There is the same amount the freshwater on planet as there constantly has been, but the population has exploded, leave the world"s water sources in crisis.

You are watching: The water on the earth today has been sustaining life for millions of years.

A Clean Water Crisis

The water friend drink today has actually likely been around in one form or an additional since dinosaurs roamed the Earth, thousands of millions of year ago.

While the lot of freshwater top top the planet has remained fairly continuous over time—continually recycled through the environment and earlier into ours cups—the populace has exploded. This way that every year competition because that a clean, copious it is provided of water for drinking, cooking, bathing, and sustaining life intensifies.

Water scarcity is an abstract ide to many and also a stark reality for others. It is the result of myriad environmental, political, economic, and social forces.

Freshwater provides up a an extremely small fraction of every water on the planet. While virtually 70 percent that the civilization is covered by water, only 2.5 percent of that is fresh. The remainder is saline and also ocean-based. Also then, simply 1 percent of ours freshwater is quickly accessible, with lot of the trapped in glaciers and also snowfields. In essence, only 0.007 percent the the planet"s water is accessible to fuel and feed the 6.8 exchange rate people.

Due come geography, climate, engineering, regulation, and also competition for resources, some regions seem reasonably flush v freshwater, if others face drought and debilitating pollution. In much of the emerging world, clean water is either hard to come through or a commodity the requires industrious work or significant currency come obtain.

Water Is Life

Wherever lock are, civilization need water to survive. Not just is the human body 60 percent water, the resource is likewise essential for producing food, clothing, and also computers, relocating our garbage stream, and also keeping us and also the setting healthy.


National Geographic fellow Sandra Postel see the civilization through a water lens, advocating for all to make straightforward and easy alters to their daily lives that will assist "Change the Course" of the Earth"s precious supply the freshwater. The National geographic Live! series brings thought-provoking gift by today’s top explorers, scientists, photographers, and performing artists best to her YouTube feed. Each presentation is filmed in prior of a live audience in ~ National geographic headquarters in Washington, D.C. New clips waiting every Monday.

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Unfortunately, humans have proved to it is in inefficient water users. (The average hamburger take away 2,400 liters, or 630 gallons, that water come produce, and many water-intensive crops, such together cotton, room grown in arid regions.)

According come the unified Nations, water use has grown at much more than double the price of populace increase in the last century. By 2025, an estimated 1.8 billion world will live in areas plagued through water scarcity, v two-thirds that the world"s populace living in water-stressed regions as a an outcome of use, growth, and also climate change. The challenge we now face as we head right into the future is exactly how to efficiently conserve, manage, and distribute the water us have.