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Finding Water in Puerto Rico: An Endless Game of Cat and Mouse

hurricane Puerto Rico

CAITLIN DICKERSON OCT. 12, 2017 SAN JUAN, P.R. — After a day spent working in an office in the dark, without air-conditioning, Iris Díaz arrived at her neighborhood CVS drugstore desperate for what has quickly become one of the most sought-after items in Puerto Rico: bottled water. A sales clerk standing behind the checkout counter explained that the store had been out of stock for three days. “Ni una sola botellita?” Ms. Díaz pleaded in Spanish. “Not even one little bottle?” The employee shook her head and apologized. Three weeks after Hurricane Maria tore through Puerto Rico, the challenge of finding enough water...

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Why the sea is salty ...

SEEN from space, the Earth is a pale blue dot. Two-thirds of its surface is covered by water. But the vast majority of that water—around 97%—is salty. Of the 3% that is fresh water—which is the kind humanity needs to drink, wash, make things and (most of all) produce food—about two-thirds is locked up in glaciers, ice caps and permafrost. That leaves less than 1% of the planet’s water easily accessible in rivers, lakes or aquifers. In short, the salinity of the oceans means useful water is scarce, while the less useful kind is abundant. So why is the sea...

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Sustainable Earth: Water

Brian Handwerk For National Geographic News Clean water is essential for life, but most people in the developed world don't think much about the water they use for drinking, food preparation, and sanitation. In developing nations, however, the search for safe drinking water can be a daily crisis. Millions of people die each year, most of them children, from largely preventable diseases caused by a lack of access to clean water and proper sanitation. Sandra Postel, director of the Global Water Policy Project and the National Geographic Society's freshwater fellow, said freshwater scarcity presents a growing problem to be addressed during...

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15 Fun and Surprising Facts about the Earth’s Oceans

1. For starters, did you know that 94 percent of life on Earth is aquatic? That makes us land-dwellers a very small minority. 2. About 70 percent of the planet is ocean, with an average depth of more than 12,400 feet. Given that photons (light) can’t penetrate more than 330 feet below the water’s surface, most of our planet is in a perpetual state of darkness. 3. Fifty percent of the United States (in terms of our complete legal jurisdiction, which includes ocean territory) lies below the ocean. 4. The deep sea is the largest museum on Earth: There are...

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What will happen if you only drink water?

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