Quest 1: Is there enough?

Start your Quest 1 investigation using this worksheet.

Click here if you need to download a programme to read pdf files.

Nearly all the water in the world is salt water that is not suitable for human use. Most of the fresh water is locked in the ice caps or deep underground and where it’s difficult to reach. Only a small amount of fresh water can be easily reached in lakes, rivers, the soil, the air and plants. These usable fresh water resources are enough to support the world’s population three times over.

The world's water

Salt water.
Fresh water in ice caps or deep underground.
Fresh water that is easily reached.

Despite this, water supplies are unevenly distributed due to climate and physical landforms. As a result one third of the earth’s land surface lacks enough water. Water supplies may also become limited, exhausted or unsafe to use where too many people use the same water sources. Both these situations can cause extreme difficulty for people, known as water-stress. The World Health Organisation estimates that one in six people do not have access to safe water. That’s about one billion people.

Population without access to safe water

65% Asia
27% Africa
6% Latin America and the Carribean
2% Europe

Find out more

Map showing Access to safe water around the world (print A3)

World Vision Water topic sheet

Making Every Drop Count – Will we have enough clean water to satisfy all the world’s needs?