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49 Cards in this Set

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  • Back
What are some of the physical and chemical properties of water?
It can absorb heat. It is a universal solvent. It has high surface tension. It's the only liquid whose solid form is less dense then the liquid. (hydrogen bonds, transparency and ionization of water pH)
How do these properties make water unique?
- solid form less dense than liquid form.
How do they make water essential for life?
They make some climates warmer. Water reacts with amino acids found in the human body. Surface tension allows the body to store water.
How much water is there and how is water distributed globally?
Approximately 1 billion, 263 thousand cubic kilometers
97% oceans, 2% ice caps and glaciers and 1 % ground water surface waters and atmosphere.
What is the water cycle?
The water cycle distributes solar energy and purifies water.
What processes drive the water cycle? (refer to chapter 4)
Evaporation;/transpiration, condensation and precipitation
How much water do humans use?
Humans use 6,000 cubic km per year
What are the sources of our water supplies?
The sources of our water supplies - are rivers, lakes and streams, ground water
What is a water budget?
The water budget is a model of inputs, outputs and storage of water.
Which reservoir has the shortest residence time?
The atmosphere
Which reservoir has the longest residence time?
Ice caps and glaciers
What is the difference between groundwater and surface water?
Ground water is water stored in the pores and spaces underground. Surface water is stored in rivers, lakes and streams.
runoff: something that drains or flows off, as rain that flows off from the land in streams.
infiltration - the slow passage of a liquid through a filtering medium; "the percolation of rainwater through the soil"; "the infiltration of seawater through the lava"
Under pressure or confined.
aquifer/ water table
water table is the upper surface of ground water - the surface below in which all the pore space is saturated with water.
Aquifer - underground reservoir of water.
What is the fate of precipitation?
Precipitation goes back into the ground and becomes part of the ground water . It may enter surface waters.(34%) It can be evaporated (66%)
What is groundwater overdraft? (Ogallala aquifer example)
Removal exceeds recharge

Ogallala Aquifer underlies approximately 225,000 square miles in the Great Plains region, particularly in the High Plains of Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, and NebraskaUse of the aquifer began at the turn of the century, and since World War II reliance on it has steadily increased. The withdrawal of this groundwater has now greatly surpassed the aquifer's rate of natural recharge.
What is desalinization?
It is making fresh water from salt water.
What are the barriers to using salt water as a water source?
It is expensive and uses alot of energy.
What are the major use categories of water?
How is water transported from its source to its use site?
Water is transported by canals and aqueducts.
What problems are associated with these practices
What is the largest consumptive use of water in the U S?
Agricultural - irrigation.
What proportion of withdrawals is for domestic uses?
What is water conservation?
Water conservation is the careful use and protection of water resources
How can water be conserved in agriculture?
Price agricultural water
Use lined or covered canals.
Integrate the use of surface water and ground water more effectively.
How can water be conserved in domestic use?
Replace lawns with decorative gravels or plants.
Use more efficient bathroom fixtures. Turn off water when not absolutely needed.
How can water be conserved in industry and manufacturing?
Improve equipment and processes.
Reduce and recycle.
What is sustainable water use?
Water use that sustains quantity and quality

Use of water resources that does not harm the environment
How is public perception important in ensuring an adequate water supply? ( Tucson vs. Phoenix example)
Tucson - People perceived as area as desert, used water conservation measures, planted less trees
Phoenix perceived area as oasis and ended up using more water to acheive that end
What are wetlands?
Wetlands are swamps, bogs, marshes, vernal pools and salt marshes.
What are some of the functions of wetlands?
surface water storage,
ground water recharge,
wild live nursery,
filters water,
buffers storm surges
Why are we interested in restoring wetlands?
We are interested in restoring wetlands because they serve a variety of natural service functions. They store water and reduce flooding and release water when water flow is low. Animal nursery, natural filters
What is the role of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 in the restoration of wetlands?
If wetlands are destroyed by a particular project the developer must obtain or create additional wetlands at another site to compensate.
How can wetlands be used to treat wastewater and agricultural runoff?
They have a natural ability to remove excess nutrients, break down pollutents and cleanse water.
What effects do dams and reservoirs have on the environment?
Loss of land, cultural resources and biologic resources. ex. Sediments that would go to the beaches are stored behind the dam.
Why are some dams being removed?
Some dams are being removed as a result of environmental damages. Adverse effects on river ecology.
What effects do canals have on the environment?
(carry disease) Hazardous to animals,
What is stream channelization? (Kissimmee River example)
An engineering technique of deepening, straightening,widening or lining waterways for flood or erosion control, improved drainage or navigation.
How have humans affected flood patterns? (Hurricane Floyd, Mississippi River 1993 examples)
Flooding is necessary for eco-systems. Natural functions of flood plains include water storage, wild life, greenbelt. Flooding creates good soil. Reservoirs, levies, dams and diversion canals have controlled flooding impacting on the positive action of flooding.
What is a floodplain?
A floodplain is flat topography adjacent to a stream in a river valley that has been produced by the combination of overbank flow and lateral migration of meander bends.
How does urbanization contribute to flooding?
Urbanization contributes to flooding by loss of vegetation, ground water is not replenished, runoff often polluted, not filtered by soil or vegetation.
How can this problem be minimized?
Planting vegetation,
Why has the federal flood insurance program not worked as a solution for flooding problems?
It has encourage inappropriate use of flood plains by paying to rebuild - things like levies etc.
What does riparian mean?
Riparian means related to or located on the bank of a water body.
What is a riparian buffer and how does it protect water quality?
A riparian buffer is
Also called a riparian corridor or forested buffer, it is the area of land next to a stream - the streambanks and floodplain area. Typically, in nature, these areas are forested.
Special note: The Colorado River
What is a watershed?
A watershed is all the land drained by a river, stream or lake.
What is our ecological address?
dry creek --> New hope creek --> jordan lake --> cafe fear river --> atlantic ocean