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Where is all of the Earth's water?

The ocean holds 97 percent of the Earth's water; the remaining three percent is freshwater found in glaciers and ice, below the ground, or in rivers and lakes.

The ocean

Of the world's total water supply of about 326 million cubic miles of water, over 96 percent is saline, found in the ocean.

Of the three percent of the water that is not in the ocean, about 69 percent is locked up in glaciers and icecaps. Ninety percent of that frozen water is in Antarctica and about nine percent covers Greenland.

Of the remaining freshwater, 30 percent of it is groundwater, captured below our feet. About 0.3 percent is found in rivers and lakes. This means that the water source we are most familiar with in our everyday lives, rivers and lakes, accounts for less than one percent of all freshwater that exists on Earth.

A very small percentage of water (0.1 percent of all water) is also found in the atmosphere.

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