The majority of freshwater on earth is found in frozen glaciers and ice caps. This frozen water accounts for 68.7 percent of earth's freshwater, with 30.1 percent found in groundwater. Only 1.2 percent of fresh water is exposed to the surface of the planet.
Of the freshwater that sits at the surface, 69 percent is found in ice form on the ground or in the permafrost of arctic regions. Of the remaining freshwater, 20.9 percent is found in lakes, 3.8 percent in the moisture of soil, 2.6 percent in swamps and marshes, 0.49 percent in rivers, 0.26 in plant and animal organisms and 3 percent in the atmosphere.