Earth, the Pale Blue Dot, as seen from the Voyager spacecraft.  Credit NASA

Earth, the Pale Blue Dot, as seen from the Voyager spacecraft.  Credit NASA

"Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there-on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam."

- Carl Sagan, The Pale Blue Dot


The Earth, the pale blue dot seen in the photo above, gets its blue color from the water which covers 71% of its surface.  However, 97% of the water on earth is in the oceans, and of the remaining 3%, half is frozen in the polar ice caps.  
The remaining 1.5% is Earth's supply of fresh water, and we are consuming it faster than ever.

"The United Nations reports that we have 15 years to avert a full-blown water crisis and by 2030, demand for water will outstrip supply by 40 percent... The relentless over-extraction of groundwater and water from rivers has caused great damage in the Global South and is now doing the same in the North. Stunningly, more than half the rivers in China have disappeared since 1990. Asia’s Aral Sea and Africa’s Lake Chad—once the fourth- and sixth-largest lakes in the world, respectively—have all but dried up due to unremitting use for export-oriented crop irrigation "
- Maude Barlow, The Nation 

A majority of the world’s population lives within a 30-mile radius of water sources that are badly stressed or running out.   Water is being removed from ground sources 15 times faster than it is being replenished.  Worldwide we are losing approximately 75 Billion cubic meters of fresh water annually, and according to the G7 Summit, it is estimated that in less than 50 years there could be a collapse of our planet's water sources.


Rainfall and river water can not sustain humanity's growing water needs in many parts of the world, and ground water reservoirs are being depleted or even contaminated by industry.  However, there is more fresh water in the atmosphere than in all of the rivers of the planet combined (Source: U.S. Geological Survey).  This is a tremendous opportunity.


Earth's Water

Distribution of Surface Freshwater