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Freshwater resources: volume by continent

Freshwater resources: volume by continent

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Uploaded 16 Feb 2012 by GRID-Arendal
Year: 2009
From collection: Vital Water Graphics 2
Author: Philippe Rekacewicz (Le Monde diplomatique)
Description:
Glaciers and ice caps cover about 10% of the world’s landmass. These are concentrated in Greenland and Antarctica and contain 70% of the world’s freshwater. Unfortunately, most of these resources are located far from human habitation and are not readily accessible for human use. According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), 96% of the world’s frozen freshwater is at the South and North Poles, with the remaining 4% spread over 550,000 km2 of glaciers and mountainous icecaps measuring about 180,000 km3 (UNEP, 1992; Untersteiner, 1975; WGMS, 1998, 2002). Groundwater is by far the most abundant and readily available source of freshwater, followed by lakes, reservoirs, rivers and wetlands. Analysis indicates that: - Groundwater represents over 90% of the world’s readily available freshwater resource (Boswinkel, 2000). About 1.5 billion people depend upon groundwater for their drinking water supply (WRI, UNEP, UNDP, World Bank, 1998). - The amount of groundwater withdrawn a ...
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