Water is the most abundant resource on this planet, covering 70.9% of the earth’s surface. Yet, water is also our most precious resource, not just for hydration and nourishment, but also for the air we breathe. Only 2.5% of all the water on earth is fresh, and of that nearly 99% is in ice and groundwater. The very small remaining fraction is what supports most of the human and animal population. On the other hand, our vast oceans produce nearly 45% of the oxygen in our atmosphere. In addition to being the most basic substance supporting all life on this planet, water is also a key agent in a vast number of compounds and processes, and holds the potential to be the greatest source of power on the planet.
Hydroelectricity currently accounts for approximately 16% of global electric consumption and that amount is growing. Tidal and wave power are also growing rapidly now, and hydrothermal holds the potential to be the greatest source of power in the future. It’s clean and it’s renewable. Clearly, water is the most important and critical substance on this planet, and we’ll be delving much deeper into the sciences and technologies of water and the multitude of related topics in the future, but where do we start?