IWRM - Introduction to principles and practices 2006

Water is essential to sustain human life. It plays a vital role in many human
activities, including industrial production, agriculture, energy, sanitation, and transportation,
in addition to sustaining ecosystems that provide valuable services to both environment and
human. Although water seems to be abundant on the planet, 97% of the Earth’s water is
seawater, making it unfit for most human uses. Of the remaining 3%, 87% is inaccessible,
either locked in polar icecaps or in deep underground aquifers. Thus, only 0.4% of all of the
water on earth is in a form that is usable and accessible by human beings (CAP-Net 2003).

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