Dehydration and Importance of Water Essay

Introduction, importance of water in health maintenance, functions of water in the body, what happens to the body when there isn’t enough water, how different electrolytes function in the body, effects of alcohol and caffeine on hydration levels in the body, steps to be taken to ensure that one does not become dehydrated.

Water is a chemical compound that exists as a liquid in the body. It is a crucial part of the body systems and has even been called ‘the liquid of life.’

Water has been known to prevent a number of illnesses hence restoring ones health. Most of these illnesses are; cancer of the colon, breast and the lungs. Drinking water may not necessarily eliminate the possibility of getting these cancers; it simply reduces the probability of their occurrence.

Due to the crucial role played by water, lack of it causes some immediate symptoms. First of all, one experiences headaches and fatigue. Subsequently, one may loose part of their memory and may have trouble remembering small things. Water ensures that one does not have trouble concentrating because it is said that absence of water reduces one’s concentration span. (Kent, 1997)

Constipation is prevented by water. This is done through easing digestion by providing a solvent in which the toxins can dissolve.

Water is said to be the perfect moisturizer for our skin and prevents patchiness. It is also used to control one’s emotions.

Water has numerous bodily functions. Perhaps its most important is the fact that it is a constituent of most cells, organs and systems in the body. It is a fact that water makes up about 90% of the lungs, over ninety percent of the brain and about eighty percent of blood. There are plenty of fluids in the body that mainly consist of water; one of these is saliva.

Water is used to protect the interior organs from external shock. One such organ is the heart. In line with this role, water makes up most of the fluid that is found in between joints, as such, it is used as a lubricant to ease bodily movements.

Transportation in the body is mainly done by water. It transports waste products from their areas of production such as the kidneys to the external environment. It therefore gets rid of toxins from the body. Water also transports oxygen from the lungs to other parts of the body that are in need of it. Nutrients are also transported by water from the digestive system to muscles and other body parts in need of it.

Temperature regulation is another very important function of water. It acts as a kind of thermostat in the body. When body temperature exceeds optimum levels, the body sweats. Sweat mainly consists of water which normally leaves with a lot of heat when it evaporates thus cooling the body. This property of water is called high latent heat of vaporization.

Water is used for detoxification purposes by getting rid of wastes that are carried by the intestinal tract. As such it ensures that the body is in great health.

Lack of water in the body causes thirst. This is incase the amount of water under consideration is a small amount. The thirst then graduates to a more uncomfortable symptom; fatigue. One’s body feels restless and inactive. Eventually, headaches set in as the brain is now complaining. If the condition persists, then dizziness sets in and eventually one complains of feeling heaviness in their head. These are all signs of dehydration.

When the body is constantly denied access to water, reverse osmosis occurs. Instead of water leaving the body and getting filtered into the brain cells, the opposite occurs. Water leaves the cells and enters the system. This means that the body develops an elevated blood pressure since it is going against the norm. High blood pressure can be disastrous if allowed to continue without checking it.

There are some emotional manifestations of a lack of water in the body. One who has not had a lot of water is normally quite irritable and moody. They are quick to anger and are full of impatience.

Constant dehydration also causes a number of illnesses that may be fatal. Some of these include; weak immunity, hypertension and the very dangerous diabetes.

Sodium is mostly obtained from salt which is a compound made of both sodium and chlorine. It is put to use in the nervous systems during transportation of a message from one part of the body to another or from the external environment to the body. These messages may include; pain, heat and electric shock. There is a need for proper electrolyte balance within the body for any stimulant to be recorded well by the body.

Potassium is used to control the sodium balance within the body to ensure that metabolic systems function well. Chlorine serves to neutralize sodium because it is negatively charged while sodium is a positively charged ion. The two complement each other and thus chlorine maintains adequate balance in the body.

There’s a hormone in the body that is responsible for absorption of water back from the kidneys. It is called vasopressin. This hormone helps the body to maintain a balance of water thus preventing excessive loss. Consumption of alcohol causes a depression of Vasopressin meaning that plenty of water will not be reabsorbed and most of it will go to waste as urine. (Ellen, 1980)

Alcohol also causes severe loss in nutrients that are quite important to the body. These nutrients include; calcium, zinc, potassium and sodium. This in turn affects the body’s nervous system and balance of fluids.

It causes prolonged dehydration; this was shown in a research where people’s blood was tested. Most of them were found to have thicker blood especially due to frequent urination.

Caffeine also lowers levels of hydration. This happens by dieresis which is the process of excess absorption of water from blood in the kidneys. Caffeine also inhibits the reabsorption of sodium hence interrupting the hydration process.

