Online College Courses for Credit



Author: Jensen Morgan

This lesson describes water used for human purposes.

See More
Fast, Free College Credit

Developing Effective Teams

Let's Ride
*No strings attached. This college course is 100% free and is worth 1 semester credit.

29 Sophia partners guarantee credit transfer.

314 Institutions have accepted or given pre-approval for credit transfer.

* The American Council on Education's College Credit Recommendation Service (ACE Credit®) has evaluated and recommended college credit for 26 of Sophia’s online courses. Many different colleges and universities consider ACE CREDIT recommendations in determining the applicability to their course and degree programs.


Source: Earth PD Earth PD Water Plant CC Reservoir CC Water Tower CC World Water CC

Video Transcription

Download PDF

Hi. I'm Jensen Morgan. We're going to talk about some great concepts in environmental science. Today's topic is water. So let's get started.

Today we're going to talk about water globally, how it is treated, and its various uses.

About 70% of the Earth's surface is covered in water. While total supply of water is fixed, it does cycle from ocean to atmosphere to land and back to the ocean through the water cycle. But this doesn't change total available water, which is finite.

Unfortunately, humans can't use seawater for household or drinking purposes unless it has been treated, which can be very expensive. Approximately 97% of global water is seawater. The remaining 3% is freshwater and only 1% of that 3% is accessible for human use. Freshwater can be found in glaciers, ice, below ground, and in lakes and rivers.

Some water can be used without needing any sort of treatment, but the majority requires treatment before it is usable. Once water is found at its source, it is transported to a water treatment facility that can remove harmful contaminants and materials.

After that, it is taken to a storage facility, like this water tower, until it is needed. Once needed, it will be distributed for use by things like faucets and sprinklers.

Presently, water has a number of uses, such as for drinking, in the household for food preparation, toilets, bathing, and cleaning, as well as by fire departments for fire protection or by industry for various uses.

Water is not used equally across the planet. Different regions use water differently per capita. Developed regions like the US and Europe use the majority of water, though developing nations hold the majority of the world's population. For example, this chart shows average water use per person per day in various nations.

At the making of this video, India and China hold approximately 35% of the world's population, yet only use around 80 or 140 liters per person per day respectively, while the US averages almost 600 liters per person per day and holds only 4.4% of the world's population.

Now let's have a recap. Today we talked about water globally, how much is usable, how it is treated, its various uses, and how it is disproportionately used by developed and developing nations.

Well, that's all for this tutorial. I hope these concepts have been helpful and I look forward to next time.