With reference to the water on the planet Earth, consider the following statements:
- The amount of water in the rivers and lakes is more than the amount of groundwater.
- The amount of water in polar ice caps and glaciers is more than the amount of groundwater.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
[UPSC Civil Services Exam – 2021 Prelims]
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2
- The distribution of water on the Earth’s surface is primarily in oceans, which make up 97.25% of the total water.
- The remaining water is distributed among ice caps and glaciers (2.05%), groundwater (0.68%), lakes (0.01%), soil moisture (0.005%), atmosphere (0.001%), streams and rivers (0.0001%), and biosphere (0.00004%).
- It’s worth noting that the statement claiming water in lakes and rivers is 0.0171% is incorrect, as the correct value is 0.008% for salt lakes, 0.009% for freshwater lakes, and 0.0001% for rivers.
- In comparison, the water content in groundwater is 0.62%, which is significantly higher than that in lakes and rivers. Water in polar ice caps and glaciers is 2% while in groundwater it is 0.62%.
Therefore, option (b) is the correct answer.