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APES: Chapter 13: Water Resources
Terms in this set (61)
Which type of water is the most copious?
Water that sinks into the soil and is stored in slowly flowing and slowly renewed underground reservoirs called aquifers; underground water in the zone of saturation, below the water table.
How much of our water is readily available to us as liquid freshwater?
Where is the water that is not readily available to us as liquid freshwater in accessible places?
oceans, frozen polar ice caps, glaciers, and deep underground, inaccessible locations
zone of saturation
where all available pores in soil and rock in the earth's crust are filled by water.
Upper surface of the zone of saturation, in which all available pores in the soil and rock in the earth's crust are filled with water.
Porous, water-saturated layers of sand, gravel, or bedrock that can yield an economically significant amount of water.
happens with most aquifers; aquifer is replenished naturally by precipitation that percolates downward through exposed soil and rock
when aquifers are recharged from nearby lakes, rivers, and streams
Where is there more freshwater, above ground or underground?
What are the drawbacks of aquifers? (3)
- most recharge extremely slowly
- because so much of earth's landscape has been built on/paved over, water can no longer penetrate the ground to recharge aquifers below many urban areas
- in dry areas of the world there is little precipitation to recharge aquifers
- get very little, if any, recharge
- found deep underground and were formed tens of thousands of years ago
- amounts to mining nonrenewable resource
Precipitation that does not infiltrate the ground or return to the atmosphere by evaporation or transpiration.
Water flowing off the land into bodies of surface water.
watershed (aka drainage basin)
Land area that delivers water, sediment, and dissolved substances via small streams to a major stream (river).
Surface runoff of water that generally can be counted on as a stable source of water from year to year.
In the arid and semiarid areas of the western half of the US what is the main use of water?
irrigation - 85%
Condition in which an area does not get enough water because of lower-than-normal precipitation or higher-than-normal temperatures that increase evaporation.
What is the major water problem in much of the western US?
shortage of runoff caused by low precipitation, high evaporation, and recurring prolonged drought
competition for scarce water triggers political and legal conflicts
What are the 5 major problems associated with the Colorado River Basin
1. includes some of driest lands in US and Mexico
2. modest flow of water for its size
3. more water allocated for human use than it can supply
4. river has rarely flowed all the way to the Gulf of California b/c of reduced water flow
5. river receives enormous amounts of pollutants
What are 3 results of people not getting enough water?
- increased incidences of sickness/death from drinking contaminated water
- environmental refugees from arid and semiarid regions engaged in desperate search for water
- intense conflicts within and between countries
Why are water tables falling?
because rate of pumping water from all world's aquifers is greater than rate of natural recharge from rainfall and snowmelt
world's three largest grain producers
Purification of salt water or brackish (slightly salty) water by removal of dissolved salts.
advantages to withdrawing groundwater (4)
- useful for drinking and irrigation
- exists almost everywhere
- renewable if not overpumped or contaminated
- cheaper to extract than most surface waters
disadvantages to withdrawing groundwater (4)
- aquifer depletion from over pumping
- sinking of land from over pumping
- pollution of aquifers lasts decades or centuries
- deeper wells are nonrenewable
What does overpumping result in?
limits future food production and increases gap b/w rich and poor
How do aquifers collapse and what happens after they do?
- collapse by subside (sink) w land subsidence
- recharge is impossible after that
prevention for groundwater depletion (4)
- waste less water
- subsidize water conservation
- limit number of wells
- do not grow water-intensive crops in dry areas
control for groundwater depletion (4)
- raise price of water to discourage waste
- tax water pumped from wells near surface waters
- set and enforce minimum stream flow levels
- divert surface water in wet years to recharge aquifers
concerns for tapping deep aquifers (4)
- nonrenewable and cannot be replenished on a human timescale
- little is known about geological and ecological impacts
- some flow beneath more than one country and there are no international treaties that govern the rights to use them
- costs are unknown
A structure built across a river to control the river's flow or to create a reservoir.
Artificial lake created when a stream is dammed.
goals of dam and reservoirs (2)
- capture and store runoff
- release it as needed to control floods, generate electricity, and supply water for irrigation and for towns and cities
What are some negative effects of dams? (3)
- displace people from their homes
- flooded an area of productive land
- impaired some important ecological services that river produce
What is the government factor that is contributing to inefficient water use?
governments subsidize the costs of water transfers and irrigation in some dry regions
California Water Project
uses dams, pumps, canals, aqueducts, to transport water from water-rich n. california to water poor southern california's heavily populated cities and agricultural regions
What have farmers around the Aral Sea done to raise yields?
used more herbicides, insecticides, and fertilizers which percolated downward and accumulated to dangerous levels in the groundwater
involves heating saltwater til it evaporates and condenses as freshwater
reverse osmosis / microfiltration
uses high pressure to force saltwater through a membrane filter with pores small enough to remove the salt
problems w/ desalination (3)
- high cost
- pumping large volumes of seawater thru pipes and using chemicals to sterilize water and keep down algae growth kills many marine organisms and also requires large inputs of energy to run pumps
- produces large quantities of salty wastewater that must go somewhere
What is the primary cause of water waste?
water's low cost to users
What is the second cause of water waste?
lack of government subsidies for improving the efficiency of water use
drip, trickle irrigation, microirrigation
- most efficient way to deliver small amounts of water precisely to crops
- consists of a network of perforated plastic tubing installed at or below ground level
Besides drip irrigation, what is another simple/inexpensive way to provide water for drinking and growing crops?
What is the single largest use of domestic water in the US?
Flat valley floor next to a stream channel. For legal purposes, the term often applies to any low area that has the potential for flooding, including certain coastal areas.
When does flooding occur?
when water in a stream overflows its normal channel and spills into a floodplain
What is the flood's effect on groundwater and wetlands?
recharge groundwater and refill wetlands
What are 3 factors that increase the flood effect? (3)
- removal of water-absorbing vegetation
- draining and building on wetlands
- rise in sea levels bc of climate change
What country has a flooding problem?
flood damage prevention (4)
- preserve forests on watersheds
- preserve and restore wetlands in floodplains
- tax development on floodplains
- use floodplains primarily for recharging aquifers, sustainable agriculture and forestry
flood damage control (3)
- straighten and deepen streams
- build levees or floodwalls along streams
- build dams
zone of aeration
Zone in soil that is not saturated with water and that lies above the water table.
Water that is not directly consumed but is used to produce food and other products.
Slow or rapid sinking of part of the earth's crust that is not slope-related.
Any area of land allowing water to percolate down through it and into an aquifer.
What percent of the earth's water is fresh water than salt water?
Which use of water tends to consume the smallest amount of water?
Water scarcity from the drying up of the soil because of deforestation or overgrazing is called what?
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