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World Water Day 2024 - what is it and when does it fall?

World Water Day aims to raise awareness of the lack of drinking water in many regions of the world.

Ludwig Jelonek - AuthorAuthorLudwig Jelonek
Ludwig Jelonek - Author
AuthorLudwig Jelonek
Natu.Care Editor

Ludwik Jelonek is the author of more than 2,500 texts published on leading portals. His content has found its way into services such as Ostrovit and Kobieta Onet. At Natu.Care, Ludwik educates people in the most important area of life - health.

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Ilona Bush - Reviewed byReviewed byIlona Bush
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Ilona Bush - Reviewed by
Reviewed byIlona Bush
Master of Pharmacy

Ilona Krzak obtained her Master of Pharmacy degree from the Medical University of Wrocław. She did her internship in a hospital pharmacy and in the pharmaceutical industry. She is currently working in the profession and also runs an educational profile on Instagram: @pani_z_apteki

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Bartholomew Turczynski - Edited byEdited byBartholomew Turczynski
Bartholomew Turczynski - Edited by
Edited byBartholomew Turczynski
Editor-in-Chief

Bartłomiej Turczyński is the editor-in-chief of Natu.Care. He is responsible for the quality of the content created on Natu.Care, among others, and ensures that all articles are based on sound scientific research and consulted with industry specialists.

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Nina Wawryszuk - Fact-checkingFact-checkingNina Wawryszuk
Nina Wawryszuk - Fact-checking
Fact-checkingNina Wawryszuk
Natu.Care Editor

Nina Wawryszuk specialises in sports supplementation, strength training and psychosomatics. On a daily basis, in addition to writing articles for Natu.Care, as a personal trainer she helps athletes improve their performance through training, diet and supplementation.

Learn more about our editorial process

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World Water Day 2024 - what is it and when does it fall?
29 April, 2024
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Water is life - literally. Your body is about 60% made up of it. You can't last more than 72 hours without water, even though it contains no nutrients. Water covers 70% of the earth's surface and is used extensively in households, agriculture, water transport, electricity generation, or thermal and nuclear power plants.

This is why education about the problems of its scarcity and depletion is crucial. Together with Ilona Krzak, M.Sc. in Pharmacy, we will bring you closer to World Water Day and answer your burning questions.

World Water Day is a day of education.

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From this article you will learn:

  • What World Water Day is and when it falls.
  • Why water is important.
  • Why water is so important to us.
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  • How much water do we use and how much do we actually need.
  • Why water is important to us.
  • Which countries have a water shortage.
  • Why we need water.
  • What to do to use less water on a daily basis.
  • What to do to use less water on a daily basis.

See also:

What is World Water Day?

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World Water Day is an event celebrated every year 22 March. It is an international day established by the United Nations (UN) in 1993. It aims to draw public attention to the importance of clean water and promote the sustainable management of water resourcesand.

Each year World Water Day focuses on a different aspect related to this vital resource, such as protecting water-dependent ecosystems, promoting appropriate consumption or educating about water as a non-renewable resource.

What is the theme for World Water Day 2024?

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World Water Day 2024 focuses on the theme 'Water For Peace'. This theme highlights the role water plays in building or undermining peace. When access to water is unequal and resources are contaminated or insufficient, the risk of conflict between communities and nations increases.

Water in numbers

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  • In the world there are approx. 1,260,000,000,000,000,000,000 litres of waterand.
  • Water accounts for approximately 71% of the earth's surface .
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  • As much as 97% of water is found in the oceans .
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  • Freshwater is only 3% of all water, of which only 0.5% is available to humans .
  • .
  • If we had 100 litres of water worldwide, drinking water would only include 0.003 litres (half a teaspoon) .
  • Assuming that all the water in the world can fill a cup, just one drop would account for all the rivers and lakes .
  • A mere 4 litres of petrol spilled could pollute around 2,839,000 litres of waterand.
  • There can be as many as 1,000,000 microorganisms in a single drop of water.
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  • One in three people in the world do not have access to clean drinking water.
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  • The human brain is made up of 75% water; the lungs almost 90%; and the blood 82%.

