Every day, each of us goes about our daily lives not giving much thought to how much water we drink. When I asked how much water a person is recommended to drink each day, some do not know. Others have said three glasses, while others have told me ten, 16 ounce glasses. Before I reveal the answer, let me ask you this question: how much of your body is made up of water? The answer: about 60 percent is nothing more than simple H2O. I’ll let you in on a little secret: I carry around 127 pounds of water with me each day. If you want to know how much I weigh, do a little of Pansy Riffe’s summer school math.
The answer to the question I asked earlier about how much water is recommended each day? Measured in cups, about 15 for a men and 11 for women. That’s about a gallon for a man and three quarters for a woman. I’ll bet every one reading this story drinks exactly the proper amount each day. That’s why you feel so healthy and full of energy. I think of water as the body’s lubrication. It helps flush toxins from our cells. It hydrates our skin and helps each of your body’s organs to function properly. Your brain weighs approximately three pounds. Of that three pounds, 75 percent is water. What does Pansy’s math tell us about what’s not water inside your head? About three-quarters of a pound is what scientists call Gray Matter. That’s sounds yucky; let’s think of it as a triple decker hamburger instead. They are advertised as three-quarters of a pound. Now use your brain to compare that hamburger’s volume with that of your brain. Oh yea, don’t forget three layers of cheese and pickles. Isn’t Pansy Riffe’s modern math fun?
Some people believe drinking plenty of water will help them lose weight? It may help, but you aren’t likely to lose much weight. I do not drink a whole gallon of water per day, nor am I losing any weight. But in reality, water is what I prefer to drink most of the time. A glass of water with ice cubes is what I enjoy the most. Before I go to bed each night I drink a large cup of water with ice cubes. Once I tried a warm glass of milk; to me it tasted like it was a day old.
If your taste is like mine, and you intend to drink a healthy amount of water, that brings up another question. Do you prefer well water, city water, or bottled water? If you said bottled water, do you mean spring water, sparkling water, mineral water, or sparkling natural spring water? It gets confusing if you start to think about it.
I grew up in a time when my grandparents had a cistern on their front porch. I remember opening the door and feeling the cool air flow out of the cabinet. I would lower the galvanized bucket down into the darkness until I heard it enter the water. Then I would pull the bucket back to the top and hang it on a hook. On the cistern door was a ladle used to dip a drink from the bucket. Dipping the ladle and filling it with water somehow seems special in my memory. I remember the water taken from the cistern as being the best water I ever drank. I know it was only water, but even today when I drink cold water before going to bed I remember those days on my grandparents’ front porch. I’ll bet today there are very few, if any, cisterns where people draw their drinking water from. My Dad use to say, “Gettin’ late, better bring in the night water.” Nobody says that anymore.
Sixty to 70 years ago, traveling along the Ohio River, you would have seen people stopping along the road filling glass jugs from natural springs. Below Moundsville a steel pipe stuck out from the rock face, and spring water ran freely from it. Sometime in the past 60 years progress came along and plugged those springs. Probably some public health person found a crawdad in their drinking water.
Natural Springs, cisterns and dug wells are pretty much a thing of the past. Now our drinking water is perfect… well that’s what they advertise. Much of our water comes into our homes from public water systems. It has been purified and chlorinated to make it safe for our consumption.
Now don’t get me wrong, public water systems have helped a lot of people. Those people who drew their water from wells and those people who hauled water from town have greatly benefited from public water projects.
But I tend to think, like many other things in our lives, water has become complicated and expensive. In years past, we turned on the water tap and out came free water. Yes, there may have been be a few chunks of sand or even the occasional water bug. Today many of the simple things from yesteryear have become complicated. All except for my nightly cup of cold water.
In this part of the country we take water for granted. Rivers and creeks seemed to have endless supplies of water for our use. But, in the not too distant future out west, water will become a major concern. Nearly half the western part of the country depends on four underground water supplies known as aquifers. California depends heavy on the Central Valley Aquifer. In the central part of the country, there are two underground supplies in the high plains – one in the north and the other in the south. In Arizona much of its drinking water comes from the Sand Pedro Aquifer. These aquifers are made up of vast underground reserves of water. But each new well drilled into the ground water is like a giant drinking straw removing water. Levels in these underground reservoirs is already shrinking quicker than nature can resupply them. It is estimated by the year 2050, drilled wells will have removed so much water, a major crisis will occur. Water experts are already working on ways to prevent any such crisis.
The next time you walk by a mirror after your shower and see yourself, you now know the fact is that 60 percent of what’s being reflected is simple H2O. Then you can think to yourself how good water can look as you see yourself Through the Lens.