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Water is a vital renewable natural resource. Three-fourths of the earth’s surface is covered with water and hence it is called a ‘water planet’.


Nearly 71% of Earth's surface area is covered by water. There are large water bodies like:

  • Oceans.
  • Seas.
  • Lakes.
  • Rivers. 

Oceans and Seas:

  • Oceans cover two-thirds of the earth’s surface.
  • They account for 97% of the total water available on earth.
  • Oceans and seas support a rich variety of plant and animal life.
  • Ocean water is saline and not fit for human consumption. 
  • Lakes, Ponds and Rivers:

  • Lakes and rivers are the major sources of fresh water.
  • Fresh water accounts for only about 2.7 % of the total water available on earth.
  • 70% of fresh water occurs as ice sheets and glaciers in Antarctica, Greenland and mountain regions. They are not accessible to man.
  • The remaining freshwater is contained in lakes, rivers and wetlands.
  • 1 per cent of freshwater is available and fit for human use. It is found as ground water, as surface water in rivers and lakes and as water vapour in the atmosphere.

    Fresh water is the most precious substance on earth. Water can neither be added nor subtracted from the earth. Its total volume remains constant because of the "water cycle."



    Water Cycle


    The water on the earth today has been there for millions of years. It moves from the earth to the air and back to the earth again through a process called the water cycle.

    Rivers, lakes and oceans lose water everyday because of evaporation due to the heat of the sun. That water travels into the air as water vapour and becomes part of a cloud. Through condensation, the water vapour in clouds becomes a liquid such as rain, snow or sleet which is called precipitation. The water then comes back to the earth and the process begins all over again.


    Surface and ground water are renewable natural resources. Water is an indispensable resource because all types of life are dependent on it.


    Human beings use vast quantities of water for various purposes.


  • Drinking.
  • Washing.
  • Cooking.
  • Agriculture.
  • Industries.
  • Generating Electricity.

    … are some of the important uses of water.


    Increasing population, rising demands for food and cash crops, increasing urbanisation and rising standards of living are the major factors leading to shortages in supply of fresh water.

    The causes for this shortage can be attributed to...

  • Drying up of Water Sources.
  • Water Pollution.

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