The first step is to drink plenty of water. Doctors advise us to take about 8 glasses of water per day. This will ensure proper physical and psychological health.

One should avoid alcohol and caffeinated drinks. This is because the latter mentioned substances enhance the loss of water through the kidneys and must be kept at a minimum or avoided altogether (Barbara, 2004).

If one engages in heavy activities, then one should not wear heavy clothes because they increase the rate at which a body is sweating. The more one sweats, the more the fluid they loose from the body and the more the chances of dehydration.

There are some tell – tale signs that come with hydration. Individuals must learn to recognize them as soon as possible and to do something about them. These include; patchy or dry lips, thick urine, heavy eyes and mild headaches.

Individuals must also protect themselves from excessive sunshine which brings about sweatiness hence water loss from the body. They can do this by standing under a shade when exposed.

  • Barbara, K. (2004): Anatomy and Physiology the Easy Way; Barron’s Educational Series
  • Ellen. E. (1980): Basic physiology and anatomy; Lippincott
  • Kent, M. (1997): Schaum’s outline of theory and problems of human anatomy and physiology; McGraw-Hill Professional
  • Chicago (A-D)
  • Chicago (N-B)

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Bibliography

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  • The effects of body dehydration
  • Dehydration, Its Pathophysiology and Body Response
  • Dehydration: Avoiding, and the Possible Effects of It
  • Researching of Dehydration in Older Adults
  • Artificial Hydration and Nutrition in Medical Ethics
  • Dehydration and Water in People's Life
  • “Hydration Test”: Skimming the Market
  • Bioethics: Artificial Nutrition and Hydration
  • Hydration Experiment: Boosting Energy and Well-being
  • Caffeine: Carriers, Addiction and Diseases
  • Bioethics: Starson vs. Swayne Case
  • How and Why Music Makes the Brain Happy
  • Adolescent Pregnancy Rate Analysis
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  • Kerataconus: Disease Development and Modern Treatment

water being poured into a glass

There are many options for what to drink , but water is the best choice for most people who have access to safe drinking water. It is calorie-free and as easy to find as the nearest tap.

Water helps to restore fluids lost through metabolism, breathing, sweating, and the removal of waste. It helps to keep you from overheating, lubricates the joints and tissues, maintains healthy skin, and is necessary for proper digestion. It’s the perfect zero-calorie beverage for quenching thirst and rehydrating your body.

How Much Water Do I Need?

Water is an essential nutrient at every age, so optimal hydration is a key component for good health. Water accounts for about 60% of an adult’s body weight. We drink fluids when we feel thirst, the major signal alerting us when our body runs low on water. We also customarily drink beverages with meals to help with digestion. But sometimes we drink not based on these factors but on how much we think we should be drinking. One of the most familiar sayings is to aim for “8 glasses a day,” but this may not be appropriate for every person.

General recommendations

  • The National Academy of Medicine suggests an adequate intake of daily fluids of about 13 cups and 9 cups for healthy men and women, respectively, with 1 cup equaling 8 ounces. [1] Higher amounts may be needed for those who are physically active or exposed to very warm climates. Lower amounts may be needed for those with smaller body sizes. It’s important to note that this amount is not a daily target, but a general guide. In the average person, drinking less will not necessarily compromise one’s health as each person’s exact fluid needs vary, even day-to-day.
  • Fever, exercise, exposure to extreme temperature climates (very hot or cold), and excessive loss of body fluids (such as with vomiting or diarrhea) will increase fluid needs.
  • The amount and color of urine can provide a rough estimate of adequate hydration. Generally the color of urine darkens the more concentrated it is (meaning that it contains less water). However, foods, medications, and vitamin supplements can also change urine color. [1] Smaller volumes of urine may indicate dehydration, especially if also darker in color.
  • Alcohol can suppress anti-diuretic hormone, a fluid-regulating hormone that signals the kidneys to reduce urination and reabsorb water back into the body. Without it, the body flushes out water more easily. Enjoying more than a couple of drinks within a short time can increase the risk of dehydration, especially if taken on an empty stomach. To prevent this, take alcohol with food and sips of water.
  • Although caffeine has long been thought to have a diuretic effect, potentially leading to dehydration, research does not fully support this. The data suggest that more than 180 mg of caffeine daily (about two cups of brewed coffee) may increase urination in the short-term in some people, but will not necessarily lead to dehydration. Therefore, caffeinated beverages including coffee and tea can contribute to total daily water intake. [1]

Keep in mind that about 20% of our total water intake comes not from beverages but from water-rich foods like lettuce, leafy greens, cucumbers, bell peppers, summer squash, celery, berries, and melons.

