The below content replicates the content of the physical exhibit at CSU Spur. It can be used for reference, language translation, and additional accessibility.
Panel A: WATER IS ESSENTIAL
Impact statement: All living things, like humans, animals, and plants, need water to survive.
Description: About 65% of the human body is made up of water. Water regulates our body temperature and moves nutrients, food, and waste through our bodies. Plants can be made up of as much as 95% water! Water helps plants make the food they need to grow by pulling nutrients through their roots and into their cells. Since all living things depend on water, we need to make sure we have enough water now and for future generations.
Image Caption 102a: Water is a precious resource and without it, we would not have life as we know it. From microscopic organisms and plants to animals and humans, water is essential to life. / Image Credit: © Suriya Siritam | Dreamstime.com
Infographic Caption 102b: Your body uses water in many ways to function and survive.
Some Functions of Water in the Body
Brain: 90% water
- Acts as a shock absorber for brain and spinal cord
Muscle: 73% water
- Builds muscles and helps them move
Lungs: Moisturizes the air in our lungs and helps our metabolism
Respiratory: Delivers nutrients and oxygen into cells
Bone: 22% water
- Protects and moisturizes our joints
Blood: 83% water
- Keeps our organs healthy and improves circulation
- Detoxifies the body
- Regulates essential processes – flushes body waste and helps digestion
- Helps absorb nutrients
- Protects our organs
Panel B: WATER IS LIMITED
Image Credit 102c: The largest of these blue spheres represents all the water on Earth. The medium sphere is liquid fresh water, and only a fraction of the smallest sphere is water we can access to survive.
- All of Earth’s water, including fresh and salt water
- Liquid fresh water
- Easily accessible fresh water
Impact Statement: Humans depend on fresh water to drink, to grow the food we eat and for many things in our everyday lives—but fresh water is limited.
Description: Most of the Earth’s water supply (97%) is saltwater found in our oceans; 3% is fresh water from groundwater, ice caps, and glaciers, and only a fraction is fresh water that we can use. Colorado receives most of its water in the form of snow.
Melted snow is stored in lakes and reservoirs and filters through deep underground pores in rock (like holes in a sponge) called aquifers. The amount of water we have available is determined by how much snow and rain falls, which changes every year. Water is limited, which is why we need to be careful with how much we use.
Infographic: Earth is constantly recycling its limited water through the water cycle (water is evaporated, rises into the atmosphere, and comes back down as rain or snow).
Image Text 102d:
EARTH’S WATER SUPPLY
- Oceans 97%
- Fresh water 3%
- Ice caps and glaciers 70%
- Groundwater 29%
- Easily accessible fresh water 1%
- Lakes 52%
- Rivers 1%
- Soil moisture 38%
- Water vapor 8%
- Water in living things 1%
Image Caption 102e: Rain and snowfall in Colorado ranges from less than 8 inches to more than 50 inches per year. Most of the state’s precipitation falls in the Rocky Mountains. / Image courtesy of 2021 PRISM Climate Group at Oregon State University and CSU Colorado Climate Center
Image Text: COLORADO 30 YEAR NORMAL ANNUAL PRECIPITATION (1991-2020)
Panel C: WATER IS SHARED
Impact Statement: Colorado is called a “headwaters state” because many of our rivers begin in our Rocky Mountains and flow downstream to 18 other states, several Indigenous peoples and tribes, and Mexico.
Description: Colorado is home to eight major river basins, also known as watersheds, which are areas of land where rain and other forms of precipitation collect and drain into a body of water.
Despite those rivers beginning in Colorado, we must share water with our downstream neighbors so other communities, animals, and plants receive the water they need, too. Keeping water clean and using it efficiently ensures that everyone benefits.
Image Caption 102f: Water is shared between ecosystems where people, animals, and plants live, for agriculture to grow the food we eat, and even for water recreation, like swimming and snow skiing.
Image Caption 102g: As a headwaters state, Colorado has committed to delivering water to our fellow states located downstream, including those in Mexico.
Image Credit: Map created in cooperation with CSU Geospatial Centroid
Data sources: U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), International Boundary and Water Commission, United States and Mexico, and Esri