Underground water may also be termed as freshwater. The World Bank Group (WBG) has been addressing water issues globally with large-scale finance and technical assistance to countries. So I think it's very important that we think very carefully about exploring the world's major aquifers to understand how much water is actually there. The total water resources in the world are estimated in the order of 43 750 km 3 /year, distributed throughout the world according to the patchwork of climates and physiographic structures. But yet we don't manage it very well. And that's because in California right now, there's no snow in the mountains, there's no rainfall happening, there is very little water in our reservoirs. JAY FAMIGLIETTI, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory: An aquifer is an underground soil or rock unit that contains — contains water in its pore spaces, and the way we get at that water is by drilling wells and pumping it up from the subsurface. So we rely on it heavily. Nov 27 Most of the fresh water resources in the country are surface water. Subscribe to Here’s the Deal, our politics newsletter for analysis you won’t find anywhere else. And he joins me now. Again, it's true in the United States and it's true around the world. PBS NewsHour. Brazil has the highest volume of renewable fresh water resources, totaling approximately 8,233 cubic kilometers. Human activities are threatening the supply of clean fresh water and that’s a big problem because everyone has seen at least one post apocalyptic movie about what the world … s. Score .7656. Prior to that, there wasn't much groundwater depletion. However, the lake’s volume has been gradually reducing due to climate change. Most of Canada’s fresh water is found in its diverse river system and lakes. So, is this depletion happening at a faster rate than it did historically? The total water resources in the world are estimated in the order of 43 750 km 3 /year, distributed throughout the world according to the patchwork of climates and physiographic structures. Northwestern India, really across Northern India, into Bangladesh is in pretty rough shape. All maps, graphics, flags, photos and original descriptions © 2020 worldatlas.com. Despite having numerous fresh water resources, one of the most populous regions in Brazil, Sao Paulo, faces severe drought. Freshwater is found in lakes, rivers, ice-caps, streams, ponds, icebergs, glaciers, etc. Lake Baikal in Russia is considered the deepest, oldest freshwater lake in the world. These two ice sheets account for more than 99 percent of the fresh water ice on the planet. And of those, we found that 13 are in a pretty bad way and threatened to exceed a point at which they may not come back. Jay Famiglietti is a lead author on one of the reports from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The amounts of fresh water resources have been declining in recent years. Approximately 77% of the fresh water is surface water and 23% is underground. Where is the problem the worst? Subscribe to ‘Here's the Deal,’ our politics newsletter. We found that in the 37 world's largest aquifers that we looked at, that over 21 of them are past sustainability tipping points, meaning that the rate of withdrawal exceeds the rate of replenishment. And what about the one in California's Central Valley? All Rights Reserved. Migratory birds and other animals prefer having their habitats on freshwater bodies to salty bodies. The Amazon Region in Brazil contains over 70% of the total fresh water in Brazil. In total, Russia has 4,508 cubic kilometers of fresh water resources. And so we tried to expose the fact that we really don't know how much water we have in the world's major aquifers. Despite having numerous fresh water resources, one of the most populous regions in Brazil, Sao Paulo, faces severe drought. Another 30 percent of freshwater is in the ground. Remind us, what is an aquifer, and how does it produce the clean water? Probably the worst in the Middle East, the Arabian Peninsula, and even the region above the Arabian Peninsula. These countries enjoy enormous benefits due to their vast reserves of fresh water. Poyang Lake which is situated in Jiangxi Province is the largest freshwater lake in China. The American Great Lakes account for 21 percent of the Earth’s surface fresh water. Majority of freshwater bodies in the United States are lakes. Fresh water resources are vital in the sustenance of biodiversity, food production, and generation of hydroelectric power. Earth's glaciers and ice caps lock away over 68% of its freshwater supply, but scientists believe climate change accounts for their recent, rapid melting (Credit: Getty Images) Jay Famiglietti, we thank you for being with us. U.S. court rejects Trump appeal over Pennsylvania race, Here’s how it feels when COVID-19 symptoms last for months, How the Cherokee Nation has curtailed the pandemic, Trump administration moves forward with gutting bird protections, 6 U.S. Citgo executives convicted and sentenced to prison in Venezuela, U.S. colleges mull new virus protocols for students’ return, Japan spacecraft carrying asteroid soil samples nears home. Fresh water is an extremely important and finite natural resource that humanity relies on to survive. Let's talk for a minute about where this is happening. The freshwater in Brazil accounts for approximately 12% of the world’s fresh water resources. Please check your inbox to confirm. The volume of the lake keeps fluctuating depending on seasons. Will better relations with U.S. mean an easing of censorship in Cuba? Log in for more information. And that's true in the United States as well as around the world. Besides, the fresh water is mostly underground, in small ponds or in glaciers. Xin, Xiu, and Gan Rivers all empty their waters into the lake. It's taken awhile for population in a particular region to develop, or it's taken awhile for the infrastructure to come into place. And we know that the water tables are falling and wells are running dry. It has approximately 2,840 cubic kilometers of fresh water. The Pilbara mining region, which is the Canning Basin in Northwestern Australia. Turkey, Syria, Iraq, and Iran are regions that we have studied before. Baikal holds up to approximately 1/5 of fresh water in the world. Several of the aquifers in Africa are in rough shape because there's very little rainfall there in the Sahara Desert, so not very much replenishment. The volume of renewable fresh water in Canada is approximately 2,902 cubic kilometer. Thank you. So, that's an excellent question. Countries with the most freshwater resources are discussed below. © 1996 - 2020 NewsHour Productions LLC. The Amazon Region in Brazil contains over 70% of the total fresh water in Brazil. https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/is-the-worlds-fresh-water-supply-running-out, Double your gift now with our Year-End Match, Migrant laborers worked to death as Qatar builds for World Cup, ‘A curse from God’ — the stigma of mental illness in Pakistan. Is there a way of knowing when this water is going — how much more water there is, when it's going to run out? We mentioned on several continents. Here’s how it feels when COVID-19 symptoms last for months, Read But back to fresh water. The North China Plain, the big aquifer system around Beijing — it is true it's on every continent. There are thousands of lakes in the US, including the world-famous Great Lakes. FALSE. The volume of renewable fresh water resources in the US is approximately 3,069 cubic kilometers. But a pair of new studies show many of the largest aquifers are being depleted at alarming rates. The reports also identify declining levels for California's Central Valley Aquifer. We know that we're passed the sustainability tipping points and all kinds of ecological damage is occurring. The Greenland ice sheet also contains large volumes of fresh water. Around the world, we use about — about two billion people rely on groundwater as the primary water source. Asked 29 minutes 24 … Water Supply of the World As can be seen from the table below, the amount of water in our atmosphere is over 10 times as much as the water in all the rivers taken together. Other fresh water sources are rivers, ponds, and reservoirs. T F. The world s supply of freshwater is increasing. However, due to poor water connections and water pollution, such countries still experience water shortages. Earth's glaciers and ice caps lock away over 68% of its freshwater supply, but scientists believe climate change accounts for their recent, rapid melting (Credit: Getty Images) By John Misachi on September 24 2018 in World Facts. Well, we rely heavily on groundwater. Learn more about Friends of the NewsHour.