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Nor Any Drop to Drink

iceland-waterfall_med.jpg

© Craig Chesek

All Earth's lakes and rivers, including the dramatic Godafoss waterfall in northern Iceland, make up less than one-fiftieth of one percent of the water on the planet.


In the many places where water is scarce, people show great ingenuity in getting it: collecting and keeping what little rain falls, drilling wells or--if they can afford it--removing salt from seawater to produce fresh water for drinking or farming. But ingenuity has its limits, and we may be reaching them.

Today, more than one billion people still cannot get enough safe drinking water to keep them healthy. That kind of water scarcity isn't just about too little rain--it's a problem of politics, infrastructure, and sustainable use.

Not Enough

What do you think of as "enough" water? Enough to avoid feeling thirsty?

Women and Water

Not every woman in the developing world has a life defined by the burden of water carrying.

A River in Danger

India's great river, the Ganges, is facing several kinds of problems.

Hold the Salt

The oceans are vast, so it's no wonder that people have often looked seaward and wondered, "Isn't there a way we could drink that water?"

Water From Air

Nearly every continent on Earth has a few places in which an unusual phenomenon takes place:

Working for Water

Around the world, ecosystems are being disrupted by invasive plants

Playing for Water

As children spin on this merry-go-round, they are also pumping water from a deep well called a borehole.

American Museum of Natural History

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