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S1 Fresh Water 02: Groundwater, Option 2
Transcript of S1 Fresh Water 02: Groundwater, Option 2
Parts of the Cycle
In the process of evaporation surface water is heated by the sun and turns to vapor. The water vapor is less dense then the surrounding air/liquid water and thus it rises into the atmosphere.
Transpiration is a process performed by plants that is similar to our sweating. Water is released by the plant and as the water evaporates it takes heat with it, cooling the plant.
Here the water vapor reaches a point in the atmosphere where it is no longer less dense than the surrounding air. As more and more vapor collects in an area, it combines and
into liquid water. The
combined together with dust particles form what we see as clouds.
Given an areas climate the precipitation can vary between rain, snow, sleet, and hail. These fall to the earth because they have become to heavy (or dense) to remain suspended.
Infiltration [also called percolation] occurs when water (generally precipitation) soaks into the ground. The replenishing of the groundwater supply is known as
. Recharging is what raises a water table's depleted levels back to normal.
Water that is not infiltrated is called
. This water will "run off" to an area in which the ground isn't already saturated or just to another body of water.
1) EPA - http://water.epa.gov/type/groundwater/
2) Groundwater.org -
3) NGWA - http://www.ngwa.org/Fundamentals/use/Pages/Groundwater-facts.aspx
Real World Problem 1
The first problem and probably most severe regarding groundwater is contamination. Almost 2,000 children die every day due to the effects of unsanitary water. This water is almost always
. Well water is groundwater that collects beneath the earth and is drawn up usually by pumps.
Real World Problem 2
What's worse than dirty water? No water.
Though that "fact" isn't always true given the potency of certain contaminants, it is true that every living creature on the planet needs water to survive. Wells that are overused can easily dry up. Dirt that is kept too dry for too long will lose its ability to hold water as well and the well can become increasingly inefficient until it is no longer usable.
Real World Problem 3
Problem 3 actually occurs when an area receives too much water. Though flooding is always a problem the often over looked
can be a more frightening effect because of its unpredictability. A sink hole can form when the ground in an area becomes saturated with water and then that water is removed. This repeated natural process can erode underlying dirt and rock until a void is left right beneath the top layer of earth. The ground looks normal, only it is now weak and any added weight may have devastating results.