Water is a common chemical substance, that is essential to all known forms of life. In typical usage water refers only to its liquid form or state, but the substance also has the solid state, ice, and gaseous state, water vapor. Water covers 71% of Earth's surface as well as below ground in aquifers and in the air as vapor, clouds, and precipitation.
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- Access to a secure, safe and sufficient source of fresh water is a fundamental requirement for the survival, well-being and socio-economic development of all humanity. Yet, we continue to act as if fresh water were a perpetually abundant resource. It is not.
- The challenge of securing safe and plentiful water for all is one of the most daunting challenges faced by the world today. . . . Too often, where we need water we find guns.
- Water is a very good servant, but it is a cruell maister.
- William Bullein, in Bulwarke of Defence against All Sicknesses (1562), as quoted in "William Bullein, Elizabethan Physician and Author" by William S. Mitchell, in Medical History Vol. 3, Issue 3 (July 1959), p. 188
- The miller sees not all the water that goes by his mill.
- Robert Burton, The Anatomy of Melancholy (1621), Part III, Section III. Memb. 4. Subsect. 1
- The winds, the sea, and the moving tides are what they are. If there is wonder and beauty and majesty in them, science will discover these qualities. If they are not there, science cannot create them. If there is poetry in my book about the sea, it is not because I deliberately put it there, but because no one could write truthfully about the sea and leave out the poetry.
- Rachel Carson, in her acceptance speech of the National Book Award for Nonfiction (1952); also in Lost Woods : The Discovered Writing of Rachel Carson (1999) edited by Linda Lear, p. 91
- Till taught by pain,
Men really know not what good water's worth;
If you had been in Turkey or in Spain,
Or with a famish'd boat's-crew had your berth,
Or in the desert heard the camel's bell,
You'd wish yourself where Truth is—in a well.
- Water, water, everywhere,
And all the boards did shrink;
Water, water, everywhere,
Nor any drop to drink.
- From a drop of water, a logician could infer the possibility of an Atlantic or a Niagara without having seen or heard of one or the other.
- All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again.
- Ecclesiastes 1:7
- I do not know much about gods; but I think that the river
Is a strong brown god —sullen, untamed and intractable,
Patient to some degree, at first recognised as a frontier;
Useful, untrustworthy, as a conveyor of commerce;
Then only a problem confronting the builder of bridges. (I)
- His feet were like fine copper when glowing in a furnace; and his voice was as the sound of many waters.
- For waters will burst forth in the wilderness,
- And streams in the desert plain.
- The heat-parched ground will become a reedy pool,
- And the thirsty ground springs of water.
- In the lairs where jackals rested,
- There will be green grass and reeds and papyrus.
- There is nothing softer and weaker than water,
And yet there is nothing better for attacking hard and strong things.
For this reason there is no substitute for it.
- Laozi, Tao Te Ching, Ch. 78
- Don't get set into one form, adapt it and build your own, and let it grow, be like water. Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless — like water. Now you put water in a cup, it becomes the cup; You put water into a bottle it becomes the bottle; You put it in a teapot it becomes the teapot. Water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.
- Bruce Lee as quoted in Bruce Lee : A Warrior's Journey (2000)
- Take almost any path you please, and ten to one it carries you down in a dale, and leaves you there by a pool in the stream. There is magic in it. Let the most absent-minded of men be plunged in his deepest reveries — stand that man on his legs, set his feet a-going, and he will infallibly lead you to water, if water there be in all that region. Should you ever be athirst in the great American desert, try this experiment, if your caravan happen to be supplied with a metaphysical professor. Yes, as every one knows, meditation and water are wedded forever.
- The rising world of waters dark and deep.
- Counsel in the heart of a man is as deep waters, but the man of discernment is one that will draw it up.
- Book of Proverbs 20:5
- Thou visitest the earth, and waterest it: thou greatly enrichest it with the river of God, which is full of water: thou preparest them corn, when thou hast so provided for it.
- Psalms 65:9 (KJV)
- Honest water, which ne'er left man in the mire.
- More water glideth by the mill
Than wots the miller of.
- And all the air is filled with pleasant noise of waters.
- William Wordsworth, "After the Storm"
- Mr. Toastmaster, Gentlemen: I feel highly honored indeed to be one of the chosen to say a few words this evening. I am requested to respond to the toast: "Water, the purest and most wonderful thing that was ever created." You, as well as I, have seen it glistening in small globular teardrops on the eyelids of troubled sweethearts and peevish infants, as well as go rushing in torrents down the wrinkled cheeks of the aged ones. And in the early morning I have seen it glistening and sparkling like so many diamonds on the grass blades and the flowers. I have seen it rushing like some wild thing down the rapids of the river, only to flow quietly and lazily where the river widens. I have heard it roar and rumble as it dashed down some steep precipice. And what I have seen—I have seen—Gentlemen, what I want to say is, that as a beverage, it's a failure.
