Fresh water (also 'freshwater' or 'fresh-water') is water that does not have a lot of salt in it.
When people say 'fresh water', they usually mean water from the lakes, rivers, snow, and ice, which is not salty. It also can mean water that people can drink. The oceans and seas are made up of salt water, which people cannot drink.
People cannot drink all fresh water, because it might be contaminated. It might have harmful bacteria in it, or poisonous because of chemicals it contains. Water from a tap has been tested and treated so that it is safe to drink. This applies to most countries, but in some place the water needs to be boiled first to kill the germs and drunk after it has cooled down.
Fresh water that people can drink safely is called 'potable water'. Desalination can turn salt water into drinkable water.
In many countries the water used by people is recycled water. People pay for water supply which is safe to drink. Water theft also happens. Thames Water thinks water loss by theft is significant. Waste water (sewage) is treated to purify the water. That is why people are charged for the supply of pure water.
Related pages[change | change source]
References[change | change source]
- S.L. Postel, G.C. Daily & P.R. Ehrlich 1996. Human appropriation of renewable fresh water. Science 271, 785–788. 
- H.H.G. Savenije 2000. Water scarcity indicators: the deception of the numbers. Physics and Chemistry of the Earth B 25, 199–204.
- "Water loss control introduction". www.allianceforwaterefficiency.org.