Portal:Water
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Portal:Water

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Water is an inorganic, transparent, tasteless, odorless, and nearly colorless chemical substance, which is the main constituent of Earth's hydrosphere and the fluids of all known living organisms. It is vital for all known forms of life, even though it provides no calories or organic nutrients. Its chemical formula is H2O, meaning that each of its molecules contains one oxygen and two hydrogen atoms, connected by covalent bonds.

"Water" is the name of the liquid state of H2O at standard ambient temperature and pressure. It forms precipitation in the form of rain and aerosols in the form of fog. Clouds are formed from suspended droplets of water and ice, its solid state. When finely divided, crystalline ice may precipitate in the form of snow. The gaseous state of water is steam or water vapor. Water moves continually through the water cycle of evaporation, transpiration (evapotranspiration), condensation, precipitation, and runoff, usually reaching the sea.

Water covers 71% of the Earth's surface, mostly in seas and oceans. Small portions of water occur as groundwater (1.7%), in the glaciers and the ice caps of Antarctica and Greenland (1.7%), and in the air as vapor, clouds (formed of ice and liquid water suspended in air), and precipitation (0.001%).

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Potential peak water curve for production of groundwater from an aquifer.

Peak water is a concept that underlines the growing constraints on the availability, quality, and use of freshwater resources.

Peak water was defined in a 2010 peer-reviewed article in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences by Peter Gleick and Meena Palaniappan. They distinguish between peak renewable, peak non-renewable, and peak ecological water in order to demonstrate the fact that although there is a vast amount of water on the planet, sustainably managed water is becoming scarce. Read more...
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Note: this section was updated in February 2020

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