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Image of some children playing in Big Wheeling Creek.  This image links to a more detailed image. Importance of Water
Our Earth seems to be unique among the other known celestial bodies. It has water, which covers three-fourths of its surface and constitutes 60-70 wt % of the living world. Water regenerates and is redistributed through evaporation, making it seem endlessly renewable. So why worry? Left: Children playing in Big Wheeling Creek. Photo: Courtesy of Karen Emmerth

Actually, only 1% of the world's water is usable to us. About 97% is salty sea water, and 2% is frozen in glaciers and polar ice caps. Thus that 1% of the world's water supply is a precious commodity necessary for our survival. Dehydration (lack of water) will kill us faster than starvation (lack of food). Since the plants and animals we eat also depend on water, lack of it could cause both dehydration and starvation. The scenario gets worse. Water that looks drinkable can contain harmful elements, which could cause illness and death if ingested.

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