Knowledge Island II - Water Use

Properties of Water


Water is a fascinating substance with dazzling characteristics. It has a cooling effect when evaporating and even ice can keep warm. Water detonates the toughest rock; in the finest fissures of soil it withstands gravity and rises up.
It is the only substance on Earth that naturally comes in all three chemical states: solid, liquid and gas.
Not only that, but the element of life keeps puzzling scientists: how come water stores heat? Why does H2O act so differently from any other chemically comparable substance?
The reason for its unique qualities is in the build of the molecules and the way they combine with each other.

Water On Earth

About 70 per cent of the Earth's surface is covered by water. The largest portion is salty ocean water. A mere 2,5 per cent of all water on Earth consists of fresh water.
Only 69 per cent of fresh water is ice, compounded in polar ice and glaciers.

Because ice is lighter than water, it floats on the surface.


An additional 31 per cent is ground water, most of it out of reach in deep layers of rock.A plentitude of rivers and lakes only provide for 0.3 per cent of all fresh water supply. Barely one per cent of fresh water can be used by us humans.
Earth's water is moving in a constant cycle, sun and wind causing it to evaporate from the oceans and the continents.
Water steam rises into the atmosphere, cooling down and condensing to produce clouds.
By precipitation from rain or snow the water then returns to Earth. A portion will rain off on land, trickle in the ground before collecting as ground water or becoming absorbed by plants. Ground water will reappear on the surface in brooks and rivers flowing back into the sea.The amount of water on our planet always stays the same, water is not lost and water is not gained.


Water As Food

A human being can do without food for many days; yet we can't do without water for more than 24 hours, which is why the procurement of water has always been a question of survival. Today, water-supply is an extremely complex issue. Water suppliers' processing plants remove unwanted substances from the water. Drinking water zones protect water reservoirs and deep wells to make sure pollutants cannot reach the precious element. Water ordinances set for tough limits. In Germany, more than 70 per cent of drinking water come from ground water. Thanks to a favorable climate zone there is basically no problem providing our population with the right amount of water. Main concern today is keeping any harmful intakes out of ground water, a considerable amount of which stems from agriculture.

Modern Sewage Plant Technology

In Germany, water quality of brooks and rivers has constantly improved in the past three decades. This positive trend is owed to a complete provision with sewage plants and the optimization of sewage-treatment technology.
Presently, stringent limits are set for sewage facility processing, which is constantly being monitored. Draining any untreated water is unlawful. In a modern sewage plant, the sewage will run through a sequence of complicated processing steps. By way of a short film as well as concrete graphics and models you may follow the sewage's course through the plant, thus learning everything about an example of water treatment technology. However, even the best sewage treatment system cannot remove all harmful parts from water. Which is why it is still pivotal to take care of water in the manufacturing of all our commodities-  to the same extent as every individual should  keep water pollution at a minimum at home.