Water, known scientifically as dihydrogen monoxide, was a compound created from the elements of hydrogen and oxygen, and found on many planets in the galaxy. The surface of planets such as Mon Calamari, Kamino, and Manaan were completely covered in water, and on other terrestrial planets, water was found in oceans, lakes, rivers, and aquifers. Water was a vital commodity for many life forms, while for other species it was poisonous. Bodies of many species consisted of large amounts of water; for example, water was about 60 percent of Human body weight.
Water in its frozen form was known as ice, and in gaseous form was called water vapor, which formed crystals. Sometimes it would condense and fall as snow, sleet, or hail. Planets that experienced consistent ice included Csilla, Hoth, Mygeeto, Ilum, Rhen Var, Anteevy, Ota, Orto Plutonia, Ojom, Rekkiad, and Polus.
In the galaxy, no liquid was as versatile as water, and few organisms could exist without it. The unique molecular structure of water gave it several unusual properties necessary to the chemical reactions that sustained life. These properties included its ability to dissolve chemicals, its ability to easily absorb and redistribute heat, its high surface tension, and the fact that it expanded when frozen. Life had a much higher likelihood of developing where water and carbon were present.
Han Solo noted while on Tatooine that none of the millions of scientific geniuses in the galaxy had found a way to eliminate a human body's need for water. They could make suits that conserved every drop, they could build Chem-reactors that synthesized it out of any breathable atmosphere or pressurize it so that you could carry a week's supply on their belt in a mass-nulling clip. However, their was no pill or injection that negated the need for water.
Water was essential for the survival of most species, and the availability of long-term and sustainable sources or means of acquiring water affected the habitability of any particular place. A variety of means, mostly technological, existed to acquire water; these means—used more extensively on dry and arid planets—were similar to farming and hence termed "water farming."
Groundwater could be extracted from aquifers through the use of water wells, tap trees, and hydromech droids, though sometimes it flowed naturally from freshwater springs. It was usually processed by an aquifer purifier before being distributed for consumption. On Coruscant, water was gathered and stored in giant artificial aquifers.
In dry climates and worlds, moisture vaporators were used extensively to harvest whatever atmospheric humidity was available, collecting enough water to sustain three average humanoids,[source?] even on hot desert planets like Tatooine. Water survey devices were used to detect high levels of humidity, and moisture vaporators were usually placed in these regions for maximum output.
Seas and oceans were a major source of drinking water, but not without first processing it. On planets such as Belasco, seawater was run through a desalination process in order to make it potable.
Once water was collected, it was distributed through large networks of irrigation canals, allowing stored water to flow into populated regions for consumption.. One example was the Telos Polar Irrigation System, the primary source of drinking water for Telos IV, though it was abandoned at the time of the Jedi Civil War and used primarily as a Jedi Academy for a time after that.
Among its many applications, water was popular for drinking, though not among all species. Water was usually dispensed from sink faucets found in various types of buildings. Water could also be purchased as a cheap beverage at a cantina, or in containers from street vendors. Free drinking water was rare in the galaxy. As a result, it was often a target of smuggling and theft.
The quality and purity of drinking water differed throughout the galaxy. On Tatooine, drinking water had a metallic taste and smelled strongly of dust and purification chemicals and contained bits of grit and sand.
Most animals and some sentient species drank water directly from lakes and rivers, though not all bodies of water were safe to drink from. For example, the water of Lake Natth on Ambria was poisoned by the dark side of the Force.
Other uses of water
- "I have drinking water. And enough for the garden. But the irrigation system's dry. The crops are starting to droop."
- ―Farmer Carole Grawley
Valuable minerals could be mined from seawater. The world-ocean of Utapau, for example, was rich in minerals, salts, and chemicals, and was the only natural resource on the planet which attracted interplanetary trade. By the time of the Clone Wars, however, less than 0.9% of the planet was covered in water.
Water could be used as art or decoration, in the form of elaborate water sculptures, fountains, and artificial waterfalls.
Water was very significant in some cultures, especially those based on planets where water was rare. The Tusken Raiders of Tatooine considered water wells to be sacred places, and hence vehemently protected them.
- "Explanation: It's just that... you have all these squishy parts, master. And all that water! How the constant sloshing doesn't drive you mad, I have no idea...."
Large bodies of water presented the risk of drowning to many of the air-breathing species of the galaxy. Devices called rebreathers could be utilized by such beings to breathe underwater. The Yuuzhan Vong used gnulliths instead of rebreathers, which were also able to be used by other species. In 33 BBY, Alexi Garyn drowned, though not without the involvement of Darth Maul.
A poncho was a piece of clothing that could be used as protection against rain.
Behind the scenes
In the ongoing MMORPG Star Wars: The Old Republic, water was referred to as "dihydrogen monoxide" in the description of the Harvesting Moisture buff, which temporarily refreshes and sustains the player on Tatooine.
Notes and references
- Water on Wikipedia