Water is a ubiquitous chemical substance that is composed of hydrogen and oxygen and is vital for all known forms of life.
In typical usage, water refers only to its liquid form or state, but the substance also has a solid state, ice, and a gaseous state, water vapor or steam. Water covers 71% of the Earth's surface. On Earth, it is found mostly in oceans and other large water bodies, with 1.6% of water below ground in aquifers and 0.001% in the air as vapor, clouds (formed of solid and liquid water particles suspended in air), and precipitation. 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%. A very small amount of the Earth's water is contained within biological bodies and manufactured products.
Water on Earth moves continually through a cycle of evaporation or transpiration (evapotranspiration), precipitation, and runoff, usually reaching the sea. Over land, evaporation and transpiration contribute to the precipitation over land.
Clean, fresh drinking water is essential to human and other lifeforms. Access to safe drinking water has improved steadily and substantially over the last decades in almost every part of the world. There is a clear correlation between access to safe water and GDP per capita. However, some observers have estimated that by 2025 more than half of the world population will be facing water-based vulnerability. A recent report (November 2009) suggests that by 2030, in some developing regions of the world, water demand will exceed supply by 50%. Water plays an important role in the world economy, as it functions as a solvent for a wide variety of chemical substances and facilitates industrial cooling and transportation. Approximately 70% of freshwater is consumed by agriculture.//
Water is the chemical substance with chemical formula H2O: one molecule of water has two hydrogen atoms covalently bonded to a single oxygen atom.
Water appears in nature in all three common states of matter and may take many different forms on Earth: water vapor and clouds in the sky; seawater and icebergs in the polar oceans; glaciers and rivers in the mountains; and the liquid in aquifers in the ground.
The major chemical and physical properties of water are:Water is a tasteless, odorless liquid at standard temperature and pressure. The color of water and ice is, intrinsically, a very light blue hue, although water appears colorless in small quantities. Ice also appears colorless, and water vapor is essentially invisible as a gas. Water is transparent, and thus aquatic plants can live within the water because sunlight can reach them. Only strong UV light is slightly absorbed. Since the water molecule is not linear and the oxygen atom has a higher electronegativity than hydrogen atoms, it carries a slight negative charge, whereas the hydrogen atoms are slightly positive. As a result, water is a polar molecule with an electrical dipole moment. The net interactions between the dipoles on each molecule cause an effective skin effect at the interface of water with other substances, or air at the surface, the latter given rise to water's high surface tension. This dipolar nature contributes to water molecules' tendency to form hydrogen bonds which cause water's many special properties. The polar nature also favors adhesion to other materials. Each hydrogen nucleus is bound to the central oxygen atom by a pair of electrons that are shared between them; chemists call this shared electron pair a covalent chemical bond. In H2O, only two of the six outer-shell electrons of oxygen are used for this purpose, leaving four electrons which are organized into two non-bonding pairs. The four electron pairs surrounding the oxygen tend to arrange themselves as far from each other as possible in order to minimize repulsions between these clouds of negative charge. This would ordinarily result in a tetrahedral geometry in which the angle between electron pairs (and therefore the H-O-H bond angle) is 109.5Â°. However, because the two non-bonding pairs remain closer to the oxygen atom, these exert a stronger repulsion against the two covalent bonding pairs, effectively pushing the two hydrogen atoms closer together. The result is a distorted tetrahedral arrangement in which the H-O-H angle is 104.5Â°.  A result of interplay of these properties, Capillary action refers to the tendency of water to move up a narrow tube against the force of gravity. This property is relied upon by all vascular plants, such as trees. Water is a good solvent and is often referred to as the universal solvent. Substances that dissolve in water, e.g., salts, sugars, acids, alkalis, and some gases â€“ especially oxygen, carbon dioxide (carbonation) are known as hydrophilic (water-loving) substances, while those that do not mix well with water (e.g., fats and oils), are known as hydrophobic (water-fearing) substances. All the major components in cells (proteins, DNA and polysaccharides) are also dissolved in water. Pure water has a low electrical conductivity, but this increases significantly with the dissolution of a small amount of ionic material such as sodium chloride. The boiling point of water (and all other liquids) is dependent on the barometric pressure. For example, on the top of Mt. Everest water boils at about 68 Â°C (154 Â°F), compared to 100 Â°C (212 Â°F) at sea level. Conversely, water deep in the ocean near geothermal vents can reach temperatures of hundreds of degrees and remain liquid. Water has the second highest specific heat capacity of any known substance, after ammonia, as well as a high heat of vaporization (40.65 kJÂ·molâˆ’1), both of which are a result of the extensive hydrogen bonding between its molecules. These two unusual properties allow water to moderate Earth's climate by buffering large fluctuations in temperature. The maximum density of water occurs at 3.98 Â°C (39.16 Â°F). Water becomes even less dense upon freezing, expanding 9%. This results in an unusual phenomenon: water's solid form, ice, floats upon water, allowing organisms to survive inside a partially-frozen water body because the water on the bottom has a temperature of around 4 Â°C (39 Â°F). ADR label for transporting goods dangerously reactive with water Water is miscible with many liquids, such as ethanol, in all proportions, forming a single homogeneous liquid. On the other hand, water and most oils are immiscible usually forming layers according to increasing density from the top. As a gas, water vapor is completely miscible with air. Water forms an azeotrope with many other solvents. Water can be split by electrolysis into hydrogen and oxygen. As an oxide of hydrogen, water is formed when hydrogen or hydrogen-containing compounds burn or react with oxygen or oxygen-containing compounds. Water is not a fuel, it is an end-product of the combustion of hydrogen. The energy required to split water into hydrogen and oxygen by electrolysis or any other means is greater than the energy released when the hydrogen and oxygen recombine. Elements which are more electropositive than hydrogen such as lithium, sodium, calcium, potassium and caesium displace hydrogen from water, forming hydroxides. Being a flammable gas, the hydrogen given off is dangerous and the reaction of water with the more electropositive of these elements may be violently explosive.
Water can dissolve many different substances, giving it varying tastes and odors. Humans and other animals have developed senses which (more or less) enable them to evaluate the potability of water by avoiding water that is too salty or putrid. Humans also tend to prefer cold water to lukewarm water since cold water is likely to contain fewer microbes. The taste advertised in spring water or mineral water derives from the minerals dissolved in it: Pure H2O is tasteless and odorless. The advertised purity of spring and mineral water refers to absence of toxins, pollutants and microbes.
Much of the universe's water may be produced as a byproduct of star formation. When stars are born, their birth is accompanied by a strong outward wind of gas and dust. When this outflow of material eventually impacts the surrounding gas, the shock waves that are created compress and heat the gas. The water observed is quickly produced in this warm dense gas.
Water has been detected in interstellar clouds within our galaxy, the Milky Way. Water probably exists in abundance in other galaxies, too, because its components, hydrogen and oxygen, are among the most abundant elements in the universe. Interstellar clouds eventually condense into solar nebulae and solar systems such as ours.
Water vapor is present in:Atmosphere of Mercury: 3.4%, and large amounts of water in Mercury's exosphere Atmosphere of Venus: 0.002%