Focus on water in the atmosphere
The universe is wet
Water is formed from its two constituents oxygen and hydrogen. Oxygen is formed from Neon in nuclear reactions at very high temperatures in evolving stars of 2.5 to 10 solar mass. Oxygen later reacts at much lower temperatures with remaining hydrogen to water in this star (see Fig. 1 Star evolution; Lit. ).
Fig. 1 shows a simplified cross-section of a massive, evolved star (with a mass greater than eight times the Sun.) The elements were generated in nuclear reactions from Hydrogen and Helium and later formed concentric, anion like shells: Hydrogen (H), Helium (He), Carbon (C), Neon (Ne), Oxygen (O) Silizium (Si) and Iron (Fe)
Fig. 2 The molecular structure of water; taken from Lanz et al; Lit. 
Water behaves strangely and is highly dynamic
It has a high surface tension – small insects can walk on water
Water has three aggregate states: gas – liquid – and solid (Fig. 2)
All three states exist on earth at normal atmospheric conditions
Change from one of these states another needs investment or sets free large amounts of energy (Fig. 3)
Frozen water, the state with the lowest energy, has a larger volume than the fluid.
All these characteristics are important prerequisites for life on earth.
Chemistry explains these abnormalities of water: The molecule has no evenly charged surface but exhibits a partially negative site on the oxygen atom and a partially positive charge on both hydrogen atoms (Fig. 2). This results in the potential to form so called hydrogen bonds between different water molecules (Fig. 3). This unique feature of the water molecule leads to a certain stickiness of the molecule and governs the physics of the transitions between the above aggregate states.
Fig. 3 Upper part: The chemical structure of the three aggregate states of water;
gas-state: no hydrogen bonding between water molecules;
liquid state: making new hydrogen bonds and breaking old ones at any time;
solid state: fixed hydrogen bonds at any time; taken from Lanz et al 
Lower part: Picture of frozen liquid water taken from Lanz et al 
Fig. 4 Energy content of the three aggregate states of water at different temperatures; indicated on the ordinate is the invested energy into one kg water (in 105 J/kg); taken from Lanz et al ; for details see text below
Concomitant with the stickiness of the water molecules is the high energy which water can absorb in its three different aggregate states, and is most remarkable during the change of one aggregate state to another. It takes a large amount of energy to melt 1 kg ice (about 5 × 105 J/ kg water) and it takes an even larger amount of energy to transform 1 kg water into 1 kg water vapor (about 23 × 105 J/kg water; see Fig. 4).
Fig. 5 Aggregate states of water compared to H2S, NH3 and CH4 at different temperatures; for details see text; taken from Lanz et al 
Fig. 5 compares the behavior of water with that of similar small molecules like that of H2S, NH3, an CH4. These three molecules exist at temperatures typical for the planet earth (between -20 °C and 50 °C) only as gases. Water however, exists in this temperature window as solid, liquid and gas. This physical-chemical behavior again is the result of the stickiness of the water (hydrogen bond formation). These parameters of water are the basis for evolution of living organisms with a water based biochemistry. Water is t he basis of life on earth.
Fig. 6 Zooplankton (Bythothrephes longimanus) from the fresh water Lake Constance, feeding from phototrophic bacteria and algae; taken from Lit. 
Water moves the world around
The above physical-chemical behavior of water has an extreme importance for the status of the atmosphere and the whole earth. The vast masses of water which cover the planet are able to balance the temperatures and the climate on the earth to a large extent by taking up huge energy packages of sun irradiation by melting frozen water, by warming the water or by generating water vapor over the sea. Energy, on the other hand is freed again in the moment of cloud formation (condensation) and during precipitation. Without this the temperature balancing effects of water (over the day, over the year and over the different climatic areas of the globe) and without the greenhouse effect of clouds and water vapor, the average temperature on the globe would be an arctic minus 15 °Celsius .
The energetic effects of changes of the water aggregate states drive and generate the local and the global weather systems.
Fig. 7 Large local thunderstorm cloud carrying around 100 million tons of water; taken from M. Andreae and S. Bormann, Lit. . Condensation of water drops from vapor sets free tremendous energy; this in turn leads to a strong upward storm pulling new humid air into the cloud
Fig. 8 The planet earth and its moon: The dark moon contrasts strongly with the planet covered with the ocean and white stormy low pressure systems; strong wind systems carry huge amounts of water vapor around the globe in a very short time; taken from Lanz at al 
Fig. 9 Historical understanding of weather and storms: Peter Paul Rubens: “Quos ego” – The god Neptune calming the storm over the sea; taken from Lutz and Macho (2008); Lit. 
Fig. 10 The Global Water Cycle (taken from Lit.  from US Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey) describes the water storage in the oceans, the process of evaporation into the atmosphere, the rapid transfer of wet air around the globe and the opposite process i. e. condensation of water in the clouds to tiny droplets and formation of ice crystals. Snow and rain drops fall down as precipitation to the oceans or to the mountains of a continent. Water finds it way back into the oceans via glaciers, rivers or groundwater discharge .
