From Glossary of Meteorology


  1. A transparent, colorless, odorless, and tasteless liquid found near the surface of the earth.

    In the lithosphere, hydrosphere, and atmosphere of the earth, water is found as a gas, liquid, and solid. Water falls from the clouds as rain, hail, sleet, graupel, snow, etc., and runs off and through soils to form creeks, streams, rivers, and lakes. In its solid form, it is referred to as ice or snow. Water as a liquid and as ice covers 70.8% of the surface of the earth and plays a fundamental part in the earth–atmosphere energy balance. Water (chemical formula H2O) corresponds to two parts hydrogen and one part oxygen on a molecular basis; by weight, water is 11.19% hydrogen and 88.81% oxygen. Water has a melting point of 0°C (32°F), a boiling point of 100°C (212°F), and a specific gravity of 1.000 at 4°C (39°F), by definition.

  2. Can refer to a body of water, such as a lake or a stream, or even a larger body of water such as a sea or part of an ocean, for example, international waters.

  3. Used to describe water in specific locales; for example, hydrologists refer to soil water, surface water, and groundwater.

  4. As a verb, used to describe irrigation corresponding to the application of water to plants, the grounds surrounding a residence, or to a garden.