- Author unknown; reported in Arthur Leroy Kaser, Good Toasts and Funny Stories (1923), p. 98. This quotation was submitted to the Queries column of The New York Times Book Review in 1971. One response to the query attributed this toast to a Colonel Bob Maxe at an annual dinner of the Bar Association of North Arkansas. The wording varied, and the attribution has not been verified in a published source. A more succinct version found its way into Congressional Research Service files: "Gentlemen—I have seen water in all of its majesty, pouring in torrents over great falls, rushing madly through deep gorges, and tossing wildly as waves of the oceans. I have seen it in the frozen stillness of a winter pond, in the flower-like crystals of snow flakes. I have seen it as the soft morning dew, and as the gentle teardrop in the eye of a beautiful lady—But gentlemen, as a beverage, it is a damn failure!"
Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations
- Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 862-63.
- Still waters run no mills.
- Quoted by Aglionby, Life of Bickerstaff, p. 5
- Pure water is the best of gifts that man to man can bring,
But who am I that I should have the best of anything?
Let princes revel at the pump, let peers with ponds make free,
Whisky, or wine, or even beer is good enough for me.
- Anon, in the Spectator (31 July 1920); attributed to Hon. G. W. E. Russell, also to Lord Neaves. Several versions given in Notes and Queries (23 October 1897)
- Pouring oil on troubled water.
- Adam Bede, Historia Ecclesiastica, Book III, Chapter XV, p. 142. (Hussey's Ed.) Bede says he received the account from Cynemund, who heard it from Utta. Found also in St. Basil, Hexæm. Hom., II. Erasmus, Adagia. Plautus, Pœnulus, V, IV. 66
- A cup of cold Adam from the next purling stream.
- Tom Brown, Works, Volume IV, p. 11
- The world turns softly
Not to spill its lakes and rivers,
The water is held in its arms
And the sky is held in the water.
What is water,
That pours silver,
And can hold the sky?
- Hilda Conkling, Water
- Unstable as water, thou shalt not excel.
- Genesis. XLIX. 4
- Water its living strength first shows,
When obstacles its course oppose.
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, God, Soul, and World, Rhymed Distichs
- And pines with thirst amidst a sea of waves.
- Homer, The Odyssey, Book XI, line 722. Pope's translation
- Water is the mother of the vine,
The nurse and fountain of fecundity,
The adorner and refresher of the world.
- Charles Mackay, The Dionysia
- I'm very fond of water:
It ever must delight
Each mother's son and daughter,—
When qualified aright.
- Charles Neaves, I'm very fond of Water
Percussu crebro saxa cavantur aquis.
- Stones are hollowed out by the constant dropping of water.
- Ovid, Epistolæ Ex Ponto, II. 7. 39
- Est in aqua dulci non invidiosa voluptas.
- There is no small pleasure in sweet water.
- Ovid, Epistolæ Ex Ponto, II. 7. 73
- Miserum est opus,
Igitur demum fodere puteum, ubi sitis fauces tedet.
- It is wretched business to be digging a well just as thirst is mastering you.
- Plautus, Mostellaria, II. 1. 32
- A Rechabite poor Will must live,
And drink of Adam's ale.
- Matthew Prior, The Wandering Pilgrim
- The noise of many waters.
- Psalms. XCIII. 4
- As water spilt on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again.
- II Samuel, XIV. 14
- 'Tis rushing now adown the spout,
And gushing out below,
Half frantic in its joyousness,
And wild in eager flow.
The earth is dried and parched with heat,
And it hath long'd to be
Released from out the selfish cloud,
To cool the thirsty tree.
- Elizabeth Oakes Smith, Water
- And so never ending,
But always descending.
- Robert Southey, The Cataract of Lodore
- "How does the Water
Come down at Lodore?"
- Robert Southey, The Cataract of Lodore
- 'Tis a little thing
To give a cup of water: yet its draught
Of cool refreshment, drain'd by feverish lips,
May give a thrill of pleasure to the frame
More exquisite than when nectarian juice
Renews the life of joy in happiest hours.
- Thomas Noon Talfourd, Sonnet III
- How dear to this heart are the scenes of my childhood,
When fond recollection presents them to view.
* * * * * *
The old oaken bucket, the iron-bound bucket,
The moss-covered bucket, which hung in the well.
- Samuel Woodworth, The Old Oaken Bucket
- How sweet from the green mossy brim to receive it,
As, poised on the curb, it inclined to my lips!
Not a full blushing goblet could tempt me to leave it,
The brightest that beauty or revelry sips.
- Samuel Woodworth, The Old Oaken Bucket