Water Connects Us All
All life forms require water for survival, so it doesn't matter whether you are a plant, an animal or a human, we are all connected by the need of water. We often don't think about it, but we are also all using the same water, as we all live on the same planet. Our Earth has the same water on it today as it did when the planet started. We do not lose old water, and we cannot get new water, it is the same water that has always been here,
Its hard to believe, but the water you drink everyday could be water a dinosaur peed 80 million years ago! Fortunately, it doesn't taste like dinosaur pee, because our planet cleans and recycles the water for us over and over and has been doing this for millions of years. This process we call the water cycle, is often referred to as nature's recycling system, because the planet continuously cleans, filters and recycles water for us. However, this vital function can only continue if we do our part to help protect the environment and conserve our natural resources.
We are often called the ‘Blue Planet’ because most of the Earth is covered in water. Actually, about 75% of the surface of the planet is covered in water, however 97% of all the water on the planet is in the oceans and is too salty to drink. That leaves only 3% that isn’t salty, but we can't even use all of that water.
Temperature plays a very important role with the water cycle, as it causes water to change between the three states of matter (liquid, solid and gas). If the temperature is hot enough water will become a gas called water vapor. Water vapor is in the air all around us, we just can’t see it most of the time. Steam, fog and clouds. are good examples of water vapor that we can see.
If the temperature is cold enough water will become a solid, in the form of ice. The polar ice caps (North Pole and South Pole) hold 2% of all the water on the planet, or 2/3 of all the fresh water. So, of the 3% of water on the planet that’s not salty, 2% of that water is frozen solid. That means only 1% of all the water on the planet can be easily used as fresh water. How humans use that 1% of water, can have a very long lasting effect on the water cycle and the stability of future generations.
Individuals and communities can help by reducing the amount of pollutants that enter our storm drain system and waterways, including washes, creeks, arroyos and ultimately the Santa Ana River. Since people, often unknowingly, generate the largest amount of storm water pollution, we can be the largest part of the solution. Find out more about how RCRCD can help educate you and others about these concepts, to help ensure that future generations will understand the importance of water as a vital resource and form lifelong habits that ensure its responsible use and care.