Water, water, every where,
Nor any drop to drink.
- Samuel Taylor Coleridge - The Rime of the Ancient Mariner
We live on the Blue Planet. 70% of the Earth’s surface is covered with water. I know this, because I’ve been taught this in years of geography lessons.
70% is a massive amount. It’s a Class 1 degree, and that’s difficult enough to get…
But in actual fact, the total amount of water on the planet Earth looks like this:
All of the Earth’s water depicted as a sphere, sitting just over America.
There are three spheres of water depicted.
- The largest sphere contains all of the water across the globe. This includes salt water, fresh water, water in icecaps, atmospheric water, ground water, and even the moisture content of every animal and plant on the planet.
- The second sphere, to the right of the large one, shows all liquid fresh water. This includes ground water, swamp water, lakes and rivers. Of this liquid water, 99% is ground water, and mostly inaccessible to humans.
- Finally, the dot under the second sphere represents fresh water in lakes and rivers, or accessible water.
It is this last sphere that interests me the most. It is approximately 35 miles in diameter, and contains all the water that we can access at the moment. Much of this water would be unsuitable for consumption due to pollution, etc..
The Blue Planet?
70% of the Earth’s surface is covered with water, but the surface only. Water makes up a thin film of blue on an otherwise vast rock.
We share this tiny dot with every other creature on the planet.
We have had a week of warm weather in the UK. Hosepipe bans have been enforced in the South, but still people fill paddling pools and wash cars and use sprinkler systems to water their lawns.
Water is a finite commodity. It is difficult and expensive to extract liquid, especially if it comes to removing drinking water from the polar ice caps or making stagnant swamp water safe to drink.
We seem rather blasé about the whole thing.
We live on a thirsty planet.
Incidentally, look up the DHMO hoax, as a continuing example of the idiocy of people…