We see water all around us, but only a very small amount of Earth’s water is fresh water, and only a very small amount of that can be used as drinking water. Many living things all over the world depend on fresh water for survival, including us. This very precious resource needs to be used wisely, so let’s learn more!
If you looked at the Earth from space, or at a globe, you would see there is more water than land. But 99% of the water on Earth is unusable by living things. Most of the fresh water on Earth is frozen in icecaps and glaciers.
The unfrozen fresh water you find in rivers, lakes, and ponds makes up less than 1% of all the water on Earth! These freshwater ecosystems are home to many living things- they provide homes for fish, amphibians, mollusks, crustaceans, insects, and even birds. Let’s also remember the many plants that also live in these ecosystems, and provide important food and shelter. You can help these precious freshwater ecosystems by keeping trash out of them! It can be a fun activity to help clean-up these ecosystems.
Because fresh water is so precious, we should also be careful not to waste any! Try to reduce how much water you use. Here are some ideas to help get you started on saving fresh water:
- Turn off the water while soaping your hands.
- Use a small cup of water to brush your teeth & rinse.
- Try eating less meat. Interestingly, it takes lots of water to produce meat.
- Reduce how many things you buy new. Water is used in manufacturing clothing and goods.
- Drive less; walk or bike more. That’s right, it even takes water to produce gasoline.
- Join in community cleanups days that pick-up litter. In fact, pick-up litter anytime you see it.
- Plant water wise plants in your yard.
- Use your high-efficiency dishwasher instead of washing dishes by hand.
- Ask your parents about special low-flow showerheads, faucets, and toilets for your home.
All of us play an important part in conserving fresh water, so that it is available to the many living things on Earth that rely on it. Have fun doing your part to help!