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Water Fact – Protect our freshwater resources

January 31, 2024 - ​In a gallon of average ocean water, there is about 1 cup of salt. But it does vary. The Atlantic Ocean is saltier than the Pacific Ocean, for instance. Most of the salt in the ocean is the same kind of salt we put on our food: sodium chloride. The saltiest water in the world is found in Antarctica in a small lake named Don Juan Pond.

Of course, you can't drink saltwater, so humans depend on freshwater sources. However, just 3.5 percent of Earth's water is fresh—that is, with few salts in it. You can find Earth's freshwater in our lakes, rivers, and streams, but don't forget groundwater and glaciers. Over 68 percent of Earth's freshwater is locked up in ice and glaciers. And another 30 percent is in groundwater. Just one more reason for us to work to protect our freshwater resources!

*Source: NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory/California Institute of Technology


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