World Water Day is an annual United Nations Observance, falling today 22nd March. Beginning in 1993, it celebrates water and raises awareness of the 2 billion people currently living without access to safe water. A core focus of World Water Day is to inspire action towards Sustainable Development Goal water and sanitation for all by 2030.(1)
This year’s theme ‘groundwater’, draws attention to the hidden water resource that has always been critically important but not always fully appreciated in policymaking.(2) Groundwater refers to water found underground in aquifers, which are geological formations of rocks, sands and gravels that can hold water. (3)
Protecting and sustainably using groundwater will be a vital route to adapting to climate change and meeting the water needs of an ever growing population. (2) For more ideas and solutions to address global water issues visit The Water Blog.(4)
World Water Day reminds us of the importance of water to human survival
Importance of Hydration
Apart from oxygen, water is arguably one of the most crucial elements. We all require water to survive and to thrive. Human beings cannot survive more than several days without it. Water is present in every single chemical reaction in the body and makes up over half its mass. It carries oxygen to our cells and cushions our joints, among many other functions.(5)
Why do we need to keep hydrated?
Fluid is so important in the body that even when levels drop slightly we begin to feel the consequences. Low levels of fluid in the body can cause headaches, feelings of dizziness, lethargy, poor concentration and a dry mouth. Over a longer term, dehydration can cause constipation and can be associated with urinary tract infections and the formation of kidney stones. Regular and adequate intakes of fluid can help to address these.(6)
The Role of Water Within the Body
An average of 60% of the human body is water, varying from 45-75%. The percentage can vary according to age, gender and hydration levels.(7)
Functions of Water in the body (5, 6)
- transports oxygen around the body
- aids the transportation of vitamins, minerals and nutrients around the body
- supports the digestion of food and absorption of nutrients
- helps to remove waste from the body
- regulates the body’s temperature
- lubricates our joints and eyes
- keeps our skin healthy
Adults are recommended to drink 1.5 – 2 L of fluid each day (5)
If you find it challenging to consume enough water, here are some tips for increasing water intake.(8)
Contributed to by Saoirse Farren, 3rd Year student, Public Health Nutrition, GMIT.
References and further information
- United Nations (2022) World Water Day 2022 Groundwater Making the Invisible Visible. Available from: www.worldwaterday.org Accessed: 21/03/2022
- United Nations (2022) World Water Day 2022: Groundwater. Available from: World Water Day 2022: Groundwater | UN-Water (unwater.org) Accessed: 21/03/2022
- Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (2022) Understanding Ground Water. Available from: Understanding Ground Water (ct.gov) Accessed: 21/03/2022
- World Bank Blogs (2021) The Water Blog Ideas and solutions to address global water issue. Available from: The Water Blog | World Bank Blogs Accessed: 21/03/2022
- British Dietetic Association (2019) The Importance of Hydration. Available from: The importance of hydration | British Dietetic Association (BDA) Accessed: 21/03/2022
- Popkin, B.M., D’Anci, K.E. and Rosenberg, I.H., 2010. Water, hydration, and health. Nutrition reviews, 68(8), pp.439-458.
- National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (2019) Dietary Reference Intakes for sodium and potassium. Chapter 4: Water.
- Michigan State University Food and Health (2021) Tips for increasing water consumption. Available from: Tips for increasing water consumption – Food & Health (msu.edu) Accessed 21/03/2022