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Jump to: navigation, search This article is about general aspects of water. For a detailed discussion of its properties, see Properties of water. For other uses, see Water (disambiguation).
Water in three states: liquid, solid (ice), and (invisible) water vapor in the air. Clouds are accumulations of water droplets, condensed from vapor-saturated air. Water is a chemical substance with the chemical formula H2O. Its molecule contains one oxygen and two hydrogen atoms connected by covalent bonds. Water is a liquid at ambient conditions, but it often co-exists on Earth with its solid state, ice, and gaseous state, water vapor or steam. Water covers 70.9% of the Earth's surface, and is vital for all known forms of life. On Earth, it is found mostly in oceans and other large water bodies, with 1.6% of water below ground in aquifers and 0.001% in the air as vapor, clouds (formed of solid and liquid water particles suspended in air), and precipitation. Oceans hold 97% of surface water, glaciers and polar ice caps 2.4%, and other land surface water such as rivers, lakes and ponds 0.6%. A very small amount of the Earth's water is contained within biological bodies and manufactured products. Water on Earth moves continually through a cycle of evaporation or transpiration (evapotranspiration), precipitation, and runoff, usually reaching the sea. Over land, evaporation and transpiration contribute to the precipitation over land. Clean drinking water is essential to humans and other lifeforms. Access to safe drinking water has improved steadily and substantially over the last decades in almost every part of the world.  There is a clear correlation between access to safe water and GDP per capita. However, some observers have estimated that by 2025 more than half of the world population will be facing water-based vulnerability. A recent report (November 2009) suggests that by 2030, in some developing regions of the world, water demand will exceed supply by 50%. Water plays an important role in the world economy, as it functions as a solvent for a wide variety of chemical substances and facilitates industrial cooling and transportation. Approximately 70% of freshwater is consumed by agriculture.
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1 Chemical and physical properties 2 Taste and odor 3 Distribution of water in nature o 3.1 Water in the universe o 3.2 Water and habitable zone 4 Water on Earth o 4.1 Water cycle o 4.2 Fresh water storage o 4.3 Sea water o 4.4 Tides 5 Effects on life o 5.1 Aquatic life forms 6 Effects on human civilization o 6.1 Health and pollution o 6.2 Human uses 6.2.1 Agriculture 6.2.2 Water as a scientific standard 6.2.3 For drinking 6.2.4 Washing 6.2.5 Chemical uses 6.2.6 Heat exchange 6.2.7 Fire extinction 6.2.8 Recreation 6.2.9 Water industry 6.2.10 Industrial applications 6.2.11 Food processing 7 Water law, water politics and water crisis 8 Water in culture o 8.1 Religion o 8.2 Philosophy o 8.3 Literature 9 See also o 9.1 Other topics 10 References 11 Further reading o 11.1 Water as a natural resource 12 External links
Chemical and physical properties
Main articles: Water (properties), Water (data page), and Water model
Model of hydrogen bonds between molecules of water
Impact from a water drop causes an upward "rebound" jet surrounded by circular capillary waves.
Snowflakes by Wilson Bentley, 1902
and the liquid in aquifers in the ground. such as in the interior of giant planets. Water vapor is essentially invisible as a gas. seawater and icebergs in the polar oceans. glaciers and rivers in the mountains. The major chemical and physical properties of water are: • Water is a liquid at standard temperature and pressure. It is tasteless and odorless. The intrinsic color of water and ice is a very slight blue hue. it is argued that water exists as ionic water in which the molecules break down into a soup of hydrogen and oxygen ions. At high temperatures and pressures. although both appear colorless in small quantities.Dew drops adhering to a spider web Capillary action of water compared to mercury Water is the chemical substance with chemical formula H2O: one molecule of water has two hydrogen atoms covalently bonded to a single oxygen atom. Water appears in nature in all three common states of matter and may take many different forms on Earth: water vapor and clouds in the sky. and at even higher pressures as superionic water in which the oxygen crystallises but the hydrogen ions float around freely within the oxygen lattice. .
 It has the anomalous property of becoming less dense. The maximum density of water occurs at 3. Thus aquatic plants can live in water because sunlight can reach them. but this increases significantly with the dissolution of a small amount of ionic material such as sodium chloride. Substances that dissolve in water. it carries a slight negative charge. e. The capillary action refers to the tendency of water to move up a narrow tube against the force of gravity. ice. as well as a high heat of vaporization (40. Conversely. Water has the second highest molar specific heat capacity of any known substance. sugars. whereas the hydrogen atoms are slightly positive. Everest water boils at 68 °C (154 °F). All the major components in cells (proteins. fats and oils). such as trees. carbon dioxide (carbonation) are known as hydrophilic (water-loving) substances. water is a polar molecule with an electrical dipole moment. DNA and polysaccharides) are also dissolved in water.• Water is transparent in the visible electromagnetic spectrum. These two unusual properties allow water to moderate Earth's climate by buffering large fluctuations in temperature. Since the water molecule is not linear and the oxygen atom has a higher electronegativity than hydrogen atoms. For example. giving rise to water's high surface tension and capillary forces. on the top of Mt. Pure water has a low electrical conductivity. These factors lead to strong attractive forces between molecules of water. both of which are a result of the extensive hydrogen bonding between its molecules. acids. compared to 100 °C (212 °F) at sea level. while those that do not mix well with water (e. when it is cooled down to its solid form. water deep in the ocean near geothermal vents can reach temperatures of hundreds of degrees and remain liquid. The boiling point of water (and all other liquids) is dependent on the barometric pressure..98 °C (39.65 kJ·mol−1). It expands to occupy 9% greater volume in this solid state. Water also can form an unusually large number of intermolecular hydrogen bonds (four) for a molecule of its size. salts. and some gases – especially oxygen.. • • • • • • • . after ammonia. Water is a good solvent and is often[quantify] referred to[by whom?] as the universal solvent.g. not more. This property is relied upon by all vascular plants. As a result.g. alkalis. which accounts for the fact of ice floating on liquid water. Ultra-violet and infrared light is strongly absorbed.16 °F). are known as hydrophobic (water-fearing) substances.
