Best is water.

—Pindar, 476 BC

Far water cannot quench near fire.

—Japanese proverb

Water its living strength first shows, / When obstacles its course oppose.

—Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, 1815

If you stain clear water with filth, you will never find a drink.

—Aeschylus, 458 BC

Every fool becomes a philosopher after ten days of rain.

—Clover Adams, 1882

He who would have clear water should go to the fountainhead.

—Italian proverb

There’s plenty of water in the universe without life, but nowhere is there life without water.

—Sylvia Alice Earle, 1995

The United States has virtually set up an empire on impounded and redistributed water.

—Charles P. Berkey, 1946

What water gives, water takes away.

—Portuguese proverb

The mill will never grind with water that is past.

—Daniel McCallum, 1870

To gaze upon a drop of water is to behold the nature of all the waters of the universe.

—Huangbo Xiyun, c. 850

Till taught by pain, / Men really know not what good water’s worth.

—Lord Byron, 1819

The smell of rain is rich with life.

—Estela Portillo Trambley, 1975

Iron may break gold, but water remains whole.

—Ge Hong, c. 300

Water is the first principle of everything.

—Thales of Miletus, c. 600 BC

He knows the water best who has waded through it.

—Danish proverb

Water, thou hast no taste, no color, no odor; canst not be defined, art relished while ever mysterious.

—Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, 1939

Thousands have lived without love, not one without water.

—W.H. Auden, 1957

There’s folks ’ud hold a sieve under the pump and expect to carry away the water.

—George Eliot, 1859

I came upon no wine, / So wonderful as thirst.

—Edna St. Vincent Millay, 1923

The waters are nature’s storehouse, in which she locks up her wonders.

—Izaak Walton, 1653

If you can’t go through an obstacle, go around it. Water does.

—Margaret Atwood, 2005

A fool and water will go the way they are diverted.

—Ethiopian proverb

These landscapes of water and reflection have become an obsession.

—Claude Monet, 1908

Rain is grace; rain is the sky condescending to the earth; without rain there would be no life.

—John Updike, 1989

Every memory everyone has ever had will eventually be underwater.

—Anthony Doerr, 2006

All water has a perfect memory and is forever trying to get back to where it was.

—Toni Morrison, 1987

Can you draw sweet water from a foul well?

—Brooks Atkinson, 1940

No poems can please long, nor live, that are written by water drinkers.

—Horace, 35 BC

Water astonishing and difficult altogether makes a meadow and a stroke.

—Gertrude Stein, 1914

The thirsty earth soaks up the rain, / And drinks, and gapes for drink again.

—Abraham Cowley, 1656

I drink for the thirst to come.

—François Rabelais, 1535

Water has many ways of reminding us that when we are in it we are out of our element.

—Christopher Hitchens, 2008

Seek not water, only show you are thirsty, / That water may spring up all around you.

—Rumi, c. 1260

Too often, where we need water we find guns.

—Ban Ki-moon, 2008

Greeting cards routinely tell us everybody deserves love. No. Everybody deserves clean water.

—Zadie Smith, 2000

When you drink water, think of its source.

—Chinese proverb

The history of the land has been written very largely in water.

—John Hodgdon Bradley Jr., 1935

Spit not in the well; you may have to drink its water.

—French proverb

It is wretched business to be digging a well just as you’re dying of thirst.

—Plautus, c. 193 BC

I ride rough waters and shall sink with no one to save me.

—Virginia Woolf, 1931

Water is the readiest means of making friends with nature.

—Ludwig Feuerbach, 1841

There is no small pleasure in sweet water.

—Ovid, c. 10