Aside from including water-rich foods, the following chart is a guide for daily water intake based on age group from the National Academy of Medicine:

Preventing Dehydration: Is Thirst Enough?

glass of ice water on black background

As we age, however, the body’s regulation of fluid intake and thirst decline. Research has shown that both of these factors are impaired in the elderly. A Cochrane review found that commonly used indicators of dehydration in older adults (e.g., urine color and volume, feeling thirsty) are not effective and should not be solely used. [3] Certain conditions that impair mental ability and cognition, such as a stroke or dementia, can also impair thirst. People may also voluntarily limit drinking due to incontinence or difficulty getting to a bathroom. In addition to these situations, research has found that athletes, people who are ill, and infants may not have an adequate sense of thirst to replete their fluid needs. [2] Even mild dehydration may produce negative symptoms, so people who cannot rely on thirst or other usual measures may wish to use other strategies. For example, aim to fill a 20-ounce water bottle four times daily and sip throughout the day, or drink a large glass of water with each meal and snack.

Symptoms of dehydration that may occur with as little as a 2% water deficit:

  • Confusion or short-term memory loss
  • Mood changes like increased irritability or depression

Dehydration can increase the risk of certain medical conditions:

  • Urinary tract infections
  • Kidney stones
  • Constipation  

Like most trends of the moment, alkaline water has become popular through celebrity backing with claims ranging from weight loss to curing cancer. The theory behind alkaline water is the same as that touting the benefits of eating alkaline foods, which purportedly counterbalances the health detriments caused by eating acid-producing foods like meat, sugar, and some grains.

From a scale of 0-14, a higher pH number is alkaline; a lower pH is acidic. The body tightly regulates blood pH levels to about 7.4 because veering away from this number to either extreme can cause negative side effects and even be life-threatening. However, diet alone cannot cause these extremes; they most commonly occur with conditions like uncontrolled diabetes, kidney disease, chronic lung disease, or alcohol abuse.

Alkaline water has a higher pH of about 8-9 than tap water of about 7, due to a higher mineral or salt content. Some water sources can be naturally alkaline if the water picks up minerals as it passes over rocks. However, most commercial brands of alkaline water have been manufactured using an ionizer that reportedly separates out the alkaline components and filters out the acid components, raising the pH. Some people add an alkaline substance like baking soda to regular water.

Scientific evidence is not conclusive on the acid-alkaline theory, also called the acid-ash theory, stating that eating a high amount of certain foods can slightly lower the pH of blood especially in the absence of eating foods supporting a higher alkaline blood pH like fruits, vegetables, and legumes. Controlled clinical trials have not shown that diet alone can significantly change the blood pH of healthy people. Moreover, a direct connection of blood pH in the low-normal range and chronic disease in humans has not been established.

BOTTOM LINE: If the idea of alkaline water encourages you to drink more, then go for it! But it’s likely that drinking plain regular water will provide similar health benefits from simply being well-hydrated—improved energy, mood, and digestive health

Is It Possible To Drink Too Much Water?

There is no Tolerable Upper Intake Level for water because the body can usually excrete extra water through urine or sweat. However, a condition called water toxicity is possible in rare cases, in which a large amount of fluids is taken in a short amount of time, which is faster than the kidney’s ability to excrete it. This leads to a dangerous condition called hyponatremia in which blood levels of sodium fall too low as too much water is taken. The excess total body water dilutes blood sodium levels, which can cause symptoms like confusion, nausea, seizures, and muscle spasms. Hyponatremia is usually only seen in ill people whose kidneys are not functioning properly or under conditions of extreme heat stress or prolonged strenuous exercise where the body cannot excrete the extra water. Very physically active people such as triathletes and marathon runners are at risk for this condition as they tend to drink large amounts of water, while simultaneously losing sodium through their sweat. Women and children are also more susceptible to hyponatremia because of their smaller body size.

Fun Flavors For Water  

Pitcher of water filled with orange slices and mint leaves

Infused water

Instead of purchasing expensive flavored waters in the grocery store, you can easily make your own at home. Try adding any of the following to a cold glass or pitcher of water:

  • Sliced citrus fruits or zest (lemon, lime, orange, grapefruit)
  • Crushed fresh mint
  • Peeled, sliced fresh ginger or sliced cucumber
  • Crushed berries

Sparkling water with a splash of juice

Sparkling juices may have as many calories as sugary soda. Instead, make your own sparkling juice at home with 12 ounces of sparkling water and just an ounce or two of juice. For additional flavor, add sliced citrus or fresh herbs like mint.

TIP: To reduce waste, reconsider relying on single-use plastic water bottles and purchase a colorful 20-32 ounce refillable water thermos that is easy to wash and tote with you during the day. 

