Premium statistics

Industry-specific and extensively researched technical data (partially from exclusive partnerships).

A paid subscription is required for full access.

Global share of Earth's water resources

Distribution of Earth's global water resources

by Statista Research Department, last edited May 2, 2016
Global share of Earth's water resources Over 97 percent of the water resources on Earth is found in the ocean and other saline water sources, thus, only about 2.5 percent of water on Earth is freshwater. In fact, most of our freshwater is essentially inaccessible, trapped in glaciers or underground as groundwater. About 1.2 percent of this freshwater is considered surface water, which is essential to support life’s needs. However, almost 70 percent of this surface water is found as ground ice and permafrost.
Lakes and rivers

Lakes are an easily accessible water resource. They are generally formed when runoff from rain and snow accumulates or when groundwater rises to the surface. Lakes act as a valuable source of water for human needs and are also used for recreation. Rivers make up an even smaller percentage of our freshwater resources, however, they are one of the most important sources of water for humans as well as an important ecosystem for wildlife. River systems serve as a network for transportation, power generation, recreation, and water supply. Rivers form where water runs downhill. The Nile River is one of the longest rivers on Earth, running over 6,670 kilometers through several countries in Africa.
Show more

Distribution of Earth's global water resources

Statista Accounts: Access All Statistics. Starting from $588 / Year
Basic Account
Get to know the platform

You only have access to basic statistics.
This statistic is not included in your account!

Premium Account
Your perfect start with Statista
  • Instant access to 1m statistics
  • Download in XLS, PDF & PNG format
  • Detailed references

$49 / Month *

Corporate Account
Full access

Corporate solution including all features.

* All products require an annual contract.
   Prices do not include sales tax.
Leading companies trust Statista:
Related Studies: Available to Download in PDF or PPTX Format

All Information
in one Presentation


Everything On "Water" in One Document: Edited and Divided into Handy Chapters. Including Detailed References.

Statista has been my savior on several occasions. The site is easy to maneuver and the data is in a format that can go right into a report or presentation.
Marlene Greenfield

Marlene Greenfield
Vice President, Hearst Magazines

Statistics on "Water"
  • Water-related industries
  • Water infrastructure
  • Water consumption
  • Water access
The most important statistics
Discover Statista
Need help with using Statista for your research? Tutorials and first steps
Further Content: Statistics, Studies, and Topic Pages
Learn more about how Statista can support your business.
Do you have any questions about our business solutions?

We provide you with detailed information about our Corporate Account.