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Chapter%2013%20Water:%20A%20Fragile%20Resource

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Title: Chapter%2013%20Water:%20A%20Fragile%20Resource


1
Chapter 13Water A Fragile Resource
http//ga.water.usgs.gov/edu/mearth.html
http//waterdata.usgs.gov/ny/nwis/rt
http//water.usgs.gov/
http//www.nrdc.org/water/drinking/uscities/conten
ts.asp
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Water A Fragile Resource
  • Approximately 3/4 ths of the Earths surface is
    comprised of water.
  • Only 2.5 is available as fresh water

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The Hydrologic Cycle and Our Supply of Fresh Water
  • Hydrologic Cycle the pathway of water through
    the environment.

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Hydrologic Cycle
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A. Properties of Water
  • High heat capacity
  • High dissolving ability (the universal solvent)
  • Water is a polar molecule
  • Hydrogen bonding occurs between water molecules.
  • Adhesion H2O molecules bonded to other
    materials.
  • Cohesion H2O molecules bonded to each other.

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Composition of 1 Kg of Sea water
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Distribution of water on the Earth
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Major Uses of Water on the Earth
  • Irrigation- 68.3
  • Industry- 23.1
  • Domestic Municipal consumption- 8.6

13
Water Problems in the United States
A. Surface Water
  • Surface Water is fresh water found in streams,
    rivers, ponds, lakes, and wetlands. (renewable
    resource)
  • Wetlands areas covered with water for at least
    part of the year. Wetlands serve as sponges and
    act like the kidneys of an ecosystem.
    (filtration)
  • Surface waters are replenished by runoff of
    precipitation from the land.

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Water Problems in the United States
  • The area of land drained by a single river is its
    drainage basin.
  • Watershed the entire river system including the
    area of land drained by a river and its
    tributaries.

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Water Problems in the United States
  • Groundwater occurs in aquifers, underground
    concentrations of water in caverns and porous
    layers of rock. (Percolates to an impenetrable
    layer.)
  • Unconfined aquifers have porous layers of rock
    above them. The upper limit of an unconfined
    aquifer is the water table. The rock layers above
    are porous
  • Confined Aquifers (artesian aquifer) have
    impermeable layers of rock above them. The water
    in a confined aquifer is trapped (sandwiched
    between impermeable layers) and is often under
    pressure.

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Coldspring Harbor Fish Hatchery
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Coldspring Harbor Fish Hatchery
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Coldspring Harbor Fish Hatchery
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Coldspring Harbor Fish Hatchery
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Coldspring Harbor Fish Hatchery
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Flooding occurs as a result of too much fresh
water entering an area.
Flood damage is exacerbated by the deforestation
of hillsides mountains and by the development
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How development changes the natural flow
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Flooding
  • Flood damage is exacerbated by the deforestation
    of hillsides mountains and by the development
    of flood plains.
  • Flood Plains areas bordering a river that are
    subject to flooding. (fertile crescent, Nile,
    Amazon, Yellow river)

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Case in Point The Floods of 1993
  • Severe flooding of nine Midwestern states which
    is considered by many to be the worst flood in
    U.S. History.

http//ga.water.usgs.gov/edu/riversofworld.html
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Straightened river
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Water Resource Problems
  • Although there is enough fresh water to support
    life on earth, it is not evenly distributed. Some
    areas are barely able to support human life
    because of the shortage of water.

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Water Resource Problems
  • I. Aquifer Depletion human removal of more
    groundwater than can be recharged by
    precipitation of melting snow.
  • Aquifer depletion from porous rocks can cause
    subsidence (sinking land.)
  • Saltwater intrusion is the movement of seawater
    into a freshwater aquifer.

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Water Resource Problems
  • II. Salinization the accumulation of salt in the
    soil due to evaporation. (irrigation)
  • Salinization results in a decline in productivity
    of agricultural soil.

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Groundwater
Lower 48 water budget
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http//www.ijc.org/php/publications/html/11br/engl
ish/report/
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Population Growth and Water Problems
  • Many areas in the United States have severe water
    shortages.
  • Population growth in California, Nevada, Arizona,
    Florida has placed great demands on water
    supplies.
  • Mono lake in eastern California has surface water
    diverted to Los Angeles, lowering its water level
    increasing its salinity.

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Mono Lake
http//www.monolake.org/naturalhistory/stats.htm
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Population Growth and Water Problems
  • In 1994 California decided that Mon Lake would be
    returned to its original level.
  • Los Angeles will develop reclaimed water, treated
    wastewater that is reused in some way, to replace
    water supplies from Mono Lake.

