70% of earth’s potable water is solid

The vast majority of the water on planet earth is liquid—in oceans, rivers, and lakes. Only about 1.7% of the earth’s water is in solid form, as snow and ice. But when we talk about the potable water on earth, that is, water that we can drink, those numbers shift significantly.

Almost all of the water on earth is saline—nearly 96%. That leaves just a small quantity of water for agriculture and human consumption, and of that, an even smaller quantity is readily available to us.

Nearly 70% of all potable water is locked away in ice caps and glaciers.