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Discovery Magazine 3/1/2003

Water Logged

by  Brad Harrub, Ph.D.

If you found yourself stranded on a deserted island and were allowed to have only three things, what would they be? Well, if you want to continue living on that island, one of them better be a source of clean water—and not just to splash on your Slip-n-Slide® or use to fill-up your Super Soaker®.  Fresh water is extremely important to humans, plants, and animals. Without it, nothing would live very long. In fact, we know that humans can survive without food for thirty to forty days—about 5 weeks—but without water, life would end in about three to five days!

Water is so critically important because it is involved in nearly every bodily process. In fact, the human body is composed of about 60% water—or roughly eight gallons.  (The brain is approximately 70% water, while the blood running through your veins and your lungs is made up of more than 80% water!) Medical researchers report that there is virtually no function or reaction in the body that can take place without the presence of water. Waterhelps transport nutrients throughout the body, and it is necessary for all building functions in the body. It also helps maintain normal body temperature, and is essential for carrying waste material out of the body. Therefore, replacing the water that is continually being lost through sweating and other processes is extremely important.

While approximately 75% of the Earth’s surface is covered in water, not all of that water is drinkable. Actually, researchers believe that only a very small percentage of the water onthe Earth is good for humans to drink. The rest is either salty (as the oceans) or frozen (like the glaciers), and therefore is not fit for drinking. While water is colorless, odorless, and tasteless, all life depends on it. Think about what your houseplants would look like if they went a weekor two without any water! Scientists realize that in order to have life, water is required, which is one reason they keep trying to findwater on Mars. And yet, God, knowing that living things need water, placed it on the Earth the very first day of Creation (see Genesis 1:2). How refreshing.

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