Water is so indispensable in the entire universe that without it, we cannot think about our existence. Cells both in plants and animals cannot survive without water. The majority portion of our cells is water (approx. 70%). Three fourth of the entire globe is water. We are literally floating on a huge ocean of water. The true availability of freshwater is actually limited and global demand for freshwater has been growing rapidly due to population growth and massive industrialization. At the same time, climate change and environmental degradation are altering not only the regional and seasonal availability but also the quality of water. The resulting competition over water use may lead to conflict and sometimes violence. The water crisis is a big issue in global politics and this hydro politics is nothing new in human history. Since 3000 BC a total of 926 water-related conflicts have been reported around the globe that triggered tensions and even battles among nations as a consequence in many parts of the world.
Water problems affect about half of humanity and a great portion of the world's ecosystems. These stresses affect the stability of communities and have the potential to trigger antagonisms and disputes among nations. Recent findings of the United Nations state that nearly 900 million people have no access to improved sources of clean drinking water and approximately 40% of the world’s population currently do not have access to improved sanitation.
The United Nations recognizes that water disputes result from opposing interests of water users, either private or public. A wide range of water conflicts appear throughout history. However, water conflicts arise for several but mostly political reasons, including territorial disputes, a fight for resources, and strategic advantage. In times of major global conflicts, clean water supplies have potentially contributed as direct military tools or military targets. In times lacking all-out global war, particularly in modern times, local or regional water battles for economic and social development dominate, along with terrorist activities that center on attacking or controlling local water supplies to promote ideological religious or ethnic conflicts.
The Pacific Institute developed a comprehensive online database of water-related conflicts, The Water Conflict Chronology that lists violence over water going back nearly 6,000 years. These conflicts occur over both freshwater and saltwater, and both between and within nations. However, conflicts occur mostly over freshwater; because freshwater resources are vital, yet scarce, they are the center of water disputes arising out of a need for potable water, irrigation, energy production and massive urbanization.
The deadliest humanitarian catastrophes, such as the Rwandan genocide or the war in Sudanese Darfur, have been linked back to water issues. Food security is intimately linked with water, as worldwide agriculture accounts for 70 percent of all water consumption compared to 20 percent for industry and 10 percent for domestic use.
Water scarcity affects roughly 40% of the world's population and, according to predictions by the United Nations and the World Bank, drought could put up to 700 million people at risk of displacement by 2030. Water crises have been ranked in the top five of the World Economic Forum's Global Risks by Impact list nearly every year since 2012. In 2017, severe droughts contributed to the worst humanitarian crisis since World War Two, when 20 million people across Africa and the Middle East were forced to leave their homes due to the accompanying food shortages and conflicts that erupted.
In science (Chemistry), water is defined as a chemical substance because it is made of hydrogen and oxygen molecule. Water is a polar molecule which means it carries positive and negative charges within the molecule. Not only that, it is not a simple straight chain molecule, rather there is an angle (104.5 degrees) between the two hydrogen atoms centering the single oxygen atom.
Water has peculiar physical and chemical nature. That being said, it exists as a charged species all time associated with protons (hydrogen with a positive charge) and it is then termed as protonated water. Water has exceptional behavior regarding expansion, freezing and cooling. Usually, any substance when freezes or becomes solid, their densities increase, they become hard and heavier but water becomes less dense when it solidifies or becomes ice. The density of water is 1 g/centimeter cubed at normal temperature, but when it becomes solid by freezing at 0 degrees Celsius it becomes less dense (about 0.92 g/cc). And that is the reason ice (less density) floats of water (more density).
The ocean is the major reservoir of water (97%) and it is salty. Animals and plants need fresh water which is only 3%. English novelist S.T. Coleridge said in the story Ancient Mariner: “Water water everywhere but not a drop to a drink” in the context when the sailor in the sea did not find any (fresh) water for a drink around him after killing the bird, albatross.
Water can form beautiful architecture such as the formation of snowflakes. When we say snowflake, we actually mean snow crystal. A snow crystal is a single crystal of ice, within which the water molecules are all lined up in a precise hexagonal array. Snow crystals display that characteristic six-fold symmetry.
When snow crystals first begin growing, they are shaped like simple hexagonal prisms.
The six-fold symmetry in a snow crystal arises from the arrangement of water molecules in the ice crystal lattice. As this ice crystal model spins around, you can see the hexagons in the structure. But a crystal is a three-dimensional structure, and snowflakes are also three-dimensional. So in conclusion, one can say water is a mysterious element of the Earth.