Talk:Fresh water

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Spelling edit[edit]

It is formally "freshwater", not "fresh water". I have changed this and made "fresh water" redirect to the new, correctly spelled page. I am an oceanographer and we spell it "freshwater" in our proposals and articles.

Freshwater is an adjective (cf. Freshwater fish, freshwater algae, freshwater ecology etc.) but fresh water is water with low concentrations of dissolved salts - see both uses at Freshwater Biological Association - home page.  Velella  Velella Talk   15:11, 6 February 2012 (UTC)
In American English, freshwater is also a noun:

Facts Problems[edit]

This article does not agree with the H2O article on the % of fresh water and where it is stored at.

Freshwater vs. Salt water[edit]

At what salinity level does freshwater scientifically become saltwater? That information would be useful in the article.

The actual amount of salt in fresh water is, by definition, less than 0.05% by volume. Otherwise, the water is regarded as brackish (0.05-2.99%) or defined as saline (3 to 5%). The ocean is naturally saline at approximately 3.5% salt. At well over 5% it is considered brine, however this is common only in inland salt lakes like the Dead Sea, with a surface water salt content of around 15%. Right now I haven't got the time to edit the text though, but feel free to use these percentage levels and fix this close to dreadful article... :-) Tommy Kronkvist 15:29, 26 March 2006 (UTC)

Where to go from here?[edit]

I was going to take a stab at this article, but I'm not sure where to start. To start with, should it be one word (freshwater) or remain as it is, as two words (fresh water)? How about organization? Tommy Kronkvist's comments were helpful, but what is the source for citation purposes? Ginkgo100 23:26, 28 March 2006 (UTC)

I would say that it should remain as two words. WaterGuy

Since "fresh water" is a noun and titles are nouns, it should remain two words. "Freshwater" is an adjective. --Yath 16:54, 25 April 2006 (UTC)regular water = freshwater
  • The picture on the page makes no sense. Reflection of people? Fish pond? 23:51, 21 August 2006 (UTC)
the title of this article should definitely be Freshwater. Fresh water is not the technical term used. the google hits are 20:1 favouring Freshwater, but more importantly all the encylopaedic google hits point to Freshwater. The present title is the biggest embarrassment i have ever seen on wikipedia. Anlace 04:09, 12 March 2007 (UTC)
It's been solid (freshwater) in the Merriam-Webster dictionaries for at least thirty years. Jacob (talk) 04:37, 6 February 2012 (UTC)


"Many species can live in fresh water == Headline text ==Bold text , including freshwater fish species."

I'm guessing that by the first "species" we're talking about "organisms"... I know that the wording is technically correct, but it seems somewhat circular, and I'm not certain if stating that freshwater fish can live in freshwater environments is too obvious. I'm kind of new to editing Wikithings (lol obvious no account), so I thought I'd better bring this up in discussion rather than toss in my interpretation of what was meant to be said. That, and I'm nowhere near educated on the matter. 01:57, 11 October 2006 (UTC)

You know, I think you're absolutely right about that sentence. I removed the whole thing, as it adds nothing to the article. In the future, please don't have any qualms about being bold -- many articles have badly written parts that would benefit from a good rewrite. --Ginkgo100 talk · e@ 03:36, 11 October 2006 (UTC)

Confusing and Inconsistent?[edit]

These articles on Fresh, Saline and Brine water (etc) are confusing and inconsistent -- how is 50 ppt equal to 50% ? Really needs some clarification, because PPM, PPT and % are all on very different scales.. --MaXiMiUS 07:43, 11 July 2007 (UTC)

Total dissolved solids[edit]

To be added?
fresh water < 1500 mg/L TDS
Source: ISBN:0-13-148193-2, page 188
--Saippuakauppias 17:12, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

Why have only selected parts of the talk page been moved?[edit]

Only parts of the original talk page at Talk:Freshwater have been moved here, this selective move has the effect of leaving out all discussion that motivated the move from "Freshwater to "Fresh water" in the first place - the record is incomplete and in a way even "biased" against the move by not including the discussion of the move itself. Roger (talk) 11:08, 8 January 2011 (UTC)

Fresh water percent fix[edit]

