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Political Science
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If over 70 percent of the Earth's surface is covered by water, why is there a shortage of drinking water?

Dec 1st, 2014

The Water Resources of Earth

Over 70% of our Earth's surface is covered by water ( we should really call our planet "Ocean" instead of "Earth"). Although water is seemingly abundant, the real issue is the amount of fresh water available. 

  • 97.5% of all water on Earth is salt water, leaving only 2.5% as fresh water 
  • Nearly 70% of that fresh water is frozen in the icecaps of Antarctica and Greenland; most of the remainder is present as soil moisture, or lies in deep underground aquifers as groundwater not accessible to human use. 
  • Only ~1% of the world's fresh water is accessible for direct human uses. This is the water found in lakes, rivers, reservoirs and those underground sources that are shallow enough to be tapped at an affordable cost. Only this amount is regularly renewed by rain and snowfall, and is therefore available on a sustainable basis.
http://www.globalchange.umich.edu/globalchange2/current/lectures/freshwater_supply/freshwater.html

Dec 1st, 2014

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