Water lemon

Nearly three quarters of our planet is filled with water. There is water even in the air and below the ground. It is impossible for any living being to survive on planet Earth without water. It is considered that our lovely Blue world is the only place where there’s abundance of water. Yet, there are signs that other planets too may possess this priceless nectar. Planets like Saturn have been found to have traces of water in it. A very recent study has shown where this water is originating from.

This page will focus on various simple experiments and information related to water. You are sure to find them useful!

Watch Transpiration at Work

A simple experiment showing the water cycle in plants

Plants play a major role in the water cycle too. How really? Water is taken from the ground and it is released as moisture. This moisture is released through the leaves and other green parts of the plant into the atmosphere. This process is called transpiration. You can watch transpiration at work.

Things You will Need
1. A few fresh green vegetables or leaves

2. A small dry, plastic food bag
3. An elastic band

Instructions

1. Place the vegetables or leaves in the food bag. Seal the top tightly with the elastic band.
2. Put the bag on the window sill for a day. When you look again, you will see that there are drops of water in the inside of the bag. The vegetables or leaves have transpired. As the leaves and vegetables have been picked, they cannot take in more moisture from the soil. Soon the transpiration will stop.

Can You Make Water Flow Uphill?

How To Make A Siphon

A siphon will help you in making water flow upwards. How does a siphon work? Water is pulled down to the lowest level of the tubing by gravity. At the same time, air pressure is pushing the liquid through the tubing at the ends. The gravity and air pressure work together to create the flow of water through the siphon.

Things You will Need
1. Two glasses
2. Two thick books
3. Some plastic or rubber tubing
4. Clothes pegs

Instructions
1. Fill one of the glasses almost to the top with water and stand it on the books.
2. Put the other glass on the table beside the books.
3. Fill the tubing with water and pinch the ends tightly so the water doesn’t run out. (Use clothes pegs if you find it hard to hold both ends of the tubing closed.)
4. Put one end of the tubing underwater in the full glass, and let go of that end. Make sure the end doesn’t flop out of the water.

5. Bend the tubing and put the other end in the empty glass.
6. Let go and watch the water flow.

Guess the Water Level

Pour water into different containers and guess the water level in each

Things You will Need
1. A number of jars and bottles of different sizes
2. A small measuring jug
3. Water
4. A felt tipped pen

Instructions
1. Fill the measuring jug to the top mark with water.
2. You are going to fill each container with a full jug of water. Using the felt tipped pen, mark each of the containers with a line to show where you think the water level will come. Pour the water into the containers one by one.
3. How well did you guess the water levels? You will probably find that the water level in some containers is lower than you expected. In other containers it may be higher.

The shape of the jar or bottle can trick us into thinking a container holds more or less than it really does.

Testing Water Surface Tension

An experiment to test surface tension in water

What happens when you place a needle on the surface of water? It sinks? No it doesn’t! It rests on top of the water. This happens because there is an invisible ‘skin’ which covers the water. This ‘skin’ is made from water molecules clinging together on the surface. This is called Surface Tension. Try this simple experiment out to test surface tension

Things You will Need
1. A needle
2. A small piece of paper towel or other absorbent paper
3. A glass of water

Instructions
1. Rub the needle between your fingers to make its surface a little waxy.
2. Put the dry needle on the paper towel.
3. Place the paper towel carefully on the surface of the water. The paper will soak up water and sink. The needle will be left on the surface, held up by surface tension.

Testing Water Density

A simple experiment to test water density

Steel has a higher density than water so why doesn’t a steel ship sink? The answer is that the inside of a ship is hollow and contains air. It also contains other materials which are less dense than water. The density of the whole ship is less than that of water. Try this experiment out which demonstrates water density.

Things You will Need
1. A large lump of modelling clay
2. A bowl of water

Instructions
1. Roll the modelling clay into a ball and put it in the water. It will sink because modelling clay is more dense than water.
2. Take the clay out and mould it in the shape of a boat. Put it on the water. It will float. This is because the air in the hollow of the boat makes it less dense than water.

Trapped In The Bottle

A gurgling sound is produced when you pour water into a bottle. This is made as air enters the bottle to replace the water that you have poured out. If the neck of the bottle is very narrow, air cannot enter the bottle easily. The water coming out and the air going in are fighting for space in the narrow neck. If the hole is very small, the water will not come out at all. Try this out yourself.

Things You Will Need
1. Water
2. A Hammer
3. A small nail
4. A tin can with a close fitting lid

Instructions
1. Fill the tin can with water and put the lid back on firmly.
2. With the hammer and nail, make a small hole to one side of the lid.
3. Hold the tin can upside down. The water will not dip out. The hole is too small for both the air and water to use.
4. Make a second hole in the other side of the lid and hold the tin can upside down again, tilted to one side. This time, water will come out of one hole while air enters through the other.

