Home > FAQs > Fast Facts About Water

Fast Facts About Water

By: Dr Gareth Evans - Updated: 24 Oct 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Facts Water Cycle Freshwater Pond Oxygen

You obviously can’t have a pond without water, but there’s a lot more to the wet stuff than simply filling our liners and providing a home for a whole range of plants, fish and invertebrates. Everyone knows it’s essential for life and that there’s a lot of it to be found on the little blue planet that we all call home, but the story certainly doesn’t end there, so here’s a collection of facts and trivia about water to fill in some of the gaps.

Of course, you may well already be very aware of some of them, but there’s probably a few that you either probably won’t – or had forgotten.

Global Water

  • The total volume of water on the Earth amounts to 326 million cubic miles (1.36 billion cubic kilometres) – give or take a drop!
  • Water covers around 71 per cent of the planet’s surface.
  • Saltwater makes up 97 per cent of this; a mere three per cent is fresh.
  • Two thirds of this freshwater is permanently frozen; only one per cent of all the water on Earth is in the form of liquid freshwater.
  • Lake Baikal in Russia, the world’s largest lake by volume, holds a fifth of the planet’s freshwater.

Water Cycle

The amount of water in the world has been the same for the past 2 billion years!

In every 100 years, each individual molecule of water spends on average only about a fortnight in lakes and rivers, and just a few days in the atmosphere. It spends around 98 years in the world’s oceans and seas!

Experts have identified 16 individual steps in the global water cycle; the six major ones are evaporation, condensation, precipitation, infiltration, transpiration and run-off.

Groundwater often travels very slowly, and can take up to a hundred years to travel a mile.

A tenth of the water in the atmosphere at any one time is the product of transpiration by plants.

Water Science

  • Frozen water is around 10 per cent less dense than liquid water, which is why ice floats.
  • Water is densest at 4 degrees C.
  • Surface tension is created by electrical forces between the individual molecules of water and is how insects such as pond-skaters manage to get around.
  • Every individual water molecule is made up of three atoms; two of hydrogen and one of oxygen – hence the famous formula H20.
  • “Hard” water contains a high level of minerals, mostly calcium and magnesium.

Water and Ponds

The 'magnificent seven' of pond water quality are:
  • ammonia
  • nitrite
  • nitrate
  • dissolved oxygen
  • pH, carbonate
  • calcium.

The larger your pond, the easier it is to keep the water chemistry stable.

Water holds less oxygen the warmer it gets.

Each day the sun evaporates around a trillion tonnes of water – no wonder you need to top up your pond in the summer!

A typical pump circulates around 2000 litres of water per hour; that’s the equivalent of the volume of water consumed by 12 average Britons in a day!

Whether or not you knew most or all of that before, one thing is clear; from a pond-keeper’s point of view, you can never really know too much about water!

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
What is the range of pH value we should maintain for a Bio Pond for plants?
Yong C K - 29-Oct-11 @ 3:44 AM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the PondExpert website. Please read our Disclaimer.