How does water affect the body's function?

Water plays a key role in the functioning of every cell, tissue and organ in the body. It is essential for normal metabolic processes, fluid balance and thermoregulation.

What does water in the body affect?

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Temperature regulation

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Water plays an important role in the body's temperature regulation process. When the body's temperature rises - for example, during sport or being in a high ambient temperature, sweat glands in the skin begin to secrete sweat, which is mainly made up of waterand.

This process is designed to cool the skin and the entire body. When sweat evaporates, it consumes a large amount of heat, leading to an effective reduction in body temperature. Through this mechanism, the body is able to maintain an optimal and stable temperature, preventing overheatingand.

Transport of nutrients

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Water is the body's primary means of transport and therefore plays a key role in the delivery of nutrients to individual cells. The substances it contains can move freely throughout the body, allowing nutrients to reach every cell in the body from the digestive systemand.

Additionally, water is involved in metabolic processes, enabling the proper functioning of enzymes and hormones that are necessary for the absorption of these nutrients. It also acts as a means of transporting metabolic wastes out of the body, such as protein breakdown products or components not processed by the body, allowing them to be excreted through the kidneys, for exampleand.

Fluid balance

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Water is responsible for maintaining homeostasis, or the body's internal balance, and in particular fluid balance. The body is made up of approximately 60% water - this fluid is therefore essential for the proper functioning of all cells and tissuesand.

Water acts as a regulator, helping to maintain stable levels of electrolytes. This is important for processes such as muscle contractions, the conduction of nerve impulses and the maintenance of normal blood pressure. If necessary, the body is able to regulate water levels on its own through thirst or urinary excretionand.

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A hormone called vasopressin is responsible for inhibiting water excretion, including reducing urine output.
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Ilona Krzak.

Ilona Krzak Master of Pharmacy

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Participation in metabolic processes

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Water, as one of the most important components of the body, is involved in digestion, absorption and transfer of nutrients, as well as elimination of metabolic products. It acts as a vehicle by which nutrients can travel through the bodyand.

During the digestive process, water is essential for enzymes to function and allows nutrients to be absorbed efficiently. At the same time, through its participation in the excretion process, it helps to remove unnecessary and potentially harmful metabolic products of the body, such as alcohol and its metabolites or ammonia .

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Compounds that are hardly soluble or insoluble in water are not metabolised - they are not absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract or are absorbed very slightly.
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Ilona Krzak.

Ilona Krzak Master of Pharmacy

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Water lubrication joints

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Water plays an extremely important role in joint function - it acts as a lubricant, increasing flexibility and allowing smooth movement. Each joint in the body is surrounded by what is known as an articular capsule, which contains joint fluid, consisting mainly of waterand.

It is through water that the joint fluid exhibits lubricating and cushioning properties. A special layer provides an optimal environment for the joint bones, prevents them from rubbing excessively against each other and protects them from damage .

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Nearly 95% of joint fluid is water, followed by hyaluronic acid and amino acids.
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Ilona Krzak.

Ilona Krzak Master of Pharmacy

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Water also provides nutrients to the cartilage in the joints and removes waste products from the cartilage, which helps keep our joints healthy and resilient.

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Important

Everyone should drink a minimum 30 ml/kg body weight of water every day for the body to function properly. Demand increases in people who are physically active, but also during hot weather or feverand.

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How much water do we need vs. how much do we consume?

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Let's not kid ourselves - each of us uses more water than we need. However, this is only natural - if we think something is 'infinite', why should we conserve it? After all, it doesn't matter if the water from your tap runs for 2 minutes or 2 hours, you probably won't run out of it anyway.

It's not that simple, however. Saving water is extremely important, but we'll get to that a little later. First, let's look at how much more water we use than we actually need.

