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The biological importance of water

All life on earth requires water to survive.

All living cells contain over 70% water!

Organisms use water in a number of different ways:

  • Temperature control. Water slows down changes in temperature. This helps maintain an optimal temperature for enzymes.
  • Solvent. Most reactions in the cell require the reactants to be in a water-based solution.
  • Transport medium. Both animals and plants use water-based solutions to transport substances around the organism.
  • Blood is roughly 83% water. Blood transports ions, hormones and digested food around the body.

    In plants, water transports mineral salts through xylem vessels.

Plants have additional uses for water. Water is a reactant in photosynthesis reactions. It is also used to maintain the turgidity (stiffness) of cells that keeps plants upright.

Both plants and animals need water to survive.
Both plants and animals need water to survive.