pollutants and microbes. forming a single homogeneous liquid. water and most oils are immiscible usually forming layers according to increasing density from the top. potassium and caesium displace hydrogen from water. in all proportions. sodium. The energy required to split water into hydrogen and oxygen by electrolysis or any other means is greater than the energy that can be collected when the hydrogen and oxygen recombine. giving it varying tastes and odors. Humans and other animals have developed senses which enable them to evaluate the potability of water by avoiding water that is too salty or putrid. Water is not a fuel. it is an end-product of the combustion of hydrogen. pure H2O is tasteless and odorless. On the other hand.ADR label for transporting goods dangerously reactive with water • Water is miscible with many liquids. Distribution of water in nature . calcium. water vapor is completely miscible with air. However. Water forms an azeotrope with many other solvents. The advertised purity of spring and mineral water refers to absence of toxins. the hydrogen given off is dangerous and the reaction of water with the more electropositive of these elements may be violently explosive. • • • • Taste and odor Water can dissolve many different substances. such as ethanol. derives from the minerals dissolved in it. Water can be split by electrolysis into hydrogen and oxygen. often advertised in marketing of consumer products. water is formed when hydrogen or hydrogen-containing compounds burn or react with oxygen or oxygen-containing compounds. The taste of spring water and mineral water. Being a flammable gas. As an oxide of hydrogen. As a gas. forming hydroxides. Elements which are more electropositive than hydrogen such as lithium.
When this outflow of material eventually impacts the surrounding gas. Water and other volatiles probably comprise much of the internal structures of Uranus and Neptune and the water in the deeper layers may be in the form of ionic water in which the molecules break down into a soup of hydrogen and .03% Atmosphere of Jupiter: 0. Water probably exists in abundance in other galaxies. hydrogen and oxygen. Water vapor is present in • • • • • • • • Atmosphere of Mercury: 3. too. the Milky Way. Water has been detected in interstellar clouds within our galaxy. are among the most abundant elements in the universe.4%. typically 1–4% at surface Atmosphere of Mars: 0. When stars are born. which would amount to more water than is in all the Earth's oceans. because its components.Water in the universe Much of the universe's water is produced as a byproduct of star formation. and large amounts of water in Mercury's exosphere Atmosphere of Venus: 0.002% Earth's atmosphere: ~0. The water observed is quickly produced in this warm dense gas.40% over full atmosphere.0004% Atmosphere of Saturn – in ices only Enceladus (moon of Saturn): 91% exoplanets known as HD 189733 b and HD 209458 b. Jupiter's moon Europa may have liquid water in the form as a 100 km deep subsurface ocean. their birth is accompanied by a strong outward wind of gas and dust. Water ice is present on • • • • • • • • • Earth – mainly as ice sheets polar ice caps on Mars Moon Titan Europa Saturn's rings Enceladus Pluto and Charon Comets and comet source populations (Kuiper belt and Oort cloud objects). the shock waves that are created compress and heat the gas. Interstellar clouds eventually condense into solar nebulae and solar systems such as ours. Liquid water is present on • Earth – 71% of surface Strong evidence suggests that liquid water is present just under the surface of Saturn's moon Enceladus. Water ice may be present on Ceres and Tethys.
and deeper down as superionic water in which the oxygen crystallises but the hydrogen ions float around freely within the oxygen lattice. Water on Earth Main articles: Hydrology and Water distribution on Earth . NASA reported the detection of water molecules by NASA's Moon Mineralogy Mapper aboard the Indian Space Research Organization's Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft in September 2009. indicating that a dynamic process governs Earth's temperature via a combination of greenhouse gases and surface or atmospheric albedo. and to a lesser extent its gaseous and solid forms. Water vapor and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere provide a temperature buffer (greenhouse effect) which helps maintain a relatively steady surface temperature. This proposal is known as the Gaia hypothesis. which is determined by the planet's gravity. thus preventing the accumulation of water except in polar ice caps (as on Mars). a thinner atmosphere would allow temperature extremes. If a planet is sufficiently massive. Earth's gravity allows it to hold an atmosphere. the water on it may be solid even at high temperatures. The state of water on a planet depends on ambient pressure. as it was observed on exoplanets Gliese 436 b and GJ 1214 b. If Earth were smaller. if it were slightly closer to or farther from the Sun (about 5%. because of the high pressure caused by gravity. the conditions which allow the three forms to be present simultaneously would be far less likely to exist. Some of the Moon's minerals contain water molecules. in 2008 a laboratory device which ejects and identifies particles found small amounts of the compound in the inside of volcanic pearls brought from Moon to Earth by the Apollo 15 crew in 1971. on Earth are vital to the existence of life on Earth as we know it. The surface temperature of Earth has been relatively constant through geologic time despite varying levels of incoming solar radiation (insolation). For instance. or about 8 million kilometers). Water and habitable zone The existence of liquid water. The Earth is located in the habitable zone of the solar system.oxygen ions. There are various theories about origin of water on Earth.
