Water is one of the most essential things to life. There’s a reason why it’s at the very foundation of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, you know. Without water, life would be non-existent. The very thing that sets our planet apart, the reason why it has life, compared to all the other planets in our solar system is that it has bodies of water. Without H2O, life wouldn’t have evolved as much as it has today.
Then again, it’s also something we humans take for granted. This ignorance is probably brought on by the fact that we’re so used to having it. We literally can find it anywhere – in the faucet, supermarket, vendo machines, etc. We don’t stop for a second to think that maybe one day, it’ll run out. Instead of enjoying the many benefits of H2O, we’d rather smother ourselves with coffee, soda, alcohol, and other carbonated drinks because they’re more fun to drink.
The older you get, however, the more you realize that the most adult drink that exists in this planet is not coffee; it’s not beer or tequila either. It’s water – just pure, unadulterated, clean water.
How Long Can You Survive Without It?
Well, to be really blunt, the answer to this is: Not long.
There have been cases wherein people survived weeks with little to no food but only a few days without potable water. I think if you’ve watched enough survival flicks, you would know for a fact that it’s always H2O that people secure first. No matter what the situation, it is always the most important (read more).
But why do we need to drink it anyway?
The body is comprised of 60% water; it used to be 75% when you were younger but it decreases by a good fifteen percent as you grow up. It is what regulates the temperature in the body, what delivers what our cells need to stay alive, and helps remove waste products as well.
Day to day activities can easily make us lose fluids and of course, the electrolytes along with it. When we sweat, for example, we lose H2O. Even if stay still and don’t do anything, our body eventually consumes the fluids that we have and we would still need to rehydrate. It is safe to say that our body will shrivel up and die without moisture.
This is why H2O is very important.
Then again, it’s not like we can just drink whatever we can find.
What Type Of Water Sources Can We Drink From?
While almost 70% of the Earth’s surface is mainly made up of H2O, a large part of it is hardly safe enough to drink. If you’ve seen “lost at sea” movies and wonder why the hell they look so parched despite literally being surrounded by tonnes of water, it’s because what is found in the oceans have very high concentrations of saline (or salt) and it’s not meant to be consumed as it is.
What one can do is expose the sea or ocean water to high heat to separate the salts but you also have to consider the rate of evaporation. By the time you’re done isolating the salt from the rest of the liquid, you would only have a few drops left. This, my friend, is why getting lost at sea is far from paradise. There’re hordes fish you can’t reach, let alone cook. There are gallons and gallons of ocean you can freeze to death in but never drink. The ocean is a pretty horrific place, if you ask me.
So what is it that we drink then?
The only source we can drink from is fresh water which mostly comes from rivers and reserves. So all’s good then, right? Well, I hate to break it to you but only about 2.5% of the Earth’s ginormous amounts of water are fresh. Not to mention, only about 1% is accessible since half of them are probably situated in thick forests and therefore, untouchable to modern-day humans.
What we do get our hands on, fortunately, is enough to keep the world going. It’s amazing how 1% of the world’s H2O can quench the thirst of billions of people. However, we must still not forget that there is still a lot to be done. You may visit https://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/drinking/public/water_sources.html for a list of healthy H2O resources.
There are still a lot of problem areas that experience intense drought and kills hundreds – no thousands even, of dehydration. For us candidly living our lives in the city, this is something we’re completely oblivious to. We even use precious gallons just to throw these totally random wet and wild parties while some people would die to get even a single drop.
Where Does Most Of The Water We Drink Come From?
Well, since it’s hardly possible to see 100% clean streams flowing down city canals, most of our H2O today is distilled or purified. This means that the raw and impure version undergoes a series of distillation and filtering processes so that it can be safe for consumption. As for the sources, it can vary from deep wells to reservoirs. But since cities produce microscopic by-products or wastes that can contaminate H2O sources, distillation is required.
However, the one risk that comes with drinking the distilled kind is that it strips off not just the bad but also the good. Distilled water has little to no natural minerals left by the time it completes the purification process. Some of these minerals are essential to our body and are crucial for cell growth.
However, when asked: Is distilled water good to drink? The answer is that it is a better option than most since natural water sources in cities are not safe for drinking anymore. It’s also highly accessible.
As much as possible, H2O is best when drunk in its natural form. But it’s not so possible when you’re living in the city. In this case, fortifying your drink with electrolytes or opting for alkaline to quench your thirst may be a good idea to consider.