Water Science School

Water Properties

Looking at water, you might think that it's the most simple thing around. Pure water is practically colorless, odorless, and tasteless. But it's not at all simple and plain and it is vital for all life on Earth. Where there is water there is life, and where water is scarce, life has to struggle or just "throw in the towel." Continue on to learn about dozens of water properties.

Water Property Science Topics

Water Property Science Topics

View a list of all of our science topics about water properties.

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Water Properties and the Water Cycle

Water Properties and the Water Cycle

The properties of water are important to the natural water cycle.

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Filter Total Items: 36
Date published: October 22, 2019
Status: Completed

pH and Water

pH is a measure of how acidic/basic water is. The range goes from 0 to 14, with 7 being neutral. pHs of less than 7 indicate acidity, whereas a pH of greater than 7 indicates a base. The pH of water is a very important measurement concerning water quality.

Contacts: Ask USGS
Date published: October 22, 2019
Status: Completed

Water Properties Information by Topic

Looking at water, you might think that it's the most simple thing around. Pure water is practically colorless, odorless, and tasteless. But it's not at all simple and plain and it is vital for all life on Earth. Where there is water there is life, and where water is scarce, life has to struggle or just "throw in the towel." Continue on to learn about dozens of water properties.

Contacts: Ask USGS
Date published: August 1, 2019
Status: Completed

Water Properties Questions & Answers

Water is everywhere, from huge oceans to invisible water molecules making up water vapor in the air. Of course you can see and feel the physical properties of water, but there are also many chemical, electrical, and atomic-scale properties of water that affect all life and substances on Earth.

Contacts: Ask USGS
Date published: July 17, 2019
Status: Completed

The Water Science School -- What We Offer

The U.S. Geological Survey's Water Science School
Where anyone of any age can learn all about water.

Date published: July 7, 2019
Status: Completed

How Much Does a Cloud Weigh?

I don't know anyone who is afraid to walk underneath a cumulus cloud because they are afraid it might fall on them. We don't think of clouds even having weight because they are floating. But, clouds are made up of a physical substance, water, and water is quite heavy, so clouds must have weight. We will explain this "paradox" to you if you read on.

Contacts: Ask USGS
Date published: July 5, 2019
Status: Completed

Water Science Photo Galleries

Learn about water using pictures

Contacts: Ask USGS
Date published: June 28, 2019
Status: Completed

Water Meniscus

A meniscus is a curve in the surface of a molecular substance (water, of course) when it touches another material. With water, you can think of it as when water sticks to the inside of a glass.

Contacts: Ask USGS
Attribution: Water Resources
Date published: June 20, 2019
Status: Completed

Water Q&A: Why is water the "universal solvent"?

Learn why water's chemical composition and physical attributes make it such an excellent solvent.

Contacts: Ask USGS
Date published: June 20, 2019
Status: Completed

Water Q&A: Why can't I rinse the soap off my hands?

Learn how "soft water" and "hard water" can affect how soap works.

Contacts: Ask USGS
Date published: June 6, 2019
Status: Completed

Surface Tension and Water

Surface tension in water might be good at performing tricks, such as being able to float a paper clip on its surface, but surface tension performs many more duties that are vitally important to the environment and people. Find out all about surface tension and water here.

Contacts: Ask USGS
Date published: May 23, 2019
Status: Completed

Water in Space: How Does Water Behave in Outer Space?

Does water still feel wet in outer space? Does it float or does it fall? With a little help from our friends at NASA we will help you understand exactly how water behaves in outer space. Continue reading to learn more.

Contacts: Ask USGS
Date published: May 22, 2019
Status: Completed

Teacher's Resources for Water Education

The USGS Water Science School offers many resources to teachers to help them teach their students all about water. 

Contacts: Ask USGS