What Are Different Types of Water Sources?

From water vapor in the atmosphere and ice in glaciers to all forms of liquid water in between, water sources are numerable and vary. The types of water sources depend on the state of the water.

Water is highly abundant on Earth and covers a little more than two-thirds of the planet's surface. Ninety-seven percent of this water is salty and found in the Earth's oceans. Unfortunately, this only leaves 3 percent of fresh water that is fit for human consumption. Of this 3 percent, over two-thirds is frozen in glaciers and icecaps, such as those covering Greenland and Antarctica. This leaves humans about 1 percent of the water on Earth to work with, and it is found in various sources.

If freshwater is found on the surface, such as a lake or stream, it is considered surface water. Water that resides in and travels through microscopic pores in the soil and some rocks is considered groundwater, and it is only available to humans via the drilling of wells. Precipitation, or water that has evaporated from the oceans, condensed and fallen from the sky, is another source, and it replenishes surface waters. All sources of water, oceanic, atmospheric, ground and surface, are all linked and interact through the water cycle, which is the evaporation, precipitation, storage and re-evaporation of water throughout the globe.