There is the same amount that freshwater on planet as there always has been, yet the populace 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 likely been roughly in one form or one more since dinosaurs roamed the Earth, numerous millions of year ago.

While the amount of freshwater top top the planet has remained fairly consistent over time—continually recycled through the atmosphere and back into our cups—the populace has exploded. This way that annually competition because that a clean, copious it is provided of water because that drinking, cooking, bathing, and sustaining life intensifies.

Water scarcity is one abstract principle to many and a stark truth for others. It is the result of myriad environmental, political, economic, and social forces.

Freshwater provides up a very small fraction of all water top top the planet. While nearly 70 percent that the world is spanned by water, only 2.5 percent of the is fresh. The remainder is saline and also ocean-based. Even then, just 1 percent of our freshwater is easily accessible, with much of it trapped in glaciers and snowfields. In essence, only 0.007 percent of the planet"s water is accessible to fuel and feed the 6.8 billion people.

Due come geography, climate, engineering, regulation, and competition because that resources, some regions seem fairly flush v freshwater, when others face drought and debilitating pollution. In much of the developing world, clean water is either tough to come by or a commodity that requires laborious work or far-ranging currency to obtain.

Water Is Life

Wherever castle are, world need water to survive. Not just is the person body 60 percent water, the source is also essential for creating food, clothing, and also computers, relocating our waste stream, and keeping us and also the environment healthy.


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National Geographic other Sandra Postel views the people through a water lens, advocating for all to make basic and easy alters to their everyday lives the will aid "Change the Course" that the Earth"s priceless supply that freshwater. The National geographical Live! series brings thought-provoking presentations by today’s leading explorers, scientists, photographers, and also performing artists best to your YouTube feed. Every presentation is filmed in former of a live audience in ~ National geographical 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 mean hamburger bring away 2,400 liters, or 630 gallons, that water to produce, and also many water-intensive crops, such together cotton, are grown in arid regions.)

According to the united Nations, water use has actually grown at much more than twice the price of population increase in the last century. By 2025, an approximated 1.8 billion world will live in areas plagued by water scarcity, v two-thirds of the world"s population living in water-stressed areas as a result of use, growth, and also climate change. The difficulty we now challenge as we head right into the future is exactly how to effectively conserve, manage, and distribute the water us have.