Water and its Properties

Water is most essential for life. Most animals and plants contain more than 70% water by volume. Without water life would probably never have developed on our planet

  • Water has a very simple atomic structure with two hydrogen atoms bonded to one oxygen atom. The hydrogen side of the water molecule has a slight positive charge. On the other side of the molecule a negative charge exists. This molecular polarity causes water to be a powerful solvent with an electrical dipole moment. This dipolar nature favors adhesion to other materials.Water is a tasteless, odorless liquid at standard temperature and pressure.
  • The  color of water and ice is a very light blue, although water appears colorless in small quantities. 
  • Substances that dissolve in water are known as hydrophilic (water-loving) substances, while those that do not mix well with water are known as hydrophobic (water-fearing) substances.
  • Water in a pure state has a neutral pH. As a result, pure water is neither acidic or basic.
  • Water has a high surface tension. Water's high surface tension allows for the formation of water droplets and waves, allows plants to move water (and dissolved nutrients) from their roots to their leaves, and the movement of blood through tiny vessels in the bodies of some animals.
  • Water molecules tend to move from a region of higher water concentration to one of lower water concentration. This process is described as osmosis.
  • Expert Answers

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    If you think about how much of our body is water, it makes sense that we need water to be healthy. There are some interesting statistics here, including that 74% of us are chronically dehydrated. It also says that in 37% of people the thirst mechanism is weak, so they think they are hungry whey they are thirsty. That stood out for me because my mother used to tell me that I was thirsty, not hungry, when I said I was hungry. Here is the site: http://www.waterkoolah.com.au/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=44&Itemid=2
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    Two properties of water are adhesion and cohesion. Adhesion is waters attraction to other substances, cohesion is its attraction to itself. There is also surface tension and capillary action, surface tension relates to cohesion and capillary action is possible due to the property of adhesion.

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    If this is just a discussion about interesting water facts, here is my favorite. Most substance decrease in volume as the temperature is lowered; for the same weight of a substance, the gas takes up more space than the liquid, and the liquid more than the solid. The solids are the most dense form of a substance in other words. Water is different because of the crystalline structure that ice takes--ice is LESS dense than water. This is why it floats. If this was not true, it is very possible there would be no life on earth because ice would sink to the bottom of lakes, rivers, etc, instead of floating. It would not have a chance to melt as it does now, and our world could very well be ice-covered.

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    Water from the ocean contains dissolved salts, as opposed to freshwater found in lakes and streams.  Freshwater is derived from the ocean evaporating, condensing in the clouds, and returning to the land or ocean by rainfall.

    Different species have adapted to these environments; however, it's interesting to note that some species of fish can survive in both fresh and salt water, determined by where they are in their life cycle.

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