Water heats slower than most other substances. It has a high specific heat capacity. This property helps the Earth's temperature remain constant, with water trapping the sun's heat during the day and releasing it slowly at night.
In addition to a high specific heat capacity, water has several other unique properties. The hydrogen bonds in water tend to hold it together when heated, so water has a high boiling point. These hydrogen bonds also give water a strong surface tension, which allows water to adhere to other objects and enable capillary action, an important feature in plants that allows water to be drawn upward from the roots to the leaves.