Water sources

Water covers nearly three-quarters of the earth's surface. There is also water in the atmosphere and underground. It is mainly in oceans but is also found as rivers, lakes, snow and glaciers. In fact, over 99% of all fresh water is found in glaciers, icefields, or underground.

This section covers the various types of water that make up the world's -- and Canada’s -- supply, where it is and how much we have. This includes

  • surface water: water collecting on the ground or in a stream, river, lake, or wetlands,
  • groundwater: water found underground in the cracks and spaces in soil, sand and rock; and,
  • atmospheric water: water present in the atmosphere either as a solid (snow, hail), liquid (rain) or gas (fog, mist).
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