Water being poured into a glass

Are seltzers and other fizzy waters safe and healthy to drink?

BOTTOM LINE: Carbonated waters, if unsweetened, are safe to drink and a good beverage choice. They are not associated with health problems that are linked with sweetened, carbonated beverages like soda.

  • Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health is a member of the Nutrition and Obesity Policy Research and Evaluation Network’s (NOPREN) Drinking Water Working Group. A collaborative network of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the NOPREN Drinking Water Working Group focuses on policies and economic issues regarding free and safe drinking water access in various settings by conducting research and evaluation to help identify, develop and implement drinking-water-related policies, programs, and practices. Visit the network’s website to access recent water research and evidence-based resources.
  • The Harvard Prevention Research Center on Nutrition and Physical Activity provides tools and resources for making clean, cold, free water more accessible in environments like schools and afterschool programs, as well as tips for making water more tasty and fun for kids.
  • The National Academy of Sciences. Dietary References Intakes for Water, Potassium, Sodium, Chloride, and Sulfate. https://www.nap.edu/read/10925/chapter/6#102 Accessed 8/5/2019.
  • Millard-Stafford M, Wendland DM, O’Dea NK, Norman TL. Thirst and hydration status in everyday life. Nutr Rev . 2012 Nov;70 Suppl 2:S147-51.
  • Hooper L, Abdelhamid A, Attreed NJ, Campbell WW, Channell AM, et al. Clinical symptoms, signs and tests for identification of impending and current water-loss dehydration in older people. Cochrane Database Syst Rev . 2015 Apr 30;(4):CD009647.

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Why Water is So Important to Maintaining Your Health

February 16, 2018

man drinking water

Whether your water comes from the tap, a plastic bottle or an artisan well, drink up: Water is essential for your body’s survival.

Consider these stats: Water makes up 60 percent of your total body, 70 percent of your brain and 90 percent of your lungs.

“Staying hydrated at all times is critical – every cell, tissue and organ needs water to work properly," urologist Ehud Gnessin, MD, says.

“Among the many benefits of drinking adequate amounts of liquid is averting problems like kidney stones and assisting in flushing out bad bacteria in the bladder to prevent urinary tract infections,” he says.

How Much to Drink

Along with maintaining a healthy bladder and kidneys, drinking one-and-a-half to two liters -- about six to eight cups -- of liquid daily helps:

  • Cushion and lubricate joints
  • Nourish and protect the brain, spinal cord and other tissues
  • Keep the body's temperature normal
  • Help remove waste through perspiration, bowel movements and urination

Boomers in particular should stay hydrated throughout the day. That’s because with age, a person’s sense of thirst lessens, and kidneys aren’t able to conserve body water as well as they did in younger days.

“As people get older, the excretion of the antidiuretic hormone that controls thirst perception and formation of urine is damaged, causing excess formation of urine during the night,” Dr. Gnessin says. “This needs to be compensated during the day. A handy guideline is to drink as much water as is necessary to replace water lost throughout the day.”

Prescription and over-the-counter medications can also up your risk of dehydration and loss of electrolytes. To avoid that, drink a tall glass of water every time you take drugs like diuretics, antihistamines, laxatives, antipsychotics and steroids.

One good indicator of whether you're hydrated properly is to look at the color of your urine.

“Clear or light-colored urine means you’re getting enough water, and dark yellow urine may mean you’re dehydrated,” Dr. Gnessin says.

Warning Signs of Dehydration

The warning signs of mild dehydration include:

  • Dry, sticky mouth
  • Decreased urine output
  • Lightheadedness

The warning signs of severe dehydration, which is a medical emergency, are:

  • Irritability, dizziness and confusion
  • Extreme thirst
  • Very dry mouth, skin and mucous membranes
  • Lack of sweating
  • Little or no urination
  • Low blood pressure
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Delirium or unconsciousness

Fortunately, you don’t have to only drink water or other beverages to stay hydrated. Raw fruits and vegetables can pack a hydrating punch.

About 20 percent of your daily water intake comes from solid foods. For example, a cucumber is 96 percent water and a tomato is 94 percent water. Other water-dense foods include: celery sticks, radishes, cucumber slices, bell peppers, cauliflower, spinach, broccoli, carrots, tomatoes, grapes, grapefruit, strawberries, watermelon, cantaloupe, oranges, blueberries and apples.

“When it comes to preventing kidney stones, I tell my patients that four ounces of lemon or orange juice mixed in a two-liter bottle of water consumed daily can help stop the aggregation of calcium oxalate stones, the most common type of painful kidney stones,” Dr. Gnessin says. “And another tip: drink any hot or cold tea you like – just avoid black tea, which contains oxalate and assists in the formation of kidney stones.”