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Population Growth and Water Problems
  • Colorado river basin is seriously over-diverted
    for human consumption.
  • The lower Colorado supplies water to Tucson
    Phoenix AZ, and to San Diego and Los Angeles CA.
  • Recent population growth in the upper Colorado
    region ( Colorado, Utah, Wyoming) threatens the
    lower Colorados water supply.
  • The amount of water available from the Colorado
    River for Mexico, is insufficient according to
    international standards.

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Population Growth and Water Problems
  • The Ogallala Aquifer on the High Plains is the
    largest groundwater deposit in the world.
  • The depletion of the Ogallala Aquifer for
    irrigation has lowered the water table in some
    places by more than 30m.
  • Water experts (Hydrologists) predict that
    groundwater in the Ogallala Aquifer will
    eventually drop to a level that is uneconomical
    to pump.

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Global Water Problems
  • The distribution of water resources in relation
    to human populations exacerbates global water
    problems.
  • People in many developing countries lack access
    to to safe drinking water (potable) and
    wastewater disposal.
  • 1.4 billion people lack potable water globally.
  • 2.9 billion lack proper wastewater disposal.
    W.H.O
  • Population growth is outstripping water supplies
    in countries such as India, China, Mexico.

44
Stable Runoff
  • The portion of runoff from precipitation that is
    available throughout the year.
  • This amount can be quite low as in India where
    90 of the annual rain falls between June to
    September.
  • Most of this quickly drains away.

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Global Water Problems
  • The Aral Sea in Kazakhstan has been over-diverted
    for irrigation of farmland.
  • Once the worlds 4th largest freshwater lake, the
    Aral Sea has declined in area by 50.
  • Airborne salt from the dry lake bed may be
    adversely affecting the health of millions of
    people living near the Aral Sea.
  • International tensions over water rights could
    result in armed conflicts. Of particular concern
    are the Mekong River, Indus River, Ganges River,
    Tigris-Euphrates River, Jordan River, the Nile
    River.

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Providing a Sustainable Water Supply
  • The long-term goal of water management is to
    provide a sustainable supply of high quality
    water, not to provide water in limitless supply.
  • Sustainable Water Use means that humans can use
    water resources into the future without harming
    the functioning of the hydrologic cycle or
    ecosystems.

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Providing a Sustainable Water Supply
  • Dams ensure a year-round supply of water in areas
    that have seasonal precipitation or snowmelt.
  • Many people think that the drawbacks of dams
    outweigh any benefits they provide.
  • The Columbia River has more than 100 dams. The
    river is used for shipping, hydroelectric power,
    municipal and industrial water, recreational
    sports, and commercial fishing.
  • Dam impoundments along the Columbia River have
    adversely affected salmon populations.

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Case in Point The Columbia River
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Providing a Sustainable Water Supply
  • The Missouri River has been embroiled in a heated
    battle over water rights, particularly use of the
    water stored in upstream reservoirs.
  • Water diversion is sometimes used to increase the
    supply of water to a particular area.
  • Water is transported via aqueducts.
  • The Central Arizona Project pumps water from the
    Colorado River to Phoenix and Tucson, AZ. Water
    diversion concentrates pollutants in the
    remaining water harms fishes other organisms.

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Water diversion in California
52
Providing a Sustainable Water Supply
  • Desalinization (desalination) the removal of
    salt from seawater or salty groundwater.
  • Distillation heating salt water until water
    evaporates, leaving behind salt, the steam is
    then condensed and collected.
  • Reverse Osmosis an economical form of
    desalinization that forces salt water through a
    semi permeable membrane.

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Water Conservation
  • Water conservation measures can make the present
    supply adequate, as opposed to trying to increase
    the available amount of water.
  • Agriculture (irrigation) is the single largest
    user of water. Although irrigation increases
    agricultural productivity, it can contribute to
    water pollution, soil salinization, depletion
    of water supplies.
  • Micro irrigation (drip or trickle irrigation) a
    water conservation method using small holes and
    subterranean piped to deliver water directly to
    root systems.

54
Water Conservation
  • Field leveling can also cut agricultural water
    consumption.
  • After agriculture, the 2 largest users of water
    are industry and domestic/municipal water use.
  • Water Conservation, including recycling and
    reuse, can reduce both industrial and municipal
    water consumption.
  • Xeriscaping using rocks and plants that require
    little to no water in landscaping.
  • Xero dry (think Xerox dry copies)

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Success in the Rhine
  • ICPR International Commission for the Protections
    of the Rhine.
  • 1986 30 tons of dye, pesticides Hg spilled in
    the river.
  • Today the Rhine is almost pure, Atlantic Salmon
    have returned after a 30 year hiatus.

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Salt
Largest Natural Lakes
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