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because of hydrogen bonding
When molecules are heated, they get excited. They move around faster as they gain more energy. H2O is a polar molecule . This is because the O takes the e- from the H atoms in order to gain a stable octet in a process called hydrogen bonding. Now we have a H2O where the two H atoms are positively charged and the O is negatively charged. Positive attracts to negative and water molecules stick together. They make intermolecular dipole-dipole bonds and these bonds are very strong. Because the molecules are being held tightly in place by these bonds, the H2O molecules don't move much when heated. It takes more and more heat to move the molecules, causing water to have a high specific heat capacity.
More information on Heat Capacity of Water http://goo.gl/xH23X8