Basics of Water

Water is a tasteless, odourless, colourless chemical substance mainly formed from oxygen and hydrogen as main compounds. Without water, no living creature can survive. Humans, animals, plants, microorganisms all require water. Water is found naturally on the surface and is an essential natural resource. Humans need water to drink and survive; animals require water for sustenance, plants too require water to grow and nourish themselves. Today we examine the sources and uses of water. We also cover an in-depth assessment of the different parts of the water cycle- from condensation and precipitation, to evaporation of water into the atmosphere. 

Sources of Water

Sources of water are the origins of where we get rain. Approximately 97% of the earth’s surface is covered with water. 3% of water is fresh water which can be used for drinking, and other household purposes and the remaining is the sea and ocean water which is salty. But with the process of desalination, the ocean water can be converted into drinkable freshwater.

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  1. Rainwater

Water that we get through rains can be preserved in water bodies for consumption. Several water bodies are built by humans to conserve this precious natural resource. We get rainwater through the water cycle, which we will discuss later in this chapter.

  1. Ice Glacier

Snow falls when accumulated over time forms glaciers. Over time, glaciers advance and retreat. Retreating contributes towards blue colour characteristics of glacial lakes by ground-up surface material called rock flour.

  1. Surface Water

Water bodies such as lakes, ponds, rivers, and streams get water through rainfall and ice melt. The surface water is the most convenient way to draw water for regular day-to-day uses. With adequate filtration, it is made fit for consumption.

  1. Underground Water

Sometimes, through the porous soil and fractures in rock surface seeps the groundwater into the earth. It is then accumulated into underground aquifers and reservoirs. Usually, underground water is contaminated and must be purified through various chemical processes.

Uses of Water

Water is used for multiple purposes like household use, industrial use, agricultural use, transportation, electricity, and other such uses. Let us elaborate on how water is used for these purposes. 

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  1. Household Use

In our everyday life we use most water for drinking, apart from that it is used for bathing, cleaning, cooking, washing, watering plants, etc.

  1. Industrial Use

Various industries use water to produce certain drinks and beverages. Also, water is used to clean or wash products or machines in industrial sectors at large.

  1. Agricultural Use

In the agricultural area, water is used to grow crops through the process of irrigation, farming, frost control, and gardening. For growing healthy plants providing water in the quantity they require is essential.

  1. Transportation

One of the most extensive transportation of goods is done through seas and oceans, which is known as water transportation. Delivering products from one place to another utilizing water transport has become convenient for large items like cars and bikes.

  1. Electricity

Electricity is another primary form of resource which is obtained through the water. Without electricity, it is not possible to run daily activities. Also, power is essential in the household as well as industries to run machinery.

Now that we have learned what the uses of water are let us learn further about how we get water through the process of the water cycle.

Water Cycle

The water cycle is a continuous process. It is referred to as a cycle because water from the seas, ocean, river, or other water bodies goes to the sky and from sky, it comes back again on the earth’s surface in the form of rain; see below diagram:

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In this diagram, the whole process of the water cycle is explained which we will elaborate through specific points

  1. Evaporation

From the surface of the ground like from oceans, seas, rivers, ponds, lakes, well, and other such water bodies rises to the sky in the form of gas. It means that when the temperature of the earth increases above its average temperature (heats) water is formed into a gaseous state and goes up in the atmosphere. 

  1. Condensation

Now, when the water reaches the atmosphere, it converts into vapour or droplets of water again due to decrease in the temperature, which means it turns back into the clouds in the form of water vapours, this process is known as condensation. 

  1. Precipitation

When water vapours become heavy, they again fall on the earth’s surface in the form of rain, snow, or sleet. It fills the water bodies on the earth’s surface with water, forming a gaseous state again into a liquid state and pouring down is known as precipitation.

As this cycle repeats, again and again, it is known as the water cycle.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. Explain What Water is?

Ans: Water is a valuable natural resource found on the earth’s surface. It is an essential resource for the survival of living beings like humans, animals, and plants on earth. H2O is the chemical composition of water, where two molecules of hydrogen and one molecule of oxygen is combined to form one atom of water. Water is used for various purposes in our day to day life. Without water, living things cannot sustain for long. 

2. Where do We Get Water From?

Ans: A lot of sources are blessed with water for consumption for animals and human beings. Mother Nature has endowed us with a range of water bodies that act as a source of clean and potable water, fit for drinking use. We get water from oceans, lakes, rivers, ponds, streams, and other such water bodies. Rainfall is the primary source of water which is obtained by a process known as the water cycle. Freshwater, which is fit for consumption, is mostly derived from lakes, rivers, streams, etc. oceans and seas have salty water which can be used for consumption after a process known as desalination.