- Education and Science
The Power of Water
The Impact of Even a Drop of Water
When You Think of Water ...
We seldom think about the power of water and the impact it has on our daily life and the history of mankind. Water is symbolic of our struggles and our triumphs, of our connection to ourselves and all that is planet Earth. It is all things to all man, in economics, in religion, in nature, in science, and in the most simplest of daily tasks.
As you read the word water, what images come into your mind? Is it the image of a swimming in pool on a sunny, warm day? Is it trying to drive through a rainstorm as the windshield wipers clear your view of the outside world? Is it singing in the shower as the water refreshes your entire body? Is it taking that cold drink of water to quench your thirst? Is it watching your children laughing and splashing in a tub? Is it helplessly watching your home flood when water overflows from storms and rivers? Do you think of ice cubes in the freezer? Is it watering your plants and seeing them grow? Do you see steam coming from a train and think of water powering that railroad? Do you get an image of sitting on a dock and fishing? When you think of water, do you think of someone’s tears or someone’s sweat? Do you get images of sitting on a rowboat in lake, or sailing on ship across a sea? When you think of water, do you think of fish in a fishtank? Do you imagine waves crashing against the seashore? When you think of water do you see snowflakes that accumulate into mounds of snow? Does water invoke an image of peacefulness and tranquility, or feeling refreshed, or of sustenance, or fear, terror,and helplessness, or fun and pleasure? Water is all of these things. And I am sure, each of these descriptions conjured up memories and thoughts about experiences you have had with water.
The Animals of the Ocean
The Largest Beings on Earth Swim in Our Oceans
Water is life. Water is a powerful force that has shaped our planet, and determined where we can live and how we can thrive. No one invented water, it exists for us to master, for us to use, and for us to be cautious of. Water is part of our past, present and future. In everything we do and everything we have, water plays a more important role than we most likely give it credit for. Water is an essential ingredient in everything.
The necessity of water precludes every other need we have. It is so vital, so important, yet we take it for granted, until we don’t have it. People have always settled near water for food, sustenance, and trade. We depend on water for our sanitary needs, for relaxation, for cooking, and for everything we do. Waterways have led to the discovery of new lands, and new inventions. Water causes floods, and not enough water causes droughts. Water is necessary for our crops and the foods we eat. Too little or too much water affects the the prices we pay for food and what food we have available to eat.
The largest beings on earth swim in the oceans that cover our planet. We have rain, and snow, hail, sleet, and ice because water plays an integral part of weather. Our body is made up of 60% water. Our brain is made up of 70% of water. Water can be fun to play in, and dangerous too. Water is essential to our survival in so many ways.
Throughout history, man has settled where water is, and major cities of the world are all by water. When we look for life on other planets, we look for water. It is a clue to the survival of all beings, and plants. Water can power electricity and make things grow.
We need water for all our functions and it is necessary for sanitizing. Water has played important roles in transportation and economic development. We have yet to discover the depths of the oceans, and all the things yet to be discovered that have some connection to water. Water, air and food are the foundations of our basic survival, and will always be. Water is special. It is the only substance found naturally on our planet in three forms. Water is a liquid in its natural state, a gas when it is heated, a solid when it is frozen.
Water Helped Life on Earth Begin
Water is magical. It is studied in science, in history, in economics, in religions, and is important to each of us, in ways we have probably never realized. We probably take water for granted, when we wash our hands, brush our teeth, cook, go fishing, swim, dodge the raindrops, take our medicines, and eat and drink. The influence that water has made on everything on our planet could fill volumes of pages. Water is powerful enough to erode rock and carve something like the Grand Canyon, yet gentle enough to help a seedling grow into the tallest of trees that tower above all else on this planet.
Water has been in existence since our planet was created. The very first sign of life, after the Big Bang sprang from the smallest spot of water that bore life, and led to all that Earth is. Water has seen prehistoric times, the dawn of man, and all the beautiful creatures and plants that grace this planet. Water has witnessed and influenced the most historic moments in history, and will be just as integral in the discoveries of tomorrow.
All living organisms are dependent on this vital compound of atoms of hydrogen and water. The majority of the Earth is covered with water. Water brings life, water sustains life, water is essential to life. To harness the power of water, by setting up dams, and using water to power our inventions, and sail to far away places has made man progress to where are today. Water is a precious resource, yet on those endless rainy days, when hurricanes, floods and tsunamis hit, we are fearful of what water can do. We are humbled by the wrath of nature, and the damage water can inflict. The beauty of a waterfall, looking at fish in a fish tank, taking a boat out for a day on the sea, the rushing water of a stream are all ways, water can calm us.
How can one resource do so many different things for man? How can one element of nature evoke so many different feelings? Water is powerful, water is magical, water is amazing.
