Water, Water, Everywhere

This classroom demonstration illustrates the amount of water stored in various parts of the Earth system in a straightforward manner. Students estimate the proportions of water in the oceans, icecaps and glaciers, groundwater, freshwater lakes, inland seas, soil moisture, atmosphere, and rivers. Then they fill beakers with the actual proportion and discuss what elements of the activity were surprising to them. Information on flash floods and flood preparedness and safety are included.

Go To:

National Weather Service

Notes From Our Reviewers

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Teaching Tips

Teaching Tips

This teacher-based demonstration could be flipped around into a student-driven investigation.

The 'fast facts' in the sidebar are quantitative and thought-provoking. Did you know the 48 contiguous United States receives a total volume of about four cubic miles (6.4 cubic km) of precipitation each day?