The Freshwater Crisis

According to NASA our planet's surface is 71% water, so how can we be in crisis?

By Google Arts & Culture

Loch LomondUnited Nations Climate Change Conference COP26

The numbers don't lie

96.5% of Earth's water is salty ocean water. Only 3.5% of all water on Earth is freshwater. 

GRACE Follow-On Satellites (Artist's Concept) (2018-04-30) by NASA/JPL-CaltechNASA

NASA data

NASA has been monitoring freshwater depletion over the past 20 years using the satellite system GRACE. The data shows us that freshwater supplies are diminishing globally.

Malaspina Glacier, Alaska (2002-02-26) by NASA/GSFC/METI/ERSDAC/JAROS, and U.S./Japan ASTER Science TeamNASA

Growing problem

In many places around the globe, climate change is melting freshwater frozen in glaciers into the sea, making it unusable.

Dr Yiyun Kang at COP28 (2023)

Artist with a mission

Using the data from NASA's satellites, Dr. Yiyun Kang has created an interactive artwork demonstrating the ongoing loss of fresh water and what we can do to help preserve our supplies. She explains her project here.


Passage of Water by Yiyun Kang

Explore the link between climate change and freshwater scarcity through Dr Kang's artwork experiment Passage of Water.
It explains the data and solutions for preserving what we literally can't live without.
Take part in the experiment

Children collecting water from the water source (2019) by Vlad SokhinUnited Nations Climate Change Conference COP26

Discover more about the fresh water problem, how it affects us and our culture and what we can do, on our theme page Freshwater

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