Water, more than 70 percent of the Earth’s surface is covered by it, yet only about 4 percent of that water is freshwater, meaning we can drink it. And most of that is locked in glaciers. Climate change and population growth are making it harder and harder to get fresh water.
- Our bodies are 70 percent water and we need water every day to survive. The human body can go for several weeks without food, but only a few days without water.
- Water is used in every aspect of our lives from growing food to making blue jeans to making electricity to light our homes.
- In many parts of the world, people don’t have ready access to fresh water. They must buy bottled water or travel to get water. In the poorest areas, women and girls walk miles each day to find water. They do not have time to go to school.
- People use untreated water from rivers and lakes. If they don’t boil it, they can become very ill or even die.
- Scientists and researchers are working hard to find solutions. In developing countries, people are drilling wells to find water deep under the ground (aquifiers). Some scientists want to find ways to remove the salt from ocean water (desalination).
- In many parts of the world, including the U.S., people build dams to create reservoirs to hold water. These dams help prevent flooding and increase the water available for use, but they can also destroy ecosystems for animals and birds.
- Glacier: Sheets of frozen water
- Reservoir: manmade lake
Questions and Answers:
Question: What can I do to help?
Answer: Encourage your family to conserve water by limiting showers and baths, turning off the faucet when you’re brushing your teeth or washing dishes, using water and energy efficient appliances, and planting low-water plants in your yard.
Read about more water conservation tips: