Planet H2O
Name: _______________________________        Date: _______________________________

World of Water
Activity Worksheet

Water Facts:
  • Earth is called the water planet

  • Approximately three-fourths (3/4) of the earth's surface is covered with water

  • The earth has many different types of water

Oceans 97.2% of total water
Ice caps/glaciers 2.38%
Groundwater 0.397%
Surface water
(i.e. lakes, rivers, streams, ponds)
Atmosphere 0.001%

Add up the percentages to find the amount of water available for drinking.

Groundwater         ___________________
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.

Thirteen/WNET New York
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