Water covers 71% of the Earth’s surface. About 326 million cubic miles (104 billion km3) of water are found in the atmosphere, oceans, lakes, rivers and in the ground.
With so much water on Earth, it is no surprise that it affects our lives in many aspects. Water is life’s source; it is used for drinking and for irrigating plants. Being essential to life and to humans, water shaped our lives throughout the history. Understanding water and preserving it is thus crucial for us.
The water is in a constant move. Water travels into glaciers and icy sheets of snow. It flies with raindrops in the sky, and it leaks into the Earth as groundwater, which trickles down through soil and rock cavities. Water is found everywhere, but not all the time where it is most needed. For example Canada has 20% of the world’s supply of freshwater, while its population represents less than 0.5% of the Earth’s total population. Other areas of the world constantly suffer from the lack of quality water.
Here, at the World Water Database, we will merely present the main bodies of water (rivers, seas, lakes etc), where they are found and list the ways they affect human lives.