Water notes - Chapter14:Water...

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Chapter 14: Water Water’s Importance, Availability, and Renewal Importance of Water Water keeps us alive, moderates climate, sculpts the land, removes and dilutes wastes and pollutants, and moves continually through the hydrologic cycle. Water is one of our most poorly managed resources We waste and pollute it Charge too little for making it available Global health issue Lack of water and unsafe water and sanitation is the world’s single largest cause of illness. Each year at least 2 million people, mostly children, die from largely preventable waterborne diseases Diarrhea Typhoid fever Hepatitis C hildren’s issue Essential for healthy development Every 8 seconds a child dies prematurely from waterborne disease Economic issue Key to: Poverty reduction Food production Energy production Women’s issue Poor women and girls often are responsible for finding and carrying daily supplies of water. National and Global Security Issue Increasing tensions over access to limited but shared water resources in the Middle East and other areas Environmental Issue Excessive withdrawal of water from rivers and aquifers and pollution of water leads to: Disappearing species Lower water tables Declining fish populations Altered river flows Shrinking lakes Loss of wetlands Declining water quality Availability of Freshwater Only about 0.024% of the earth’s water supply is available to us as liquid freshwater. Freshwater supply is continuously collected, purified, recycled, and distributed in the earth’s hydrologic cycle Hydrologic cycle ­ solar powered movement of water between the sea, air, and land
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Water: Supports terrestrial life Provides us with an array of goods and services Connects the world’s rivers, lakes, and aquifers with forests, grasslands, and other terrestrial systems Groundwater Some precipitation infiltrates the ground and is stored in spaces in soil and rock. Groundwater ­ one of our most important sources of freshwater Zone of saturation ­ spaces in soil, gravel, and rock close to the earth’s surface that are completely filled with water Water table ­ top of the zone of saturation Falls in dry weather or when we remove groundwater faster than it is replenished Rises in wet water Aquifers ­ underground caverns and porous layers of sand, gravel, or bedrock through which groundwater flows Natural recharge ­ the process where renewable aquifers are replenished naturally by precipitation that percolates downward through soil and rock Lateral recharge ­ replenished from the side Most aquifers recharge extremely slowly Surface Water Water that does not sink into the ground or evaporate into the air runs off into bodies of water Surface water ­ the freshwater that flows across the earth’s land surface and into rivers,
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  • Fall '11
  • Meador
  • surface water, Water Water

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