By means of the CO2-equilibration technique, the temperature dependence and absolute values of the oxygen isotope partition function ratio of liquid water have been determined, often at 1?? intervals, from -2 to 85??. A linear relationship between In (Q2/Q1) (H2O) and T-1 was obtained that is explicable in terms of the Bigeleisen-Mayer theory of isotopic fractionation. The data are incompatible with conventional, multicomponent mixture models of water because liquid water behaves isotopically as a singly structured homogeneous substance over the entire temperature range studied. A two-species model of water is proposed in which approximately 30% of the hydrogen bonds in ice are broken on melting at 0?? and in which this per cent of monomer changes by only a small amount over the entire liquid range. Because of the high precision and the fundamental property determined, the isotopic fractionation technique is particularly well suited to the detection of thermal anomalies. No anomalies were observed and those previously reported are ascribed to under-estimates of experimental error.