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APES Water Supply, Use and Management

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properties of water that make it uniquely suitable for life
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– 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)
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high surface tension
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caused by adhesive and cohesive properties that are a result of Hydrogen bonds
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hydrogen bond
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refers to the attractive forces between a hydrogen atom and either a fluorine, nitrogen, or oxygen atom (F NO)
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global distribution of water
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97% in ocean, 2% in glaciers/ice caps, less than 1% in groundwater, surface waters, atmosphere
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processes of the water cycle are driven by _______
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solar energy
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the water cycle
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– distributes energy and purifies water – evaporation and transpiration – condensation and precipitation
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three fates of precipitation
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run off, infiltration and evaporation
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water budget: ocean
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– size: 1 – rank: 2 – ART: thousands of years
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water budget: ice caps/ glaciers
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– size: 2 – rank: 1 – ART: tens of thousands of years
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water budget: groundwater
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– size: 3 – rank: 3 – 100’s- 1000’s of years
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water budget: atmosphere
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– size: 4 – rank: 5 – ART: days
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water budget: rivers, lakes, streams
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– size: 5 – rank: 4 – ART: weeks
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groundwater
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water stored in pores and spaced underground (not just water that is underground)
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aquifer
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saturated zone, can yield significant amounts of water
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water table
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the upper surface of groundwater (not constant or flat!)
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discharge zones
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areas in which groundwater seeps to the surface, the water here is called effluent water
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recharge zones
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ares in which surface water connects with groundwater, the water here is called influent water
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groundwater reservoir is ____, but _____ _____
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vast, unevenly distributed
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groundwater overdraft
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more water is withdrawn than replenished, this can cause saltwater intrusion in coastal areas
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Ogallala Aquifer
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example of groundwater overdraft
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surface water
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rivers, lakes and streams where flow is more subject to change than with groundwater
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droughts (surface water)
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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
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water use is ____ per capita and overall
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increasing (US has the highest per capita use)
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biggest consumptive use of water in US
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agriculture
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largest industrial use of water in US
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electrical generation (coal/nuclear power > steam > spin turbine)
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US Domestic Usage of Water
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average of 100 gal/day
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off stream/consumptive water use
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water is not returned to source (irrigation)
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non-consumptive water use
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water is returned to the source, examples are hydro-electrical power, navigation, boating and fishing
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Why are multiple uses of water sometime incompatible?
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For example, water levels needed by fish are different from levels required for hydro-electrical power generation, therefore they are incompatible.
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Aral Sea in Soviet Union
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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.
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Colorado River in US
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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
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agricultural conservation
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– improve irrigation by dripping in stead of spraying and irrigating at night to reduce evaporation – plant appropriate crops – reduce water subsidies
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salinization
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the build-up of salts in soil or water due to evaporation
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domestic conservation
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– efficient appliances – change behavior – low flow toilets/showers – use gray water for plants and lawns – appropriate lawn, plantings
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desalinization
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making fresh water from salt water (ocean is 3.5% salts)
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why is desalinization not a practical option?
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– 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)
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sustainable water use
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water use without degradation of supply or quality
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how to achieve sustainable water use
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– 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)
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California Ground Water Problems
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water overdraft, nitrate contamination (agriculture, septic tanks), salinity accumulation, land subsidence, decreased stream flows
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Wetlands
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Areas inundated with water for all or part of the year
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Examples of Wetlands
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swamps, bogs, marshes, salt marshes and vernal pools (seasonal)
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Wetland Functions
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– 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
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Clean Water Act
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Protects and regulates wetlands because over 50% have been trained in the US; a mitigation policy
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Wetlands can be constructed for ____ ____ and ____
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water treatment, mitigation
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Estuaries
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partially enclosed coastal water formed where river meets sea
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Estuary Examples
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Chesapeake Bay, Pamlico Sound
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Estuary Function
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– salinity and temperature vary with daily tides – runoff from land brings lots of nutrients – important nurseries for many aquatic organisms
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Dams
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constructed for water supply, power generation and flood control; they’re expensive and federally subsidized
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Environmental Impacts of Dams
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– floods river valleys – changes river ecosystems – loss of riparian zone and sediment transport – blocks fish (anadromous fish which swim upstream to spawn)
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Riparian Zone
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related to or located on the bank of a water bod; where a lot of organisms and life is
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attempts to restore ecosystems and remove dams
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Elwha Dam and Glines Canyon Dam
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Aswan Dam
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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.
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Three Gorges Dam
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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.
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Channelization
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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
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Channelization Effects
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– causes loss of fish habitat, riparian buffer – increases downstream flooding, destroys wetlands – aesthetic degradation (streams become ditches)
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Kissimmee River in Florida Everglades
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Channelization of this river did not provide expected flood relief. Land drainage damaged wildlife habitats and caused aesthetic degradation. It was restored.
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Floodplain Functions
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water storage, wildlife habitat, natural greenbelt
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Flooding
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– naturally occurring event – brings rich sediments to floodplains, creates good soil
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flooding control efforts often ___ problems downstream
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increase
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Urbanization and Flooding
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– 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
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Unnatural Disasters
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human activities make natural disasters into catastrophes (Hurricane Sandy, Katrina, Floyd)
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___ and ___ have encouraged inappropriate building
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FEMA, federal policies
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Watershed
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all the lands drained by a river, stream or lake
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River Basin
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drainage area of a river (made up of wetlands)
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Ecological Address for ECHHS
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Dry Creek > New Hope Creek > Jordan Lake > Cape Fear River (Basin) > Atlantic Ocean
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Fresh Water
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less than 0.01% salt
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Saltwater
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contains 3% salt (30 ppt)
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Brackish
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mixture of salt and fresh, where rives meet oceans
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Hard Water
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contains minerals esp. Ca or Mg precipitated soap
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Soft Water
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relatively free or minerals
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Riffle
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fast, shallow water
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Leachate
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solution obtained by leaching (percolating water)
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Remediation
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fix damage done (after)
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Mitigation
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compensate for anticipated effects (before)