Water, known as it’s chemical compound H2O, is an important life sustaining element that is found around the world in rivers, oceans, lakes, rain, and makes up the major basic fluids of organisms. Water is a liquid, however it can take on a solid state as ice, and as a gaseous state in the form of steam. Water can also exists as dew, fog, cloud, and snow. Even though it does not contain any amount of calories or nutrients, humans and other living organisms require safe drinking water in order to survive. It is estimated that roughly one billion people around the world do not have access to safe drinking water. Characteristics of Water
Water in its purest form carries neither a taste nor an odor. However, when different substances are dissolved in water it can change both the taste and smell. Water that has minerals dissolved in it is usually marketed as spring water or mineral water. Harmful toxins, pollutants, and microbes affect the purity of water, while naturally occurring minerals do not affect the purity of water. Human Uses
Revised July 3rd, 2016
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- Agriculture - 30% of the United States usage of water is put towards the irrigation systems for agriculture, which is vital for growing food such as crops and raising livestock.
- Drinking - 55% to 78% of the human body is comprised of water. In order for the average human to function properly, one to seven liters of water must be consumed daily in order to evade dehydration.
- Washing - Water is also needed in order for humans to maintain healthy personal hygiene. Showers, baths, and washing clothes all take up a significant amount of water.
- Food Processing - Beyond agriculture, water is a component to popular cooking methods such as boiling, steaming, and simmering. Water is also used for the cleaning and washing of dishes.