Water resources are sources of water that are useful or potentially useful. Uses of water include agricultural, industrial, household, recreational and environmental activities. Virtually all of these human uses require fresh water.
97 percent of the water on the Earth is salt water. However, only three percent is fresh water; slightly over two thirds of this is frozen in glaciers and polar ice caps. The remaining unfrozen freshwater is found mainly as groundwater, with only a small fraction present above ground or in the air.
Fresh water is a renewable resource, yet the world's supply of groundwater is steadily decreasing, with depletion occurring most prominently in Asia and North America, although it is still unclear how much natural renewal balances this usage, and whether ecosystems are threatened. The framework for allocating water resources to water users (where such a framework exists) is known as water rights.
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