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Earth's Water

Earth's Water

Planet Earth - SmallIntroduction: Looking at a picture of Earth from space, you can't help but notice its vast oceans. The large amount of water on Earth helps makes life possible. We need water to survive. Yet, very little of that water is available to support human life.
Most of the water on Earth is salt water contained in the oceans. While salt water is needed for ocean life, people cannot drink it unless the salt is removed. Only a small percentage of Earth's water is fresh water. Humans need fresh water to live. Most of Earth's fresh water is locked away in glaciers as ice.
So where do we get our fresh water? To find drinkable water, we pump water stored underground. Water stored underground is groundwater. Aquifers are large areas where groundwater is stored. We can also use water from lakes and rivers. However, less than 2% of all of Earth's water is stored in groundwater, lakes, and rivers combined.
Fresh water often becomes unsafe. Contaminates like chemicals and metals mix with water making it dangerous to drink. This further reduces the amount of drinking water available to us. It is possible to clean water to make it safe to drink. However, this can be very expensive and difficult.
Directions for This Lesson: In this lesson, you will learn about where water is found on Earth. First, try the practice questions to see what you already know. Then, watch the video lesson.


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