The general water resources are, first of all, our planet’s open bodies of water. They are enormous: they occupy as much as 72% of the total surface of the Earth. Simple mathematics shows that the remaining part is covered by land (approximately 28%).
The available statistics show that out of 100% of water on the Earth, only 2,5% is fresh water, i.e. drinking water. The vast majority – 97.5% – is seawater, and the lion’s share of it comes from oceans.
Let’s now discuss the resource we use on daily basis. Fresh water, for that is what we mean, can be divided into surface and atmospheric water, glaciers, and ground water. The proportions, however, may be breathtaking. As much as 68.7% are frozen blocks of ice! Approximately 30.1% is water inside the Earth, and only 0.4% is found in rivers, lakes or ponds. We’ll come back to this in a while.
Since we already know how to classify fresh water, let’s try to characterize surface and atmospheric water. The largest share belongs to lakes: as much as 64.5%. The share of water in soils, swamps and marshes and atmospheric water (such as rain) is 12.2%, 8.5% and 9.5% respectively. Another surprise can be that rivers – of which there seem to be so many – only constitute 1.6% of the total surface and atmospheric water resources. The remaining portion, 0.8%, is the water content in plants and animals.