Water is the secret ingredient of our fuel-hungry society. The electricity you use at home each day requires 250 gallons of water per person.

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The good news is that most of what we know about water isn’t really wrong, because we don’t know that much. The bad news is that the invisibility of water in our lives isn’t good for us, and it isn’t good for water. You can’t appreciate what you don’t understand. You don’t value and protect what you don’t know is there. (Pg4)


And, of course, water is the most important substance in our lives because we ourselves are made mostly of water—men are typically 60 percent water, women are typically 55 percent water. A 150-pound man is 90 pounds of water (11 gallons).4 (Pg3)


AT T MINUS 16 SECONDS in the launch sequence of NASA’s space shuttle, the launch control computers would trigger the release of water from a 290-foot-high water tank that stands next to the launchpad at Florida’s Kennedy Space Center. The two pipes that delivered the water to the pad are each seven feet in diameter. Just before the shuttle’s rocket motors ignited, 300,000 gallons of water would cascade across the base of the pad, eventually flowing at a rate of nearly a million gallons a minute. As the shuttle roared off the pad, the blast from its five engines poured down into the 2.5-million-pound cushion of water. The water was flowing so furiously it ran out nine seconds into liftoff.

A wet flow test at Launch Pad 39B on September 13, 2019, tests the sound suppression system that will be used for launch of NASA’s Space Launch System for the Artemis I mission. During the test, about 450,000 gallons of water poured onto the Pad B flame deflector, the mobile launcher flame hole and onto the launcher’s blast deck. This was the first time the ground launch sequencer that will be used on the day of launch was used for the timing of a sound suppression test.


The water actually had nothing to do with damping the heat or fire from the shuttle’s motors. It was a sound suppressant. The space shuttle’s rockets were so loud that without the sound-absorbing cushion of water, the roar from the engines would bounce off the metal and concrete base of the pad and ricochet back up. The sound waves would have torn the spacecraft apart before it was clear of the launch tower.1 We use water to baptize our children, and we use it to launch the most advanced spacecraft ever created. Water creates both the hypnotic majesty of Niagara Falls and the miniature, untouchable filigree of each snowflake. Solid water tore open the steel hull of the Titanic; liquid water sank her. You need great water to brew great coffee, you need great water to make great beer, you need pretty darn good water to make good concrete. Water adds the fun to water balloons, to a Slip ’N Slide, to a shower for two.
Water is both mythic and real. It manages to be at once part of the mystery of life and part of the routine of life. We can use water to wash our dishes and our dogs and our cars without giving it a second thought, but few of us can resist simply standing and watching breakers crash on the beach. Water has all kinds of associations and connections, implications and suggestiveness. It also has an indispensable practicality.
Water is the most familiar substance in our lives.

Press Pictures: Copyright Siemens press photos may only be used for editorial purposes. The copyrights belong to Siemens AG, Munich/Berlin, a “Siemens press picture”.

It is also unquestionably the most important substance in our lives. Water vapor is the insulation in our atmosphere that makes Earth a comfortable place for us to live. Water drives our weather and shapes our geography. Water is the lubricant that allows the continents themselves to move. Water is the secret ingredient of our fuel-hungry society. The electricity you use at home each day requires 250 gallons of water per person, not just more than the actual water you use at home in the kitchen and the bathroom but two-and-a-half times more. That new flat-screen TV, it turns out, needs not just a wall outlet and a cable connection but also its own water supply to get going. Who would have guessed?2 (Pg2)

WE&P by EZorrilla.

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