Graphing Earth`s Water Supply

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Graphing Earth’s Water Supply
Water is continually moving around, through, and above the Earth as water vapor, liquid water, and ice.
In fact, water is continually changing its form. The Earth is pretty much a "closed system," like a terrarium.
That means that the Earth, as a whole, neither gains nor loses much matter, including water. Although some
matter, such as meteors from outer space, are captured by Earth, very little of Earth's substances escape into
outer space. This is certainly true about water. This means that the same water that existed on Earth millions of
years ago is still here. Thanks to the water cycle, the same water is continually being recycled all around the
globe.
Where is Earth's water located and in what forms does it exist? You can see how water is distributed by
viewing these bar charts. About 97% of all water is located in the oceans as saltwater. Only 3% of the total
water on Earth is freshwater. If you were to breakdown the 3% distribution of freshwater about 69% is locked
up in glaciers and icecaps, mainly in Greenland and Antarctica. You might be surprised that of the remaining
freshwater, almost all of it (30%) is located below your feet as groundwater. No matter where on Earth you are
standing, chances are that, at some depth, the ground below you is saturated with water. The other 1% is divided
up into 0.7% atmospheric water vapor and 0.3% surface water. Of all the freshwater on Earth, only about 0.3
percent is contained in rivers and lakes—yet rivers and lakes are not only the water we are most familiar with, it
is also where most of the water we use in our everyday lives exists.
How much of Earth's water is available for our uses ... and in what forms does it exist?
The top pie chart to the right shows that over 99 percent of all water (oceans, seas, ice,
most saline water, and atmospheric water) is not available for our uses. And even of
the remaining fraction of one percent, much of that is out of reach. Considering that
most of the water we use in everyday life comes from rivers, you'll see we generally
only make use of a tiny portion of the available water supplies. The bottom pie shows
that the vast majority of the fresh water available for our uses is stored in the ground.
Overview Questions:
1. Earth is a ____________________ system.
2. True or False: Water on Earth is continually being recycled.
3. How much of Earth’s total water supply is Freshwater?
4. Where is most of Earth’s freshwater located?
5. Looking at the pie charts, what percent of Earth’s total water supply is unusable by humans?
6. Where is the vast majority of the freshwater available for our uses stored?
Directions:
1. Look at the information in the data table below for Earth’s
total water supply. Use the percentages provided to
construct two different graphs.
2. Graph #1: This graph will consist of two horizontal bars
totaling 100%. You are graphing the total amount of
saltwater and total amount of freshwater.
3. Graph 32: This graph will show the breakdown of the
Earth’s freshwater sources. Note that the total width of this
graph represents only 2% of the total width of graph #1.
Data:
Table: Earth’s Water Supply
Volume
(cubic miles)
Salt Water
The Oceans
Inland seas and saline lakes
Fresh Water
Freshwater lakes
All rivers (average level)
Antarctic icecap
Arctic icecap and glaciers
Water in the atmosphere
Ground water within a half mile
of surface
Deep-lying ground water
Total (rounded)
Graph I: The Earth's Fresh Water and Salt Water
0%
50%
Percentage of total
317,000,000
25,000
97.2
0.008
30,000
300
6,3000,000
680,000
3,100
0.009
0.0001
1.9
0.21
0.001
1,000,000
1,000,000
0.31
0.31
326,000,000
100.00
100%
Fresh
Water
Salt
Water
Graph II: Sources of the Earth's Fresh Water
0%
1%
2%
Freshwater lakes
All rivers
Antarctic Icecap
Arctic Icecap
Water in
Atmosphere
Ground water
within a half mile
of surface
Deep-lying ground
water
Analysis Questions:
1. Looking at graph #2, which of the seven sources of Earth’s freshwater will be affected negatively as
pollution around the world increases?
2. Looking at graph #2, which of the seven sources of Earth’s freshwater will be affected negatively as
climate change continues to increase the overall global temperature?
3. How will climate change & pollution alter Earth’s freshwater supply if human’s habits don’t change?
Graphing Earth’s Water Supply
Student Sheet
Overview Questions:
1. Earth is a ____________________ system.
2. True or False: Water on Earth is continually being recycled.
3. How much of Earth’s total water supply is Freshwater?
4. Where is most of Earth’s freshwater located?
5. Looking at the pie charts, what percent of Earth’s total water supply is unusable by humans?
6. Where is the vast majority of the freshwater available for our uses stored?
Data:
Graph I: The Earth's Fresh Water and Salt Water
0%
50%
100%
Fresh
Water
Salt
Water
Graph II: Sources of the Earth's Fresh Water
0%
1%
2%
Freshwater lakes
All rivers
Antarctic Icecap
Arctic Icecap
Water in
Atmosphere
Ground water
within a half mile
of surface
Deep-lying ground
water
Analysis Questions:
1. Looking at graph #2, which of the seven sources of Earth’s freshwater will be affected negatively as
pollution around the world increases?
2. Looking at graph #2, which of the seven sources of Earth’s freshwater will be affected negatively as
climate change continues to increase the overall global temperature?
3. How will climate change & pollution alter Earth’s freshwater supply if human’s habits don’t change?
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