Tags: Kidney , Men’s Health , Men’s Health: Prevention

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Essay on Importance of Water in Our Life

Students are often asked to write an essay on Importance of Water in Our Life in their schools and colleges. And if you’re also looking for the same, we have created 100-word, 250-word, and 500-word essays on the topic.

Let’s take a look…

100 Words Essay on Importance of Water in Our Life

Introduction.

Water is a vital component of life. It’s everywhere, from the food we eat to the air we breathe.

Health Benefits

Water keeps our bodies running. It helps transport nutrients, regulate body temperature, and remove waste.

Role in Nature

Water is crucial for plants and animals. It helps plants grow and provides a habitat for aquatic life.

Water is essential for life and our wellbeing. We must value and conserve it for a sustainable future.

Also check:

  • Paragraph on Importance of Water in Our Life

250 Words Essay on Importance of Water in Our Life

The essence of life.

Water, a simple molecule consisting of two hydrogen atoms bonded to one oxygen atom, plays an indispensable role in our lives. It is the lifeblood of the environment, essential for the survival of all living organisms.

The Biological Significance

Water makes up approximately 60% of the human body, serving as a medium for biochemical reactions, aiding in digestion, and regulating body temperature. It transports nutrients and oxygen to cells, lubricates joints, and protects sensitive tissues. Without water, these vital processes would cease, leading to life-threatening consequences.

Environmental Impact

Beyond individual organisms, water is integral to ecosystems. It supports biodiversity, with different species adapted to various aquatic environments. Rivers, lakes, and oceans are teeming with life, each contributing to the balance of nature. The water cycle also plays a key role in weather patterns and climate regulation.

Societal Implications

Water is a critical resource for societal development. It is used in agriculture for food production, in industries for manufacturing goods, and in homes for daily chores. Clean drinking water is a fundamental human right, yet many regions still struggle with water scarcity, emphasizing the need for sustainable water management.

In conclusion, water’s importance extends far beyond its simple molecular structure. It is a vital component of life, environment, and society. The challenge lies in ensuring its sustainable use and equitable distribution, to safeguard our future and the planet’s biodiversity. Recognizing the value of water is the first step towards this goal.

500 Words Essay on Importance of Water in Our Life

Water is a fundamental resource that is intricately woven into every facet of human life. It is a life-sustaining element, vital for the survival of all organisms on Earth. Its importance extends beyond quenching thirst and facilitating hygiene, to societal and developmental realms, contributing significantly to the global economy and food security.

Water as a Life-Sustaining Element

The human body is composed of about 60% water, serving as a medium for various biochemical reactions. It aids in digestion, absorption of nutrients, regulation of body temperature, and excretion of waste substances. Dehydration can lead to serious health problems, highlighting the importance of regular water intake.

Water in Agriculture and Food Security

Agriculture is the largest consumer of freshwater, accounting for nearly 70% of all water withdrawals globally. Water is essential for crop growth and livestock rearing, playing a pivotal role in ensuring food security. With climate change exacerbating water scarcity, efficient water management strategies in agriculture are crucial for sustainable development.

Economic Significance of Water

Water is a key driver of economic prosperity. Industries such as tourism, fisheries, energy, and manufacturing heavily rely on water. Hydroelectric power plants, for instance, use water to generate electricity, contributing significantly to the energy sector. Thus, water is not just a commodity, but a critical economic resource.

Societal and Cultural Importance of Water

Water has profound societal and cultural significance. It is central to many religious rituals and ceremonies, symbolizing purity and life. Moreover, water bodies have shaped human settlements, with many ancient civilizations flourishing around rivers and coasts. Today, they continue to influence urban planning and architecture.

Water and the Environment

Water plays a crucial role in maintaining the Earth’s climate system. It regulates global temperatures via ocean currents and the water cycle. Wetlands, which are rich in biodiversity, act as natural water filters, reducing pollution and mitigating climate change impacts.

In conclusion, water is a versatile and indispensable resource, underpinning various aspects of human life. Its importance is multifaceted, spanning health, food security, economic prosperity, societal norms, and environmental sustainability. As we face increasing water scarcity due to climate change and overexploitation, it is imperative to recognize the value of water and strive for its sustainable management. The future of our planet and the survival of future generations hinge on our ability to conserve and wisely use this precious resource.

That’s it! I hope the essay helped you.

If you’re looking for more, here are essays on other interesting topics:

  • Essay on Conserve Water Conserve Life
  • Essay on Drinking Water
  • Essay on Clean Water and Sanitation

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Boys playing in a stream, 6 March 2016. Photo by Sasin Tipchai from Pixabay.

