Tag Archive for Facts and figures

Global water distribution

For an estimated explanation of where Earth’s water exists, look at the chart below. By now, you know that the water cycle describes the movement of Earth’s water, so realize that the chart and table below represent the presence of Earth’s water at a single point in time. If you check back in a thousand or million years, no doubt these numbers will be different!

Notice how of the world’s total water supply of about 332.5 million cubic miles of water, over 96 percent is saline. And, of the total freshwater, over 68 percent is locked up in ice and glaciers. Read more

Did you know…? Facts and figures about lakes

  • Less than two percent of the freshwater on our planet exists in a readily usable form for human uses. And of this total, it is estimated that lakes contain more than 90% of all the liquid freshwater on the earth’s surface. Thus, this water source is important for meeting the needs of both humans and ecosystems, including the life-supporting services provided to humanity by the latter.
  • Lakes and reservoirs provide a range of resource values, including drinking water, irrigation water, navigation, fisheries, tourism, recreation, flood and drought management, climate mediation, as well as having religious and historic values. Read more

Did you know…? Facts and figures about water and financing

  • In the United States bringing water supply and sewerage infrastructure up to current standards will cost more than $1 trillion over the next 20 years, with hundreds of billions more required for dams, dikes and waterway maintenance.
  • The World Business Council for Sustainable Development estimates that the total costs of replacing ageing water supply and sanitation infrastructure in industrial countries may be as high as $200 billion a year. Read more

Facts and figures about China – the Yellow River Basin

  • The Yellow River is the second longest river in China after the Yangtze River, and the sixth longest in the world. Originating on the Qinhai-Tibetan plateau in western China, it runs for some 5,500 km across the vast North China Plain, traversing nine provinces before draining into the Bo Hai Sea.
  • Its catchment area of 795,000 km2 is home to 110 million people (2000) or about 8.7% of China’s population. (The figures increase to 189 million and 14.9% if the flood plain surrounding the lower reach is included.) In 2000, about 26.4% of the basin was urbanized. Read more

Did you know…? Facts and figures about Zambia

  • Zambia is a landlocked country in southern Africa, which mainly lies in the Zambezi River basin, and partially in the Congo River basin in the north.
  • Between 2000 and 2007 Zambia experienced unusually unstable weather, with a sequence of two flood years, two drought years and two years with normal rainfall.
  • Zambia’s surface water potential totals some 100 billionm3, with the Zambezi River contributing over 60% of the runoff. Consequently, as a major stakeholder in the Zambezi River Authority, along with Zimbabwe, Zambia is helping establish the Zambezi Watercourses Commission. Read more