Is the total water on Earth a fixed amount?

I was watching a TV show this weekend about water conservation. The journalist who prepared the story stated the total amount of all water in the world is fixed. We can't make new water. Is this true?

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  • Yogi
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    YES

    The amount of man made water is too small to alter the amount of water on earth. Because of that reason, it is an accepted fact that the earth's water is a constant.

    Yes, we can make water as others have mentioned but the amount is miniscule. The amount of water that exists today, existed billions of years ago as well. It may be in different states at different times but the amount is constant.

    " ... the Earth has the same amount of water today as it did a million years ago."

    http://www.ec.gc.ca/Water/en/info/pubs/NSKit/e_cha...

    " Since the hydrological cycle is a closed system, the amount of water in the Earth's hydrosphere is constant."

    http://encyclopedia.farlex.com/Properties+of+water

    "... that the amount of water on the earth is constant ..."

    http://www.visionlearning.com/library/module_viewe...

    "...the amount of water on the earth is constant..."

    http://www.prairie.org/water-constant

    "Although the balance of water on Earth remains fairly constant over time ... "

    http://ga.water.usgs.gov/edu/watercycle.html

    "Although water continuously changes states from solid to liquid to gas the amount of water on Earth remains constant."

    http://www.raingardennetwork.com/water.htm

    "... water on the earth is virtually constant through time ..."

    http://books.google.ca/books?id=rpA7YiTl504C&pg=PA...

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  • 3 years ago

    Amount Of Water On Earth

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  • Holly
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    For the best answers, search on this site https://shorturl.im/avBtQ

    Sorry, but you make an assumption, that water is "lost" and must be replaced with additional gallons over time. THAT is NOT the case. The amount of water on the planet is FIXED. Yes, SOME is being broken down into hydrogen and oxygen and SOME is recombining into water, but the running total at any one point in time is a fixed amount. The earth recycles water. Man will do the same in space. For every drop you drink, you give off a drop as water vapor in the air you exhale, sweat, or contained in the waste products from your body. Your body maintains a running total that is more or less constant. Some goes IN and some goes OUT, and exactly like your bank balance works pretty much the SAME. The current ISS in orbit, recycles more than 9 out of every 10 gallons of water by reclaiming water from waste and collecting water vapor from the air. So, when you say you need 3 gallons a day for 3 people, you do not mean 3 gallons of NEW water, you mean about 3/10th of ONE gallon per day of NEW water as the other 7/10th of a gallon will come from being scavenged and recycled. Your 3285 gallons becomes 328.5 gallons when you include RECYCLED water. It is feasible to lift 328.5 gallons into orbit for a trip to mars just as it is for the ISS which supports 8 people or so for months at a time without thousands of gallons of water of additional water YOU say they should need. There is NO reason why you could not distill and purify your own urine and recycle the 90% or more which IS water... You MIGHT find the idea of drinking water distilled from your own urine or someone else's for that matter, as repulsive, but THAT does NOT change the chemical properties OF the water, regardless of the SOURCE... By the way, there is no medical reason why you could NOT drink your own urine. The waste products in your urine are for the most part completely sterile, and will simply come out through your kidneys again, and again. Bottom line: they only need to take 1/10th of the water you claim they need, with the remainder being recycled over and over.

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  • 4 years ago

    This Site Might Help You.

    RE:

    Is the total water on Earth a fixed amount?

    I was watching a TV show this weekend about water conservation. The journalist who prepared the story stated the total amount of all water in the world is fixed. We can't make new water. Is this true?

    Source(s): total water earth fixed amount: https://shortly.im/cEFlK
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  • 1 decade ago

    No, this is not totally accurate. We do have the technology to break down the molecules of anything, whether it be a desk or a car, into a new substance. All we have to do is rearrange the electrons in any element to transform it into a completely different element, such as water. However, to do this is very expensive, and would not be worth the cost at all. I believe it costs in the billions, if not the trillions of dollars to do something like that.

    The other thing is that the total amount of water on Earth can be altered by meteorites that make it to Earth. If they contain water, then they add to the total water on our planet. The same goes for any elements and compounds that can be deposited on Earth by meteorites.

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  • Mary
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    First, depending on the launch date, the cruise to Mars is only 8 months or so. That said, the water you drink today is recycled over an over again. The same holds true for astronauts. Water they consume will pass as urine which can be filtered and reused to say water plants, which would grow and the water seeps through the soil to be captured, to be reused as drinking water after filtering, and the cycle continues. So you don't need 3285 gallons per astronaut just for the voyage.

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  • 1 decade ago

    It's close to being practically true. It is possible to make new water, by burning things like wood, animal dung, and oil. Part of the residue from the burning is water vapor. But world-wide, the process is an insignificant fraction of the of all the water in the air, in lakes and rivers, in the Antarctic and Greenland ice flows, and in the oceans.

    By "insignificant" here, I mean less than 1 millionth.

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  • 1 decade ago

    No, it's not true. Because we can react hydrogen with oxygen to produce water (and not all hydrogen is extracted from water, so we didn't have to "consume water to get water"). The simplest example of this is if you burn hydrogen, it produces water vapor because of the reaction with oxygen.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Well, there are plenty of sources of water to be tapped, and it all depends on your perspective. Dirty water can be purified, saline water de-salinified, etc....

    Protecting the health of freshwater ecosystems is a different animal....

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  • 1 decade ago

    No, That is not true. the chemically nature of water is hydrogen and oxygen and it is being created all the time by plants.

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