10 Paragraphs on the Importance of Water

  1. In the body of all living beings that exist or have existed, from the tiniest bacteria to the most gigantic dinosaur, water has been a central and indispensable element. It was in the water of the seas where the miracle of life took place, and where today many species of all kinds proliferate. Even the beings best adapted to the desert and drought need it, eventually, to sustain their bodily processes.
  2. Although water is an inorganic substance, it is probably the most important for all the chemistry of life. Between 70% and 80% of the content of any cell is made up of water, and about 60% of the human body is made up of water. When these water levels drop, ordinary bodily functions are disrupted or diminished, and life is put at risk.
  3. Water is an abundant element on our planet: more than 70% of its surface is covered by seas and oceans, that is, by salt water, not suitable for direct human consumption. This also means that only 2% of the water on our planet is fresh water available for use, whether it comes from rivers, lakes and lagoons, or from the ice and snow of the mountains and the poles.
  4. On our planet, water occurs in very different presentations, not only as the liquid that makes up the oceans, rivers and lakes, but also as polar ice and snow at the top of the mountains, and as a significant percentage of steam from water in the atmosphere. Its cycle of transformations is vital to preserve the planet’s climatic stability, as is evident in coastal regions, where winters tend to be milder and summers to be cooler.
  5. Although water is in principle a very abundant resource on the planet, to meet the basic consumption needs of all humanity, its distribution is neither uniform nor equitable. There are continental regions in which it rains little or nothing, and in which this resource is more precious than gold, since its absence makes basic economic tasks, such as agriculture, impossible. It is estimated that by 2030 one in five developing countries will have water scarcity problems.
  6. Humanity extracts about 1,600 liters of fresh water per inhabitant every day, that is, about 3,600 km3 of water that it allocates both for its direct consumption (barely 10%, about 20 liters per day per person on average), as well as for agriculture (70%) and industry (20%). This means that the water is used not only for drinking and cleaning, but also for irrigating crops, for cooling tasks and as a solvent for many substances.
  7. Water is a culturally central element in all the religions and cultural traditions of humanity throughout the world. It is considered a purifying element, which is why many religions, such as the Christian one, use it for their rites of entry to the congregation, such as baptism or as the washings prior to the prayer of Islam. For its part, philosophy considered it from ancient times as one of the basic substances, together with air, fire and earth, that make up all things, and psychoanalysis interprets it, especially in the case of lakes and seas, as a symbol of the unconscious, of the formless and primitive that inhabits us.
  8. In the contemporary world, water is inseparable from energy. Not only in cases where hydroelectric technology is used (that is, the push of waterfalls to generate electricity), since in other known methods of electricity generation, the moving water vapor is what mobilizes turbines. And the latter is obtained by heating liquid water by burning different fuels: coal, natural gas, even through controlled nuclear fissions.
  9. To avoid dehydration and its harmful effects on the body, an average human being should consume 2.7 liters (a woman) to 3.7 liters (a man) daily, according to the Food and Nutrition Platform of the National Council of Research from the United States. Much of this amount is obtained from food consumption itself, but the rest must be consumed separately. During breastfeeding, a woman must consume even more water (about 3 liters per day) in order to continue producing breast milk.
  10. The hydrological cycle (or water cycle) is a vital circuit for the exchange of matter in the world. Precipitation, runoff and water seepage from the subsoil water table carry numerous minerals and elements that are consumed by living beings, or that are required to preserve the physical-chemical stability of both the continents and the oceans. In addition, the erosive effect of water on stone and soil continuously shapes the earth’s relief, circulating elements that would otherwise accumulate in a single corner of the planet.


  • “Water” in Wikipedia.
  • “The importance of water for life” in the State Commission of Public Services of Tijuana (Mexico).
  • “Importance of water” at the University of San Martín de Porres (Peru).
  • “The importance of water for our planet” in the General Directorate of Schools of Mendoza (Argentina).
  • “Water as a vital element in the development of man” in the Observatory of Public Policies of Human Rights in MERCOSUR.