A visual (and disturbing) look at how little potable water on Earth

From Reuters:

Just how scarce is potable water on Earth? We learn in school that more than two-thirds of the planet is covered in water. But that figure is deceptive because it refers to just surface area, and describes only the total quantity of undrinkable salt-water.

Here’s a depiction from the U.S. Geological Survey that gives us a more accurate view of how much drinking water we have to work with on the Blue Planet. Note that the big bubble is all water on Earth, salt and freshwater, and the tiny bubble of blue represents all fresh water. The tiny spec you can hardly see? That’s the amount of drinking water available to us.

Precious stuff, water.

USGS

 

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Tom Paulson

Tom Paulson is founder and lead journalist at Humanosphere. Prior to operating this online news site, he reported on science,  medicine, health policy, aid and development for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Contact him at tom[at]humanosphere.org, follow him on Twitter @tompaulson and/or send a comment below.