Appreciating Water: World Water Day

Canoe on Lake Clarke
Lake Clark National Park and Preserve

NPS Photo/ M. Richotte

“Nothing is softer or more flexible than water, yet nothing can resist it.” –Lao Tzu

Water is an element that connects us all. It covers a majority of our Earth; shaping our canyons, providing habitat for wildlife, supporting communities and so much more. It is safe to say that without water, there would be no life on Earth. World Water Day, March 22 of every year, celebrates the importance of water.

Water that Shapes National Parks

Next time you are in your favorite National Park, look around to see if water has had any impact on the landscape around you. In most cases, water has contributed to many features in the park.
Like the Glaciers that shape valleys in Glacier National Park, or the annual flow of Medano Creek in the Great Sand Dunes. Water shapes our landscape and gives life to vegetation like spring blooms, budding cherry blossoms, and trees that start to bud again this time of year.

Water as Habitat

Water provides essential habitat for many kinds of wildlife. Rivers in the Pacific Northwest Region provide habitat for salmon spawning. Endangered fish, like the Topeka Shiner in Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve, find home in National Park land. Terrestrial animals rely on water as a vital resource. For example, wetlands provide habitat for waterfowl, amphibians, and other mamals. It's not uncommon to find wildlife near a water source stopping for a drink.

Fish jumping up a waterfall.
Salmon jumping swimming upstream at Katmai National Park and Preserve.

NPS Phtoto/D. Jacob

Water as Recreation

Water also provides opportunities for recreation. You can fish in lakes or dive among coral reefs. You can even celebrate the 50th year of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act by floating down many wild and scenic rivers. Experiencing these natural features will give you a sense of how amazing, powerful, and essential water is for our environment.
The National Park Service aims to protect water resources so as we celebrate World Water Day, we hope you will take the time to appreciate all the things that water provides for us.

Rafters paddling through whitewater.
Rafters paddling through Bull Sluice rapid Chattanooga, Georgia.

B. Sterin

Learn more about water and water resources:

Bridgette Windell, Communications Specialist, Water Resources Division

Last updated: March 23, 2018