Water has always been an important and life-sustaining drink to humans and is essential to the survival of most other organisms. Excluding fat, water composes approximately 70% of the human body by mass. It is a crucial component of metabolic processes and serves as a solvent for many bodily solutes.
Drinking water or potable water is water safe enough to be consumed by humans or used with low risk of immediate or long term harm. In most developed countries, the water supplied to households, commerce and industry meets drinking water standards, even though only a very small proportion is actually consumed or used in food preparation. Typical uses (for other than potable purposes) include toilet flushing, washing and landscape irrigation.
Over large parts of the world, humans have inadequate access to potable water and use sources contaminated with disease vectors, pathogens or unacceptable levels of toxins or suspended solids. Drinking or using such water in food preparation leads to widespread acute and chronic illnesses and is a major cause of death and suffering worldwide in many different countries.
Although covering some 70% of the Earth's surface, most water is saline. Freshwater is available in almost all populated areas of the Earth, although it may be expensive and the supply may not always be sustainable.
Water is considered a purifier in most religions. Many major faiths incorporate ritual washing including Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Taoism and Wicca. Immersion of a person in water is a central sacrament of Christianity, Judaism and Sikhism. In addition, a ritual bath in pure water is performed for the dead in many religions including Islam and Judaism.
The waters of life run through our bodies in our blood, which is as salty as the oceans. For many Norse dead, they were cremated on a funeral pyre together with all their belongings. The ashes were to be spread either at sea or on the ground. Some higher ranked Norse, were honored with a sea burial.
Water is often associated with emotions, art, time and especially healing and philosophy. In rituals, it is represented in the forms of pouring water over objects, cups, brew making, healing spells, ritual bathing, and tossing objects into of water. The manifestations of the element of water are rivers, oceans, lakes, wells, snow, streams and all drinks. Animals, especially the seal, dolphin, frog and all types of fish are also thought to personify the water element.
Water is a feminine energy and highly connected with the aspects of the Goddess. Used for healing, cleansing, and purification, water is related to the West, the color blue, and associated with passion and emotion. In many spiritual paths, including Catholicism, consecrated water can be found – holy water is just regular water with salt added to it, and usually a blessing or invocation is said above it. In Wiccan covens, such water is used to consecrate the circle and all the tools within it.
World Water Day has been observed on 22 March since 1993 when the United Nations General Assembly declared 22 March as "World Day for Water". Events are organized on or around this day to increase people's awareness of water's importance in environment, agriculture, health and trade.
This day was first formally proposed in Agenda 21 of the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Observance began in 1993 and has grown significantly ever since; for the general public to show support, it is encouraged for the public to not use their taps throughout the whole day. The day has also become a popular Facebook trend.
WaterAid works in 26 of the world’s poorest countries helping communities to set up and manage practical and sustainable water, sanitation and hygiene projects. W e also campaign locally and internationally to change policy and practice to ensure water and sanitation’s vital role in reducing poverty is recognized. www.wateraid.org
Water and energy are closely interlinked and interdependent. Energy generation and transmission requires utilization of water resources, particularly for hydroelectric, nuclear, and thermal energy sources. Conversely, about 8% of the global energy generation is used for pumping, treating and transporting water to various consumers.
Without water, we would die. Water is essential for life on earth, not just human life but all life. Water is needed for drinking, cleaning, washing, and making crops grow. There is no substitute for this precious resource, and yet we waste it, we pollute it, and we even commodify it! Let's start anew, working towards clean water for all.
- When washing dishes by hand, don’t let the water run. Fill one basin with wash water and the other with rinse water.
- Select the proper pan size for cooking. Large pans may require more cooking water than necessary.
- When doing laundry, match the water level to the size of the load.
- When washing your hands, turn the water off while you lather.
- Learn how to use your water meter to check for leaks.
- At home or while staying in a hotel, reuse your towels.
- Plant in the spring and fall, when the watering requirements are lower.
- Collect water from your roof by installing gutters and downspouts. Direct the runoff to plants and trees.
- Leave lawn clippings on your grass, this cools the ground and holds in moisture.
- Use a broom instead of a hose to clean patios, sidewalks and driveways, and save water every time.
We pray for those that we know who are in need
of your life-giving water at this time... (add names
and circumstances known to you). May their
thirst be quenched.
Hear the cries of those without clean water
And quench their thirst
So may it be.