Water & Life

Water is essential for all of life. The chemistry of water -- its solubility & stickiness -- makes it the ultimate substance to dissolve and transport important vitamins, nutrients, minerals, and oxygen within living things and throughout our world.

Water & Humans

The human body is almost 60% made up of water! It's critical for keeping our bodies healthy and moving. In our bodies, water moves important oxygen, vitamins, and nutrients to our organs; it keeps our cells healthy, our blood flowing, and flushes out waste. We lose water when we exhale, sweat, and urinate. So to survive, humans need to continuously add water to our bodies, which we get by eating food and drinking liquids. So we really ARE what we eat (and drink)!

Source: USGS Water Science School

Water & Animals

ALL living things depend on water to survive. Like in humans, water is essential to the functioning of animal bodies -- moving oxygen, nutrients, and waste; maintaining temperature; and producing energy. Some species of animals like amphibians (i.e. frogs and salamanders) depend on water because they breathe and absorb water through their skin. Some marine mammals and reptiles live in water, but surface to breathe air. Other groups of animals including fish and other marine animals have gills that allow them to breathe and live their whole lives underwater.

Water & Plants

Plant species -- trees, flowers, grasses, food crops, and more -- also depend on water to survive. The roots of plants spreading out underground absorb moisture from the surrounding soil and transport it to the leaves through the stem of the plant. This water transports important nutrients and minerals through the plant and then is released from the leaves into the atmosphere through a process called transpiration.

transpiration animation

does the location of water make a difference?