Earth is the "watery planet". Viewed from space it is predominantly blue, as 74 % of its surface is covered by water. Oceans contain 97 % of the earth's water while the remaining 3 % is classified as freshwater. Seventy-seven percent of this surface freshwater is stored as ice and 22% as groundwater and soil moisture. The remaining freshwater, making up less than 1 % of the world total, is contained in lakes, rivers and wetlands.