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You probably know that you can't survive more than a few days without water, but do you know why? Water has a number of unique properties that not only make it essential to survival, but also make life possible in the first place! To better understand water, we need to know just what water is. The chemical formula for water isH20, which means that it is made up of 2 hydrogens and 1 oxygen. These different parts of the molecule are held together by hydrogen bonds, which are the key to why water is so special.

Water has important roles and functions in chemistry, biochemistry and biology due to its diverse properties (that is, the way it behaves).

Chemicals can be described in terms of two types of properties:

Physical Properties - e.g. thermal properties.Chemical Properties - incl. reactions with other substances.

The following table lists some of the characteristics of water that explain why water is important for life and for animal biology (including human biology) in particular.

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