pubs/EDF-Letter/1977/Jul/ a_coloriver.html

***Other sources put this figure at the fourth largest inland sea, now the eighth.

Additional Sources:

University of Washington Faculty: Eric H. Chudler, PhD.
WZZM 13 News “Waterwise” (No longer available)
Paradise Irrigation District