Word of the Day – Monday, September 19th



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EAU (oh)

French for water

Common clues: Water, to Monet; Lac contents; Jardin fluid; Vichy water; Water under the pont; ___ de cologne; ___ Claire, Wisconsin; ___ de toilette; Mer contents

Crossword puzzle frequency: 9 times a year

Frequency in English language: 36257 / 86800

News: Peep into a very private waterworld

Video: BBC PLANET EARTH – Fresh Water

"The passing cloud, the cooling breeze, the sudden storm that threatens to burst and finally does, the wind that stirs and suddenly blows with full force, the light that fades and is reborn are all things, elusive to the eyes of the uninitiated, that transfigure the color and shape of the bodies of water." --Claude Monet

Water is a common chemical substance that is essential to all known forms of life. In typical usage water refers only to its liquid form or state, but the substance also has the solid state, ice, and gaseous state, water vapor. About 1,460 teratonnes (Tt) of water cover 71% of Earth's surface, with 1.6% of water below ground in aquifers and 0.001% in the air as vapor, clouds, and precipitation. Saltwater oceans hold 97% of surface water, glaciers and polar ice caps 2.4%; and other land surface water such as rivers and lakes 0.025%. Water in these forms moves perpetually through the water cycle of evaporation and transpiration, precipitation, and runoff usually reaching the sea. Winds carry water vapor over land at the same rate as runoff into the sea, about 36 Tt per year. Over land, evaporation and transpiration contribute another 71 Tt per year to the precipitation of 107 Tt per year over land. Some water is trapped for periods in ice caps, glaciers, aquifers, or lakes for varying periods, sometimes providing fresh water for life on land. Clean, fresh water is essential to human and other land-based life. In many parts of the world, it is in short supply. Many very important chemical substances, such as salts, sugars, acids, alkalis, some gases (especially oxygen) and many organic molecules dissolve in water. Outside of our planet, a significant quantity is thought to exist underground on the planet Mars, on the moons Europa and Enceladus, and on the exoplanet known as HD 209458 b.

With nearly 2,000 cubic metres (70,000 ft3) of water per person and per year, the United States leads the world in water consumption per capita. In the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries, the U.S. is first for water consumption, then Canada with 1,600 cubic meters (56,000 ft3) of water per person per year, which is about twice the amount of water used by the average person from France, three times as much as the average German, and almost eight times as much as the average Dane. Since 1980, overall water use in Canada has increased by 25.7%. This is five times higher than the overall OECD increase of 4.5%. In contrast, nine OECD nations were able to decrease their overall water use since 1980 (Sweden, the Netherlands, the United States, the United Kingdom, the Czech Republic, Luxembourg, Poland, Finland and Denmark).

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Water".