Water is the most important substance needed to sustain life. Water
is not an element. Water is a compound of oxygen and hydrogen. It consists
of two volumes of hydrogen to one of oxygen, as expressed - H2O.
Pure water is an odourless, tasteless liquid. Under standard atmospheric
pressure (760 mm of mercury) the freezing point of water is 0 Celsius
or 32 Fahrenheit. Water maintains its maximum density at a temperature
of 4°C or 39°F and expands upon freezing. Because most substances
are somewhat soluble in water, it is frequently called the universal
collects all the chemicals, all the wastes, and pollutants known and
unknown. Pollutants are distributed in every water system on Earth.
Water is the only substance that occurs at ordinary temperatures in
all three states of matter that is, as a solid, or liquid, or as a gas.
As a solid (ice), it is found as glaciers and ice caps, on water surfaces
in winter as snow, hail and frost, or as clouds formed as ice crystals.
It occurs in the liquid state as rain; and as clouds formed of water
droplets, and on plants as dew.
Water covers seventy five percent
of the earth's surface in the form of swamps, lakes, rivers, and oceans.
As gas, or water vapour, it occurs as fog, steam, and clouds. Atmospheric
vapour is measured in terms of relative humidity, which is the ratio
of the quantity of vapour actually present to the greatest amount possible
at a given temperature besides covering 75% of the Earth's surface.
Under the influence
of gravity, water accumulates in rock intensities beneath the surface
of the earth as a vast ground water reservoir supplying wells and springs
and sustaining the flow of some streams during periods of drought.
Water is the major substance of living matter. From 50 to 90% of the
weight of living organisms is water.
the basic material of living cells, carbohydrates, proteins, salt, and
similar chemicals. Water acts as a solvent transporting, combining,
and chemically breaking down these substances.
Blood in animals
and sap in trees and plants, consist largely or water and serve to transport
food and remove waste material. Water also plays a key role in the metabolic
breakdown of such essential molecules as proteins and carbohydrates.
This process, called hydrolysis, goes on continually in living cells.
Hydrology is the science concerned with the distribution of water on
the Earth. Under the influence of several factors, of which heat is
predominant, water is evaporated from both water and land surfaces,
and is transpired from living cells. This vapour circulates through
the atmosphere and is precipitated in the form of rain or snow.
On striking the earth, the water follows two paths. These paths are
determined by the intensity of the rain and the porosity, permeability,
and thickness, as well as the previous moisture content of the soil.
One part of the water, called surface runoff, flows directly into rills
and streams and into the ocean or into land locked lakes.
The remainder infiltrates into
the soil. A part of the infiltrated water becomes soil moisture. A portion
of the soil moisture overcomes the forces of cohesion and adhesion,
and percolates downward, to form the groundwater reservoir. The surface
of which is known as the water table.
conditions the water table rises intermittently in response to replenishment
or recharge and then declines as a result of continuous drainage into
natural outlets such as springs.
Because of its capacity to dissolve numerous substances in large amounts,
pure water rarely occurs in nature.
Rain and snow
absorb from the atmosphere in varying amounts of carbon dioxide and
other gases, as well as traces of organic or inorganic material. In
addition, precipitation carries radioactive fallout to the Earth's surface.
In its movement
on and through the Earth's crust, water reacts with minerals in the
soil and rocks. The principle dissolved constituents of surface and
ground water are: sulfates, chlorides, and bicarbonates of sodium and
potassium, and the oxides of calcium and magnesium.
from shallow wells may contain large quantities of nitrogen compounds
and chlorides derived from human and animal wastes. Almost all supplies
of natural drinking water contain fluorides in varying amounts.
The human body uses water to keep it functioning. Our bodies need the
Earth's water recycling system to replenish the minerals we require
to keep us healthy. Our body has come to rely on minerals such as: Iron,
Zinc, Iodine, and a whole host of others. The water dissolves the minerals
from the earth, while making its way to the ocean. When
we drink water, minerals get into our blood stream. The minerals are
then distributed to parts of the body where they are needed. The body
is made up of 90% water and our blood stream is 90% water. We drink
water everyday. It is water that makes our digestive system work. The
water we drink distributes vital processed nourishment to different
parts of our body. Water visits every part of the body from our head
to the tips of our fingers and toes.
It helps to
flush our bodies clean of unwanted material left from the food as well
as the liquid we consume. The body requires 55 ounces of water each
day. Less than that is not enough to keep us healthy.
water each day gives us energy. The water in our blood regulates body
temperature. One square inch of skin contains fifteen feet of blood
vessels. These blood vessels regulate the temperature of the body. When
body temperature rises, radiant energy or heat is lost due to vascular
dilation, and increased blood flow to the skin surface. Each square
inch of skin also contains hundreds of sweat glands, which are controlled
by a heat regulator. These sweat glands secrete moisture, which evaporates
and cools the body. This moisture leaves the body through the sweat
glands and becomes part of the Earth's hydrologic system.
is a solvent to almost every element there is on Earth. Water pollutes
itself with everything with which it comes in contact. Water pollution
started as soon as life began on Earth. At that time and up until three
hundred years ago, the Earth could keep up with pollution, as it wasn't
happening as fast as the Earth could clean it up. There
is one trillion tons of water evaporated from the Earth's surface each
day. This vapour is attached to particles of dirt in the air, which
becomes a nucleus to form raindrops, which, in turn, form rain clouds.
Ninety percent of that falls into the ocean as rain; the remaining 10%
falls on the land mass as rain or snow. It runs into our streams, lakes,
rivers, and oceans, or it percolates through the ground to become part
of the soil moisture and underground water table.
of the rainfall comes from evaporation of the oceans. Ninety percent
falls back into the ocean as precipitation. There is only 1/10 of a
trillion tons of fresh water to supply the needs of the Earth's plant
life, animals, and people.
Reverse Osmosis is a filtering process whereby water is forced through
a membrane with tiny holes. There are two weaknesses to this method.
1. The tiny particles that are screened out become lodged in the membrane's
holes and soon rupture it, rendering it useless as a filter.
2. Membranes are generally made of a plastic product. Chlorine in the
water will fracture the sides of the membrane holes and destroy its
Distillation has two weaknesses:
1. There are chemicals which are lighter, the same weight nad heavier
than water. When distillation takes place, water turns to steam. The
steam passes through a cooling oil, is turned back into water and forced
into a drinking water contained. The lighter chemicals are distilled
before and after are forced into the drinking water container. The chemicals
with the equivalent weight of water will be distilled right along with
the water and both will end up in the drinking water container. The
heavy chemicals are distilled last but finish up in the drinking water
2. The minerals needed to sustain life are left in the distiller; none
make it through into the drinking water container.
In 1999, bottled water sales increased by 10% to $8.5 billion.
Currently, Americans consume over 5.2 billion litres of bottled water
each year. Consumption of bottled water has increased by 10% to 12%
annually since 1995, and similar growth is forecast to continue through
2003 when sales are anticipated to reach $11.9 billion
Currently, there are over 900 different bottled
water brands available in the United States. The vast number of brands,
combined with different classifications of bottled water and fairly
lenient labelling regulations, have created a certain degree of confusion
among consumers. However, consumer perception of bottled water offering
a cleaner, healthier, better-tasting product than tap water will continue
to drive growth. As the market continues to expand, analysts expect
a handful of brands to establish themselves as dominant players.
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