All The Water On Planet Earth


Stannous Flouride's Book of Truthiness

global-water-volume-fresh-largeIllustration Credit & Copyright: Jack Cook, Adam Nieman, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Howard Perlman, USGS

Explanation: How much of planet Earth is made of water? Very little, actually. Although oceans of water cover about 70 percent of Earth’s surface, these oceans are shallow compared to the Earth’s radius.

Spheres showing:
(1) All water-Largest sphere 1,384 km (860 mi) diam.
(2) Freshwater in ground, lakes, swamps, rivers– Medium sphere, 273 km (169.5 mi) diam.
(3) Freshwater lakes and rivers -Tiny sphere, 56.2 km (34.9 mi)


  • In the first bar, notice how only 2.5% of Earth’s water is freshwater – the amount needed for life to survive.
  • The middle bar shows the breakdown of freshwater. Almost all of it is locked up in ice and in the ground. Only a little more than 1.2% of all freshwater is surface water, which serves most of life’s needs.

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