Fresh water on Earth problems, resources, sources, composition and characteristics

Fresh water is one of the greatest treasures on the planet, it is the key to life. If the water reserves are exhausted, all life on Earth will come to an end. What is so special about this earthly resource, why is it so unique, we will try to answer in this article.


There are many water reserves on the planet, two-thirds of the surface of the globe are covered by seas and oceans, but only 3% of such liquid can be considered fresh and no more than 1% of fresh reserves are currently available to mankind. Fresh water can only be called that water, the salt content of which does not exceed %.

Fresh water reserves are unevenly distributed on the earth’s surface. A continent like Eurasia, where the most people live 70% of the total, does not have a full 40% of such reserves. The largest amount of fresh water is concentrated in rivers and lakes.

The composition of fresh water is not the same and depends on the environment, deposits of fossils, soils, salts and minerals, on human life. Fresh liquid contains various gases: nitrogen, carbon, oxygen, carbon dioxide, in addition, organic substances, particles of microorganisms. Cathyons play an important role: HCO3-bicarbonate, chloride CL-Isulfate SO42- and anions: calcium CA2+, magnesium MG2+, sodium Na+and potassium K+.

The composition of fresh water


When characterizing fresh water, the following qualities are taken into account:

  • transparency;
  • rigidity;
  • organoleptic;
  • Acidity of pH.
  • Acidity of water depends on the content of hydrogen ions in it. The stiffness is characterized by the hosting of magnesium and calcium ions and can be: general, eliminated or not eliminated, carbonate or noncarbonate.

    Organoleptic is the purity of water, its turbidity, color and smell. The smell depends on the content of various additives: chlorine, oil, soil, it is characterized on a fivepoint scale:

  • 0 complete absence of aroma;
  • 1 smells are practically not felt;
  • 2 the smell is sensed only with a special tasting;
  • 3 the aroma is slightly noticeable;
  • 4 smells are quite noticeable;
  • 5 the smell is so noticeable that it makes the water unsuitable for drinking.
  • The taste of fresh water can be brackish, sweetish, bitter or sour, flavors may not be felt at all, be weak, light, strong and very strong. Turbidity is determined by comparison with the standard, on a fourteen-point scale.


    Fresh water is divided into two types: ordinary and mineral. Mineral water differs from ordinary drinking water in the content of certain minerals in it and their quantity, and it happens:

  • medical;
  • medical dining room;
  • dining room;
  • In addition, there is fresh water created artificially, it includes:

  • desalinated;
  • thaw;
  • distilled;
  • silver;
  • shungite;
  • “live” and “dead”.
  • Such waters are specially saturated with the necessary micro and macro elements, living organisms are intentionally destroyed in them, or the necessary.

    Melt water is considered one of the most useful, it is extracted by melting ice on mountain peaks, or snow extracted in ecologically clean regions. It is absolutely impossible to use ice bryls or snowdrifts from the streets for thawing, since such a liquid will contain the most dangerous carcinogen benzaperene, which belongs to the first class of danger to humans.

    The problem of lack of fresh water

    Fresh water is considered an inexhaustible natural resource. There is an opinion that due to the water cycle in nature, its reserves are constantly being restored, but due to climate change, human activity, overpopulation of the Earth, recently the problem of fresh water shortage is becoming more and more noticeable. Scientists have found that in our time, every sixth inhabitant of the planet is already experiencing a shortage of drinking water, every year the world uses 63 million cubic meters more, and every year this ratio will only grow.

    Experts predict that if humanity does not find an alternative to the use of natural fresh water resources in the near future, in the near future the problem of water shortage will reach global proportions, which will lead to instability in society, the decline of economies in those countries where water resources are scarce, wars and world cataclysms.

    Already, humanity is trying to deal with the problem of water shortages. The main methods of such struggle are its export, economical use, creation of artificial reservoirs, desalination of sea water, condensation of water vapor.

    Fresh water sources

    Fresh water on the planet are:

  • underground;
  • superficial;
  • sedimentary.
  • Underground include springs and springs, surface rivers, lakes, glaciers, streams, sedimentary snow, hail and rain. The largest supply of fresh water is in glaciers 85-90% of the world’s reserves.

    Fresh waters of Eurasia

    In terms of fresh water reserves, Russia is in an honorable second place, only Brazil is in the lead in this regard. The largest natural reservoir, both in Eurasia and in the world, is Lake Baikal, it contains a fifth of the world’s fresh water reserves 23,000 km3. In addition, in Lake Ladoga 910 km3 of drinking water, in Onega 292 km3, in Lake Khanka 18.3 km3. There are also special reservoirs: Rybinsk, Samara, Volgograd, Tsimlyansk, Sayano-Shushunskoye, Krasnoyarsk and Bratsk. In addition, a huge supply of such water is available in glaciers and rivers.


    Despite the fact that the reserves of drinking water in Eurasia are huge, it is unevenly distributed throughout the country, so many regions experience an acute shortage of it. Until now, it has to be delivered to many parts of Eurasia with special equipment.

    Fresh water pollution

    In addition to the shortage of fresh water, the issue of its pollution and, as a result, its unsuitability for use remains relevant. The causes of pollution can be both natural and man-made.

    Natural consequences include various natural disasters: earthquakes, floods, mudflows, avalanches, etc. Artificial consequences are directly related to human activities:

  • acid rain caused by the release of harmful substances into the atmosphere by factories, factories and motor vehicles;
  • solid and liquid waste from industry and cities;
  • man-made disasters and industrial accidents;
  • water heating by heat and nuclear power plants.
  • Polluted waters can not only cause the extermination of many species of animals and fish, but also cause various deadly diseases in humans: typhus, cholera, cancer, endocrine disorders, congenital anomalies, and much more. In order not to endanger your body, you should always monitor the quality of water consumed, if necessary, use special filters, purified bottled water.

    Can fresh water run out?

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