Why Water is a Basic Human Need

Why Water is a Basic Human Need

human body h2o
How often do you think about the water you’re using when you take a shower, wash your clothes, or flush the toilet? Probably not often. But… Water is a basic human need that links us all.

An American taking a five-minute shower uses more water than the average person in a developing country slum uses for an entire day in fact 3x more people lack water around the world than live in the United States. The majority of the human body is composed of water, approximately 65-90% by mass, so in many ways it doesn’t make much sense that nearly a billion people lack access to clean drinking water. Without clean water our bodies get dehydrated, are more susceptible to disease, and can’t combat the illnesses we do contract.

Every day nearly a billion people don’t have the option to turn on the tap if they’re thirsty; there isn’t a tap available. Most people have to travel long distances to the closest water source whether it’s a well, pond, stream, or puddle; around the world 200 million work hours are spent everyday collecting water. Precious time is wasted, time equivalent to what’s needed to build 28 Empire State Buildings EVERY DAY!

The UN agrees that everyone deserves access to clean water and sanitation and in 2010 declared water a human right. Others have disagreed that water is a fundamental human right and view water as a commodity that should be limited by access to pay. The former CEO of Nestle Peter Brabeck-Letmathe for example has stated that he believes water is not a human right.

With the two contrasting ideas present it certainly begs the question, what do you think about water? Should global access be increased, or limited based on resources? What could the global population accomplish if the time spent collecting water was conserved?


We’ve all heard that the majority of the human body is made up of water. In fact, without water we get dehydrated and more susceptible to diseases.

We’ve also heard that lack of water leads to death more quickly than lack of food.

So this leads us to wonder: “If water is a basic biological human need, should it be a fundamental human right? Or is it a commodity that is only accessible to those who can afford it?

In this YouTube Video “How Water Affects Your Body” by MedicalAdvices2013, you will learn how important water is to our bodies. These doctors share how important water is to our overall wellbeing.


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