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Wai Water is so Important

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There is only so much water on Earth. It is needed for all living things and must be looked after.


Streams, rivers and lakes are home to different types of plants and animals. Some of these living things need very pure freshwater. Almost all living things on Earth have a body that is half water.

Human use

Humans have many uses for freshwater.

Agriculture (farming)

Around 70% of water used in the world today is used for farming, most of this water is used for irrigation.


About 20% of freshwater is used to make things like metals, wood, paper products, chemicals, petrol and oil. Water is even used to make electricity.

Domestic (at home)

The remaining 10% of freshwater is used in homes – all the things we do at home like drinking, cooking, cleaning, and watering the garden all need freshwater.

Wastewater treatment

Wastewater is ‘used’ dirty water from homes, industries, and businesses. It must be cleaned before it goes back into the environment so that it does not harm people, plants and animals.

It costs money to treat water before and after it is used by people. Using less water at home means saving money.

We need to think carefully before using water at home so that it does not run out during dry times.

If we all use water wisely we can make sure that there is enough clean freshwater to support people as well as native plants and animals.


Audio Māori keywords: 

Water use calculator: Give this water-use calculator a go to see how much water is used in your household.

Wetland Interconnectedness

Managing Threats to Wetlands


All living things rely on water for survival. Image: LEARNZ.

About 70% of water used in the world today is used for farming. Image: LEARNZ.

Water can even be used to make electricity. Image: LEARNZ.

There is not an unlimited supply of water on Earth therefore we must look after our water. Image: LEARNZ.