How much water do we need per day?

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According to the recommendations of the World Health Organisation, the minimum water consumption necessary to maintain basic hygiene and health is about 50 litres per person per day. This amount allows for drinking, washing clothes, preparing meals or general cleanlinessand.

How much water do Poles use?

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According to the Central Statistical Office, the average per capita household water consumption in 2021 was 33.5 m³, or 33,500 litres. We can therefore easily calculate that, on average, we use 91 litres of water per day. And this is a very good result indeed. The average daily per capita water consumption in Europe is around 144 litres of waterand.

How to hydrate properly

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Adequate hydration is key to maintaining health and well-being. Insufficient fluids can lead to low performance, fatigue and even dehydration. What can be done to avoid such conditions?

  • Regular fluid intake. Proper hydration involves drinking regularly, even if you don't feel thirsty. It is suggested that you take in about 2-3 litres of fluids a day, depending on your age, gender, physical activity, health status and ambient temperature.
  • Drink water. Although different sources of fluids can be considered, water should make up the majority. It does not contain sugar or extra kilocalories. It is also worth considering mineral water, which provides valuable electrolytes.
  • .
  • Hydration before, during and after exercise. Physical activity increases the need for fluids. Therefore, it is a good idea to drink before training, regularly during and after exercise to compensate for lost water.
  • Drink fluids with meals. Drinking fluids with meals can aid digestion and help us reach the recommended daily amount of fluids. However, avoid drinking large amounts of water just before a meal to avoid artificially reducing your appetite.
  • .
  • Climit diuretic and dehydrating drinks. Alcohol, caffeine, some herbs and even coca-cola can accelerate dehydration. Therefore, consumers of these beverages should pay particular attention to extra hydration.
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King's water is not the mineral water served to the king in a golden goblet. This is the name given to a mixture of concentrated acids: nitric (V) and hydrochloric in a ratio of 3:1. It is extremely corrosive. It even dissolves precious metals such as gold.
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Ilona Krzak.

Ilona Krzak Master of Pharmacy

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What happens in the body when you are dehydrated?

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Dehydration occurs when the body loses more fluids than it can replenish, resulting in insufficient water needed to function properly. This leads to an imbalance of electrolytes, such as sodium and potassium, which are essential for the proper functioning of cells and organsand.

As dehydration progresses, a person may experience initial symptoms such as dry mouth, fatigue, headaches and even slight decreases in mental and physical performance. There may also be muscle weakness, accelerated heart rate and, in extreme cases, even unconsciousnessand.

Hydration is a serious condition that can lead to life-threatening complications such as kidney damage, hypovolemic shock (a significant drop in blood volume) and even death. Therefore, it is important to keep your body adequately hydratedand.

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The first step during a headache should be to reach for a glass of water. Often insufficient hydration is precisely what manifests itself as a headache. Similarly with a fever. Adequate hydration can lower the temperature without the use of medication.
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Ilona Krzak.

Ilona Krzak Master of Pharmacy

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In which countries is there a shortage of drinking water?

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Lack of access to clean drinking water is a worldwide problem that particularly affects low-income countries, especially in arid and desert areas. It is a complex situation that ranges from climatic conditions to infrastructure issues, water resource management and political conflict and instability. Which countries are the worst affected?"

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Pakistan's water shortage is a major concern.

Country

Reasons for water shortages

Liban

The country is in economic crisis and suffers from poor management of water systems. More than 71% of the population faces a critical shortage of drinking water. The situation is exacerbated by a prolonged drought in the region. Water prices have skyrocketed and refugee communities are most vulnerable to water shortages.

Pakistan

The causes of water shortages in Pakistan are rapid population growth and urbanisation, as well as climate change. More than 16 million people in Karachi alone do not have access to clean water.

Afghanistan

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The water shortage is worsening due to recent political turmoil, conflict, natural disasters, economic instability and climate change. The drought there is the worst such situation in 27 years.

