This is not to say that the water in oceans and ice caps is not useful; in both forms, water helps to regulate the climate through a complex set of processes of energy and material circulation. Climate change and the melting of ice will not help with the supply of fresh water, by the way, as melting glaciers and ice sheets become ocean water.
Rev. Ed also correctly pointed out that the 1 percent of the Earth's water that is both fresh and liquid is poorly distributed with respect to human needs. As an example, he mentioned the Atacama Desert of northern Chile, the driest place on Earth. The average rainfall is just a millimeter per year (we get 1200 times more rain on average), and in some parts rainfall is measured in years between events, rather than annual totals. In some places, rain has never been recorded by humans.
The Atacama serves as a reminder of the importance of geography and of the extreme variability of conditions on the planet. It also provides a number of intriguing examples of how things are not always as we would expect them to be. In the case of the Atacama, what is most fascinating is the adaptability of both humans -- one million of whom live there -- and its plants and animals. In the Atacama, the best examples of human ingenuity are really just humans having the wisdom to mimic natural adaptations. National Geographic's The Driest Place on Earth describes how both humans and plants capture the moisture of the region's abundant fog, known as the camanchaca. After all, this place may be the driest on the planet, but it is adjacent to the largest ocean!