It courses through Bangkok's bustling canals and the world's mighty rivers. It is the lifeblood of the desert oasis as well as North America's Great Lakes.
We often take it for granted, but fresh water is one element we must always have nearby.
Whether scarce or abundant, it quenches our thirst and provides us with food to survive. It offers a road where there are none, and a natural border at the edge of many countries. We use fresh water for recreation and harness its power for energy.
We also pollute water so that it can be more enemy than friend. And we fight terrible battles when it starts to run out.
From the Iguacu Falls in Brazil to the Nile River in Egypt, Associated Press photographers the world over set out to capture the beauty and majesty of humankind's most precious resource ahead of World Water Day on Sunday.
See more images of World Water Day
Text from the AP news story, AP PHOTOS: Fresh water the world's most precious resource.
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