000 mi3). of glaciers is glaciology. The study of the distribution of water is hydrography. The Antarctic ice sheet.A graphical distribution of the locations of water on Earth. under. The collective mass of water found on.000.000. . and quality of water throughout the Earth. contributing to the Earth's albedo.360. Condensed atmospheric water can be seen as clouds. Hydrology is the study of the movement. of inland waters is limnology and distribution of oceans is oceanography. The study of the distribution and movement of groundwater is hydrogeology. Earth's approximate water volume (the total water supply of the world) is 1. the oceans contain 97. Water covers 71% of the Earth's surface. Groundwater and fresh water are useful or potentially useful to humans as water resources. distribution. is visible at the bottom. and over the surface of a planet is called the hydrosphere.000 km3 (326.2% of the Earth's water. which contains 61% of all fresh water on Earth. Ecological processes with hydrology are in focus of ecohydrology.
Deposition of transported sediment forms many types of sedimentary rocks. evaporation and transpiration contribute another 71 Tt per year. It also exists as groundwater in aquifers. Most water vapor over the oceans returns to the oceans. Water is important in many geological processes. Water moves perpetually through each of these regions in the water cycle consisting of following transfer processes: • • • evaporation from oceans and other water bodies into the air and transpiration from land plants and animals into air. from water vapor condensing from the air and falling to earth or ocean. at a rate of 107 Tt per year over . about 36 Tt per year. Precipitation. The majority of water on Earth is sea water. Water and. are also responsible for a large amount of sediment transport that occurs on the surface of the earth. sea. liquid.Liquid water is found in bodies of water. groundwater. water is important in both chemical and physical weathering processes. and vapor states. ice. On the surface of the Earth. surface water. soil water. runoff from the land usually reaching the sea. but winds carry water vapor over land at the same rate as runoff into the sea. Water in the mantle is responsible for the melt that produces volcanoes at subduction zones. pond. Over land. such as an ocean. or puddle. and plants. Water cycle Water cycle The water cycle (known scientifically as the hydrologic cycle) refers to the continuous exchange of water within the hydrosphere. to a lesser but still significant extent. lake. which make up the geologic record of Earth history. river. stream. between the atmosphere. precipitation. and the pressure of this groundwater affects patterns of faulting. Groundwater is present in most rocks. canal. Water is also present in the atmosphere in solid.
Water also infiltrates the ground and goes into aquifers. Condensed water in the air may also refract sunlight to produce rainbows. runoff shapes the environment creating river valleys and deltas which provide rich soil and level ground for the establishment of population centers. it is in short supply. A flood occurs when an area of land. during winter. for example in lakes. and hail.9 °C) and its density increases with decreasing temperature to the . Rivers and seas offer opportunity for travel and commerce. usually low-lying. Some of water is diverted to irrigation for agriculture. At high altitude. Through erosion. plus smaller amounts of other substances. has several forms: most commonly rain. is covered with water.5% salt on average. In many parts of the world. fresh water is essential to human and other land-based life. A mathematical model used to simulate river or stream flow and calculate water quality parameters is hydrological transport model. snow pack and glaciers. and in the far north and south. Groundwater is also extracted artificially in wells. since clean. This water storage is important. Fresh water storage High tide (left) and low tide (right) Main article: Water resources Some runoff water is trapped for periods of time. snow. The physical properties of sea water differ from fresh water in some important respects. or more spectacularly in hot springs and geysers. This groundwater later flows back to the surface in springs. A drought is an extended period of months or years when a region notes a deficiency in its water supply.land. It is when a river overflows its banks or flood from the sea. Sea water Sea water contains about 3. Water runoff often collects over watersheds flowing into rivers. snow collects in ice caps. with some contribution from fog and dew. It freezes at a lower temperature (about –1. This occurs when a region receives consistently below average precipitation.
It carries out this role by allowing organic compounds to react in ways that ultimately allow replication. Tides Tides are the cyclic rising and falling of local sea levels caused by the tidal forces of the Moon and the Sun acting on the oceans. is an important ecological product of ocean tides. together with carbon dioxide (CO2). which can be respired to water and (CO2). The salinity of water in major seas varies from about 0.7% in the Baltic Sea to 4. the intertidal zone. All known forms of life . From a biological standpoint.freezing point. The changing tide produced at a given location is the result of the changing positions of the Moon and Sun relative to the Earth coupled with the effects of Earth rotation and the local bathymetry. water has many distinct properties that are critical for the proliferation of life that set it apart from other substances. Tides cause changes in the depth of the marine and estuarine water bodies and produce oscillating currents known as tidal streams. Effects on life An oasis is an isolated water source with vegetation in desert Overview of photosynthesis and respiration. instead of reaching maximum density at a temperature above freezing. The strip of seashore that is submerged at high tide and exposed at low tide.0% in the Red Sea. form oxygen and organic compounds (at left). Water (at right).
