The EPAresearch Twitter tweeted this on 14 July 2011:
The site indicates that this was in turn retweeted by 22 others, so not only did EPAresearch's 10,904 followers receive this misinformation but so did the followers of 22 other Twitters (unless the retweets made corrections, as I did).
Here was my WaterWired Twitter response:
I realize the EPAresearch item was undoubtedly Tweeted by some PR person, but that's no excuse. Neither is the response, "Oh, come on - you know what we meant!" I did, but did others who received this?
Puzzled by my reaction?
The EPAresearch Tweet would be correct if all Earth's freshwater occurred in lakes and streams. That's not true. The largest amount by far of Earth's fresh water occurs as 1) glaciers and ice caps (about 70%); 2) groundwater (about 30%). The rest of Earth's freshwater amounts to rounding error.So EPAresearch not only forgot about groundwater, but also glaciers and icecaps. [Note: I added this paragraph on 17 July 2011 in response to a comment.]
See this graphic from the USGS:
Note added on 19 July 2011: they acknowledged their mistake on 19 July - kudos to them!
"Facts do not cease to exist just because they are ignored." -- Aldous Huxley