Soaking Through

The force of gravity is an amazing phenomenon. Everything on this earth including water is affected by it. This tries to pull water down towards the centre of the Earth. What happens to water that soaks into the ground? This depends on what kind of rock it meets.

Some rocks let water through them. They are called porous rocks. Non-porous rocks do not let water pass through. Do you think bricks or stones are porous or non-porous? The activity below will help you to find out.

Things You Will Need
1. Two shallow trays
2. Some large stones or pebbles
3. Water
4. A clay brick

Instructions
1. Place the brick in one tray and the stones or pebbles in the other.
2. Pour water into each tray until it is about 50 millimetres deep. Leave them for about an hour.

When you go to see what has happened, what do you find?
The water around the pebbles look the same, but the water in the brick’s tray will be much lower. The brick is made of baked clay. Clay is porous. There are tiny holes between the particles of baked clay through which water can move. If you went on soaking the brick in water, all the holes would become full of water after a time. The brick would not be able to soak up any more water. If you placed the wet brick on top of a dry one, the water would soak down to the second brick.

Making Water Clean

One way of taking soil and plant material out of water is to filter it. Make your own filter using sand, gravel, pebbles and cotton wool.

Things You Will Need
1. Scissors
2. Cotton wool
3. A glass
4. Small pebbles
5. Gravel
6. Sand
7. Water
8. A small jug
9. A teaspoon
10. Soil
11. A plastic bottle

Instructions
1. Cut off the bottom of the bottle with your scissors. Push some cotton wool into the neck. Turn the bottle upside down and put it into the glass.
2. Fill the bottle with layers of small pebbles, then gravel, then sand. These must be clean. Pour some water in the jug. Put in two teaspoons of soil and stir it well.
3. Pour some of the soil and water mixture on to the sand in the bottle. Watch the water drip into the glass.

Finding Out About Ice

This is an experiment you can do with ice.

Things You Will Need
1. An ice cube
2. A spoon and a saucer
3. A small, strong, plastic bottle
4. A glove

Instructions
1. Fill the plastic bottle with water, right to the top. Stand it in a freezer overnight. In the morning, the water will be frozen and the ice will stick out from the top of the bottle.
2. Put the saucer in the freezing compartment of a fridge overnight. Take the saucer out the next morning. Using the glove to protect your hand, put the ice cube on the cold saucer.

3. Now press down firmly with the spoon on top of the cube. You will see a little water appear under the ice cube, showing that pressure can melt ice.

Looking At Osmosis

Plants take in water and nutrients through their root hairs, using a process called osmosis. When does osmosis work? You can find out in this experiment, using any root vegetable, such as a potato or a yam.

Things You Will Need
1. A knife
2. Two large slices, about 3 cm thick of the root vegetable
3. A spoon
4. Some sugar
5. A jug
6. A large dish with a lid
7. Water

Instructions
1. Make a large hollow in each vegetable slice.
2. Dissolve one spoonful of sugar in four spoonful’s of cold water in the cup. This makes a sugary liquid. Half fill one slice with this liquid. Half fill the other slice with cold water.
3. Stand both slices in a dish. Pour cold water into the dish to a depth of one centimetre. Cover the dish with the lid.
4. Look at the slices after a day. Do you see any difference in the water levels inside the slices? The level of the sugary liquid will have risen. The level in the other slice has not changed. The water has entered the concentrated sugary liquid by osmosis.

Water in a sink

Students who take water into the examination hall may improve their grades, a study of 447 people found.

Controlling for ability from previous coursework results, researchers found those with water scored an average of 5% higher than those without. The study, from the universities of East London and Westminster, also noted that older students were more likely to bring in water to exam halls.

It says the findings have implications for exam policies on access to drinks. The researchers observed 447 psychology students at the University of East London – 71 were in their foundation year, 225 were first-years and 151 were in their second year. Just 25% of the 447 students entered the exam hall with a bottle of water. Of these, the more mature students (those in their second year of degree study) were more likely to bring in water – 31% did so compared with 21% of foundation year and first-year students. After taking students’ academic ability into account, by examining coursework grades, the researchers found foundation students who drank water could expect to see grades improved by up to 10%. This improvement was 5% for first-year students and 2% for second years.

Across the cohort, the improvement in marks was 4.8% for water-drinking exam candidates. The research paper said information about the importance of staying hydrated during exams should be targeted at younger students in particular.

Anxiety

Dr Chris Pawson, from the University of East London, said consuming water may have a physiological effect on thinking functions that lead to improved exam performance. Water consumption may also alleviate anxiety, which is known to have a negative effect on exam performance, said Dr Pawson.