Per the cited source (, lakes and rivers/streams make up 0.011% of the earth's freshwater, not 0.0001%. Zeke Hausfather (talk) 16:41, 22 February 2011 (UTC)

Add "Consumption for freshwater per person is a Planetary boundaries metric."[edit]

Add "Consumption for freshwater per person is a Planetary boundaries metric." (talk) 19:46, 22 April 2011 (UTC)

See Talk:Planetary boundaries to note the absence of consensus for any of the individual metrics pointing to the article Planetary boundaries, even from an article which would be appropriate if the metric were notable. You're still trying to refer to the article on planetary boundaries, rather than the subject. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 20:03, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
What subject? (talk) 23:49, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
The concept of planetary boundaries aka tipping points or tipping points is a complex one, and it's not clear what should link to it. This article might link to the article defining the planetary boundaries used in the article planetary boundaries, if it were sufficiently notable. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 00:23, 23 April 2011 (UTC)
Not aka (also known as), since you are comparing "apples and oranges" ... planetary boundaries doesn't equal tipping point (climatology) or tipping point (physics), although those terms are used as "boundaries". (talk) 01:34, 23 April 2011 (UTC)
This is the wrong place for discussion, but what is a planetary boundary but a tipping point related to a global effect? — Arthur Rubin (talk) 01:52, 23 April 2011 (UTC)
Add connection to Drinking water also. (talk) 01:38, 3 May 2011 (UTC)

With the changes to Planetary boundaries ...[edit]

Add "Consumption of water and the global hydrological cycle is a Planetary boundaries metric.", but another wp article might be drinking water/potable water (consumption), water resources, and water crisis. (talk) 06:18, 22 June 2011 (UTC)

China Takes Loss to Get Ahead in Desalination Industry NYT[edit]

China Takes a Loss to Get Ahead in the Business of Fresh Water Michael Wines published: October 25, 2011 ... There are plenty of reasons for China to want a homegrown desalination industry, not the least of which is homegrown fresh water. ... (talk) 23:22, 26 October 2011 (UTC)

Is this Drinking water? (talk) 03:29, 27 October 2011 (UTC)
Connectivity issues to this article for me ... maybe later, or someone with a different configuration/situation? 23:43, 1 November 2011 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)
"distilled seawater" ... distilled water (talk) 03:51, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
simplifed link reabability. (talk) 00:48, 4 November 2011 (UTC)

Time (magazine) resource ?[edit]

Related to potable water (drinking water), from Talk:Planetary_boundaries ... Why the World May Be Running Out of Clean Water by Bryan Walsh Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2011; excerpt

A parched lake in Texas illustrates the effects of a record-breaking drought that hit the state and much of the American Southwest this year (talk) 06:44, 18 November 2011 (UTC)

Picture inconsistency[edit]

In <<Image:Earth_water_distribution.svg|thumb|290px|Visualisation of the distribution (by volume) of water on Earth>> legends "Fresh groundwater 7 600 ppm (0.76%) 10 530 000 km3" and "Ice caps, galciers & permanent snow 17 400 ppm (1.74%) 24 064 000 km3" should be swapped, obviously the latter refers to the large light blue rectangle and vice-versa. (talk) 16:56, 10 March 2012 (UTC)

Table 3's Units Do Not Make Sense[edit]

mm of water? Water should be measured in VOLUME not by distance. You can't measure water in units of distance because distance is a line. Nor does it make sense if the "mm" meant m x m or meters squared....because volume is not a surface area. Volume is m x m x m. It should be something like, meters cubed, or some unit, cubed, because it is a volume amount, not a distance. "mm" normally stands for millimeter and that truly does not make sense here. Also, how long exactly, is a total growing period? When "/total growing period" is the time period, that is not reasonable, because in years where there are drought or when the conditions are more dry, the growing period may actually be cut short...whereas in some places, the growing period may be almost year-round, and in those cases, the plants would consume far more water since they are producing fruits almost year-round. The units on this are just all out of whack. Can whomever added that table please clarify?

Thanks. (talk) 19:45, 23 July 2012 (UTC)

I would assume the mm refers to millimetres per growing season - as in millimetres of rainfall. However, I can't access the reference provided. Vsmith (talk) 19:59, 23 July 2012 (UTC)

Proposed Edits and Sources[edit]

Plans to expand the “fresh water as a resource” section are as follows, especially focusing on the “limited resource” section:

1) Elaborate on the usage of water by humans for irrigation and industrial purposes, and the effect they have on the environment.

