Around 30% of the world’s freshwater is stored underground in the form of groundwater (in shallow and deep groundwater basins up to 2,000 meters below the surface, and as soil moisture, swamp water, and permafrost). This constitutes about 97% of all the freshwater that is potentially available for human use. 

Module 7: Water and Biome

 “Protect the Earth for children. We must safeguard our natural environment, with its diversity of life, its beauty and its resources, all of which enhance the quality of life, for present and future generations. We will give every assistance to protect children and minimize the impact of natural disasters and environmental degradation on them.”  – United Nations, A World Fit for Children 


Biomes are regions defined by their climate type, plants, and animals. Forest, tundra, aquatic, grassland, and desert are some examples of biomes around the world. Scientists classify biomes in different ways, but the most important way is by a region’s distinguishing features – its climate, flora, and fauna. As with all of the Earth’s beings, the biomes depend on water and allow only the particular types of life that are adapted to survive within them. 

Different countries have different biomes, but they are all connected to each other, and any change in one biome will affect another. For instance, changes in the Andes Mountains in South America have an impact on the forests in the Amazon. Changes in the Sahara Desert have an impact on the forests in Central Africa. At the same time, changes in the Indian and Pacific Oceans have an impact on the tropical forests in Asia. 

Thematic concepts

Underground water

A large part of the available freshwater in the world is stored in underground aquifers, which provide 50% of all drinking water, 40% of industrial water, and 20% of water for irrigation.


An ecosystem approach integrates the management of water, the associated land, and living resources in a way that maintains ecosystem health and productivity, in balance with sustainable water use by humans.


Watersheds supply drinking water, provide recreation, and sustain life. A watershed approach involving all stakeholders is essential to address today’s water resource challenges. 


The soil filter
Activity Time: 30 minutes Activity Thematic Areas: Science, Mathematics
How water is stored and distributed underground
Activity Time: 20 minutes Activity Thematic Areas: Science, Geography
Exploring your river – Waterway mapping and habitat assessment
Activity Time: 90 minutes Activity Thematic Areas: Geography, Environmental Education