Five Ways Water Enhances Our Lives A Look at the Importance of Water in our Existence

Water plays a huge role in just about everything we do, and without it, life itself would not exist. But its impact goes far beyond just being a life-sustaining force. It's World Water Day, so it's a perfect time to look at how water, from geology to geography and everything in between, enhances our lives.

1) CARVING

Water has created some of the most beautiful natural features on our planet. The power of water created the Grand Canyon and Niagara Falls. And glaciers, which are rivers of ice, created Minnesota’s 11,000-plus lakes, Michigan’s Sleeping Bear Dunes and the Finger Lakes in New York. Closer to home, glacial Lake Wauponsee created the interesting terrain found in southwestern Will County that is home to several unique preserves and the Wauponsee Glacial Trail.

Photo by Janet Kirer

2) CREATING

We need water to survive. Water also is used to generate power, irrigate crops, manufacture goods such as paper and computer chips, and keep our yards green and our homes clean.

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

3) SOOTHING

Water can be therapeutic. Whether it’s the rolling waves of an ocean, the current of a river or even the clouds up above – which are made of clusters of water droplets – watching water calms us.

Photo by Lani Nishimura

4) GATHERING

Many of the towns we live in were built near water sources. Oceans, rivers, streams and lakes make up some of our geographical boundaries. They also allow for water transportation and commerce and provide food and other resources.

Photo by Chad Merda

5) ENTERTAINING

Water is fun! Check out the Forest Preserve District of Will County’s Recreation Page to find all the places you can fish, boat, kayak or canoe in the Will County preserves. While there, look for programs that will teach you those activities or trails that will take you to the District’s lakes, rivers and streams.

Photo by Glenn P. Knoblock

The traveling “Water|Ways” exhibit will end on Saturday, March 11, after a six-week run at the District’s Four Rivers Environmental Education Center in Channahon. The exhibit explores the significance of water in the human experience, and it is a collaboration of the Smithsonian Institution and Illinois Humanities.

Article by Cindy Cain

(Lead image by Anton Croos, via Wikimedia Commons)

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