Portal:Water

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Water is an inorganic, transparent, tasteless, odorless, and nearly colorless chemical substance, which is the main constituent of Earth's hydrosphere and the fluids of most living organisms. It is vital for all known forms of life, even though it provides no calories or organic nutrients. Its chemical formula is H2O, meaning that each of its molecules contains one oxygen and two hydrogen atoms, connected by covalent bonds. Water is the name of the liquid state of H2O at standard ambient temperature and pressure. It forms precipitation in the form of rain and aerosols in the form of fog. Clouds are formed from suspended droplets of water and ice, its solid state. When finely divided, crystalline ice may precipitate in the form of snow. The gaseous state of water is steam or water vapor. Water moves continually through the water cycle of evaporation, transpiration (evapotranspiration), condensation, precipitation, and runoff, usually reaching the sea.

Water covers 71% of the Earth's surface, mostly in seas and oceans. Small portions of water occur as groundwater (1.7%), in the glaciers and the ice caps of Antarctica and Greenland (1.7%), and in the air as vapor, clouds (formed of ice and liquid water suspended in air), and precipitation (0.001%).

Water plays an important role in the world economy. Approximately 70% of the freshwater used by humans goes to agriculture. Fishing in salt and fresh water bodies is a major source of food for many parts of the world. Much of the long-distance trade of commodities (such as oil, natural gas, and manufactured products) is transported by boats through seas, rivers, lakes, and canals. Large quantities of water, ice, and steam are used for cooling and heating, in industry and homes. Water is an excellent solvent for a wide variety of substances both mineral and organic; as such it is widely used in industrial processes, and in cooking and washing. Water, ice and snow are also central to many sports and other forms of entertainment, such as swimming, pleasure boating, boat racing, surfing, sport fishing, diving, ice skating and skiing.

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Bottle for distilled water in the Real Farmacia in Madrid
Distilled water is water that has been boiled into vapor and condensed back into liquid in a separate container. Impurities in the original water that do not boil below or near the boiling point of water remain in the original container. Thus, distilled water is one type of purified water. Read more...

Water News

Note: this section was updated in February 2020

Did you know...

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... that the International Water Management Institute celebrated its 25th anniversary last year?

... that the International Water Centre celebrated its 5th birthday last year?

... that the National Rural Water Association represents more than 26,242 water and wastewater utility members?

... that "water bears" are small, segmented animals that can survive in a dehydrated state for nearly 10 years?

... that there are at least 15 different forms of crystalline ice?

... that water memory is a controversial homeopathic concept, which holds that water is capable of containing "memory" of particles dissolved in it?

... that there are more particles in a glass of water than grains of sand on earth?

... that there is a new definition for Earth's water cycle that includes the three "interactive" cycles: cosmic water cycle; atmospheric water cycle, and oceanic water cycle (new ocean recycled from center of Earth about every 7 million years) The Water Channel TV

... that Agroforestry and hedges are solutions to build micro-climates and allow the circulation of water to inland thanks to the phenomena of evapotranspiration of plants. For example, one hectare of beech forest, which consumes 2,000 to 5,000 tonnes of water per year, yields 2,000 tonnes per evaporation (https://www.onf.fr/onf/forets-et-espaces-naturels/+/1f::comprendre-la-foret.html french translation)

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Note: this section was updated in February 2020

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  • WikiProject Lakes describes the Earth's lakes. The project aims to consolidate and unify pages relating to lakes around the world.

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