Syria

The country is facing its worst drought in 70 years, caused by low water levels on the Euphrates River. In addition, more than a decade of conflict has only exacerbated the situation.

Syria is facing its worst drought in over a decade.

Niger

The entire country, located in the Sahara, is threatened by drought. UNICEF estimates that only 56% of Niger's citizens have access to a source of potable water and only 13% have access to basic sanitation services.

What is the situation in Poland?

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Poland also faces the problem of water scarcity. We are one of the countries in Europe with the most limited water resources. The average annual water resources per inhabitant in Poland are about 1,600 m³, which is as much as for a statistical citizen of Egypt. In comparison, the European average is around 4,300 m³and.

The main cause of water scarcity is insufficient retention, i.e. the earth's ability to hold water. Poland has one of the lowest retention values in Europe, which means that a lot of rainwater or water from melting snow is quickly discharged into rivers and the sea, rather than stored for later use.

Why is water scarce?

Why is there a shortage of drinking water in the world?

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World drinking water scarcity is one of the most serious global challenges of the 21st century. Key factors contributing to the problem include rapid population growth, increasing demand for water in agriculture, industries and households, climate change, pollution of water resources and inadequate water infrastructure.

Population growth

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Population growth is one of the main factors contributing to the increasing demand for drinking water. As the Earth's population grows, so does the need to provide increasing amounts of clean, safe water for drinking, cooking, washing, sanitation needs and for domestic and industrial use.

The need to provide clean, safe water for drinking, cooking, washing, sanitation needs and for domestic and industrial use is growing.

This challenge is particularly pronounced in developing countries, where demographic growth rates are much higher and access to clean drinking water is often limited.

In addition, rapid urbanisation and migration of populations to cities brings additional problems related to the provision of adequate water infrastructure, which can also hinder access to clean water.

Climate change

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Global warming is leading to an intensification of extreme weather events such as droughts, floods or violent storms, which can have a direct impact on water resources. Drought, for example, can harm both the quality and quantity of available water, causing water shortages in affected regions.

Rising temperatures, on the other hand, lead to faster evaporation of water, causing changes in surface and groundwater flow. This, in turn, can affect the availability of drinking water, especially in regions that already face water shortages.

Pollution

Water pollution

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Water pollution renders available resources unfit for consumption or use, both for humans and wildlife. Industry, agriculture and urban waste are the main sources that introduce toxins and pathogens into water resources. Without proper treatment systems, such water is not safe for use.

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Secondly, water pollution can damage aquatic ecosystems, leading to a loss of biodiversity and a declining ability of ecosystems to clean water naturally. Effects such as eutrophication, caused by excessive nutrients (e.g. nitrogen and phosphorus) in water, can lead to algal blooms that further pollute the water.

Finally, climate change associated with greenhouse gas emissions can contribute to the pollution and degradation of water resources through changes in the water cycle, such as droughts or floods, which in turn can exacerbate water scarcity. Thus, pollution of water resources not only limits the availability of clean water, but also exacerbates the problem of water scarcity worldwide.

Inadequate water infrastructure

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Water infrastructure includes elements such as water delivery systems, wastewater treatment plants, dams and dikes. This is essential for collecting, storing, treating and distributing water to end-users, in both domestic and industrial contexts.

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In many regions around the world, especially in developing countries, water infrastructure is inadequate. This leads to a situation where access to clean, safe water is limited. Furthermore, inefficient systems can result in significant losses - for example, through leaking pipes or inadequate storage.

Additionally, climate change may exacerbate the problem of inadequate water infrastructure. Rising temperatures and changes in precipitation patterns may exceed the capacity of existing systems to collect and process water, further exacerbating the problem of water shortages.

When the problem of water shortages is not addressed at all, it is likely to become more acute.

When will there be a complete shortage of potable water?

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It is very difficult to pinpoint exactly when the world will run out of potable water, as this depends on a number of factors, such as the rate of climate change, global and local water resource management activities, and changes in consumption patterns.

