Water is a clear, pellucid, transparent fluid that forms the streams, lakes, oceans, and rain, is the major constituent of the fluids of living things chemical compound, and the most widely used of all solvents. Water covers 71% of the Earth’s surface. It is vital for all known forms of life. On Earth, 96.5% of the planet’s water is found in seas and oceans, 1.7% in groundwater, 1.7% in glaciers and the ice caps of Antarctica and Greenland, a small fraction in other large water bodies, and 0.001% in the air as vapor, clouds, and precipitation. Only 2.5% of the Earth’s water is freshwater. and 98.8% of that water is in ice and groundwater. Less than 0.3% of all freshwater is in rivers, lakes, and the atmosphere, and an even smaller amount of the Earth’s freshwater (0.003%) is contained within biological bodies and manufactured products.
Water appears in nature in all three common states of matter (solid, liquid, and gas) and may take many different forms on Earth: water vapor and clouds in the sky, seawater in the oceans, icebergs in the polar oceans, glaciers in the mountains, fresh and saltwater lakes, rivers, and aquifers in the ground.
Safe drinking water is essential to humans and other life forms even though it provides no calories or organic nutrients. Access to safe drinking water has improved over the last decades in almost every part of the world, but approximately one billion people still lack access to safe water, and over 2.5 billion lack access to adequate sanitation. There is a clear correlation between access to safe water and gross domestic product per capita.
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