“Future research is needed to tease apart these explanations, but whatever the explanation it is clear that students should endeavour to stay hydrated with water during exams,” he said. Dr Mark Gardner, from the University of Westminster, told the BBC: “We find the results exciting in that they translate findings from the laboratory to real world settings like this. “Also, supplementing with water is a really cheap way students and educators can help get better results. “There are also implications for policy makers in terms of the availability of water on campuses.”

water with fruit

Roughly 70% of an adult’s body is made up of water.
At birth, water accounts for approximately 80% of an infant’s body weight.
A healthy person can drink about 48 cups of water per day.
Drinking too much water too quickly can lead to water intoxication. Water intoxication occurs when water dilutes the sodium level in the bloodstream and causes an imbalance of water in the brain.
Water intoxication is most likely to occur during periods of intense athletic performance.
While the daily recommended amount of water is eight cups per day, not all of this water must be consumed in the liquid form. Nearly every food or drink item provides some water to the body.
Soft drinks, coffee, and tea, while made up almost entirely of water, also contain caffeine. Caffeine can act as a mild diuretic, preventing water from traveling to necessary locations in the body.
Pure water (solely hydrogen and oxygen atoms) has a neutral pH of 7, which is neither acidic nor basic.
Water dissolves more substances than any other liquid. Wherever it travels, water carries chemicals, minerals, and nutrients with it.
Somewhere between 70% and 75% of the earth’s surface is covered with water.
Much more fresh water is stored under the ground in aquifers than on the earth’s surface.
The earth is a closed system, similar to a terrarium, meaning that it rarely loses or gains extra matter. The same water that existed on the earth millions of years ago is still present today.
The total amount of water on the earth is about 326 million cubic miles of water.
Of all the water on the earth, humans can used only about three tenths of a percent of this water. Such usable water is found in groundwater aquifers, rivers, and freshwater lakes.
By the time a person feels thirsty, his or her body has lost over 1% of its total water amount.
The weight a person loses directly after intense physical activity is weight from water, not fat.

