What accounts for water's properties of adhesion and cohesion?
The highly polar nature of the bonds between the Oxygen and the Hydrogen.
There is a large difference in the electronegativity of Oxygen and Hydrogen
The very strong intermolecular bonds (called Hydrogen bonding) cause the cohesion molecules of water being attracted to one another.
The polar nature of the water molecule attracts other molecules besides water molecules. Positive ions are attracted to the Negative Oxygen and Negative ions to the Hydrogen. This causes salt and other ionic and covalent molecules to easily dissolve into water. Even neutral objects are attracted to the charges on the water molecules.
The attraction of the polar water molecules for other molecules besides water account for the the properties of adhesion.