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The Earth's Water Supply

Of all the water on Earth, only a small amount is available for us to use. It's true!

97.2% of the Earth's water supply is salt water.
2.8% is fresh water!

Of the total supply of water on Earth:

  • 0.6% is groundwater (we can use some of this water)
  • 0.01% is in lakes and streams (we can use some of this water)
  • 2.2% is in glaciers and icecaps
  • 0.001% is water vapor
The Earth's Water Supply

How much water does it take?

  • Brushing your teeth - 2 to 5 gallons
  • Washing the car - 50 gallons
  • Using the dishwasher - 8 to 15 gallons
  • Flushing the toilet - 1.5 to 4 gallons (each flush)
  • Taking a shower or bath - 17 to 24 gallons
  • Running the washing machine - 35 to 50 gallons (each load)

It's important that we all work together to save water. About half of the water we use each year is used outdoors - watering the garden and lawn, filling the swimming pool, and washing the car. Ways to reduce your water use outside include using a shut-off faucet when washing the car and landscaping with plants that use less water.