Section 9: Water Resources

SLOs: hydrologic cycle, surface and groundwater, fresh water uses and pollution.


Lesson 1:

Instruction

Water is one of the most important resources on Earth.  On this planet, the majority of life forms require it to survive.  Water, as a renewable resource, is constantly cycling through our environment.  Therefore, the movement, change in form, and exchange of energy of or through water is justly termed the hydrologic cycle.  The hydrologic cycle includes surface and subsurface water, runoff, atmospheric moisture, precipitation, evaporation, and evapotranspiration.       

Photos and Images

(the hydrologic cycle)  

(a river in Ventura County)   (another river in Ventura County)

Quiz

The two water bodies above are examples of water runoff in Ventura County.  They are both major rivers within the area.  Name each; explain where the water comes from and where it is going.  Use Google Earth or a Ventura County map showing water resources to answer this quiz.

 


Lesson 2:

Instruction

In the U.S., supplies of fresh water come from surface water (50%) and subsurface or groundwater (50%).  Lakes, rivers, streams, and creeks are all sources of surface water available for extraction.  Aquifers, available by wells, springs, and seeps, are an example of groundwater.  In Ventura County, both of these fresh water supplies are utilized for human needs.   

Photos and Images

 
              
 (Lake Casitas)  (Wheeler Seep) (Sespe Creek)             (Lake Sherwood) (well at the Ventura Mission)  (Lake Piru)

Quiz

Which of these six Ventura County water resources are surface water?  Which are groundwater?

 


Lesson 3:

Instruction

There are multiple types of uses for fresh water: instream, nonconsumptive, and consumptive uses.  Instream uses are human uses of water in place, such as recreational boat usage or wildlife protection.  Nonconsumptive uses are human uses of water by withdrawl and then return, such as agricultural usage or municipal water groups.  Consumptive uses are human uses of water by removal without return, such as vaporization of water by steam-electric plants or shipping bottled water elsewhere.  It is also very important to maintain enough fresh water in natural sources for ecosystem preservation.  This means that we, humans, should not consume too much of the surface water or groundwater supplies.  It also means that we should not pollute our own water supplies through point and non-point sources.  A point source is pollution that directly enters the water supply in a small area, such as leaking septic tanks or industrial toxic waste site seepage.  A non-point source is pollution that indirectly enters the water supply in a large area, such as agricultural pesticides in the soils or urban runoff of petroleum based chemicals on roadways.          

Photos and Images
    (urban runoff in an Oxnard gutter)          (Halaco toxic waste ("slag" pile) site in Port Hueneme) 

Quiz

Which of the above photos represents point source pollution?  Which represents non-point source pollution?  Also, listed below are some suggestions for conservation of water resources.  Your assignment is to make an effort to: take shorter showers, water outside vegetation only when necessary (and don't water the sidewalk), fix leaky faucets, hoses, and toilets, turn the water off in between washing dishes or other uses, plant drought-resistant vegetation in your yard (preferably not annual grasses), install a low flow home appliance (like a toilet or laundry washer), or take a dip in the ocean instead of filling that old kiddy pool in the back yard.  Be creative!      


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2006 Jessica Douglas