Water as a building block for life

Water is found everywhere on earth, from the glaciers and waterfalls of Iceland to the underground water in The Great Artesian Basin in Australia; water is estimated to cover around 70% of the Earth’s surface. Water is an essential component to sustaining life; where water is found on Earth, you will almost always find life with it. Amongst all the ice of the Antarctic, the most arid deserts, the deepest points of the sea; life can be found in the form of microbes that use water to survive. In fact, NASA’s search for life on Mars has been using the term “Follow the Water” as its theme and mission statement.  This small sentence demonstrates the massive role that water plays as a building block to life as we know it.

Water – life’s essential and essential for life 

Water is also essential for human life.  We use water to stay hydrated, to cleanse ourselves, to grow, to sustain food, and to maintain the livestock we eat. Not only that, but up to 40% of the population of the entire world lives within 100kms of the coast. It is clear, water is essential to humans. Water is also key to the function of the human body itself. It acts as a nutrient for body cells, a carrier for these nutrients and assists in cellular metabolism.

Water – the perfect petri dish 

Liquid water is considered essential to the early formation of life in the universe as water allows many different chemicals to be dissolved in it and this provides an environment for chemical reactions to take place. In Australia, we live on the driest continent on earth whilst also having one of the highest consumption levels of water in the world; the country’s supply of freshwater is threatened by regular droughts and historically rising temperatures. Australia’s history of water use is primarily one in which the native people, animals and plants of Australia have adapted to limited access to water and the dry environment. This has become a theme that has been carried on by future generations and is still a challenge that we face today.

Water is a finite resource 

So, we’ve demonstrated that water is key to life and to humans, so what? Well, like the rest of the Earth’s resources, water is a finite resource and water scarcity is arising as a serious issue for our own generation and future generations. As such, water storage and sustainability are becoming prominent topics in today’s political landscape.


Further Reading: World Water Day 2018 – What it is all about 

Author: H Lindholm