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Fresh water

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Fresh water (also 'freshwater' or 'fresh-water') is water that does not have a lot of salt in it.

When people say 'fresh water', they usually mean water from the lakes, rivers, snow, and ice, which is not salty. It also can mean water that people can drink. The oceans and seas are made up of salt water, which people cannot drink. Most of the world's fresh water is in the ice sheet of Antarctica.

People cannot drink all fresh water, because it might be contaminated. It might have harmful bacteria in it, or poisonous because of chemicals it contains. Water from a tap has been tested and treated so that it is safe to drink. This applies to most countries, but in some place the water needs to be boiled first to kill the germs and drunk after it has cooled down.

Fresh water that people can drink safely is called 'potable water'. Desalination can turn salt water into drinkable water.

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