At low coverage of water on Cu(110), substrate-mediated electrostatics lead to zigzagging chains along  as observed with STM [T. Yamada, S. Tamamori, H. Okuyama, and T. Aruga, “Anisotropic water chain growth on Cu(110) observed with scanning tunneling microscopy” Phys. Rev. Lett. 96, 036105 (2006)]. Using x-ray absorption spectroscopy we find an anomalous low-energy resonance at ~533.1 eV which, based on density functional theory spectrum simulations, we assign to an unexpected configuration of water units whose uncoordinated O-H bonds directly face those of their neighbors; this interaction repeats over trough sites with enhanced electron density and is analogous to the case of a hydrated electron.