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APES Water Supply, Use and Management

properties of water that make it uniquely suitable for life
– high surface tension
– solid form less dense than liquid form
– polar molecules makes water a good solvent
– transparency
– ionization of water affects its properties (pH, H+ concentration)
high surface tension
caused by adhesive and cohesive properties that are a result of Hydrogen bonds
hydrogen bond
refers to the attractive forces between a hydrogen atom and either a fluorine, nitrogen, or oxygen atom (F NO)
global distribution of water
97% in ocean, 2% in glaciers/ice caps, less than 1% in groundwater, surface waters, atmosphere
processes of the water cycle are driven by _______
solar energy
the water cycle
– distributes energy and purifies water
– evaporation and transpiration
– condensation and precipitation
three fates of precipitation
run off, infiltration and evaporation
water budget: ocean
– size: 1
– rank: 2
– ART: thousands of years
water budget: ice caps/ glaciers
– size: 2
– rank: 1
– ART: tens of thousands of years
water budget: groundwater
– size: 3
– rank: 3
– 100’s- 1000’s of years
water budget: atmosphere
– size: 4
– rank: 5
– ART: days
water budget: rivers, lakes, streams
– size: 5
– rank: 4
– ART: weeks
water stored in pores and spaced underground (not just water that is underground)
saturated zone, can yield significant amounts of water
water table
the upper surface of groundwater (not constant or flat!)
discharge zones
areas in which groundwater seeps to the surface, the water here is called effluent water
recharge zones
ares in which surface water connects with groundwater, the water here is called influent water
groundwater reservoir is ____, but _____ _____
vast, unevenly distributed
groundwater overdraft
more water is withdrawn than replenished, this can cause saltwater intrusion in coastal areas
Ogallala Aquifer
example of groundwater overdraft
surface water
rivers, lakes and streams where flow is more subject to change than with groundwater
droughts (surface water)
droughts are a normal part of the cycle, but poor planning can lead to overdraft and water shortages, there is currently a drought in California
water use is ____ per capita and overall
increasing (US has the highest per capita use)
biggest consumptive use of water in US
largest industrial use of water in US
electrical generation (coal/nuclear power > steam > spin turbine)
US Domestic Usage of Water
average of 100 gal/day
off stream/consumptive water use
water is not returned to source (irrigation)
non-consumptive water use
water is returned to the source, examples are hydro-electrical power, navigation, boating and fishing
Why are multiple uses of water sometime incompatible?
For example, water levels needed by fish are different from levels required for hydro-electrical power generation, therefore they are incompatible.
Aral Sea in Soviet Union
example of water removal’s adverse effect on the environment: water was diverted from the sea to use as irrigation for cotton and fish died out, then the dried up sea bed began to create dust storms (laden with pesticides and chemicals from agriculture) which increased air and water pollution as well as crop damage, kidney and liver diseases were on the rise as well as asthma etc.
Colorado River in US
example of water removal’s adverse effect on the environment:
as a result of poor planning the Colorado river is in jeopardy, agricultural overdraw is causing increased salination, invasive species have started to settle and they use up more water than native ones
agricultural conservation
– improve irrigation by dripping in stead of spraying and irrigating at night to reduce evaporation
– plant appropriate crops
– reduce water subsidies
the build-up of salts in soil or water due to evaporation
domestic conservation
– efficient appliances
– change behavior
– low flow toilets/showers
– use gray water for plants and lawns
– appropriate lawn, plantings
making fresh water from salt water (ocean is 3.5% salts)
why is desalinization not a practical option?
– uses a lot of money and energy
– only works with a small population
– US facilities have been proven expensive to build and operate
– used by Kuwait (coastal nation with abundant energy sources)
sustainable water use
water use without degradation of supply or quality
how to achieve sustainable water use
– change public perception
– change pricing structure and reduce government subsidies
– implement policies and regulation
– the hydro-illogical cycle (people don’t worry in times of enough water and panic at droughts)
California Ground Water Problems
water overdraft, nitrate contamination (agriculture, septic tanks), salinity accumulation, land subsidence, decreased stream flows
Areas inundated with water for all or part of the year
Examples of Wetlands
swamps, bogs, marshes, salt marshes and vernal pools (seasonal)
Wetland Functions
– store water, reduce flooding
– buffer storm surges/waves
– groundwater recharge
– wildlife nursery, fish and shellfish
– important for migratory birds
– filters water, traps sediments
– nutrient sinks: carbon storage and denitrification
Clean Water Act
Protects and regulates wetlands because over 50% have been trained in the US; a mitigation policy
Wetlands can be constructed for ____ ____ and ____
water treatment, mitigation
partially enclosed coastal water formed where river meets sea
Estuary Examples
Chesapeake Bay, Pamlico Sound
Estuary Function
– salinity and temperature vary with daily tides
– runoff from land brings lots of nutrients
– important nurseries for many aquatic organisms
constructed for water supply, power generation and flood control; they’re expensive and federally subsidized
Environmental Impacts of Dams
– floods river valleys
– changes river ecosystems
– loss of riparian zone and sediment transport
– blocks fish (anadromous fish which swim upstream to spawn)
Riparian Zone
related to or located on the bank of a water bod; where a lot of organisms and life is
attempts to restore ecosystems and remove dams
Elwha Dam and Glines Canyon Dam
Aswan Dam
Dam in the border between Egypt and Sudan. It provides water for irrigation land, controls flooding, generates power and improves navigation. The water comes from the Nile.
Three Gorges Dam
Reservoir on the Yangtze river in China. It has drowned cities, farm fields, important archeological sites and displaced aprox. 2 mill people. It is highly polluted and may encourage more flood-prone areas. Though it provides electricity other rivers could have done so without this much damage.
straightening, deepening, wining or lining waterways for flood and erosion control, improve drainage or navigation; canals are used to drain wet areas or carry water to dry areas
Channelization Effects
– causes loss of fish habitat, riparian buffer
– increases downstream flooding, destroys wetlands
– aesthetic degradation (streams become ditches)
Kissimmee River in Florida Everglades
Channelization of this river did not provide expected flood relief. Land drainage damaged wildlife habitats and caused aesthetic degradation. It was restored.
Floodplain Functions
water storage, wildlife habitat, natural greenbelt
– naturally occurring event
– brings rich sediments to floodplains, creates good soil
flooding control efforts often ___ problems downstream
Urbanization and Flooding
– degrades water quality
– loss of vegetation and increase in impervious surfaces
– groundwater is not filtered or replenished
– storm water runoff carries pollutants into nearest waterway and increases flooding
Unnatural Disasters
human activities make natural disasters into catastrophes (Hurricane Sandy, Katrina, Floyd)
___ and ___ have encouraged inappropriate building
FEMA, federal policies
all the lands drained by a river, stream or lake
River Basin
drainage area of a river (made up of wetlands)
Ecological Address for ECHHS
Dry Creek > New Hope Creek > Jordan Lake > Cape Fear River (Basin) > Atlantic Ocean
Fresh Water
less than 0.01% salt
contains 3% salt (30 ppt)
mixture of salt and fresh, where rives meet oceans
Hard Water
contains minerals esp. Ca or Mg precipitated soap
Soft Water
relatively free or minerals
fast, shallow water
solution obtained by leaching (percolating water)
fix damage done (after)
compensate for anticipated effects (before)

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