How Well Do You Know Water?
Water is an amazing molecule. Essential for life, we are driven to seek its presence elsewhere in the universe. The unusual characteristic that it is less dense in its solid phase than its liquid phase allows aquatic life to exist in extreme cold environments that would otherwise freeze solid from the bottom up. If the question arose on one of my grade school teachers’ dreaded pop-quizzes, “How many types of water are there?,” my immediate response would be “one,” or if second guessing, “possibly three” accounting for its phases.
For environmental professionals well past grade school, the answer becomes far more convoluted. With the evolution of science, we have characterized the two hydrogen, one oxygen covalently bonded molecule based on many factors including where it came from, where it is now, where it is going to, how it will be used and what type of trace elements it may contain. Let’s see how well you know water!