Photosynthetic cells use the sun's energy to split off water's hydrogen from oxygen. Metabolism is the sum total of anabolism and catabolism.depend on water. Water is also central to acid-base neutrality and enzyme function. triglycerides and proteins for storage of fuels and information). that is. Without water. Hydrogen is combined with CO2 (absorbed from air or water) to form glucose and release oxygen. these particular metabolic processes could not exist. An acid. Water is considered to be neutral.g. with a pH (the negative log of the hydrogen ion concentration) of 7. a hydrogen ion (H+. Water is fundamental to photosynthesis and respiration. glucose. starches. In catabolism. Acids have pH values less than 7 while bases have values greater than 7. All living cells use such fuels and oxidize the hydrogen and carbon to capture the sun's energy and reform water and CO2 in the process (cellular respiration). a proton acceptor such as hydroxide ion (OH−) to form water. Water is vital both as a solvent in which many of the body's solutes dissolve and as an essential part of many metabolic processes within the body. fatty acids and amino acids to be used for fuels for energy use or other purposes). can be neutralized by a base. In anabolism. a proton) donor.g. Some of the biodiversity of a coral reef Aquatic life forms Main articles: Hydrobiology and Aquatic plant . water is used to break bonds in order to generate smaller molecules (e. water is removed from molecules (through energy requiring enzymatic chemical reactions) in order to grow larger molecules (e.
Effects on human civilization Water fountain Civilization has historically flourished around rivers and major waterways. such as amphibians. and they do so in various ways. Mesopotamia. However as invertebrate life evolved in an aquatic habitat most have little or no specialisation for respiration in water. Invertebrates exhibit a wide range of modifications to survive in poorly oxygenated waters including breathing tubes (see insect and mollusc siphons) and gills (Carcinus). access to clean drinking water was and is a major factor in human development. spend portions of their lives in water and portions on land. and Hong Kong owe their success in part to their easy accessibility via water and the resultant expansion of trade. and seals need to surface periodically to breathe air. Aquatic vertebrates must obtain oxygen to survive. the socalled cradle of civilization. the ancient society of the Egyptians depended entirely upon the Nile. was situated between the major rivers Tigris and Euphrates. whales. such as dolphins and whales. In places such as North Africa and the Middle East. Chicago. London. Buenos Aires. Shanghai. Paris. like Singapore. and there are many types of marine mammals. where water is more scarce. Marine mammals. such as dolphins. The earliest life forms appeared in water. Montreal. have flourished for the same reason. Plants such as kelp and algae grow in the water and are the basis for some underwater ecosystems. Large metropolises like Rotterdam. Islands with safe water ports. Some kinds of animals. . although some species of fish. Tokyo. Plankton is generally the foundation of the ocean food chain. otters. such as the lungfish. nearly all fish live exclusively in water. have both.Some marine diatoms – a key phytoplankton group Earth's surface waters are filled with life. Fish have gills instead of lungs. New York City. Some amphibians are able to absorb oxygen through their skin.
and blackwater. Water fit for human consumption is called drinking water or potable water. Therefore. it is the relatively small quantity of water in reserve in the earth (about 1% of our drinking water supply. Iowa State University student sampling water.Health and pollution Environmental Science Program. which is replenished in aquifers around every 1 to 10 years). Water for bathing may be maintained in satisfactory microbiological condition using chemical disinfectants such as chlorine or ozone or by the use of ultraviolet light. about a billion people around the world routinely drink unhealthy water. rather. which generate blackwater. which is treatable and thus easily able to be made potable again. non-potable forms of wastewater generated by humans may be referred to as greywater. Water that is not potable may be made potable by filtration or distillation. In the USA. some five million deaths a year are caused by polluted drinking water. Water. that is a non-renewable resource. The World Health Organization estimates that safe water could prevent 1. Its use is highly technical and is usually monitored by government regulations (typically 1 part per million (ppm) for drinking water. and is sometimes called safe water. rather than the actual amount of it that exists on the . is not a finite resource. Even if this difficult goal is met. and it is. Chlorine is a skin and mucous membrane irritant that is used to make water safe for bathing or drinking. and its availability is a major social and economic concern. Currently. the distribution of potable and irrigation water which is scarce. it will still leave more than an estimated half a billion people without access to safe drinking water and over a billion without access to adequate sanitation. and 1–2 ppm of chlorine not yet reacted with impurities for bathing water). Water that is not fit for drinking but is not harmful for humans when used for swimming or bathing is called by various names other than potable or drinking water. Greywater composes 50-80% of residential wastewater generated by a household's sanitation equipment (sinks. but not toilets. but rather re-circulated as potable water in precipitation in quantities many degrees of magnitude higher than human consumption. showers and kitchen runoff. This natural resource is becoming scarcer in certain places.4 million child deaths from diarrhea each year.) These terms may have different meanings in other countries and cultures. or "safe for bathing". however. which generally contains sewage and other forms of waste which require further treatment in order to be made reusable. or by a range of other methods. Poor water quality and bad sanitation are deadly. Most countries accepted the goal of halving by 2015 the number of people worldwide who do not have access to safe water and sanitation during the 2003 G8 Evian summit.
