Name: _______________________________ Date: _______________________________
Add up the percentages to find the amount of water available for drinking.
Surface water ___________________
Total Drinking Water ___________________
Add ice caps/glaciers ___________________
Grand Total of the World's Available Drinking Water ___________________
Note: Only a small percentage of the world's water is suitable for human consumption. Not all ground or surface water in lakes and rivers is easy to reach or clean to drink. Surface water is often contaminated with microorganisms, caused by animal waste and sitting water. Ice caps and glaciers are difficult for humans, plants, and animals to use. Some work is being done to take the salt out of ocean water (a process called desalination), but that is an expensive process.
This activity is adapted from Water: The Resource That Gets Used and Used and Used for Everything. Poster: Middle School Version. United States Geological Survey, Reston, Virginia. 1993.