The world will run out of water.

However, it is estimated, that at current rates of water use, about ⅔ of the world will experience water scarcity by 2030-2040. However, this predicted situation, known as a 'water crisis', does not mean that there will be a complete shortage of drinking water. Different regions will be affected to varying degrees, and some places may experience extreme water shortages.

How does pollution of water bodies affect fauna?

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Pollution of water bodies has a strong impact on the animals that live in the water. It disrupts the balance of the ecosystem and directly affects the health and survival of aquatic animals.

  • Negative impact on animal health. Polluted waters are full of chemicals and toxic substances that can accumulate in animals' bodies, leading to disease and even death. In the long term, these pollutants can also result in genetic changes and deformities.
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  • Decrease in biodiversity. As a result of water pollution, many aquatic animal species can become extinct. These creatures are unable to adapt to changing conditions. The result will be a reduction in biodiversity and an imbalance of aquatic ecosystems.
  • Changing the food chain. Pollution of water resources can also disrupt the food chain. Animals at the lower levels of the food chain may die or reduce their populations, which in turn will affect predators at the higher levels.
  • Deterioration of habitat quality. Aquatic pollution can significantly degrade the quality of animal habitat, leading to mass migration or extinction of species unable to adapt to new conditions.

How to use less water on a daily basis?

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Water resources are limited, so each of us should try to reduce our daily water consumption. There are many simple ways to save that make a big difference when used on a larger scale.

Turning off the tap

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Turning off the tap during everyday activities, such as brushing your teeth or shaving, is one of the simplest ways to save water at home. Many of us have a habit of leaving the tap turned off during these activities, leading to completely unnecessary water wastage.

For example, when brushing our teeth, we can use up up to 6 litres of water per minute. Turning off the tap for those 2-3 minutes can therefore save a significant amount of water every day. Such small changes in daily habits can translate into significant savings in the long term, helping to conserve global water resources.

Saving in the shower

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Conscious use of the shower is one of the easiest ways to save water on a daily basis. In practice, this involves turning off the water when washing your body or hair. While these may seem like small changes, when you include multiple users, you will save hundreds of litres of water.

Efficient dishwashing and clothes washing

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Instead of leaving the water turned off while washing dishes, a better solution is to soak them for a period of time and then rinse them more quickly. Importantly, it is worth using the dishwasher. In general, the equipment uses about three times less water per washing cycle than when washing by hand.

Similarly, when it comes to washing clothes, it is a good idea to fill the washing machine as much as possible, which is more efficient in terms of water consumption than washing smaller amounts of clothes more often.

Wise watering of plants

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Best practice is to water plants in the early morning or late evening when water evaporation is low. This allows for better soil hydration and efficient use of water. Using drip systems can also minimise water wastage.

Rainwater harvesting

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Installing rainwater harvesting systems allows water to be collected, which can then be used for watering plants, washing cars or even flushing the toilet. These systems usually consist of barrels placed under the gutters to collect the falling water. This is not only a way to save water, but also to reduce bills.

Drop drills... deficit

Regularly check all faucets and pipes in your home for leaks. Even a small leak can result in a large loss of water!

Regularly check all faucets and pipes in your home for leaks.

Summary

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  • World Water Day is celebrated on 22 March with the aim of drawing attention to the importance of clean water and promoting water stewardship.
  • Water plays key roles in the functioning of the body, such as regulating temperature, transporting nutrients, maintaining fluid balance and participating in metabolic processes.
  • Water consumption is an important part of water management.
  • The average water consumption per person in Poland is about 91 litres per day, while the minimum recommended needs are around 50 litres.
  • .
  • Lack of access to clean drinking water is a major problem worldwide, especially in low-income countries, and even more so if they are located in arid and desert areas.
  • Potential lack of access to clean water is a major problem.
  • The potential shortage of drinking water is related to rapid population growth, increasing water demand, climate change, pollution of water resources and insufficient water infrastructure.
  • Effective water conservation at home consists of activities such as turning off the tap during daily activities, using the shower consciously, washing dishes and washing clothes efficiently, watering plants sensibly and collecting rainwater for domestic use.