Water makes up oceans, lakes, rivers, and streams, and it also exists in the air, in the clouds, in water vapors, in icecaps, in soil, in aquifers, and in glaciers. Water exists in the creatures that roam our planet, including you and me.
What Makes Water So Important
About 70% of the Earth is covered with water. The depths of the four oceans hold over 96% of all the water on Earth, which makes the majority of water on our planet, salt water. Freshwater from rivers, lakes and streams, groundwater, aquifers, and resoirvoirs give us all the water we need. People use over 400 billion gallons of water per day.
The water cycle constantly keeps water moving on Earth.
There varying percentages of water in different people.
- babies - 78% of their bodies are made up of water
- a one year old - 65%
- adult men - 60% (lean tissue has more water than fat tissue)
- adult women - 55% (women naturally have more fat than men)
So what is it about water that makes it so vitally important?
- the cells in the human body are full of water. Water has the power to dissolve substances which lets our body use important and necessary nutrients, chemicals, and minerals from these substances.
- the surface tension of water is sticky and helps our body move these substances to the cells that need it.
- water transports waste out of our bodies
- our body metabolizes carbohydrates and proteins for food, water transports this through our bloodstream.
The History of Water
Water in history. As man settled, communities developed near water. From the dawn of man to ancient civilizations to the biggest cities of modern times, water has been a guiding force for societies. The Egyptians settled by the Nile. Ancient Mesopotamia was known as the ‘fertile crescent’. In Greek, it means the land between two rivers (the Euprhates and Tigres Rivers). It was a land filled with vegetation and animals that ensured plenty of food for the people who habitated the area. They were able to get fresh water from the rivers to drink and bathe in. Irrigation was developed by the people living there and they were able to water their crops. The Yellow and Yangzi River basins flowed into ancient Chinese civilizations.
Waterways fostered the discovery of new lands and facilitated trading with people from far away countries. Explorers sailed their vessels through all the major oceans and seas and helped advance civilization. The Roman Empire and the Greeks used aqueducts to create luxury bathing facilities to relax and enjoy themselves. They created fountains and springs to beautify their environment.
As man progressed, we learned to control water and use technology to power factories, run trains to reach places further and faster, to irrigate lands where water was scarce, to create indoor plumbing and build amenities like a flushing toilet. And then man learned to bottle water and the food industry prospered too, and man had one more convenience.
Water is Symbolic of the Balance We All Need to Have
Water is nature. And in the power of water, we are reminded be humble. We see it in waterfalls, on snow capped mountains, in clouds, and in the vastness of the ocean. Water is something to be feared and something to be conquered. It is a gift, and a heartache. It builds and destroys.
Water is symbolic of life. When there is balance, there is beauty and growth, and splendor. Where there is no water, things are barren and empty, and life barely exists. Where there is too much water, disease can spread, and things that once bloomed are unable to overpower the effects of water.
Water is multifaceted. Water can be calming or it can be terrifying. Water can be noisy. Rain, waterfalls, crashing waves all tell us that water is powerful. Deserts are quiet and still. There is no power that we can hear.
Water Covers Much of Our Planet
Man Versus Water
Sometimes, people forget what real power is. The most powerful man can not match the awe of water. Rome was not built in a day, and would not have been built at all if it weren’t for the aqueducts. Just look at a place like the Grand Canyon, which shows us that water once left its touch on every stone there. Daredevils, have been challenged by trying to go over the waters at Niagra Falls. The most powerful man can not win against a raging sea. The smartest man can't stop the rain from falling. The most gentlest touch can not make a seedling grow without water. No man can cure anyone else of anything, without the use of water.
Water reminds us that simple things matter.
A drink of water to a thirsty person will bring them more joy than all the riches in the world. With all the inventions man has created, we cannot make more water where there is none. But when man and water work together, then we are powerful. Dams can be built to power electricity. Boats can sail on the oceans to far away places. Cities can be built along the shore and people can prosper from the sea. When man uses irrigation to bring water to crops, food supplies become more plentiful. When we co-exist with nature, we can harness the power of water.
Water is like nothing else. It cause a visceral reaction in us. We feel a connection. There is beauty when water is in its natural surroundings. It appeals to all of our senses. Some people are challenged by it. We want to control water. When water is not where it belongs, when it floods, and causes ruination, we can only surrender to it. When water is peaceful, we feel calmed by it, and it inspires us to have fun and relax in it or by it. When water is wild, we are fearful and we are, in a sense diminished by its power. Water can harm, and water can help. Water has helped mankind flourish, and water has made us start all over again.
Water is something we don’t often think about, but use everyday in many ways. Water changes everything it touches in one way or another. We need to remember that water is a precious resource, that is not in unlimited supply. Water conservation is our responsibility. Through smart and efficient usage, and reducing our water consumption, the power of water can continue to amaze us all.