All the Water in the World

August 25th, 2010

The world’s water is approximately 97.5% salt water and 2.5% freshwater. Of the 2.5% that is fresh, about 70% is trapped in ice caps and glaciers. This means that less than 1% of the world’s water can meet human freshwater needs, and the majority of this water is buried underground in aquifers. Countries are using their natural water resources faster than they can be replenished. Industrialized nations are familiar with the concept of “peak oil,” but are they familiar with the concept of “peak water”?

Only 2.5% of the world’s water is freshwater, and even less is readily accessible to people

The Sherwood Institute is interested in making water use more efficient and less energy intensive. Every gallon of freshwater delivered through your tap required energy for its treatment and transportation. The Institute investigates policy barriers to conservation and explores ways to transform policy roadblocks into opportunities for change. What is stopping us from reusing graywater? Why isn’t rainwater harvesting more widespread? Visit the Sherwood Institute homepage and blog for interesting articles about water policy and use issues around the world.

John Leys, lead reviewer
Bry Sarté, peer review
Nick Lee, research

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