Focus on Water Quality
Water – one of the most important and plentiful resources on earth, yet it’s availability and quality are lacking to many around the globe. From droughts to pollution, the lack of clean water is a question of health, and ultimately, survival, for millions of people. Water is known to chemists as the ‘universal solvent’ and in this section the role of solutes and solvents are examined in terms of interactions between molecules to give a glimpse of the field of environmental fate modelling – the prediction of where a chemical might end up in the environment. In order to make a proper assessment of a compound in the environment, there are a number of other factors that must be examined, such as the toxicity of the chemical, full discussions of which are beyond the scope of this text.
Refer to the information discussed in the previous Focus section as well as Part VIII and IX of this text and elaborate on the following focus boxes, solving any problems that appear. While the field is very complicated, a general ability to approximate the relative solubility of a compound and do rudimentary calculations in concentration terms can provide an important resource for the examination of contaminants in the aqueous environment.