Water is a natural element, a component of natural ecosystems, and is essential for the preservation and reproduction of life on the planet since it is a necessary component for the development of the biological processes that enable it.
Water is the most common component in organic media; on average, living beings comprise 70% water. Not all tissues have the same quantity of water; plants have more than animals, and certain tissues (for example, fatty tissue) have less water (between 10% and 20%) than others (for example, nerve tissue, which has 90% water). It also changes by age, with young people having more water than adults.
Water is the basis of life, and it is a vital resource for humans and all other living things. It’s something we all require, and not only for drinking. Our rivers and lakes, as well as our coastal, marine, and ground waters, are precious resources that must be safeguarded.
Similarly, water is a vital ingredient for the survival of animal and plant life on the globe since it helps to the stability of the environment and the beings and organisms that dwell it. “Water is a basic requirement for living beings and an important natural element in the configuration of environmental systems,” to put it another way. In this sense, this essential fluid makes up more than 80% of the body of most creatures and is engaged in the majority of metabolic processes that occur in living things; it also plays a critical part in plant photosynthesis and serves as the habitat for a wide range of living species.
Agriculture, commercial fishing, energy generation, manufacturing, transportation, and tourism all use water to produce and maintain economic development and prosperity in society. When selecting where to dwell and how to manage the land, water is crucial. It may also be a cause of geopolitical tension, especially when resources are few. Not only do we need clean drinking water, but we also need clean water for hygiene and sanitation. Bathing, fishing, and simply admiring the natural beauty of coastlines, rivers, and lakes are all pastimes that include water. We anticipate clean water in rivers and along the coastlines when we go on vacation, as well as an endless supply of water for showering and bathing.
Water is necessary for the survival of natural ecosystems and the management of climate change. The hydrological cycle is defined as a continuous movement of liquid, vapor, or ice over the Earth’s surface, above and below it, with no beginning or finish. Despite the fact that the total amount of water on the earth has remained largely stable over time, its availability is especially sensitive to climate change. Scientists warn that as glaciers melt and droughts in regions like the Mediterranean become more common, access to clean drinking water may be limited in the next century. As a result, the amount of water available for irrigation and food production will be reduced.
Rainfall patterns and river flow will be altered at the same period. Flooding will become more common, especially in densely populated floodplains, causing more damage to houses, infrastructure, and energy sources. In Europe, flash floods are projected to become increasingly common. The cooling capacity of industries and power plants will be diminished as temperatures rise and water supply decreases.
Water pollution and shortages represent a threat to human health and quality of life, but it also has a broader ecological impact. The unrestricted flow of unpolluted water is essential for the survival of water-dependent ecosystems. Water shortage damages the aquatic, humid, and terrestrial environments, placing even more strain on flora and wildlife, which are already suffering from the effects of urbanization and climate change.
Experts have emphasized the importance of “ecosystem services” provided by nature. Water serves as a provisioning (basic material) as well as a regulatory service, managing temperature and meteorology and allowing our world to function. The European Environment Agency believes that the value of services supplied by wetlands throughout the globe, including as water filtration and carbon sequestration, is worth € 2.5 billion per year.
Although mankind has always recognized its need on water, we in Europe are increasingly aware that its supply is finite, and we must value it appropriately. We must manage and safeguard water, which is more than a consumer good; it is a valuable natural resource that will be as important to future generations as it is to us. There can be no life without water.