WATER WATCH: How much water does the world have to go around?


Water is essential for life on earth. For many people this critical resource is readily available. For others it is a commodity more precious than gold. Take thuis water quiz and find out if you sink … or swim!

How much of earth’s water is readily usable by humans?
1 – Half
2 – 20 %
3 – 70%
4 – Less than 1%

Answer: Rivers, lakes and wetlands account for about 0.3%, the rest is in undrinkable or hard-to-use forms like ocean water, deep underground water, glaciers or vapor.

True or false: The water we use today has been on earth for millions of years
1 – TRUE

Answer: Earth’s water is part of a closed system. Though it changes form almost constantly from liquid to gas, to solid and back, it never disappears! So the water coming from your showerhead today could contain the same molecules as swamp water that a dinosaur once batheed in!

How many million cubic miles (or kilometers) does earth hold?
1 – 2.5 (10.3)
2 – 326 (1400)
3 – 50 (210)
4 – It is immeasurable

Answer: Thw world’s water supply, including all the oceans, lakes, rivers, glaciers and underground water is about 326 million cubic miles (1.4 billion cubic kilometers). One cubic mile (1.4 cubic kilometers) equals more than 1 trillon gallons (1.4 trillion liters) of water!

How much of earth’s surface is covered in water?
1 – 10%
2 – 40%
3 – 70%
4 – 90%

Answer: Water covers more than 70% of earth surface. This includes oceans. lakes, rivers, icecaps, wetlands and other sorces.

Water is made up of …
1 – Hydrogen and Oxygen
2 – Hydrogen and peroxide
3 – Helium and Oxygen
4 – None of the above

Answer: Water molecules form whe two hydrogen atoms bind together with one Oxygen atom (H2O).

True or false: There is more water underground than on Earth’s surface
1 – TRUE

Answer: Although there are about two million cubic miles (9 million cubic koilometers) of groundwater on earth, this is only a tiny fraction (about 0.6%) of the planet’s total water supply.

How many people on Earth don’t have access to clean drinking water?
1 – 10 million
2 – 100 million
3 – 500 million
4 – 1 billion

Answer: About 1 billion people on earth lack acess to safe, clean drinking water!

What country has the highest, per capita, water use?
1 – The United States
2 – Turkmenistan
3 – China
4 – The United Kingdom

Answer: Turkmenistan’s poor infrastructure, inefficient agrical use of water and arid climate, drive it’s water use to 6,540 cubic yards (5000 cubic meters) per person, compared to about 2,354 cubic yards (1,800 cubic meters) per person in the United States.

What percentage of the human body is water?
1 – 10%
2 – 50-60%
3 – 10-20%
4 – 70-80%

Answer: Between 50-60% of any given human comprises water! We use water to help blood move through our veins, to remove wastes and to regulate our body temperature, among many other uses.

How long can a person survive without water?
1 – Three days
2 – One week
3 – Ten days
4 – Three weeks

Answer: This number depends heavily on factors related to the environment and the person in question. However, the most common estimate suggests that a healthy person could live for about three days without water before succumbing to dehydration.

SOURCE: National Geographic

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