The three major global uses of fresh water are agriculture, industry and domestic use. Among those, agriculture accounts for 70 percent of all the fresh water used globally. Industries around the world use 20 percent of the fresh water, and only 10 percent is used for domestic activities, including drinking.
Over 70 percent of Earth's surface is covered by water, but only 2.5 percent is fresh and the remaining 97.5 percent is salt water. Permanent ice, such as mountain and continental glaciers, is the largest fresh water storage on Earth. Ground water, rivers and canals are the main usable sources of fresh water. Three countries are responsible for nearly 38 percent of the global fresh water consumption: China, India and the United States.