Fig. 11 Water fluxes from the ocean to the continents and from the continent back to the oceans. Water fluxes are given in cubic miles per year (black). Water pools at any time in oceans, atmosphere, in ice and in ground water (again in cubic miles) are given in blue. One cubic mile of water is equivalent to about 4 cubic kilometer or 4 × 1012 l water. (taken from W. H. Schelesinger, Lit. )
Atmospheric water content on earth is equivalent to 3 000 cubic miles or 1.2 × 1016 l water at any time. Atmospheric water is quickly recycled by water evaporation from oceans. Evaporation of salty sea water generates clean refreshing water without any salt contamination.
Most evaporated water from the oceans never reaches continents but rains down again into the ocean. Net transport of valuable clean water from oceans to continents is around 104 cubic miles per year or 4 × 1016 l water per year.
Another water source for the atmospheric water is evaporation from land (about 1.7 × 104 cubic miles of water per year). Water residence time in the atmosphere is only 9–10 days [1, 9]. Any losses of atmospheric water by precipitation or by technical means (Sanakvo Technology) are quickly re-established by the strong winds circulating with high velocity around the planet. We realize that water flux rates are more important than water pool sizes.
Drinking water was available for everyone in earlier times (see Fig. 12, picture from Segantini). Shortage of clean and healthy drinking water in our world today is a great scandal (see Fig. 13).
Fig. 12 Giovanni Segantini “Bündnerin am Brunnen”; NZZ 16. 1. (2011)
Fig. 13 No clean and safe drinking water in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. The picture was taken in 2006; taken from Lanz et al. Lit. 
Most of the fresh water on the continents is bound in polar ice caps (6.6 × 106 cubic miles or 2.64 × 1019 l). See Fig. 14 a and b; taken from J. Grozinger, Lit. . This water pool is, however, not available for drinking and irrigation purposes.
Another great water pool is ground water (2 × 106 cubic miles or 8 × 1018 l; see Fig. 11). Shallow ground water pools are partially available for plants and humans. Average reservoir residence time for shallow ground water is 100–200 years and for deep groundwater 10 000 years. Shallow groundwater is heavily overused by drilling fountains. Vast farming areas in the US and elsewhere have already fallen dry. They are no longer fertile.
Fig. 15 Midwest USA: The former corn belt is dry and barren; pumping more groundwater than rainfall resulted in this disaster; taken from Lanz et al. Lit. 
Surface water from lakes and rivers leaves the continents with a flow rate of around 104 cubic miles per year or 4 × 1016 l water per year (see Fig. 11). This water, however, is in most cases (60–80 %) heavily contaminated by human use .
Fig. 16 Poisoned river near the large city Chonqing in China; taken from Lanz et al 
Fig. 17a Global wind and weather systems and their relationship to arid and semiarid climates; taken from Grotzinger et al. Lit. . Continuous high pressure systems caused by the global wind system lead to low precipitation (below 25 mm) and low air humidity during the day.
Fig. 17b Yearly precipitation on the globe
Extremely arid areas with lower than 250 mm precipitation/year are indicated in deep red; taken from M. H. Schertenleib and H. Egli-Broz Lit. . Use of Sanakvo Technology is indicated in arid low population areas with below 250 mm precipitation, but also highly populated regions with abundant precipitation, but a highly contaminated supply of drinking water.
Fig. 18 The process of water condensation; taken from M. H. Schertenleib and H. Egli-Broz 
The water content of air at 100 % saturation at 30 °C is 32 g (Fs = amount of water at saturation). Absolute air humidity (Fa) describes the amount of water vapor contained in 1 m3. Relative air humidity (Fr) describes the % of saturation of this air compared to the amount at saturation (Fs).
If we cool down a m3 air with a relative humidity of 50 % from 30 °C to 20 °C we reach the dew point (100 % saturation). If we continue cooling till 10 °C the air exhibits 200 % saturation and water drops are formed.
Not shown in Fig. 18 are the large amounts of energy which are set free during condensation of water. The text in Fig. 4 tells us that concomitant with condensation of 1 kg water out of water vapor about 23 × 105 J/kg are set free.
The above principles are used in the Sanakvo Technology to generate high quality drinking and irrigation water right out of air.
Fig. 19 Carrying water over long distances will no longer be necessary after introduction of the decentralized Sanakvo Technology; taken from M. Black, Lit. 
- K. Lanz, L. Müller, C. Rentsch, R. Schwarzenbach (2006), Wem gehört das Wasser?, Lars Müller Publishers
- Internationale Gewässerschutz Kommission Bodensee, Bericht Nr. 36, Limnologischer Zustand des Bodensees
- M. Andreae and S. Borrmann; Max Plank Forschung I: Keime des Klimas p. 24, (2010)
- P. Lutz and T. Macho: “2°, Das Wetter, der Mensch und sein Klima” (2008); Deutsches Hygiene-Museum Dresden Exhibition Catalog.
- W. H. Schelesinger (1991), Biogeochemistry – An Anaysis of Global change; Academic Press
- M. H. Schertenleib and H. Egli-Broz (2003) Globale Klimatologie; Compendio Bildungsmedien Naturwissenschaften
- J. Grotzinger, T. H. Jordan, F. Press, R. Siever, Allgemeine Geologie (2008), Spektrum Verlag
- M. Black, Wasser ist Leben; ed. Helvetas (2004) Oxford New Internationalist Publikations Ltd
2011-02-18 J. B.