We all rely on water to survive and prosper and yet it seems that water is becoming a scarce commodity in many parts of the world. Are we managing this resource wisely?
Traditionally water has been readily available from the rain, rivers, springs, underground bores and man-made storages. More recently it is being taken from the sea and desalinated. There are 4 main allocations of water on earth.
The Seas And Oceans
Water that is in the seas and oceans forms the largest part, up to 97.25%, of the volume of all water on Earth. The seas and oceans also have a key global thermoregulational function for our planet. Their temperature in the course of a year changes only minimally. If they were not here, however, fluctuations of extreme temperatures (such as occur, for example, on the moon) would afflict our planet, which would then be unable to sustain life on Earth as we know it. And only slightly larger fluctuations of temperature, in comparison with the present, could have fatal consequences on the food security of our planet. Among other functions of the seas and oceans, the supply of precipitation to land is of special interest.
Our image of water on the land is often fixed only on water in rivers or perhaps in natural and artificial reservoirs. However glaciers and snow form 2.05% of the volume of all water on Earth and contains up to 70% of the world’s reserves of fresh water. Alongside this water, visible surface water in rivers forms only 0.0001% and in lakes (inclusive of salt lakes and inland seas) 0.01% of the volume of all water on Earth. Groundwater and soil moisture represent, alongside the oddly placed glaciers, the largest wealth of water on land (0.685%), exceeding the volume of water in all rivers and lakes of the world many times over. Water in the soil is, in terms of amount and usefulness, more important than water in rivers. This undiscovered and misunderstood treasure is, however, overlooked and neglected.
The volume of water in the atmosphere is approximately ten times greater than the volume of all the water in all rivers. Just as the seas and oceans hold the key to the global thermoregulatory function for our planet, the water in the atmosphere has a key role to play in local thermoregulation.
Water In Living Organisms
Water in living organisms forms approximately 0.00004% of the volume of all water on Earth, which is in terms of volume the least of the four environments. But what is missing in volume is greatly made up for by the fundamental importance of this water for every individual form of life. The human body, for example, contains more than 60% water and all physiological processes in it take place in an environment made up primarily of water. The content of water in plants differs according to the species and is often much higher than in animal tissues. The volumes of water accumulated in vegetation are not insignificant, equally the volumes of water accumulated in the soil thanks to the existence of vegetation. Vegetation on land has, besides other functions, a hugely important role particularly in the regulation of evaporation from the ground, thus significantly helping maintain the thermal stability on land upon which its own success, even its existence, is greatly dependent. All higher forms of life on Earth are dependent on the existence and prosperity of vegetation.
Ref. Water for the Recoveryofthe Climate – ANewWater Paradigm M. Kravcík, J. Pokorný, J. Kohutiar, M. Kovác, E. Tóth