So exactly how much water is on the earth?
Glad you asked! Believe it or not, 70% of the earth is covered with water! Even though you can't see it, there is a lot of water underground called groundwater that soaks into the ground from rain, snow, sleet and hail. There's also a lot of land on the earth that's just really wet, called wetlands. We call these areas swamps, bogs and marshes. The rest is salt water or contained in the ice caps. All of this water, just like the water in the ocean will make it's way into the neverending, amazing water cycle.
If there's so much water on earth, why do we need to be careful not to waste it?
Even though most of the earth is made up of water, only 3% of it is available for drinking! The rest of the water is salt water or water contained in the ice caps. Think of it this way, if a full bathtub represented all the water on earth, just a teaspoon of this water would represent our drinking water.
We all share this water. Everything that lives needs fresh water to survive, plants, animals, the endangered northwest salmon that lives in our lakes and streams and of course, us humans. But helpless plants, land and sea animals don't use as much water as we do and they certainly can't do anything about the water that we use and waste. So it's our job to take care of the earth and our water supply by being smart about the water that we use.
Using water wisely will help make sure that we all have plenty of clean water to use. It is important not to waste water in your home. Maybe you can start an environmental club in your school and think of new ways to be environmentally friendly with your friends! Take this quiz to see how water wise you are. Maybe you can even start an environmental club in your school and think of new ways to conserve with your own group!