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Occurrence: Water is the only substance that occurs at ordinary temperatures in all

three states of matter: solid, liquid, and gas. As a solid, ice, it forms glaciers, frozen
lakes and rivers, snow, hail, and frost. It is liquid as rain and dew, and it covers
three-quarters of the earth's surface in swamps, lakes, rivers, and oceans. Water
also occurs in the soil and beneath the earth's surface as a vast groundwater
reservoir. As gas, or water vapor, it occurs as fog, steam, and clouds.

Water in Life: Water makes up 50 to 90 percent of the weight of living things.

Protoplasm is a solution of water and fats, carbohydrates, proteins, and salts. Water
transports, combines, and chemically breaks down these substances. Water also aids
the metabolic breakdown of proteins and carbohydrates.

The importance of water

Without water, life is impossible. Let us examine a few examples that

illustrate the importance of water for plants and animals:

• Water makes up about 80% of the body of a land plant, and

about 60% of the body of a human. It is this water in the bodies of
animals and plants that prevents the temperature of the plant or
animal from rising too high when it is hot outside, or from falling
too low when it is cold.

• Water evaporation helps plants and animals to cool down their

bodies (in the form of perspiration in animals and, in the case of
plants, in the form of moisture that is exuded from mainly the

• Theprocess of exchanging gases when breathing takes place is

only possible if the surface is moist.

• Blood flows only because it consists mainly of water.

• Theprocess of conveying nutrients within a plant would not be

possible without water.

• Food digestion is only possible if there is sufficient water.

• Many plants and animals live in water.

• Various animals that live on land can only procreate if there is

sufficient water, e.g. the frog.

Earth’s water supply

The earth’s water supply is never replenished from space, as is the
case with solar energy, which we get from the sun.

However, nature has developed mechanisms to maintain the earth’s

water supply. In this way, for example, water in nature is used over
and over and we speak of water cycles.

Unfortunately, humans are inclined to disturb these water cycles with

their activities. Examples of this are the way in which huge industries
use water, the destruction of indigenous vegetation, pollution and
water wastage.

See whether you are able to mention ten examples of water wastage,
water pollution or indiscriminate use of water.


The largest part of planet Earth is covered by water (70%). That is why
Earth looks blue on photos that are taken from satellites.

Besides this visible surface water there is also a great deal

of subterranean water.

The water is distributed by means of subterranean canals

(underground watercourses) and rivers on the earth’s surface.

As a result of the warming effect of the sun, this water is not icy cold

The warming effect causes a huge amount of water to rise into the air
every day as itevaporates from dams, rivers, lakes and oceans.

As the vapour rises, it cools down and condenses to form droplets of

water. This is how clouds are formed.

When conditions are favourable, the water in the clouds falls to earth
again in the form of rain. This process repeats itself continuously and
we refer to it as the water cycle.
Here are few things you can do to help save water!!

1] Take shorter showers- shorten a ten minute shower to 5minutes and

save at least 25 gallons of water!

2] washing utensils- while washing utensils use less water

3] just to rinse- don’t run the water while you brush your teeth… just to
rinse the brush and clean the sink.

4] fill it up again- use the correct settings on the washing machine…

partial loads waste water, energy and money!

5] stop the drop- find a leaky faucet around the house? Tell a parent so
it can get fixed! Leaks waste water.

Conclusion-The water we conserve today… can serve India tomorrow

Use of water in food and agriculture

Food and agriculture are the largest consumers of water, requiring one
hundred times more than we use for personal needs. Up to 70 % of the
water we take from rivers and groundwater goes into irrigation, about
10% is used in domestic applications and 20% in industry. Currently,
about 3600 km3 of freshwater are withdrawn for human use. Of these,
roughly half is really consumed as a result of evaporation,
incorporation into crops and transpiration from crops. The other half
recharges groundwater or surface flows or is lost in unproductive
evaporation. Up to 90% of the water withdrawn for domestic use is
returned to rivers and aquifers as wastewater and industries typically
consume only about 5% of the water they withdraw.
This wastewater from domestic sewage systems and industries should
be treated before being dismissed. he amount of water involved in
agriculture is significant and most of it is provided directly by rainfall. A
rough calculation of global water needs for food production can be
based on the specific water requirements to produce food for one

The uses of water

1. For cooking food, for cleaning and drinking.

2. For cultivating food.

3. For transport and recreation.

4. For cleaning.
5. For plants and animals to live in.

6. For factories, industries and power stations.


The ways in which having running water in the home makes life easier.

• We can bath or shower without first having to fetch water.

• We do not have to fetch water to wash dishes.

• Having running water in the home saves time and energy.

• Laundrycan be washed easily, our hands are not exposed to the

chemicals in soap powders (if you have washing machine!)

• It is easier to keep everything clean and neat.

• Wecan have flush toilets, so we merely pull a chain and everything

remains clean and free of germs.

• We merely have to turn the tap to be able to wash vegetables before

eating or cooking them.

• We have drinking water available all the time.

It is easy to bath and take care of pets if we have clean water.