In myths and folklore, water is called the elixir of life. This is because it is known to…

In myths and folklore, water is called the elixir of life. This is because it is known to be a life-giver as well as a lifesaver. No living organism, no matter the size, can live without water. 

But there is more to water than we know. It can also cause trouble, and sometimes we use silica gel desiccants or other hygroscopic substances to get rid of it. 


A water molecule is made up of two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom combined together to form a polar molecule. The geometry of a water molecule is a little bent and that gives it a net dipole moment. 

Due to this dipole moment, it has a net electric effect that makes it a wonderful conductor of electricity. Molecules like oxygen, nitrogen etc. are symmetric and that does not allow them to have a dipole charge. This makes them inert and neutral. 

Water is also a universal solvent that dissolves the maximum number of substances in the world. Physical characteristics also include the highest specific heat capacity. This means that a kilogram of water will need the highest amount of heat in order to have its temperature raised by one degree. This makes it a suitable choice of bathing as it provides a sense of cooling and also dissolves the dirt and oil and washes them away. 

Water boils at a hundred degree celsius and freezes at zero degree celsius. 

It is present in  large amounts in the oceans and covers about 75% of the surface of the earth. Even though it is present in a large amount, the oceanic water is salty and cannot be used by us for any purposes. Fresh water is present in very slight proportions in glaciers, lakes, rivers and underground. This is all that is there to be used. 

Most of the content of our bodies is also water and we need enough water to be physically fit and survive. It is advised to drink about two to three litres of water everyday to be hydrated, flushing out the toxins and also help in maintaining the ph levels of the body. 


Also known as the elixir of life, it is hard to imagine that it can also create some troubles for us. Since all living organisms need water to thrive, many times, unwanted moisture or humidity content in the air can cause microbes to grow and ruin various substances.

When we store food items, keeping the moisture away is of utmost importance. Presence of moisture can cause fungal growth and ruin food items. Silica gel desiccants are used for this purpose.

Silica gel in water acts like a hygroscopic substance. Hygroscopic substances have certain molecular arrangements that allow them to have affinity for water. Thus, they absorb water and make the surroundings free of moisture.

Apart from food items that are to be stored, there are various other uses of hygroscopic substances. Desiccant silica gel uses include keeping razor blades free of moisture and even keeping silver surfaces from tarnishing due to moisture. 

The opposite are substances that release moisture into the surroundings and they are called as humectants. Some examples of humectants are aloe vera gel and honey. They are also used in various skin and hair care products to induce and restore moisture in the skin or on the scalp. 


Even though water can harm certain items of use, its irreplaceable importance in our lives cannot be compared with. This is why, we need to make sure that enough water is present on our planet to ensure the survival of future generations as there is no other planet that we can inhabit in search of fresh water. 

Exhaustive consumption of water by the previous and current generations has led towards the overall decrease in its percentage to be available for basic purposes like drinking and washing. 

In order to fight this, people need to start incorporating rainwater harvesting mechanisms in their houses and also plant more trees in order to maintain the groundwater. 

Apart from the consumption, water pollution is another issue that needs our immediate attention. Not only is the content of fresh water decreasing, but the available water is also being polluted due to various reasons like more and more industrialisation. 

The only way to manage pollution levels in the available freshwater is to avoid dumping chemical waste into rivers and waterbodies and sensitizing the people to be careful towards dumping their waste in water.