Plenty of Water – just not in the right places

Limited supplies of fresh water

  • About 97% of the worlds water is tied up in the oceans and seas
  • Only about 3% is fresh and about of that 70% is frozen
  • Of the remaining 30%, the majority is underground in aquifers leaving a small fraction in lakes, rivers and in the atmosphere
  • Much of the water in rivers is held in remote parts of the world (i.e. the amazon)
  • The amount of water in the atmosphere is far greater than the amount of water in rivers
  • Accessing this atmospheric water by increasing rainfall in a targeted way is a critical element in attempts to increase the usable supply of fresh water

Source: “Water for People, Water for Life” United Nations World Water Development Report, Part II: A look at the world’s freshwater resources. UNESCO, 2003,