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8: Water

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    • 8.1: Introduction
      Water is essential for life as we know it. Water is one of the more abundant molecules and the one most critical to life on Earth. Approximately 60–70 percent of the human body is made up of water. Without it, life as we know it simply would not exist.
    • 8.2: Properties of Water
      A water molecule is composed of one oxygen and two hydrogen atoms that are joined together by polar covalent bonds.  Water’s charges are generated because oxygen is more electronegative than hydrogen, making it more likely that a shared electron would be found near the oxygen nucleus than the hydrogen nucleus, thus generating the partial negative charge near the oxygen. This gives water molecules their properties of attraction.
    • 8.3: Global Water Distribution Use
      Most of the water on the planet is in oceans and unavailable for human consumption due to its high salinity. Of all the water in the world, only about 0.64% is fresh water that is available for consumption (the other fresh water is locked up in ice). Of this available fresh water, 98.4% is found as groundwater below the surface of the Earth and only 1.4% is surface water in rivers and lakes.
    • 8.4: The Hydrologic Cycle
      The major water reservoirs on Earth are oceans, glaciers, groundwater, rivers, and lakes. Water spends different amounts of time in the various reservoirs. The main factors that control the amount of time water stays in a reservoir are the amount of water in the reservoir and how fast water moves in and out. The hydrologic cycle (water cycle) represents a continuous global cycling of water from one reservoir to another
    • 8.5: Water Scarcity and Storage
      Water has been identified as one of the major environmental crisis facing the world today. More than one billion people in the world lack access to clean drinking water. The demand for water has grown at a very fast pace in response to the rate of global population growth.
    • 8.6: Water Quality (Pollution)
      Water pollution is a major problem facing many of our surface water and groundwater sources. Contamination can both be natural due to geologic or meteorological events and anthropogenic (human causes). Human sources of contamination can be categorized as either point source or nonpoint source.
    • 8.7: Water Management
      Pollution control begins with testing and monitoring of water quality. Water quality is usually monitored using easy to measure indicators such as pH, specific conductance (commonly referred to as conductivity), temperature, fecal and total coliform bacteria, dissolved oxygen, macroinvertebrates, and algae. Polluted sites typically have reduced DO levels, lower pH (more acidic), higher nutrient levels, more bacteria, and higher temperatures compared to less impacted or pristine sites.
    • 8.8: Bibliography

    Thumbnail: Drying reservoir. (Unsplash License; Águeda Belldo via Unsplash)

    This page titled 8: Water is shared under a CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Caralyn Zehnder, Kalina Manoylov, Samuel Mutiti, Christine Mutiti, Allison VandeVoort, & Donna Bennett (GALILEO Open Learning Materials) via source content that was edited to the style and standards of the LibreTexts platform; a detailed edit history is available upon request.