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Impact from a water drop causes an upward "rebound" jet surrounded by circular capillary waves

Water is the most common liquid on Earth. It covers about 71.4% of the Earth. Pure water has no smell, taste, or color. Lakes, oceans, and rivers are made of water. Precipitation is water that falls from clouds in the sky. It may be rain (liquid) if warm, or it may be frozen if cold. If water gets very cold (below 0 degrees Celsius), it freezes and becomes ice. If water gets very hot (above 100 degrees Celsius), it boils and becomes steam. Water is very important for life. However, some studies suggest that by 2025 more than half the people around the world will not have enough water.

Water is a fluid. Water is the only chemical substance on earth that exists naturally in three states. People know of over 40 anomalies about water. Unlike most other liquids such as alcohol or oil, when water freezes, it expands by about 9%. This expansion can cause pipes to break if the water inside them freezes.

Water drop animation
Drops of water flowing from a tap

Water is a molecule made of 2 hydrogen atoms and 1 oxygen atom. Its chemical formula is H2O. Water has a surface tension, so a little water can make drops on a surface, rather than always spreading out to wet the surface. Water can also be called 'aqua', which is the Roman word for water.

Uses of water

Plants and animals (including people) are mostly water inside, and must drink water to live. It gives a medium for chemical reactions to take place, and is the main part of blood. It keeps the body temperature the same by sweating from the skin. Water helps blood carry nutrients from the stomach to all parts of the body to keep the body alive. Water also helps the blood carry oxygen from the lungs to the body. Saliva, which helps animals and people digest food, is mostly water. Water helps make urine. Urine helps remove bad chemicals from the body. The human body is between 60% and 70% water.

Water is the main component of drinks like milk, juice, and wine. Each type of drink also has other things that add flavor or nutrients, things like sugar, fruit, and sometimes alcohol. Water that a person can drink is called "potable water" (or "drinking water"). The water in oceans is salt water, but lakes and rivers usually have unsalted water. Only about 3% of all the water on earth is fresh water. The rest is salt water.

Many places, including cities and deserts, don't have as much water as people want. They build aqueducts to bring water there.

Though a human being can survive for up to a three weeks without food, they can only survive for a day or two without water. A few desert animals can get enough water from their food, but the others must drink.

Water is also used for recreational purposes list of water sports.

Related pages


Water for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.