Is Water Living Or Nonliving?

By Antonia Čirjak on May 29 2020 in Answer

Water is one of our most precious natural resources.
Water is one of our most precious natural resources.
  • Water can be found in all living things, and it is a necessity for most living organisms to survive.
  • Water does not produce metabolic waste products, which is the characteristic of a living thing.
  • The process of respiration refers to the process of breaking down chemicals in order to produce energy.

While this question might seem unnecessary to many, it does create quite a bit of confusion among a lot of people. Yes, people are wondering if water is a living or a nonliving thing, and you may be surprised to find out that there is a way to answer this question correctly.

Many people are confused because water can be found in all living things, and it is a necessity for most living organisms to survive. It is everywhere in nature; it exists and can change shape. All of this makes people wonder, and start doubting the answer that comes to mind first - water is a nonliving thing, despite being essential to life.

Water Is Essential

Right off the bat, we need to mention that all living things on our planet need water to be able to survive. It comes as no surprise that more living things live in the ocean than anywhere else. Water gives us life, which is why you must stay hydrated! Land creatures need water, and this includes even single-celled organisms. Naturally, plants need it too, which is why we water them often.

However, despite all of this, water is considered a nonliving thing. This is because it does not fulfill the criteria that define living things. There are several characteristics shared by all living things, and just by looking at them, we can see that water can’t be considered living. Firstly, all living things need to be able to move on their own, which is the characteristic of the movement. Naturally, water is not able to do this without the help of gravity or other natural forces.

The Characteristics Of Living Things

The second characteristic of all living things is growth. If you ask yourself whether water can grow all by itself, the answer is no. The volume of water does not increase without other forces being included. This should be enough to show you that water is, in fact, not a living thing, but there are other criteria as well.

Another important characteristic of all living things is nutrition. All living things need to feed on something to be able to survive. However, water does not feed on anything; we do not need to feed it; it will always be there. Excretion is another trait of all living things that water doesn’t possess. Water does not produce metabolic waste products, which means that it does not need to get rid of anything. This ties to the previous characteristic. Since water does not feed on things, it has no waste products. You might be surprised that this is something all living things do, but it is.

Can Water Reproduce?

Moving on to other things that prove that water is nonliving, we have respiration. The process of respiration is the breaking down of chemicals in order to produce energy. All living things do it, but once again, water does not. Sensitivity is another trait that ties to all living things, but water does not possess it. It is the ability to change and react to the environment. While some might argue that water does react to the environment, it does so in a way that is completely different than when living things do it.

Finally, we have the ability to reproduce. This is self-explanatory, and naturally, there is no way for water to reproduce. Seeing as how all living things share all of the traits we mentioned above, it is easy to see why water is nonliving. Essential for life, yes. But it is not alive itself. 

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