The Value of Water and Its Essential Role in Supporting Sustainable Development

About the author, kelly ann naylor, michela miletto and richard connor.

Kelly Ann Naylor is Vice-Chair, UN-Water and Associate Director for Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

Michela Miletto is Coordinator, World Water Assessment Programme, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), and Director, UNESCO Programme Office on Global Water Assessment.

Richard Connor is Editor-in-Chief, United Nations World Water Development Report, UNESCO World Water Assessment Programme.

18 March 2021

W hile everyone recognizes that water is “essential to all life”, including humans, it is often taken for granted, at least by those who have easy and affordable access to a safe and abundant water supply. As a result, it is frequently misused, polluted or wasted. Giving “value” to water is a way to better recognize its importance—to us as individuals, but also to societies and the environment from which it comes and to which ultimately returns.

But what does “value” mean in this context? What is water “worth”? These are the main questions addressed in the 2021 edition of the United Nations World Water Development Report (WWDR 2021). 1

The current status of water resources highlights the need for improved water resources management. Recognizing, measuring and expressing water’s worth, and incorporating it into decision-making, are fundamental to achieving sustainable and equitable water resources management and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

While the term “value” and the process of valuation are well defined, there are several different views and perspectives on what value specifically means to various user groups and stakeholders. So, the question “value to whom?” is also a critical one. There are different methods for calculating value and different metrics to express it. The question of how value can be determined thus becomes fundamental. As described throughout WWDR 2021, the terms “price”, “cost” and “value” are by no means synonymous. Whereas the first two are easily quantifiable from a primarily economic, monetary-based perspective, the notion of value encompasses a much broader set of often intangible benefits. While monetary valuation is arguably easier than most other approaches, and has the advantage of using a common metric by which values of different uses can be quantitatively compared, it can lead to the undervaluation or exclusion of benefits that are more difficult to monetize.

WWDR 2021 groups current methodologies and approaches to the valuation of water into five interrelated perspectives: valuing water sources , in situ water resources and ecosystems; valuing water infrastructure for water storage, use, reuse or supply augmentation; valuing water services , mainly drinking water, sanitation and related human health aspects; valuing water as an input to production and socioeconomic activity , such as food and agriculture, energy and industry, business and employment; and other sociocultural values of water , including recreational, cultural and spiritual attributes.

Photo by Katja Just from Pixabay, 26 August 2015.

Differences in the way water is valued not only exist between stakeholder groups but are widespread within them. These divergent perspectives on water value and the best ways to calculate and express it, coupled with limited knowledge of the actual resource, present a challenging landscape for rapid improvements in valuing water. It is, for example, practically impossible to quantitatively compare the value of water for domestic use, the human right to water, customary or religious beliefs, and the value of maintaining flows to preserve biodiversity. None of these should be sacrificed for the sake of achieving consistent valuation methodologies. While the often-intangible nature of some sociocultural values attributed to water regularly defies any attempt at quantification, such values can nevertheless be regarded among the highest ones.

Furthermore, efforts to value water are likely to suffer from some level of bias, even when unintentional, on the part of those directly involved in valuation processes, as the perception of the values attributed to water and its related benefits can be highly subjective. The fundamental question about value is then (as mentioned above) "value to whom?". Valuations often tend to target specific beneficiaries, while other stakeholders may benefit less or even be negatively impacted.

As described in WWDR 2021, good water governance recognizes multiple values and the active participation of a varied set of actors. The use of multi-value approaches to water governance entails acknowledging the role of values in driving key water resources management decisions as well as a call for the active participation of a more diverse set of actors, leading to better integrated and equitable decision-making.

The political will to consider all value sets for water, and to then act on that basis, is critical, necessitating the transformation of political processes and a redistribution of power and voice through the building of public awareness and pressure for change. Addressing conflicting views and overseeing potential trade-offs are among the greatest challenges to water management. Various water use sectors, from water supply, sanitation and hygiene, to agriculture, energy, industry and the environment, stand to benefit over the longer term from an improved integration of the values of water across the full development cycle, from planning through to improved efficiencies, adaptive management and monitoring. But in the near term, there will be trade-offs and a need for adjustments through a set of controls and incentives for certain sectors to use water more efficiently in particular instances. The initial phases of water resources planning and infrastructure design present considerable but underused opportunities for introducing various aspects of water’s value.