FAQ

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. Do houseplants need a lot of water?.

It depends on the type of plant. Some, such as cacti, need very little water, so they are an excellent choice for those who want to save water. Others, however, such as ferns or monstera, need regular watering.

. What are the effects of body dryness on the skin and body?.

Body dryness, or dehydration, has a negative impact on the body as a whole. The skin, for example, can become dry, flaky and less elastic, resulting in discomfort, susceptibility to infection and an acceleration of the ageing process.

. Does meat consumption affect water consumption?.

Meat production is definitely more demanding in terms of water consumption than the production of plant-based foods. For example, producing 1 kg of beef can involve using up to 15 000 litres of water. Switching to a predominantly plant-based diet is therefore one way to save water.

. Will droughts become more frequent due to global warming?".

Yes, droughts are one of the most anticipated impacts of global warming. Future climate change could lead to longer and more intense droughts, especially in parts of the world that already face water shortages.

. How does air pollution affect water resources?.

Air pollution can affect water resources in various ways. For example, when precipitation, such as rain or snow, passes through polluted air, it can absorb these pollutants and transmit them to rivers and lakes.

. What health problems can regular consumption of contaminated water lead to?.

It poses a public health risk, leading to various diseases such as diarrhoeal diseases, parasitic diseases, skin diseases and even some types of cancer.

. Do alcoholic drinks dehydrate the body?.

Yes, alcohol is a diuretic, meaning that it increases urine production, leading to faster elimination of fluids from the body. Drinking alcoholic beverages can therefore result in dehydration, so it is always worth remembering to stay extra hydrated when consuming spirits.

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Resources

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Armstrong, L. E., & Johnson, E. C. (2018a). Water Intake, Water Balance, and the Elusive Daily Water Requirement. Nutrients10(12), 1928. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10121928

Armstrong, L. E., & Johnson, E. C. (2018b). Water Intake, Water Balance, and the Elusive Daily Water Requirement. Nutrients10(12), 1928. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10121928

Bottin, J. H., Morin, C., Guelinckx, I., & Perrier, E. T. (2019). Hydration in Children: What Do We Know and Why Does it Matter? Annals of Nutrition & Metabolism74 Suppl 3, 11-18. https://doi.org/10.1159/000500340

Çıtar Dazıroğlu, M. E., & Acar Tek, N. (2023). Water Consumption: Effect on Energy Expenditure and Body Weight Management. Current Obesity Reports12(2), 99-107. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13679-023-00501-8

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Editorials

Meet the team
Ludwig Jelonek - Author

Natu.Care Editor

Ludwik Jelonek is the author of more than 2,500 texts published on leading portals. His content has found its way into services such as Ostrovit and Kobieta Onet. At Natu.Care, Ludwik educates people in the most important area of life - health.

Ilona Bush - Reviewed by

Master of Pharmacy

Verified by an expert

Ilona Krzak obtained her Master of Pharmacy degree from the Medical University of Wrocław. She did her internship in a hospital pharmacy and in the pharmaceutical industry. She is currently working in the profession and also runs an educational profile on Instagram: @pani_z_apteki

Bartholomew Turczynski - Edited by

Editor-in-Chief

Bartłomiej Turczyński is the editor-in-chief of Natu.Care. He is responsible for the quality of the content created on Natu.Care, among others, and ensures that all articles are based on sound scientific research and consulted with industry specialists.

Nina Wawryszuk - Fact-checking

Natu.Care Editor

Nina Wawryszuk specialises in sports supplementation, strength training and psychosomatics. On a daily basis, in addition to writing articles for Natu.Care, as a personal trainer she helps athletes improve their performance through training, diet and supplementation.

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