Water Facts & Info

When viewed from space, Earth truly appears to be a water-rich planet. Water covers nearly 75% of the Earth’s surface. Yet, 97% of that water is salty ocean water that can’t be used. Of the remaining freshwater, most of it is frozen in glaciers and ice sheets and is not readily available for use. This means that a little less than 1% is all of the freshwater that is available to the 6.6 billion people and countless animals in the whole world.

Since everything on Earth depends on water, shouldn’t we know more about it? Shouldn’t we be concerned about water and water-related issues before there is a crisis such as drought, polluted groundwater wells or a water treatment facility failure? Shouldn’t we learn more about this precious resource and what we can do to conserve it for future use

All of the topics below will give you a good foundation in your quest to learn more about water:


A “watershed” is an area or region of land where water is stored before it drains into a larger body of water such as an ocean, river or lake. This water can also seep into the soil, replenishing the groundwater. Watersheds therefore have a direct relationship with thehydrologic cycle because they manage the water that eventually becomes part of our water supply. more »

Surface Water

Rivers, lakes, streams, ponds, wetlands and oceans are all examples of surface water. Continually replenished by precipitation or rain runoff, surface water is a body of water easily seen as it flows downhill to where it collects. more »


Only 3% of the world’s water is freshwater, and groundwater accounts for almost 2% of that total. In the United States, nearly half of the population depends on groundwater for all their water needs. The largest aquifer in the United States, and quite probably… more »


An area of land that is wet for a period of time during the year is referred to as a wetland. Historically, wetlands were viewed as areas with little value and were often drained with the idea of making the land more productive. more »

Drinking Water

Point pollution sources can include a pipe discharging into a river, a leaking underground storage tank, a boat or another single source. This type of pollution is easy to fix because its source can be quickly identified. Non-point pollution sources, however, are more difficult to fix because the source cannot be easily identified. Typically, non-point pollution comes from large-scale activities and operations, like mining, farming, and industrial processes.
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Water Recycling

All the water that is on Earth today is the same amount that was there yesterday and the same amount that will be here in the future. So when you brush your teeth every day, you could be, theoretically speaking, using the very same water that dinosaurs drank from millions… more »

Water Conservation

Daily water consumption within the United States is a little more than 37 billion gallons. That means each person in the United States uses about 150 gallons of water each day for cooking, bathing, flushing toilets, laundry, shaving, brushing teeth, washing dishes… more »


“If we could produce fresh water from salt water at a low cost, that would indeed be a great service to humanity and would dwarf any other scientific accomplishments.” -John F. Kennedy, 1962 more »

Within Los Angeles County, flood control and water conservation is the responsibility of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works (LACDPW), which constructs, operates and maintains flood control facilities. The LACDPW works closely with the United States Army Corps of Engineers (COE), which is responsible for the supervision of the Los Angeles and San Gabriel Rivers. Before making the long journey south, both rivers originate in northern Los Angeles County, at the Los Angeles National Forest. Along the Los Angeles and San Gabriel Rivers, the COE has constructed numerous drainage facilities to alleviate potential property damage and loss of life during a flood.