Savita Devi, an Accredited Social Health Activist, demonstrates hand-washing techniques to Mamta during Home-Based Newborn Care in Ahiran Purwa Barkat, Chitrakoot, Uttar Pradesh, India. 24 November 2020. UNICEF India/2020/Prashanth Vishwanathan

Once identified through stakeholder processes of engagement and empowerment, acknowledging the various aspects of water’s value can help ensure their equitable treatment in subsequent stages of water management. Similar opportunities to further address trade-offs exist in later stages of decision-making. In the short term, not all sectors will benefit every time, and some sectors, if not all, will need to adapt in response to the different values of water.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development emphasizes the integrated nature of development and the need to balance economic, social and environmental considerations, as well as the need to mitigate trade-offs and maximize synergies between the SDGs and their policy domains. Recognizing and embracing water’s multiple values is essential to finding mutually supportive solutions across the majority of the Goals.

1 The United Nations World Water Development Report is the UN-Water flagship report on water and sanitation issues, focusing on a different theme each year. The report is published by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on behalf of UN-Water, and its production is coordinated by the UNESCO World Water Assessment Programme. The report gives insight on the main trends concerning the state, use and management of freshwater and sanitation, based on work done by the members and partners of UN-Water. Launched in conjunction with World Water Day (22 March), the report provides decision-makers with knowledge and tools to formulate and implement sustainable water policies. It also offers best practices and in-depth analyses to stimulate ideas and actions for better stewardship in the water sector and beyond.

The UN Chronicle  is not an official record. It is privileged to host senior United Nations officials as well as distinguished contributors from outside the United Nations system whose views are not necessarily those of the United Nations. Similarly, the boundaries and names shown, and the designations used, in maps or articles do not necessarily imply endorsement or acceptance by the United Nations.

Mali-New mother, Fatoumata 01/24/2024 ©UNFPA Mali/Amadou Maiga

Thirty Years On, Leaders Need to Recommit to the International Conference on Population and Development Agenda

With the gains from the Cairo conference now in peril, the population and development framework is more relevant than ever. At the end of April 2024, countries will convene to review the progress made on the ICPD agenda during the annual session of the Commission on Population and Development.

Young Girls Pumping Water At A Public Borehole in West Africa. By Riccardo Niels Mayer/Adobe Stock

The LDC Future Forum: Accelerating the Attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals in the Least Developed Countries

The desired outcome of the LDC Future Forums is the dissemination of practical and evidence-based case studies, solutions and policy recommendations for achieving sustainable development.

Monument to the 1795 slave revolt in Curacao.

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IMAGES

  1. Essay on Importance of Water

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  2. Essay on Importance of Water

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  3. 10 Amazing Benefits of Drinking Water and How it Makes Kids Smarter

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  4. Essay on Water

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  5. An Essay on Importance of water in life (1000 words)

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VIDEO

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COMMENTS

  1. Healthy Hydration: The Science and Importance of Drinking Water

    Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report: APA. S. A., Syed. (2024, February 12). Healthy Hydration: The Science and Importance of Drinking Water.

  2. Biological Roles of Water: Why is water necessary for life?

    Water creates pressure inside the cell that helps it maintain shape. In the hydrated cell (left), the water pushes outward and the cell maintains a round shape. In the dehydrated cell, there is less water pushing outward so the cell becomes wrinkled. Water also contributes to the formation of membranes surrounding cells.

  3. Importance of Water

    Functions of water in the body. Water has numerous bodily functions. Perhaps its most important is the fact that it is a constituent of most cells, organs and systems in the body. It is a fact that water makes up about 90% of the lungs, over ninety percent of the brain and about eighty percent of blood. There are plenty of fluids in the body ...

  4. The importance of hydration

    The importance of hydration. Drinking enough water each day is crucial for many reasons: to regulate body temperature, keep joints lubricated, prevent infections, deliver nutrients to cells, and keep organs functioning properly. Being well-hydrated also improves sleep quality, cognition, and mood. Experts recommend drinking roughly 11 cups of ...

  5. Water

    Water is an essential nutrient at every age, so optimal hydration is a key component for good health. Water accounts for about 60% of an adult's body weight. We drink fluids when we feel thirst, the major signal alerting us when our body runs low on water. We also customarily drink beverages with meals to help with digestion.

  6. Essay on Importance of Water

    Economic and Social Value. Water is fundamental to various industries, such as agriculture, hydroelectric power, and manufacturing. It is also vital for domestic use, including drinking, cooking, cleaning, and sanitation. Access to clean water is a significant social issue, with water scarcity affecting billions worldwide.

  7. Why Water is So Important to Maintaining Your Health

    February 16, 2018. Whether your water comes from the tap, a plastic bottle or an artisan well, drink up: Water is essential for your body's survival. Consider these stats: Water makes up 60 percent of your total body, 70 percent of your brain and 90 percent of your lungs. "Staying hydrated at all times is critical - every cell, tissue and ...

