How Powerful Can Water Be?

Water is very common in day to day life. We use it to wash, to drink, to cook and to carry away our waste. Because of this, we often underestimate the power water that water has. A quick look at the news stories generated from the flooding in Britain in early 2014 will show you just how devastating it can be when it overflows the banks and comes into people’s homes.

However, in nature water is one of the most powerful forces imaginable, smoothing rocks and changing the face of the earth itself. Here are some examples of just how powerful water can be:

The Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon

Image Source: Wikipedia

When it comes to a spectacular display of how water can change the face of the earth, you don’t need to look any further than the Grand Canyon. This 277 mile long, 18 mile wide canyon was carved out by the Colorado River over millions of years. Flowing water has corroded the landscape away, cutting channels through the rock and reforming the landscape into this globally known site.

It is believed that it took approximately six million years for the Grand Canyon to form, but geologists believe that it may have been slowed down due to corrosion inhibitors that may have been naturally present in the rock. As the land was corroded away, the water ate through several layers of rock bed, which would have affected the overall pH of the water.

Diminishing Coastlines

Dawlish Coastline

Image Source: Geograph

Everywhere on earth where the land meets the sea, a battle is being fought for the right to remain. Unfortunately, this is a losing battle, as the sea is constantly eating the land away and reshaping the boundaries as we know them. Whenever a big weather system hits we see this on a much more dramatic scale, for example in Dawlish, Devon where a rail link was recently washed away by the sea.

This fight to remain can be seen worldwide with the presence of cliffs standing against the sea. These are areas where the soft rock, earth and vegetation has been eroded away by the sea leaving only the hard rock underneath. However, even this large rock is being eaten away with the lower seconds having rocks and sand constantly thrown into them by waves, knocking it back until it can no longer support the weight.

Pressure Washers

Pressure Washer

Image Source: Wikipedia

Ok, so this may not be a natural way that demonstrates how powerful water is, but pressure washers are a very obvious way that humans have harnessed some of its potential. By blasting water at a surface you drastically increase its corrosive power, getting inside every nook and cranny and shifting any dirt or grime that’s worked its way in. Essentially this is cutting down years of abrasion into a couple of seconds through a high powered stream of water.

Water really is a force to be reckoned with, causing chaos and disruption but also bringing life. Treating water with respect and using corrosion inhibitors can prevent you from unwanted disasters such as corroded pipes, polluted drinking water or even weakened foundations.


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