Its 4 AM again and we all stumble into the kitchen to prepare our morning meal only to find that the water purifier reservoir is empty! What do we do without water for the day? I quickly fill the purification tank and allow the filter to do its job while we prepare our food. By the end of our meal, there is enough water for us to drink for the day and we begin our fast.
Every living thing in the world is made of water. Life cannot exist without the presence of water. We search the planets in our solar system for signs of water in the hope that someday we might be able to inhabit that planet. We ourselves are made mostly of water, about 70% of our bodies are and consist of water, the remaining 30% sold matter. Is it a coincidence that the Earth is made up of the same ratio of water to dry land? The Earth is after all out mother and when we meet our end in this life, we return to the earth decomposed into dust.
What is hard to fathom is that all 6 billion plus humans on this planet survive not on that 70% of water, for most of it is salty and brackish, but on only 1% of the total water on Earth, 1 percent. Only 3% of the water in our world is palatable and most of it is not usable as it is either locked up as ground water or as glaciers or ice caps. only 1% of all the water on the Earth is actually usable. Of all the resources in the world it is water that is vital for our existence and it is what will ultimately limit our population.
Many think that it is space or food that limits the unencumbered growth of humanity, but its water. For example,we can take all 6 billion plus inhabitants of the Earth and we can put all of them in the state of Texas and each person would have about 1000 square feet of space, that is the size of a small house or a large apartment. Don’t believe it here’s the math – the area of Texas is 268,820 square miles or 7,494,271,488,000 square feet. The world population at 04:32 UTC Aug 15, 2010 was 6,862,438,430 people. Now divide the area of Texas by the population and we get 1,092 square feet!
Some more math will show how long we could survive on the currently available water. The total volume of water on the planet, is about 333 million cubic miles (See Here). Of that over 96% of it is saline and cannot be used by us. Of the total fresh water available, 68% is locked up in glaciers and ice caps. And another 30% is ground water leaving about 0.007% of the total water (about 22,300 cubic miles) in lakes and rivers which the majority of the population relies on. Lets see how many glasses of water that gives each person on earth. A glass of water is 8 oz. In a cubic mile there are 140,942,994,870,000 ounces. In that, by dividing by 8, we can get the number of “glasses” of water – 17,617,874,358,750. That’s over 17 trillion glasses of water. Now divide that by the population and we find that each person gets 2,567 glasses of water. If each person drank 8 glasses a day, the recommended amount, that person would have enough water for 320 days, about 1 month shy of a year, and this does not account for the other uses like cooking and cleaning.
I suppose it is a good thing that water keeps cycling from salty to fresh. For that amount of fresh water is what is available at any given time. If our water cycle was to cease, we would have about 1 year of life left on earth; a sobering thought indeed.
But through the Mercy of the Sustainer, the water cycle continues to bring us fresh water continuously. And it is through rain that fresh water makes it way back on to dry land and into our lakes and rivers. The rain is in essence the Mercy of God.
When the Prophet of God, Muhammad (peace and blessings of God upon him) prayed for rain, he said: “O God! Provide water for Your servants and Your cattle, display Your mercy and give life to Your dead land”.
Water, use it wisely and do not squander the Mercy that falls down upon us.
Till tomorrow, Peace
P.S. Just another interesting tidbit – the salinity of ocean water is the same as that of our blood. I find that interesting.