Earth is covered by water, hence its nickname: the Blue Planet. This interactive resource reveals just how much water is saline--the kind that fills the oceans--and how much is fresh water. As you explore these statistics further, you may be surprised to learn just how little water is available to share among Earth's six billion human inhabitants, not to mention all the other organisms that rely on fresh water for their survival. (Adapted from the Encyclopedia of Climate and Weather, 2 vol. set, Oxford University Press, 1996.)
This media asset was adapted from The Water Cycle: Global Water Distribution by the U.S. Geological Survey.