Amount of Water Covering the Earth

A dolphin on top of water.

How much of the Earth is Covered with Water?

About 70% of the earth's surface is covered with water. 97% of the water on the earth is salt water. Salt water is filled with salt and other minerals, and humans cannot drink this water. Although the salt can be removed, it is a difficult and expensive process.

2% of the water on earth is glacier ice at the North and South Poles. This ice is fresh water and could be melted; however, it is too far away from where people live to be usable.

Less than 1% of all the water on earth is fresh water that we can actually use. We use this small amount of water for drinking, transportation, heating and cooling, industry, and many other purposes.

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