01 °C. and to the temperature of the melting ice. defined as exactly 273. which was measured at the time as 4 °C (39 °F). The Kelvin temperature scale of the SI system is based on the triple point of water. and 17 of these extract more water annually than is recharged through their natural water cycles. a metallic reference standard was required. Water as a scientific standard On 7 April 1795. one thousand times more massive.16 K or 0. the gram was defined in France to be equal to "the absolute weight of a volume of pure water equal to a cube of one hundredth of a meter. also suffer from medium or high water stress.  Some 50 countries. The strain not only affects surface freshwater bodies like rivers and lakes. Human uses Agriculture Irrigation of field crops The most important use of water in agriculture is for irrigation. but it also degrades groundwater resources. In the developing world.earth. which is a key component to produce enough food. with roughly a third of the world’s population. which was originally defined according the boiling point (set to 100 °C) and melting point (set to 0 °C) of water. ." For practical purposes though. In spite of the fact that the decreed definition of the gram specified water at 0 °C—a highly reproducible temperature—the scientists chose to redefine the standard and to perform their measurements at the temperature of highest water density. Work was therefore commissioned to determine precisely the mass of one liter of water. The scale is an absolute temperature scale with the same increment as the Celsius temperature scale. 30% of freshwater usage is for irrigation). since the manufacturing process uses around 10 to 100 times products' masses in water. 90% of all wastewater still goes untreated into local rivers and streams. the kilogram. Water-poor countries use importation of goods as the primary method of importing water (to leave enough for local human consumption). Irrigation takes up to 90% of water withdrawn in some developing countries and significant proportions in more economically developed countries (United States.
 . but there is also small quantity of heavier isotopes such as hydrogen-2 (deuterium). humidity.Natural water consists mainly of the isotopes hydrogen-1 and oxygen-16. temperature. which can be fatal. Similar misconceptions concerning the effect of water on weight loss and constipation have also been dispelled. and other factors. Therefore. The popular claim that "a person should consume eight glasses of water per day" seems to have no real basis in science. Water from rivers and lakes tends to contain less deuterium than seawater. though most advocates agree that 6–7 glasses of water (approximately 2 liters) daily is the minimum to maintain proper hydration. the body requires between one and seven liters of water per day to avoid dehydration. Most of this is ingested through foods or beverages other than drinking straight water. For those who have healthy kidneys. putting them at risk of water intoxication (hyperhydration). excluding extra requirements due to fluid loss from exercise or warm weather. For drinking Main article: Drinking water A young girl drinking bottled water Water quality: fraction of population using improved water sources by country The human body contains anywhere from 55% to 78% water depending on body size. however. typically 1 liter of water for an average male. but it still affects the properties of water. It is not clear how much water intake is needed by healthy people. People can drink far more water than necessary while exercising. standard water is defined in the Vienna Standard Mean Ocean Water specification. but (especially in warm humid weather and while exercising) it is dangerous to drink too little. To function properly. Medical literature favors a lower consumption. the precise amount depends on the level of activity. it is rather difficult to drink too much water. The amount of deuterium oxides or heavy water is very small.
through sweating. Also noted is that normally. Most of this quantity is contained in prepared foods. suspension of solids in water slurries or using water to dissolve and extract substances.Hazard symbol for Not drinking water An original recommendation for water intake in 1945 by the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Research Council read: "An ordinary standard for diverse persons is 1 milliliter for each calorie of food. while the rest comes from drinking water and beverages (caffeinated included)." The latest dietary reference intake report by the United States National Research Council in general recommended (including food sources): 2. through urine and faeces. about 20% of water intake comes from food. Some solutes are acceptable and even desirable for taste enhancement and to provide needed electrolytes. Chemical uses . According to the Institute of Medicine—who recommend that. on average. Common impurities include metal salts and oxides (including copper. Specifically.7 liters for men. such as Vibrio. Water is excreted from the body in multiple forms. With physical exertion and heat exposure. water loss will increase and daily fluid needs may increase as well.0 liters—this is recommended to be 2. pregnant and breastfeeding women need additional fluids to stay hydrated. calcium and lead) and/or harmful bacteria. women consume 2. iron. Washing is also an important component of several aspects of personal body hygiene.4 liters (10 cups) for pregnant women and 3 liters (12 cups) for breastfeeding women since an especially large amount of fluid is lost during nursing. Many industrial processes rely on reactions using chemicals dissolved in water.2 liters and men 3. Washing The propensity of water to form solutions and emulsions is useful in various washing processes. Humans require water that does not contain too many impurities. The single largest (by volume) freshwater resource suitable for drinking is Lake Baikal in Siberia. and by exhalation of water vapor in the breath.7 liters of water total for women and 3.
acceleration of Diels-Alder reactions by water has been observed. which vaporizes and drives steam turbines to drive generators. Also. Water and steam are used as heat transfer fluids in diverse heat exchange systems. Condensing steam is a particularly efficient heating fluid because of the large heat of vaporization. Fire extinction . Supercritical water has recently been a topic of research. it is not usually used as a reaction solvent. water is a common solvent. This provides something of a passive safety measure. In organic reactions. due to its availability and high heat capacity. In most nuclear reactors. Nevertheless. Heat exchange Ice used for cooling. as removing the water from the reactor also slows the nuclear reaction down . water is the coolant.however other methods are favored for stopping a reaction and it is preferred to keep the nuclear core covered with water so as to ensure adequate cooling. In inorganic reactions. cooling power plants is the largest use of water.S. water can also be used as a neutron moderator. because it does not dissolve the reactants well and is amphoteric (acidic and basic) and nucleophilic. Cool water may even be naturally available from a lake or the sea. dissolving many ionic compounds. In the U. A disadvantage is that water and steam are somewhat corrosive.Water is widely used in chemical reactions as a solvent or reactant and less commonly as a solute or catalyst. In almost all electric power stations. Oxygen-saturated supercritical water combusts organic pollutants efficiently. both as a coolant and for heating. In the nuclear power industry. water is both a coolant and a moderator.. these properties are sometimes desirable.
