Nature 2002: "Researchers have shown for the first time that, on the level of thousands of atoms and molecules, fleeting energy increases violate the second law of thermodynamics. [...] Denis J. Evans and colleagues [...] measured water molecules' influence the motion of tiny latex beads held between lasers. They found that over periods of time less than two seconds, variations in the random thermal motion of water molecules occasionally gave individual beads a kick. This increased the beads' kinetic energy by a small but significant amount, in apparent violation of the second law." http://www.nature.com/news/2002/020722/full/news020722-2.html
A kick lasting for up to two seconds and involving "thousands of atoms and molecules" suggests the presence of a factor somehow organizing water and prompting it to behave in this way. This factor is the electrical field created by the laser beam:
"A deviation from the second law of thermodynamics has been demonstrated experimentally for the first time. [...] To test the idea, the researchers put about 100 latex beads - each 6.3 µm across - into a water-filled cell, which was placed on the stage of a microscope. The researchers focused a laser onto one of the beads, which induced a dipole moment in the bead and drew it towards the most intense region of the electric field in the laser beam." http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/news/2002/jul/16/small-systems-defy-second-law
"Optical tweezers are capable of manipulating nanometer and micron-sized dielectric particles by exerting extremely small forces via a highly focused laser beam. The beam is typically focused by sending it through a microscope objective. The narrowest point of the focused beam, known as the beam waist, contains a very strong electric field gradient. Dielectric particles are attracted along the gradient to the region of strongest electric field, which is the center of the beam." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Optical_tweezers
In the presence of an electric field water can breathtakingly violate the second law of thermodynamics. Here is perpetual (limited only by the deterioration of the system) motion of water in a strong electric field, obviously able to produce work - e.g. by rotating a waterwheel:
"The Formation of the Floating Water Bridge including electric breakdowns" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=17UD1goTFhQ
"The water movement is bidirectional, i.e., it simultaneously flows in both directions." https://www.wetsus.nl/home/wetsus-news/more-than-just-a-party-trick-the-floating-water-bridge-holds-insight-into-nature-and-human-innovation/1
The work will be done at the expense of what energy? The first hypothesis that comes to mind is:
At the expense of electric energy. The system is, essentially, an electric motor.
However, close inspection would suggest that the hypothesis is untenable. Scientists use triply distilled water to reduce the conductivity and the electric current passing through the system to minimum. If, for some reason, the current is increased, the motion stops - the system cannot be an electric motor.
If the system is not an electric motor, then it is ... a perpetual-motion machine of the second kind! Here arguments describing perpetual-motion machines as impossible, idiotic, etc. are irrelevant - the following conditional is valid:
IF THE SYSTEM IS NOT AN ELECTRIC MOTOR, then it is a perpetual-motion machine of the second kind.
In other words, if the work is not done at the expense of electric energy, then it is done at the expense of ambient heat, in violation of the second law of thermodynamics. No third source of energy is conceivable.
In the electric field between the plates of a capacitor, the same perpetual motion of water can be seen:
" Liquid Dielectric Capacitor" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T6KAH1JpdPg
In the capacitor system the rising water can repeatedly do work, e.g. by lifting floating weights. The crucial question is:
The work (lifting floating weights) will be done at the expense of what energy?
Obviously "electric energy" is not the correct answer - the capacitor is not an electric motor. Then the only possible answer remains "ambient heat". The system is a heat engine violating the second law of thermodynamics!