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Page last updated at 13:46 GMT, Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Midweek quiz: Water

Water quiz

We drink, wash and cook with it. But how much do you know about water, one of the world's most precious resources? Test yourself, as part of BBC News Online's Waterless World series.

Glass of water

1.) Water quiz

Which is the driest place in the world?

  1. Sahara desert
  2. Gobi desert
  3. Atacama desert

2.) Water quiz

Water supplied by which company was voted the best tasting tap water in the UK in July 2007?

Tap pouring water
  1. Scottish Water
  2. Severn Trent Water
  3. Yorkshire Water

3.) Water quiz

Obviously not in a kettle like this, but at what temperature does water boil on the top of Mount Everest?

Boiling kettle
  1. 58C
  2. 68C
  3. 78C

4.) Water quiz

Water is colourless. True or false?

  1. True
    Glass of water
  2. False
    Shark in water

5.) Water quiz

What percentage of the world's water supply is fresh?

Fresh water falling on rocks
  1. 2.5%
  2. 7.5%
  3. 10.5%

6.) Water quiz

The formula for water is H2O - but which of these is a correct formula for heavy water, used in nuclear experiments and some reactors?

Women drawing formulae on a blackboard
  1. H3O
  2. D2O
  3. P2O

7.) Water quiz

Even before it gets to our taps, how much of the water supply in the UK is lost through leaky pipes?

Cyclists going through water caused by burst mains
  1. 15%
  2. 20%
  3. 30%

8.) Water quiz

In the floods that followed the recent snow storms, how much rain fell in Shoreham, West Sussex, in one day?

Lorry on flooded road
  1. 1.2in (3.1cm)
  2. 1.4in (3.6cm)
  3. 1.6in (4.1cm)

9.) Water quiz

Where is the deepest body of freshwater in the UK?

Underwater diver
  1. England
  2. Northern Ireland
  3. Scotland
  4. Wales

10.) Water quiz

How much more rain do the wettest areas of the UK get than the driest areas?

People using umbrellas in the rain
  1. Five times
  2. 10 times
  3. 15 times


  1. It's the Atacama desert in Chile, according to the National Geographic. Although some do argue that it is Antartica.
  2. It's Severn Trent Water, with eight million customers across Wales, the Midlands and Yorkshire. Chef Tom Aikens, who was on the judging panel, described it as having a "clear taste" and being "very fresh".
  3. It is 68C. Water's boiling temperature is related to the barometric pressure, so at sea level it is 100C but at the top of Everest - 8,848m up - it's 68C.
  4. False - it's blue. Although in small amounts water looks clear, it is in fact a light blue colour.
  5. It's 2.5%, according to the Univeristy of Michigan. The rest is mostly undrinkable saltwater in oceans and seas.
  6. It is D2O - heavy water is so-called because it has a higher proportion than normal of the isotope deuterium.
  7. It's 15%, according to Ofwat, the water industry regulator.
  8. It's 1.6in. The average monthly rainfall in Sussex is 2.2in (5.7cm).
  9. It's Scotland. Loch Morar in the Highlands has a maximum depth of 310m.
  10. It's 10 times, according to the Met Office. In parts of the western Highlands, the average annual rainfall is about 200in (500cm) and in the driest parts - East Anglia and the Thames Estuary - it's about 20in (50cm).

Your Score

0 - 3 : In need of rehydration

4 - 7 : Half a glass - or is that half empty?

8 - 10 : Fountain of knowledge

For a complete archive of past quizzes, including the Curriculum tests and our weekly news quiz 7 days 7 questions, visit the Magazine index and scroll down the page.

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