Help Your Community Go Green
What is water made of?
How is water cleaned?
Without water, the earth would look like the moon.
All living things need water to live. People can live several weeks without food, but only a few days without water. We should drink six to eight glasses of water each day!
Water makes up 83% of our blood, 70% of our brain, and 90% of our lungs. Overall, our bodies are 70% water.
A tomato is about 95% water. An apple, a pineapple, and an ear of corn are each 80% water.
About 70% of the earth’s surface is covered with water.
Ninety-seven percent of the water on the earth is salt water. Salt water is filled with salt and other minerals, and humans cannot drink this water. Although the salt can be removed, it is a difficult and expensive process.
Two percent of the water on earth is glacier ice at the North and South Poles. This ice is fresh water and could be melted; however, it is too far away from where people live to be usable.
Less than 1% of all the water on earth is fresh water that we can actually use. We use this small amount of water for drinking, transportation, heating and cooling, industry, and many other purposes.
Everything is made of atoms. An atom is the smallest particle of an element, like oxygen or hydrogen. Atoms join together to form molecules. A water molecule has three atoms: two hydrogen (H) atoms and one oxygen (O) atom. That's why water is sometimes referred to as H2O. A single drop of water contains billions of water molecules.
The water cycle or hydrologic is a continuous cycle where water evaporates, travels into the air and becomes part of a cloud, falls down to earth as precipitation, and then evaporates again. This repeats again and again in a never-ending cycle. Water keeps moving and changing from a solid to a liquid to a gas, over and over again.
Precipitation creates runoff that travels over the ground surface and helps to fill lakes and rivers. It also percolates or moves downward through openings in the soil to replenish aquifers under the ground. Some places receive more precipitation than others do. These areas are usually close to oceans or large bodies of water that allow more water to evaporate and form clouds. Other areas receive less precipitation. Often these areas are far from water or near mountains. As clouds move up and over mountains, the water vapor condenses to form precipitation and freezes. Snow falls on the peaks.
What is the water cycle?
Water treatment is the process of cleaning water. Treatment makes the water safe for people to drink. Because water is a good solvent, it picks up all sorts of natural pollutants. In nature, water is not always clean enough for people to drink. When the microscope was invented in the 1850s, germs could be seen in water for the first time. In 1902, Belgium was the first country to use chlorine to clean or treat water in a public water supply. Today, almost every city in the world treats their drinking water. Treatment includes disinfection with chlorine or other chemicals to kill any germs in the water. An example follows:
Use a broom to sweep your driveway, garage, or sidewalk instead of using water.
Use a bucket of water to wash your bike or the family car and rinse quickly with a hose.
Water your lawn in the evening or in the early morning to avoid evaporation. Be careful to water only the lawn and not the sidewalk or street.
Use water only when you need it. Don't leave water running; be sure to turn it off when you are finished
Check household faucets for leaks. A faucet with even a slow drip takes 10 to 25 gallons of water. Just think, 15 drips per minute add up to almost 3 gallons of water wasted per day, 65 gallons wasted per month, and 788 gallons wasted per year!
Keep showers to 5 minutes or less in length. A five-minute shower takes 10 to 25 gallons of water.