2) The petroleum oil spill caused by the Royal Dutch Shell, further investigation into the effect this had on drinking water, plants and animals.

3) Add a section on fresh water in the future- what options do we have when we run out of fresh water? When will we run out of fresh water? What are our options? What technologies are being developed to be put in place to prevent fresh water running out?

4) Add a section on how different countries around the world access fresh water. Different communities using wells, and the environmental problems that wells cause, v.s. cities in the desert such as Las Vegas that access water through reservoirs and pipelines.

5) The causes of why it is a limited resource, expanding on global warming and the effect it is having on our world- what will happen to us after we run out of water.

Mjglitter (talk) 21:55, 6 November 2012 (UTC)

I suspect that you would need a lot of very reliable sources to support those arguments.
  • I would welcome an expansion on sections dealing with irrigation and industrial use ....but this should also cover domestic and recreational use.
  • The Oil spillage in Argentina is already covered and taking a worldwide view, the current weight in the article is probably about right. A careful search of the literature will demonstrate very wide spread chronic ground-water pollution from the petro-chemical industry and also the defence industry to list just two. Very many air-force bases in the first world have a plume of aviation fuel mixed with halogenated organic compounds spreading inexorably outwards and downwards into the local ground-water contaminating often valuable fresh-water reserves. It takes a great deal of effort to find reliable sources however.
  • I have seen no evidence that fresh water is running out. It may well run-out in Las Vegas not least because Las Vegas is not a location where any rational water resource manager would choose to site a city. In the rest of the real world, water demand often exceeds readily available supply and that is a complex issue dictated by population growth, the cost of practicality of moving water long distances, local and macro economics, the desire of many first world people to live in warm sunny (and thus dry) climates) - however that is not the same as saying the fresh water will run out.
  • It would also be worth while reading Water resources and related articles and link to these rather than repeating material here. Best of luck.  Velella  Velella Talk   20:04, 7 November 2012 (UTC)
First get all your sources lined up.
I've just removed a large chunk of text you added that cited no sources at all. The style of the writing was also not in the neutral impersonal tone expected of an encyclopedia. Roger (talk) 17:01, 13 November 2012 (UTC)
Aware that this is a University project in addition to being a live Wikipedia article, I am posting comments here rather than simply editing out the bits of the article that I think don't stand up. The section on privatising fresh water is, I believe, actually talking about privatising Potable water (a.k.a Drinking water). Fresh water and potable water are not the same thing and I have serious reservations about this section being in here unless it can be edited to sit more comfortably. For the record, privatisation of Drinking water is not the rabid catastrophe it seems to have been in Bolivia - in England and Wales it is the norm with almost all water and sewage treatment provided by private companies - so I guess the language needs toning down a tad. The second issue concerns the many emotive words used such as panic and massive controversy - these are not encyclopaedic expressions and need to be replaced by more balanced phrasing that allows the readers to decide how much emotion to express. Similarly the use of the personal We is deprecated here and should be de-personalised. As an example We need to focus (on) technology improvements.... might be better put as Technological improvements may assist in ...... I hope that this all helps.  Velella  Velella Talk   22:53, 21 November 2012 (UTC)
I agree, furthermore, the first paragraph under the section "Fresh Water for the Future", besides having caps where it shouldn't, reads like a call to activism and thus has no place in this article. Personally I do not see much value in this section at all and would be fine if someone deleted the whole thing but at the very least then changes mentioned here should be done thus bringing the article more in line with Wikipedia standards. SQGibbon (talk) 01:55, 22 November 2012 (UTC)

Peer Review[edit]

Hello, I have chosen your article to review for the peer review section of the ANTH 2501 Wikipedia assignment. Everything that was added to the Fresh Water article is readable and relevant but there are some citations missing within a few of the added texts. There is only one of the two sections added, and it is also missing the 5 credible sources and 1 external link. Make sure to follow the checklist/guide line. Good luck on the rest of the assignment. Sibs62 (talk) 15:50, 20 November 2012 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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Question? Archived sources still need to be checked

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