Environmental Science Notes Ch. 6
Environmental Science Notes Ch. 6 Env 1301
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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by Hannah Fretheim on Sunday October 2, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Env 1301 at Baylor University taught by Trey Brown in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 3 views.
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Date Created: 10/02/16
ENV notes Chapter 6 Hydrologic cycle: - Movement of water between reservoirs - Evaporation, condensation, precipitation and runof - Oceanic subcycle- water is evaporated from the ocean and 90% of it falls back into the ocean - Terrestrial subcycle- water from the soil, plants and other terrestrial surfaces is evaporated and falls as precipitation back onto the land o plants can transpire water vapor - Ocean-land exchange- some of the water that evaporates from the ocean falls on land through precipitation and some of the water that falls on land goes back into the ocean as runof Reservoirs: - The Ocean contains 97% of all the water on earth - Freshwater reservoirs include glaciers and ice caps, ground water, lakes, wetlands, rivers, soil and snowfields - The atmosphere is also a reservoir Groundwater: - Found under the surface of the earth in what are called “aquifers” - The water table is the highest level of groundwater that separates the saturated and unsaturated zones o Saturated- below water table o Unsaturated- above water table - Recharge- surface water becomes groundwater through infiltration - Discharge- groundwater flows into rivers, lakes or other bodies of water on the surface El Nino Southern Oscillation - El Nino- warm surface water flows to the eastern Pacific Ocean, leading to storms in the Americas but drier weather in Australia and Southeast Asia - La Nina- the opposite of El Nino which sees storms and warmer surface water in the western Pacific Ocean and dry weather in the eastern Problems Problems with getting water to all people - Gleick suggested 50 liters of water was the minimum amount that each person needed to use in a day - Some countries use less than 50 liters while others use several hundred - The United States uses the most water of any country with almost 600 liters per da How we use freshwater - Arid regions often use dams to get their required water supply - When there is not enough rain, farmers use irrigation to water their crops Groundwater is being depleted too quickly - Ogalla aquifer- large aquifer in the U.S. which is being used up faster than it is replenishing, stretches from Texas to Nebraska - Subsidence- “sinking” of land that happens when groundwater is depleted (used faster than it is replaced), sinkholes Biodiversity is threatened by the way we use water sources - Dams are harmful to fish who migrate during diferent seasons - Flooding actually helps to preserve wetland ecosystems. When humans try to prevent flooding or channelize rivers for travel, we keep this natural process from occurring as it should Solutions Conserving water - In the 70s, New York City started a campaign to inform people of their water usage and provide them with means to conserve water o The most successful part was adding water meters Recycling water - Water reclaimation- reusing waste water after treating it - Has been implemented many places around the world, including Santa Rosa, California and Windhoek, Namibia Desalination- turning saltwater and brackish (somewhat salty) water into fresh water - Distillation and revers e osmosis are methods used