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What is Water?

Water (H2O) is essential to life on Earth and more than two thirds of the planet’s surface is made up of water in its solid, gas and liquid forms – the only chemical compound on Earth that naturally exists in all three physical states.

 

The properties of liquid water help dissolve molecules, which enable chemical reactions to occur, yielding friendly conditions for life. Vital substances like metabolites and nutrients are able to travel through liquid water microscopically, as well as globally. Water also greatly assists enzymes in catalyzing chemicals, which is also essential for life.

 

Pure water freezes at 32°F (0°C) and boils at 212°F (100°C) although impurities can alter these figures. This wide temperature range as a liquid also helps preserve life on Earth since typical fluctuations in the weather do not have cataclysmic effects on the planet, which is mostly covered with water.

 

The human body is also mostly made up of water, and we depend on water to grow food and survive. The global modern industrial infrastructure requires water for a wide range of things, from cooling down machinery to the use of water for transportation and shipping. An uncountable number of organisms live in bodies of fresh water, seawater or brine, whether they are puddles or oceans.

 

Water is indeed one of Earth’s indispensable resources in creating and maintaining life.

 

Source: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/origins/essential.html

 

 

Author: Joel Gershon

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Did You Know?

Water is our planet's most precious resource.

  • The average American uses about 50 gallons (190 liters) of water daily.
  • Flushing a toilet uses 2 to 7 gallons (7.5 to 26.5 liters) of water.
  • A five-minute shower uses 25 to 50 gallons (95 to 190 liters) of water.
  • Leaving the water on while brushing your teeth wastes 2 gallons (7.5 liters) of water each time!
  • At least 400 million people live in regions with severe water shortages.
  • Water is the original health drink.  It contains no fat, no calories and no cholesterol.