"Water, Water, Everywhere...

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" You"ve heard the phrase, and also for water, it yes, really is true. Earth"s water is (almost) everywhere: over the planet in the air and also clouds and on the surface ar of the earth in rivers, oceans, ice, plants, and also in life organisms. However did you understand that water is likewise inside the Earth? read on to learn more.


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Where is Earth"s Water?

"Water, Water, Everywhere...."You"ve heard the phrase, and also for water, it yes, really is true. Earth"s water is (almost) everywhere: over the earth in the air and also clouds, ~ above the surface of the planet in rivers, oceans, ice, plants, in living organisms, and inside the earth in the top few miles that the ground.

For an approximated explanation of whereby Earth"s water exists, look in ~ this bar chart. You may understand that the water cycle explains the motion of Earth"s water, so realize that the chart and also table below represent the visibility of Earth"s water at a single point in time. If you check earlier in a million years, no doubt this numbers will certainly be different!

Center bar: All freshwaterRight bar: Only the part of freshwater resident in surface water (rivers and lakes, etc), snow and ice, and also relatively-shallow floor water.

Here is a bar chart reflecting where all water on, in, and above the planet exists. The left-side bar graph shows exactly how almost all of Earth"s water is saline and also is uncovered in the oceans. That the small amount the is actually freshwater, just a relatively small portion is easily accessible to sustain human, plant, and animal life.


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Notice exactly how of the world"s full water supply of around 332.5 million cubic miles of water, over 96 percent is saline. And, that the full freshwater, end 68 percent is locked up in ice and glaciers. One more 30 percent of freshwater is in the ground. Fresh surface-water sources, such together rivers and lakes, only constitute around 22,300 cubic miles (93,100 cubic kilometers), i m sorry is around 1/150th that one percent of full water. Yet, rivers and lakes room the resources of most of the water world use everyday. 


In the an initial bar, notice how only 2.5% that Earth"s water is freshwater - the amount required for life come survive.The middle bar shows the failure of freshwater. Almost all of it is locked up in ice and also in the ground. Only a little an ext than 1.2% of all freshwater is surface ar water, which serves many of life"s needs.The best bar shows the failure of surface ar freshwater. Many of this water is locked up in ice, and also another 20.9% is found in lakes. Rivers consist of 0.49% of surface ar freshwater. Although rivers account for only a tiny amount the freshwater, this is whereby humans obtain a huge portion of their water.

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One estimate of an international water distribution(Percents space rounded, so will not add to 100)


Water sourceWater volume, in cubic milesWater volume, in cubic kilometersPercent offreshwaterPercent oftotal water
Oceans, Seas, & Bays321,000,0001,338,000,000--96.54
Ice caps, Glaciers, & irreversible Snow5,773,00024,064,00068.71.74
Groundwater5,614,00023,400,000--1.69
Fresh2,526,00010,530,00030.1 0.76
Saline3,088,00012,870,000-- 0.93
Soil Moisture3,95916,5000.050.001
Ground ice & Permafrost71,970300,0000.860.022
Lakes42,320176,400--0.013
  Fresh21,83091,0000.260.007
Saline20,49085,400--0.006
Atmosphere3,09512,9000.040.001
Swamp Water2,75211,4700.030.0008
Rivers5092,1200.0060.0002
Biological Water2691,1200.0030.0001

Source: Igor Shiklomanov"s chapter "World new water resources" in Peter H. Gleick (editor), 1993, Water in Crisis: A guide to the World"s new Water resources (Oxford university Press, new York).