Clean water has become one of our most precious resources in the 21st century, but 1 in 9 people live without access to clean and drinkable water. The access to clean water is a human right that everybody should have, regardless of their race, gender, location or social status.
Clean water is not a privilege, but a right of every human being. However, around 780 million people lack access to clean water, which represents more than 2 and a half times the United States’ population! Some people live with dirty water due to having a faulty water heater. If you know anyone in a situation like this, they may be grateful to find this!
Here are 5 water facts to make you cherish water in all its purity:
1. Only 3% of Earth’s water is fresh water. 97% of the water on Earth is salt water.
Of all the water used in the US in 2000, (about 408 billion gallons per day of fresh and saline water), about 21% came from underground sources and water from surface sources accounted for the remaining 79%. Almost 99% of groundwater came from freshwater aquifers.
Our nation’s rivers, streams, creeks, lakes and reservoirs are vitally important to our everyday life. The availability of freshwater varies from country to country, with Suriname and Iceland having the most freshwater resources, and Egypt together with the United Arab Emirates have the least freshwater resources. Salt water on Earth has an average salinity of 3.5%, roughly equivalent to 34 grams of salts in 1 kg of seawater.
2. 36% of US rivers and streams are too dangerous for fishing or drinking!
Back in 1998, over 290,000 miles of 840,000 miles of assessed rivers and streams did not meet water quality standards. The Great Lakes were also studied, with 90% of their shoreline miles being assessed, indicating pollution exceeding water quality standards.
A 2012 survey conducted by the EPA concluded that more than 13,000 miles of rivers have fish with mercury levels that may be unsafe for human consumption. 9% of assessed river and stream miles were found unsafe for swimming and recreationdue to high bacteria levels. 27% of the nation’s rivers and streams have excessive levels of nitrogen, and 40% have high levels of phosphorus. These nutrient pollutants cause toxic green slime outbreaks that are harmful to public health.
3. 18 States are currently facing droughts, according to the US Drought Monitor.
Severe to extreme drought affected about 8% of the contiguous United States as of the end of October 2014, an increase of about 5% from last month. About 12% of the contiguous U.S. fell in the severely to extremely wet categories.
4. 60% of US lakes are too dangerous for swimming or drinking.
The pollutants found in water can lead to acute symptoms like nausea, sore throat, vomiting, dizziness, headache, fever, muscle and joint pain. The pollutants can also trigger allergic reactions such as asthma, lung irritation, eye irritation, skin rashes, blisters around the mouth and nose, liver damage and sometimes even death.
5. Water makes up between 55-78% of a human’s body weight.
Staying hydrated not only helps with your alertness, controlling appetite, and improving activity and sport performance, but it also keeps every day symptoms like headaches, fatigue, and dry skin away. Daily water intake must be balanced with losses to keep and maintain your total body water.
Losing body water can adversely affect your functioning and health! Once you start feeling thirsty, you have lost about 1% of your body water and at this point you are dehydrated. A 2% water loss means you could experience serious fatigue and cardiovascular impairments.
This Thanksgiving we are grateful for clean water!