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Importance of Water

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Importance of Water - Lesson Summary

Water continuously changes its form and circulates between the water bodies, air and land through a process called ‘water cycle’. The water in rivers, lakes and oceans heats up due to the sun’s heat, turn into steam or water vapour and move into the air. This is the process of evaporation.

When water vapour rises in the air, it cools down and turns into tiny droplets of water which collect together to form clouds. This process is called condensation. When the clouds become heavy with water droplets, and cannot hold any more water, it falls to the ground in form of rain. This process is called precipitation.

Water precipitates in the form of rain, sleet, dew, snow or hail. Water falls on both water bodies and land; water that falls on land either flows back into the oceans as runoff water or gets soaked up by the ground. The water soaked by the earth gets stored as groundwater. This is called infiltration.

Almost 3/4 th of the earth’s surface is covered by water. However, about 97% of this water is in the oceans and seas and is saline. Saline water has large amounts of dissolved salts – most of which is sodium chloride and hence cannot be used for drinking and cooking.

Therefore, only the remaining 3% of the water is fresh water in rivers, ponds, springs and glaciers. Of this 3% fresh water, 2% is frozen in ice caps and glaciers and a little less than 0.7% is trapped in underground aquifers. This leaves only 0.3% of water in the surface-water sources, i.e. rivers, lakes and ponds, actually available for us to use.

Water is an extremely essential component for our survival. The extent of water scarcity across the world is increasing at an alarming rate. Growing population, urbanization and industrialization have led to the misuse and mismanagement of water.

Wastage of water means wastage of an extremely precious resource. In order to avoid the scarcity of water, we must conserve it. 

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