Fresh, clean water is a finite resource. Only about 2.5% to 2.75% of all of Earth's water is freshwater, with more than half of that freshwater locked up in glaciers, ice, and snow. With just .01% of the Earth's water found in freshwater lakes, rivers, and swamps and another .7-.8% in groundwater and soil moisture, conserving our water resources and protecting our water supplies from contamination are essential for the well-being of human and other life forms.
Additionally, our freshwater consumption results in greenhouse gas emissions. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is generated by the energy used in the upstream and downstream transportation and treatment of water. Additionally, nitrous oxide (N2O) and methane (CH4) gas are produced from the organic material in wastewater systems.
Water Conservation and Pollution Prevention
Efforts to reduce the emissions resulting from the water sector include improvements in the efficiency of water transportation and treatment systems as well as reductions in per capita water consumption. Resources related to water conservation, drought, and clean water protection are found in the links to the left.