Water itself is a non-ionic, polar molecule and it will dissolve most anything that is non-ionic and polar, like itself, and most ionic compounds can be dissolved as well. Non-ionic means it has no charge and polar means that there is a charge difference within the molecule. The oxygen in H2O is negatively charged and the two hydrogen atoms are positively charged. Both charges are very weak, and this gives the molecule an overall neutral charge. Normally acid or base solutions can dissolve other solutions or compounds of a like pH, but water, being neutral, is attracted to, and therefore dissolves solutions or compounds of any pH.
A dipole that forms across the water molecule as a result of the polar covalent bonding between hydrogen and oxygen . Because the bonding electrons are shared unequally by the hydrogen and oxygen atoms, a partial negative charge forms at the oxygen end of the water molecule, and a partial positive charge forms at the hydrogen ends. Since the hydrogen and oxygen atoms in the molecule carry opposite charges, nearby water molecules are attracted to each other like tiny little magnets. The electrostatic attraction between the hydrogen and the oxygen in adjacent molecules is called hydrogen bonding.

Real world Aplication:
Water can disolve almost any solid or liquid or gas substance that is put into it because of the structure of its molecule and pH value of it. With water being such a good solvent you are able to disolve sugar into coffee or tea which most americas take for granted every day. Also in a research sence water is need to dilute acids so that they can be used in experiments.
The hydrogen bonding caused by the structure of the water is what allows water to attract each other and cause cohesion.


Water Molecule
Water Molecule

Hydrogen Bonding
Hydrogen Bonding

external image WaterSolvent.GIF
Water Dissolving Sugar
Water Dissolving Sugar

1. What is the pH of pure water?
2. What atoms are in one molecule of water?
3. Why is water a "universal" solvent?
4. Name two real world reasons why we need water to dissolve substances.

1. c
2. a
3. Because water is able to disolve many different substances.
4. It disolves the sugar in coffee and it dilutes acids for experiments.

Go to this link to whatch a video on water.
Summary: This video is annimated and about the structure of water and how it forms. Hope you like it.