Essential Environment: The Science behind the Stories (3rd Edition)

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Chapter 15 Testing Your Comprehension 1 Groundwater is the reservoir of water found underground, contained within aquifers. Groundwater moves slowly, but includes nearly half of all the water on the continents and is the largest reservoir of fresh water after the polar ice caps. 2 The natural distribution of fresh water is very uneven in both space and time. 3 Damming can generate electricity, control flooding, and provide a reliable source of water for human consumption and irrigation. It can also alter or destroy habitat, displace people, and cause floods if the dam fails. The Three Gorges Dam will displace 1.13 million people, and flood 10,000-year-old archaeological sites and productive farmland. Sedimentation in the reservoir will be a significant problem, and bacterial contamination of the water will require water treatment facilities. 4 These rivers all have more water being extracted from them for human use than flows into them naturally. 5 Water tables are dropping because the rate of withdrawal is greater than the rate of recharge. As the water table drops, land subsidence can be a problem, more energy is required to pump the remaining
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EOC_ch15 - Chapter 15 Testing Your Comprehension 1...

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