Water is actually one of the things that’s used to establish metric measurement. 1 cubic centimeter of water weighs (almost) exactly 1 gram.
Water is a good measure of volume, because it barely gets smaller, even under great pressure.
Addressing your use of “gross” and “net”. Those words are often used to describe transport or packaging specifications. So, for example, you will see on a big fluffy box of cereal the information about the actual weight — something governments made them do! It’s called the “net weight”, and what that means is: That’s what it would weigh, if you dumped the whole contents of the cereal box on a scale.
“Gross weight” is a term commonly used in transportation, because it means: How much does everything weigh together? If you’re shipping a quantity of coal in a railroad car, or on a ship, you can see that the weight of the railroad car or the ship is going to be pretty important to making sure it’s going to work! E.g., so the ship doesn’t sink!
So while it’s meaningful to speak of the weight of water, it is not meaningful to ask its gross or net weight. That is, not unless your interest is how much particulate matter or ionic material water — say such as sea water — holds. (Typical sea salt water, for example, weighs about 64 pounds per cubic foot, while pure water weighs 62.2.)
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