The many uses of water include agricultural, industrial, household, recreational and environmental activities. At the global level, it's estimated that 70 percent of water use is in agriculture, 20-22 percent is used in industry, and 8-10 percent in the municipal sector including household uses. Water demand is disproportionate to its supply in many parts of the world, and the gross imbalances are expected to continue into the near future. Increasing human population further strains water resources and creates unparalleled competition for water in many of the poorest countries. Climate change will majorly disrupt the water cycle and directly impact water resources for many communities around the world.
Up until the 1990s, the common understanding of most people was that water was an infinite resource. There was less than half the current population living on the planet, and less people consuming a water-intense diet and lifestyle. Today, there are 7 billion people on earth and they are consuming more water-intensive foods (i.e. meats, almonds, rice), so an increased amount of water is being siphoned off to agriculture to keep up with the demand. Along with increased water usage for agriculture, there is also increased competition for water from industry and urbanization. The overall population is forecast to rise to 9 billion by 2050, which means a higher number of people consuming a meat-heavy diet, and an even heavier demand on already tight water resources.
Just over 70 percent of the earth's surface is covered in water. Of this, 97 percent is salt water, and 3 percent is freshwater.
Just about two thirds (69 percent) of freshwater is frozen in glaciers and ice caps, roughly 30 percent is ground water, and a tiny fraction (around 0.3 percent) is surface water, or water that is above ground or in the air.
Worldwide, 70 percent of water use is in agriculture, roughly 20 percent is used in industry, and 10 percent in the municipal sector including household uses.
According to the Wikipedia article on Water Resources: "It is estimated that 70% of worldwide water is used for irrigation, with 15–35% of irrigation withdrawals being unsustainable. It takes around 2,000 – 3,000 litres of water to produce enough food to satisfy one person's daily dietary need. This is a considerable amount, when compared to that required for drinking, which is between two and five litres. To produce food for the now over 7 billion people who inhabit the planet today requires the water that would fill a canal ten metres deep, 100 metres wide and 2100 kilometres long."
Wikipedia states that "It is estimated that 22% of worldwide water is used in industry. Major industrial users include hydroelectric dams, thermoelectric power plants, which use water for cooling, ore and oil refineries, which use water in chemical processes, and manufacturing plants, which use water as a solvent. Water withdrawal can be very high for certain industries, but consumption is generally much lower than that of agriculture. "
Roughly 8% of worldwide water is used for domestic purposes. This includes water for drinking, bathing, cooking, toilet flushing, cleaning, laundry and gardening. It has been estimated that each person needs around 50 liters of water per day to carry out the basic domestic water needs, excluding water for gardens.