Water that can be consumed is a scarce resource. Seawater makes up the majority of the world’s water supply. Freshwater makes up about 2.5 percent of the planet’s surface area, with two-thirds of it in ice caps and glaciers.

For many populations, underground reservoirs provide a vital source of water. Humans use wells to draw water from renewable and nonrenewable aquifers to satisfy their thirst and irrigate their crops.

Rivers and lakes contain only a small percentage of Earth’s water—but these surface waters are crucial. Like some aquifers, they are constantly replenished when water moves from atmosphere to Earth and back again through the water cycle.

Surface water supplies, on the other hand, are vulnerable to erratic precipitation patterns, making them infamously unreliable.

The challenge of protecting and regulating freshwater supplies, both above and below ground, is critical.

Water cannot be produced by humans. They may, however, maximize the amount of accessible water by regulating sources and distribution networks, ensuring that every drop is used to its full potential.