Water is the key element for life on Earth. The reason is that water is the medium in which the chemical reactions of life take place. The molecules of life only function in the liquid medium that enables their movement and a suitable electronic and ionic environment.
Water is not only essential for life, it is also a factor of biodiversity. There is a clear relationship between water and biodiversity of ecosystems on a global and local scale. Rivers and inland waters coincide with maximum local biodiversity and tropical rainforests provide the maximal global biodiversity.
In the following maps, the more vivid colors indicate the areas of greatest biodiversity on Earth.
Water, biodiversity and water resources
It is often misunderstood that there is competition
between the water demand for drinking purposes and for its ecological usage.
According to this view, the water used by humans must be drawn from the
environment. However, human beings are not separate from nature, and short or
long-term losses in the quality or quantity of water eventually reverse as
risks and threats to water availability for people living in these ecosystems.
Threats to biodiversity and security of water supply for human consumption are
common and coincide in much of the world.