Water is used for fighting wildfires. surfing and diving. although the water involved did not come from fire-fighting at that time but the reactor's own water cooling system. A hydrogen explosion may have occurred as a result of reaction between steam and hot zirconium. Grenada. waterskiing. Recreation Grand Anse Beach. St. like ice hockey and ice skating. The power of such explosions was seen in the Chernobyl disaster. which makes it a good fire extinguishing fluid. producing hydrogen gas. when substances which react with water. beaches and waterparks are popular places for people to go to relax and enjoy recreation. are played on ice. because they float on water and the explosive boiling of water tends to spread the burning liquid. In addition. Water is not suitable for use on fires of oils and organic solvents. some sports. Some of these include swimming. boating. as well as for exercising and for sports. Lakesides. often reported as one of the top 10 beaches in the world. Many find the sound and appearance of . Main article: Water sport (recreation) Humans use water for many recreational purposes. Water has a high heat of vaporization and is relatively inert. because impure water is electrically conductive. A steam explosion occurred when the extreme over-heating of the core caused water to flash into steam. West Indies. only distilled water can be used to fight fires of electric equipment. such as certain metals or hot graphite. George's. However. which may occur when water is used on very hot fires in confined spaces. decompose the water. Use of water in fire fighting should also take into account the hazards of a steam explosion. and of a hydrogen explosion. The evaporation of water carries heat away from the fire.
and fountains and other water features are popular decorations. water guns or water balloons. A manual water pump in China . water had to be transported by people. In many places where running water was not available. and companionship. People may also use water for play fighting such as with snowballs. snowmobiling or snowboarding.flowing water to be calming. sledding.e. skiing. Some keep fish and other life in aquariums or ponds for show. which requires the water to be frozen. Water industry A water-carrier in India. fun. 1882. Humans also use water for snow sports i.
Governments in many countries have programs to distribute water to the needy at no charge. assuming the aquifers can supply an adequate flow. Desalination of abundant seawater is a more expensive solution used in coastal arid climates. such as reverse osmosis. Other water sources include rainwater collection. Pharmaceuticals consumed by humans often end up in the waterways and can have detrimental effects on aquatic life if they bioaccumulate and if they are not biodegradable.Water purification facility The water industry provides drinking water and wastewater services (including sewage treatment) to households and industry. regardless of benefits to the polluter. while the private firms' profits are not redistributed to the local population victim of this pollution. tanker delivery or as bottled water. . Building more wells in adequate places is thus a possible way to produce more water. water purification facilities. water supply network. Thus other people pay the price of water pollution. non-polluting. Industrial applications Water is used in power generation. Wastewater facilities are storm sewers and wastewater treatment plants. Polluting water may be the biggest single misuse of water. this does not enter standard accounting of market costs. Heat from the sun evaporates water. being conceived as externalities for which the market cannot account. water towers. The energy is supplied by the sun. Hydroelectricity is electricity obtained from hydropower. extracted from artificial borings (wells) in the ground. to the extent that a pollutant limits other uses of the water. This may involve removal of undissolved substances. or pumped from lakes and rivers. which condenses as rain in higher altitudes. dissolved substances and harmful microbes. from where it flows down. Reducing usage by using drinking (potable) water only for human consumption is another option. while chlorination and boiling kill harmful microbes. Water may require purification for human consumption. More advanced techniques exist. Others[who?] argue that the market mechanism and free enterprise are best to manage this rare resource and to finance the boring of wells or the construction of dams and reservoirs. Water supply facilities include water wells cisterns for rainwater harvesting. water pipes including old aqueducts. Atmospheric water generators are in development. Hydroelectric power comes from water driving a water turbine connected to a generator. water tanks. it becomes a waste of the resource. Drinking water is often collected at springs. sea water is extensively used for flushing toilets citywide in order to conserve fresh water resources. Like other types of pollution. Hydroelectricity is a low-cost. Another way to remove pollution from surface runoff water is bioswale. Popular methods are filtering with sand which only removes undissolved material. In some cities such as Hong Kong. Distillation does all three functions. renewable energy source. The distribution of drinking water is done through municipal water systems.
Pollution includes discharged solutes (chemical pollution) and discharged coolant water (thermal pollution). Water is also used in many industrial processes and machines. in addition to its use as a chemical solvent. Industry requires pure water for many applications and utilizes a variety of purification techniques both in water supply and discharge. is relatively safe. It works very well. Discharge of untreated water from industrial uses is pollution. very high pressure water guns are used for precise cutting. Food processing Water can be used to cook foods such as noodles.Three Gorges Dam is the largest hydro-electric power station. . and is not harmful to the environment. Also. It is also used in the cooling of machinery to prevent over-heating. such as the steam turbine and heat exchanger. It is important for a food scientist to understand the roles that water plays within food processing to ensure the success of their products. or prevent saw blades from over-heating. Water plays many critical roles within the field of food science. Pressurized water is used in water blasting and water jet cutters.