Tap

When washing dishes by hand, don’t let the water run while rinsing. Fill one sink with wash water and the other with rinse water.
Adjust sprinklers so only your grass is watered and not the house, pavement, or street.
Run your clothes washer and dishwasher only when they are full.
Install covers on swimming pools and check for leaks.
Plant your flowers/trees in autumn when conditions are cooler and rainfall is more plentiful.
For cold drinks keep a pitcher of water in the refrigerator instead of running the tap. This way, every drop goes down you and not the drain.
Monitor your water bill for unusually high use. Your bill and water meter are tools that can help you discover leaks.
Water your lawn and garden in the morning or evening when temperatures are cooler to minimize evaporation.
Wash your fruits and vegetables in a pan of water instead of running water from the tap.
Spreading a layer of organic mulch around plants retains moisture and saves water, time and money.
Use a broom instead of a hose to clean your driveway and sidewalk and save water every time.
Replace your showerhead with a water-efficient head.
Get your office to change your bottled fed water cooler to a mains fed water cooler, you will minimise spillages when changing bottles over. (I especially like the Odyssey Mains Fed Water Cooler from onewater.co.uk)
Collect the water you use for rinsing fruits and vegetables, then reuse it to water houseplants.
If water runs off your lawn easily, split your watering time into shorter periods to allow for better absorption.
We’re more likely to notice leaks indoors, but don’t forget to check outdoors for leaks.
Check the root zone of your lawn or garden for moisture before watering using a spade or trowel. If it’s still moist two inches under the soil surface, you still have enough water.
When buying a new washing machine, consider one that offers cycle and load size adjustments to minimise water usage.
Shorten your shower by a minute or two.
Upgrade older toilets with water efficient models.
Adjust your lawn mower to a higher setting. A taller lawn shades roots and holds soil moisture better than if it is closely cut.
When cleaning out fish tanks, give the nutrient-rich water to your plants.
Use sprinklers for large areas of grass. Water small patches by hand to avoid waste.
Put food colouring in your toilet tank. If it seeps into the toilet bowl without flushing, you have a leak. Fixing it will save you water.
When running a bath, plug the bath tub before turning the water on, then adjust the temperature as the tub fills up.
Convert parts of your garden to walkways and patios to provide space that don’t ever need to be watered.
Collect water from your roof to water your garden.
Designate one glass for your drinking water each day or refill a water bottle. This will cut down on the number of glasses to wash.
Rather than following a set watering schedule, check for soil moisture two to three inches below the surface before watering.
Install a rain sensor on your irrigation controller so your system won’t run when it’s raining.
Don’t use running water to thaw food. Defrost food in the refrigerator for water efficiency and food safety.
Use drip irrigation for shrubs and trees to apply water directly to the roots where it’s needed.
Grab a wrench and fix that leaky taps. It’s simple, inexpensive, and you can save plenty of water
Reduce the amount of lawn in your yard by planting shrubs and ground covers appropriate to your site and region.
When doing laundry, match the water level to the size of the load.
Teach your children to turn off taps tightly after each use.
Remember to check your sprinkler system valves periodically for leaks and keep the sprinkler heads in good shape.
Use a water-efficient showerhead. They’re inexpensive, easy to install.
Soak pots and pans instead of letting the water run while you scrape them clean.
Don’t water your lawn on windy days when most of the water blows away or evaporates.
Water your plants deeply but less frequently to encourage deep root growth and drought tolerance.
Know where your master water shut-off valve is located. This could save water and prevent damage to your home.
To decrease water from being wasted on sloping lawns, apply water for five minutes and then repeat two to three times.
Group plants with the same watering needs together to avoid overwatering some while under watering others.
Use a layer of organic material on the surface of your planting beds to minimize weed growth that competes for water.
Use a minimum amount of organic or slow release fertilizer to promote a healthy and drought tolerant landscape.
Trickling or cascading fountains lose less water to evaporation than those spraying water into the air.
Use a commercial car wash that recycles water.
Avoid recreational water toys that require a constant flow of water.
Turn off the water while brushing your teeth.
Use a rain gauge, or empty tuna can, to track rainfall on your lawn. Then reduce your watering accordingly.
Encourage your school system and local government to develop and promote water conservation among children and adults.
Learn how to shut off your automatic watering system in case it malfunctions or you get an unexpected rain.
Set a kitchen timer when watering your lawn or garden to remind you when to stop.
Next time you add or replace a flower or shrub, choose a low water use plant for year-round landscape colour.
Install an instant water heater near your kitchen sink so you don’t have to run the water while it heats up. This also reduces energy costs. (See onefruit.co.uk/shop.php?sec=prod&prod=254)
Use a grease pencil to mark the water level of your pool. Check the mark 24 hours later to see if you have a leak.
If your dishwasher is new, cut back on rinsing. Newer models clean more thoroughly than older ones.
Use a trowel, shovel, or soil probe to examine soil moisture depth. If the top two to three inches of soil are dry it’s time to water.
If installing a lawn, select a blend that matches your climate and site conditions.
When you save water, you save money on your utility bills too. Saving water is easy for everyone to do.
When the kids want to cool off, use the sprinkler in an area where your lawn needs it the most.
Make sure your swimming pools, fountains, and ponds are equipped with recirculating pumps.
Bathe your young children together.
Insulate hot water pipes for more immediate hot water at the faucet and for energy savings.
Wash your car on the lawn, and you’ll water your lawn at the same time.
Drop your tissue in the trash instead of flushing it and save water every time.
Direct water from rain gutters and aim it towards water-loving plants in the landscape for automatic water savings.
Make suggestions to your employer about ways to save water and money at work.
Support projects that use reclaimed wastewater for irrigation and industrial uses.
Share water conservation tips with friends and neighbours.
Reduce the amount of water used for each flush by inserting a displacement device in the toilet tank.
Washing dark clothes in cold water saves both on water and energy while it helps your clothes to keep their colours.
Leave lower branches on trees and shrubs and allow leaf litter to accumulate on the soil. This keeps the soil cooler and reduces evaporation.
Let your lawn go dormant during the summer. Dormant grass only needs to be watered every three weeks or less if it rains.
Plant with finished compost to add water-holding and nutrient-rich organic matter to the soil.
Use sprinklers that deliver big drops of water close to the ground. Smaller water drops and mist often evaporate before they hit the ground.
Water only when necessary. More plants die from over-watering than from under-watering.
One more way to get eight glasses of water a day is to re-use the water left over from cooked or steamed foods to start a scrumptious and nutritious soup.
Adjust your watering schedule each month to match seasonal weather conditions and landscape requirements.
Turn off the water while you wash your hair.
Wash your pets outdoors in an area of your lawn that needs water.
When shopping for a new washing machine compare resource savings among Energy Saving models.
Apply water only as fast as the soil can absorb it.
Aerate your lawn at least once a year so water can reach the roots rather than run off the surface.
When washing dishes by hand, fill the sink basin or a large container and rinse when all of the dishes have been soaped and scrubbed.
Turn off the water while you shave.
When you give your pet fresh water, don’t throw the old water down the drain. Use it to water your trees or shrubs.
If you accidentally drop ice cubes when filling your glass from the freezer, don’t throw them in the sink. Drop them in a house plant instead.
To save water and time, consider washing your face or brushing your teeth while in the shower.
While staying in a hotel or even at home, consider reusing your towels.
For hanging baskets, planters and pots, place ice cubes under the moss or dirt to give your plants a cool drink of water and help eliminate water overflow.
When you have ice left in your cup from a take-out restaurant, don’t throw it in the trash, dump it on a plant.
Keep a bucket in the shower to catch water as it warms up or runs. Use this water to flush toilets or water plants.
When you are washing your hands, don’t let the water run while you lather.