Tejaswinee Roychowdhury (Content Writer)
Lakshman Molleti (Content Reviewer)
Water is vital for all living creatures on this planet, particularly an animal. The vital functions of an animal’s body such as regulation of temperature and prevention of overheating the body, regulation of pH levels so as to prevent unhealthy and unwanted chemical reaction in the body, proper blood flow and carrying of nutrients to all parts of
the body, hydrolysis to break down the ATP molecules for production of energy, digestion to keep intact the mucus lining of the stomach and facilitate the saliva excretion, and lubrication of joints by keeping intact the articulate cartilages between bones – are all attributed to the proper intake of water given that 60% to 70% of animals’ bodies are made up of water. At the same time, animals require water to clean themselves of the dirt and germs that accumulate in their fur or feathers, and simply to quench their thirst from time to time.
Every animal is in dire need of clean and fresh water owing to the overly polluted water that they normally have access to, such as drains, puddles, polluted ponds, lakes and streams or rivers. Polluted water can push animal life to tragic ends, for instance, chemical contaminants from industrial pollution, an excess of nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorous, oil spills and dumping of solid trash such as plastic can lead to death of animals drinking water from the polluted sources; high levels of mercury in water can induce hormonal imbalances in animals consuming it; and additionally, polluted water from irrigation and air pollutants that form a part of toxic rains can cause mortal and irreversible injuries in animals.
According to various studies, it is estimated that more than 70 % the earth’s fresh surface water is contaminated due to human activities, and this lands the stray animals in an alarming scenario. Most stray animals do not have access to fresh water. There are no concrete statistics but on a worldwide count, it is estimated that an average of 1 lakh mammals, a million seabirds, and over a million fish die due to plastic and oil spills. Lack of fresh water affects animals all over, for instance, in India, out
of 30 million stray dogs alone, at least 15-20% deaths or perhaps more, can safely be attributed to lack of drinking water (causing dehydration, heat strokes, etc.), lack of water to clean themselves (causing infection from accumulated dirt and germs) and diseases caused by polluted water. Not to mention the existence of other stray animals, such as cows, buffaloes, goats, certain birds (crows, sparrows, pigeons, etc.), cats, monkeys, baboons, and so on, the statistics of which are simply unavailable.
Animals feel thirst as much as humans do, and they need clean water as much as humans do. Therefore, it is up to humans to provide fresh drinking water to the countless animals always looking to quench their thirst and clean themselves. Humans can ensure fresh clean water for animals by laying out bowls and tubs of water in balconies and
neighborhoods, and educate their friends and neighbors on the importance of fresh drinking water in an animal’s life, thereby urging fellow humans to follow suit, so that the human-animal interdependence and the ecosystem balance is maintained through a global individual participation. AWBP India, is a growing team of highly motivated individuals who enable the provision of fresh and clean drinking water around the clock to each and every stray animal in the world through the Water Bowl Project.