Water hardness is measured in grains.Solutes such as salts and sugars found in water affect the physical properties of water. Boiling. Not only does microbial growth affect the safety of food but also the preservation and shelf life of food. and simmering are popular cooking methods that often require immersing food in water or its gaseous state. there is a loss of effectiveness for its use as a sanitizer.02 °C. water politics and water crisis An estimate of the share of people in developing countries with access to potable water 1970– 2000 Main articles: Water law. Water hardness is also a critical factor in food processing.064 g calcium carbonate is equivalent to one grain of hardness. Water boils at lower temperatures with the lower air pressure which occurs at higher elevations. Solutes in water lower water activity. The boiling and freezing points of water are affected by solutes. For example. and one mole of salt per kg raises the boiling point by 1. Water hardness also affects sanitation. Water right. as well as air pressure. Water is also used for dishwashing. Solutes in water also affect water activity which affects many chemical reactions and the growth of microbes in food. Water law. Water activity can be described as a ratio of the vapor pressure of water in a solution to the vapor pressure of pure water.[vague]  The hardness of water may be altered or treated by using a chemical ion exchange system. similarly. Water hardness is classified based on the amounts of removable calcium carbonate salt it contains per gallon. Water is classified as soft if it contains 1 to 4 grains.51 °C. which is in turn affected by altitude. This is important to know because most bacterial growth ceases at low levels of water activity. steam. with increasing hardness. steaming. The hardness of water also affects its pH balance which plays a critical role in food processing. medium if it contains 5 to 10 grains and hard if it contains 11 to 20 grains. One mole of sucrose (sugar) per kilogram of water raises the boiling point of water by 0. increasing the number of dissolved particles lowers water's freezing point. 0. It can dramatically affect the quality of a product as well as playing a role in sanitation. hard water prevents successful production of clear beverages. and Water crisis .
In 2004. in the next 20 years. Water used in the production of a good or service is virtual water. World Day for Water takes place on 22 March and World Ocean Day on 8 June. Major faiths that incorporate ritual washing (ablution) include Christianity. Water in culture Religion Main article: Water and religion Water is considered a purifier in most religions. Hinduism. by 2015. The UN World Water Development Report (WWDR. Rastafari movement. Water related conventions are United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). it is also a part of the practice of other religions. 40% of the world's inhabitants currently have insufficient fresh water for minimal hygiene. the UK charity WaterAid reported that a child dies every 15 seconds from easily preventable water-related diseases. The proportion of people in developing countries with access to safe water is calculated to have improved from 30% in 1970 to 71% in 1990.Water politics is politics affected by water and water resources. This trend is projected to continue. Shinto. For this reason.2 million people died in 2000 from waterborne diseases (related to the consumption of contaminated water) or drought.6 billion people have gained access to a safe water source since 1990. global initiatives to improve the efficiency of aid delivery. 79% in 2000 and 84% in 2004. a ritual bath in pure water . Taoism. the quantity of water available to everyone is predicted to decrease by 30%. potentially leaving multiple donors working on overlapping projects and recipient governments without empowerment to act. International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships. see toilet. Immersion (or aspersion or affusion) of a person in water is a central sacrament of Christianity (where it is called baptism). the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water is one of the Millennium Development Goals. WaterAid. It causes health impacts and damage to biodiversity. such as the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness. but that access to it is hampered by mismanagement and corruption. and Wicca. including Judaism (mikvah) and Sikhism (Amrit Sanskar). Organizations concerned with water protection include International Water Association (IWA). water is a strategic resource in the globe and an important element in many political conflicts. often this means lack of sewage disposal. have not been taken up by water sector donors as effectively as they have in education and health. United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and Ramsar Convention. Judaism. Water 1st. American Water Resources Association. Islam. In addition. To halve. In addition. 2003) from the World Water Assessment Program indicates that. This goal is projected to be reached. More than 2. A 2006 United Nations report stated that "there is enough water for everyone". 1.
or basic substance of the universe. James Legge's 1891 translation of the Dao De Jing states "The highest excellence is like (that of) water. in the ritual of misogi). and metal. In Shinto.is performed for the dead in many religions including Judaism and Islam." See also Water portal Sustainable development portal Main article: List of water topics • The water (data page) is a collection of the chemical and physical properties of water. water was associated with phlegm. earth and air.. The classical element of Water was also one of the five elements in traditional Chinese philosophy. Water is mentioned numerous times in the Bible.g. The excellence of water appears in its benefiting all things. without striving (to the contrary). wood. Water is described in many terms and contexts: • according to state o solid – ice o liquid – water . and was regarded as the ylem. along with earth. In the Qur'an it is stated that "Living things are made of water" and it is often used to described Paradise. In Islam. the five daily prayers can be done in most cases (see Tayammum) after completing washing certain parts of the body using clean water (wudu). a logician could infer the possibility of an Atlantic or a Niagara without having seen or heard of one or the other. Examples include the critical importance of a river in As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner and the drowning of Ophelia in Hamlet. Water is also taken as a role model in some parts of traditional and popular Asian philosophy. Hence (its way) is near to (that of) the Tao" and "There is nothing in the world more soft and weak than water. fire. and yet for attacking things that are firm and strong there is nothing that can take precedence of it—for there is nothing (so effectual) for which it can be changed. the low place which all men dislike. water is used in almost all rituals to cleanse a person or an area (e. In the theory of the four bodily humors." Literature Water is used in literature as a symbol of purification. Sherlock Holmes held that "From a drop of water. Philosophy The Ancient Greek philosopher Empedocles held that water is one of the four classical elements along with fire. for example: "The earth was formed out of water and by water" (NIV). and in its occupying. Water was considered cold and moist.
