Water. The single element vital in maintaining life. Even in space exploration, presence of water suggest presence of life.
Water is composed of three atoms; two Hydrogen atoms and one Oxygen atom, that are bound together by electrical charges (H2O). It can exist in three states; as gas, as a liquid and as a solid state, or ice.
This past Sunday, lot of our snow disappeared, even though the air was dry and the temperatures way below freezing. Intriguingly, a somewhat unusual process took place, called sublimation. This is a chemical process, that means a direct transformation of an element from solid to gas stage, without the liquid phase. Thus our ice (or snow) did not melt and did not enter the liquid phase. Instead it evaporated, turning into clouds or vapor, due to rare weather conditions, such as high, stormy winds and very dry air, plus very low temperatures.
As for snow or ice and its corresponding liquid state, the vital water, most of us living in the western world do not even think twice about the luxury of it being dispensed from a tap in our homes. Running clean water is a rarity in a large part of the world. Living in Scandinavia, additionally, the water pouring out of my tap is not just clean and fresh, but also perfectly safe for drinking.
Here are some interesting facts about this vital liquid of life:
• Water covers 71% of the Earth's surface.
• Roughly 70% of an adult’s body is made up of water.
• The overall amount of water on our planet has remained the same for two billion years.
• Oceans hold 97% of surface water, glaciers and polar ice caps 2.4%, and other land surface water such as rivers, lakes and ponds 0.6%.
• Water regulates the earth's temperature.
• Each day the sun evaporates a trillion tons of water.
• A person can live about a month without food, but only about a week without water.
• Your drinking water may be fluoridated to help prevent dental cavities.
• Much more fresh water is stored under the ground in aquifers than on the earth’s surface.
• Less than 1% of the world’s fresh water (or about 0.007% of all water on earth) is readily accessible for direct human use.
• Bottled water can be up to 1000 times more expensive than tap water and it may not be as safe.
• Today, at least 400 million people live in regions with severe water shortages.