  8. Essay on Importance of Water in Our Life

    Water as a Life-Sustaining Element. The human body is composed of about 60% water, serving as a medium for various biochemical reactions. It aids in digestion, absorption of nutrients, regulation of body temperature, and excretion of waste substances. Dehydration can lead to serious health problems, highlighting the importance of regular water ...

  9. The Value of Water and Its Essential Role in Supporting Sustainable

    Giving "value" to water is a way to better recognize its importance—to us as individuals, but also to societies and the environment from which it comes and to which ultimately returns ...

  10. Why it's important for you to drink water and stay hydrated

    Water is vital to our health. It plays a key role in many of our body's functions, including bringing nutrients to cells, getting rid of wastes, protecting joints and organs, and maintaining body temperature. Water should almost always be your go-to beverage. Choose it over sugary drinks like soda or juice, which can be high in simple sugars ...

  11. 15 benefits of drinking water and other water facts

    Drinking water also keeps the mouth clean. Consumed instead of sweetened beverages, it can also reduce tooth decay. 3. It delivers oxygen throughout the body. Blood is more than 90 percent water ...

  12. Essay on Importance of Water

    Water is essential for all living things on Earth. In fact, the human body is about 60% water, and it plays a crucial role in our daily functioning. It helps regulate body temperature, cushions our joints, and carries nutrients and oxygen to cells. According to Dr. Jane Smith, a leading expert in human physiology, staying hydrated is essential ...

  13. Importance of Water Essay

    The short essay on the importance of water talks about how water helps in vital life processes as well as vital planetary processes. It highlights the birth of life from water and how water came on this planet in the first place. Students can develop their own writing styles by referring to the importance of water essay. Water - A Necessity

  14. Essay on Importance of Water

    Long and Short Essays on Importance of Water for Students and Kids in English. A Long essay on the topic of Importance of Water is provided it is of 450-500 words. A short Essay of 100-150 words is also given below. The extended articles are popular among students of classes 7, 8, 9, and 10.

  15. Why Drinking Water Is Important: Hydrate to Think and Write Better

    Cold water shocks your metabolism a bit, helping you wake up and burn more calories throughout the day while also increasing your hydration levels. It's an easy way to get your day started right. During the day, keep a large glass of water nearby or fill up a BPA-free plastic, glass, or metal bottle (I rely on my trusty 15oz.

  16. Essay on Water

    10 Lines on Water Essay in English. Water is the reason why life exists and grows on earth. 70% of earth's surface is made of water out of which only 3% is freshwater is for human consumption. Water supports all forms of life on the planet. Human beings use water for drinking, bathing, washing, in agriculture, industries and factories.

  17. Essay on Drinking Water Is Healthy

    Drinking Water 2. Drinking Water Keeps Us Healthy. Drinking a healthy amount of water is vital to our health. We can never imagine just by increasing our water intake, we gain tremendous health benefits, and sometimes we can even throw away our migraine medicine or pain killer. Before we can appreciate the benefits of water to our health, let ...

  18. Why Is Drinking Water Important

    Drinking plenty of water can help keep your body healthy and functioning at its highest capacity. Staying hydrated will help you to: 1. Improve physical performance. During physical activity, our bodies use up a lot of water. So stay hydrated before, during, and after exercise helps to protect your body from harm, and to help you to perform better.

  19. The Importance of Drinking Water Essay

    So water is needed to dissolve these nutrients and be carried throughout the body. As you can see, water plays a major role in many factors of your body. Water even can help produce benefits outside of your body as well, such as your wallet. For example, when you go to a restaurant and order a soda, that is usually at least $2.

  20. Argumentative Essay on Water

    There are four advantages of drinking water for our bodies, for example, it can accelerate our digestion systems, make our skin appear more rejuvenated, lose weight, and boost our energy. Drinking a healthy amount of water is vital to our health. We can become healthier just by expanding our water consumption, we increase medical advantages ...

  21. The Importance of Drinking Water Essay

    That is good drinking water is not a opulence but one of the most crucial requirements of life itself (3).Water makes up more than two thirds of human body weight , human brain is made up of 95% of water, blood is 82% and lungs 90% . However, developing countries have endures from a lack of access to safe drinking water from recovered sources ...

  22. Benefit Of Drinking Water

    Drinking water is important to our health, because it make up to 70 percent of our bodies weight. There are many benefits of drinking water to our body, such as it can make our skin healthier, lose our weight, speed up our metabolisms and keep our body healthy. The first benefit of drinking water to our body is it make our skin healthier.