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The pH of water is an important indicator of water quality—most aquatic organisms require a fairly narrow pH range to survive and reproduce. Just as living cells have natural buffer systems to control pH, many lakes, rivers and streams are naturally buffered by dissolved minerals from soil and rocks. With the pH and the Alkalinity of Water: Buffer Capacity and Water Quality—ChemTopic™ Lab Activity, determine the alkalinity of different samples of water by titrating it with dilute hydrochloric acid.