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Assertion - About 71% of the earth’s surface is covered with water. But still we face a severe scarcity of water.
Reason - The gaseous form of water is the water vapour present in the air around us.
(A) Both Assertion and Reason are correct and Reason is the correct explanation for Assertion.
(B) Both Assertion and Reason are correct but Reason is not the correct explanation for Assertion.
(C) Assertion is correct but Reason is incorrect.
(D) Both Assertion and Reason are incorrect.

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Last updated date: 13th Jun 2024
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Answer
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Hint: Water is made up of hydrogen and oxygen, which exists in three different states such as liquid, gaseous and solid respectively. It exists in the air as water vapour, in lakes and streams, in oceans and glaciers and even in ground as soil moisture. Nearly 97.54% of the total water on Earth is present in oceans, seas and bays, which is saline in nature.

Complete answer:
Water is a chemical compound that is made up of hydrogen and oxygen. It is present both in and on Earth. About 71% of the Earth’s surface is covered with water. It’s found in different forms or states of matter like liquid, gaseous and solid. Major percentage of water is found in oceans, seas and bays. The nature of water present in these zones makes it saline in nature. Saline or salt water is not suitable for human consumption, as it causes severe dehydration leading to kidney related ailments. That’s the reason why most of the Earth’s population face severe scarcity of water.
97.5% of the total water present on Earth is salt water. The remaining 2.5% of water is freshwater, which is actually suitable for human consumption. Nearly 69% of the total freshwater is stored in glaciers and permanent snow covers. 31% of the freshwater is found as ground water, which includes soil moisture and permafrost. And the remaining 0.3% of fresh water is found in lakes and streams which is accessible for human consumption and activities.

Understanding the statements,
Assertion - About 71% of the earth’s surface is covered with water. But still we face a severe scarcity of water.
This statement is true. About 71% of the Earth’s surface is covered with water, but still we face severe scarcity because most of the water is salt water (saline) in nature.
Reason - The gaseous form of water is the water vapour present in the air around us.
This statement is true. Water is present in three different forms, one of which is gaseous state. The surface water found on Earth evaporates into water vapour which is responsible for maintaining moisture in the atmosphere.
Both the statements are correct, but the Reason doesn’t explain the Assertion.

Hence the correct answer is OPTION(B)
Note: It is important to remember the percentage of saltwater and freshwater present on Earth’s surface. Only 2.5% of the freshwater is available and in that, less than 1% is accessible for human consumption and other activities. High salt concentration in ocean waters makes it unfit for human consumption as it causes dehydration and kidney related ailments.