o o • gaseous – water vapor plasma according to meteorology: o hydrometeor precipitation precipitation according to movement • vertical (falling) precipitation o rain o freezing rain o drizzle o freezing drizzle o snow o snow pellets o snow grains o ice pellets o frozen rain o hail o ice crystals • horizontal (seated) precipitation o dew o hoarfrost o atmospheric icing o glaze ice precipitation according to state • liquid precipitation o rain o freezing rain o drizzle o freezing drizzle o dew • solid precipitation o snow o snow pellets o snow grains o ice pellets o frozen rain o hail o ice crystals o hoarfrost o atmospheric icing o glaze ice • mixed precipitation o in temperatures around 0 °C • • levitating particles clouds fog mist o ascending particles (drifted by wind) spindrift stirred snow according to occurrence o groundwater o meltwater o meteoric water o connate water o fresh water o surface water o mineral water – contains many minerals o brackish water o .
contains more minerals o distilled water. laboratory-grade. Type II. o tritiated water according to microbiology o drinking water o wastewater o stormwater or surface water according to religion o holy water • • Other topics • • • • Dihydrogen monoxide hoax Water Pasteurization Indicator Water intoxication Water pinch analysis . but is not limited to. without fouling. It was used in construction of first nuclear reactors. analytical-grade or reagent-grade water – water which has been highly purified for specific uses in science or engineering. Often broadly classified as Type I. or Type III. double distilled water. o seawater o brine according to uses o tap water o bottled water o drinking water or potable water – useful for everyday drinking. without the two layers mixing. deionized water – contains no minerals o water of crystallization — water incorporated into crystalline structures o hydrates — water bound into other chemical substances o heavy water – made from heavy atoms of hydrogen – deuterium. It is dangerous for ship traveling. It is in nature in normal water in very low concentration. the following: distilled water double distilled water deionized water Reverse osmosis plant Water o • according to other features o soft water – contains fewer minerals o hard water – from underground. this category of water includes.• dead water – strange phenomenon which can occur when a layer of fresh or brackish water rests on top of denser salt water. it contains balanced minerals that are not harmful to health (see below) o purified water.
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46. JN Lester and N Voulvoulis. G. Reisner. Washington. and Profit. Vandana Shiva (2002). 51.9 MB) Water as a natural resource • • • • • • • • • Anderson (1991). 2005 Franks. Springer.. The United Nations World Water Development Report 2. and the Environment. Water. Sacred-texts.com/?id=iCCsvwZrguUC&printsec=frontcover. F (Ed). Truth And Lies About The Global Water Crisis. . a shared responsibility. Vickie A.google. The Holy Order of Water: Healing Earth's Waters and Ourselves. MA. ISBN 0521431646. London: Pluto Press [u. http://books. (published every two years.^ Katharina Welle. Cadillac Desert: The American West and Its Disappearing Water. Bell Pond Books ( a div. second edition). Springer. Postel. OCLC 231955339.^ a b c d e Vaclavik. Josephine Tucker and Alan Nicol (2008) Is water lagging behind on Aid Effectiveness?  50. William E. Peter H.. H.com/?id=kDYJ7a1HbD0C&pg=PA434. and Christian. The World's Water: The Biennial Report on Freshwater Resources. "The Science of Deduction" Further reading • • • • • OA Jones. Pollution. Retrieved 2010-07-25. beginning in 1998. Water Wars: Privatization. Principles of Food Chemistry. P. Marc (1993).^ Arthur Conan Doyle. Water Rights: Scarce Resource Allocation. Water and Power: The Politics of a Scarce Resource in the Jordan River Basin. D. (2006). ISBN 0884103900. http://books.com/tao/taote.^ The Millennium Development Goals Report. Lowi (1995). 47. A comprehensive treatise. New York.^ "Internet Sacred Text Archive Home". Last Oasis: Facing Water Scarcity.) Marks. p.]. and Stanley.com. Miriam R. 49. ISBN 0387699392. Plenum Press. Chapter 2. Essentials of Food Science. Maude Barlow. Blue Gold: The Fight to Stop the Corporate Theft of the World's Water. Barbara Evans. ISBN 1559637927. Washington: Island Press.^ a b DeMan.45. 1972–1982 PH Gleick and associates. Island Press. Downloadable PDF (1.a. Marks (2001). (Cambridge Middle East Library) William E. Physics Today 56 (6). Sinners.^ UNESCO. Sandra (1997. et al (2004). Gleick. ISBN 0393034283. Anita Roddick.. United Nations. 2008 48. ISBN 083421234X. John M (1999). http://www. Great Barrington. E. A Study in Scarlet. ISBN 1565848136. Elizabeth W (2007). Troubled Water: Saints. 40–46 (2003). Water. of Steiner Books). "Supercooled and Glassy Water". Bureaucracy. Pharmaceuticals: a threat to drinking water? TRENDS in Biotechnology 23(4): 163. The Holy Order of Water: Healing Earths Waters and Ourselves.C..google.sacredtexts. Tony Clarke (2003). ISBN 0-7453-1837-1.htm. November 2001 [ISBN 088010-483-X] Debenedetti. ISBN 0670199273. The World's Water: The Biennial Report on Freshwater Resources. ISBN 095439593X. New York: Norton Press.
Diane Raines Ward (2002). ISBN 0618030093. Aridity. Flood. Water: The Fate of Our Most Precious Resource. ISBN 1573222291.• • • Marq de Villiers (2003. revised edition). Donald (1992). Folly and the Politics of Thirst. Rivers of Empire: Water. Water Wars: Drought. External links Find more about water on Wikipedia's sister projects: Definitions from Wiktionary Images and media from Commons Learning resources from Wikiversity News stories from Wikinews Quotations from Wikiquote Source texts from Wikisource Textbooks from Wikibooks • OECD Water statistics . Worster. and the Growth of the American West. ISBN 039451680X.