The Urban Water Cycle                                                              in New York                       Adapt...
Urban Water Cycle                                                                                                  Page On...
Urban Water Cycle                                                                                                         ...
Urban Water Cycle                                                                                                         ...
Urban Water Cycle                                                                                                         ...
Urban Water Cycle                                                                                                Page SixC...
Urban Water Cycle                                                                                                         ...
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Urban Water Cycle                                                                                               Page Eight...
Urban Water Cycle                                                                                                         ...
Urban Water Cycle                                                                                                Page Nine...
IntroductionPERSONAL WATER USE SURVEYObjective:Students will examine:   • the different ways that they use water in the ho...
IntroductionQuestions for Discussion:                                  Responses to seek:Where does our water come from?  ...
IntroductionPersonal Water Use Survey   DOMES TIC WATER           TIME S PENT      ES TIMATED                  WATER      ...
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The Urban Water Cycle


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The Urban Water Cycle

  1. 1. The Urban Water Cycle in New York Adaptable for Various Ages Includes Topics for Standards: Grade 1: Unit 2 Weather and SeasonsGrade 4: Unit 3 Properties of Water, Unit 4 Interactions of Air, Water, and Land Grade 6: Unit 2 Weather Grade 8: Unit 2: Humans In Their Environment: Needs and Tradeoffs Compiled by Katie Priebe Lower East Side Ecology Center | | +1(212)477-4022
  2. 2. Urban Water Cycle Page One An IntroductionGo on our website, links to The Water Underground video and The Citizen’s Guide to the Sewershed document.Then, answer the questions below.The Water Underground:1. Did you know where your water comes from/where your waste water goes before watching the movie?What did you learn?2. Why is it a dangerous job to be a tunnel worker?3. Why is the water supply polluted?4. What is your waste made of?5. Who treats the waste of NYC? Which plants do you live near?6. What is the process for cleaning waste water?7. Have you had an unpleasant experience with the waste water system? Why do you think that is?8. How can treatment centers be both beneficial and burdensome to communities?10. How is The Solaire a ‘green’ building?The Citizen’s Guide to the Sewershed:1. What does CSO stand for? What does it mean for human health?2. What is a Combined Sewer System?3. What is a sewershed?4. How can a CSO harm our environment?5. What is the DEP currently doing to address CSOs? What should they do in addition to that?6. What is an estuary? What bodies of water make up the NY/NJ estuary?7. How can you tell where the Manhattan Schist is closest to the surface?8. How can wetlands and marshes be a boon to urban areas?9. How can you help prevent CSOs?10. How can you help conserve water?11. How can you improve plant life where you live?12. Who are some people you can get in touch with about community issues? Who can you talk to about CSOs? Lower East Side Ecology Center | | +1(212)477-4022
  3. 3. Urban Water Cycle Page Three Vocabulary Evaporation: Occurs when the water is heated up (usually by the sun) to form water vapor or steam. The vapor or steam then rises into the atmosphere. Transpiration: Occurs when plants loose water through their leaves, which also turns into vapor and then rises into the atmosphere. Condensation: Occurs when water vapor is cooled and reforms into droplets. Clouds are an example of this. Precipitation: Is what happens because of condensation. When clouds have too many droplets in them (too condensed), and they get too heavy, we get rain, sleet, and snow, which all are precipitation. Collection: Is when the water from precipitation forms into oceans, streams, rivers, ice caps, lakes, and runoff. Infiltration: The movement of water deep into the ground. ACTIVITIES Beginning to understand the Urban Water Cycle... Activity 1 Drawing the Natural and Urban Water Cycles In this activity, use what you know from your new vocabulary to draw the movement lines of the water throughthe natural water cycle and the urban water cycle. The Natural Water Cycle The Urban Water Cycle1. What happens when rain falls on New York City?2. How is this di erent from the natural water cycle? Lower East Side Ecology Center | | +1(212)477-4022
  4. 4. Urban Water Cycle Page Four Activity 2 Uses of Water Water is a very important resource. It is needed by all plants and animals on the earth to survive. In this activity,work with your partners to decide how the following plants and animals might use water. After you are finished, draw apicture of all of the ways YOU use water!Some uses of water: To drink, To wash or be washed, To get minerals from the soil, To swim in, To lay eggs in, To live in,To remove waste materials, etc…How do these plants and animals use water?Street tree:Squirrel:Frog:Algae:River Fish:YOU: Lower East Side Ecology Center | | +1(212)477-4022
  5. 5. Urban Water Cycle Page Five ACTIVITIES For Younger Students The following activities are best suited for students in grades 1-6. Activity 1 Creating Terrariums Goals: * Connect concepts of precipitation, condensation, and evaporation.Materials: 5 jars or clear containers * Name and explain the stages of the water cycle. potting soil * Explain that water on earth moves in a continuous cycle. small gravel * Observe, analyze, and record data in a terrarium chart. water Time Required: Build terrariums: 40 minutes seeds Review water cycle and check terrariums: 20 minutes plastic wrap Daily terrarium checks: 10 minutes rubber bands Assessment: 20 minutes funnel computer with internet access Terrarium Checklist: Read and follow the checklist carefully with other members in your group. Place a check next to each step you complete. 1. Place the gravel at the bottom of your jar. ______ 2. Use the funnel to pour HALF of the soil into the jar. ______ 3. Sprinkle the seeds on top of the soil. ______ 4. Pour the other half of the soil into the jar. ______ 5. Pour the water into the jar. ______ 6. Place plastic wrap over the top of the jar. ______ 7. Wrap the rubber band around the plastic wrap to hold it in place. ______ 8. Place your groups label on the jar. ______1. What is happening inside the jar?2.On which part of the jar do you see the water?3. What are the seeds doing? Lower East Side Ecology Center | | +1(212)477-4022
  6. 6. Urban Water Cycle Page SixCreating TerrariumsOne week later:1. Take the plastic wrap off your terrarium and feel the soil. Why is the soil still wet?2. Do you think that any water has evaporated from the soil? Why?3. If water evaporated, where did the evaporated water go?4. Did it ever rain in your terrarium? How do you know?5. Where did the rain come from?6. Is there anything in your terrarium that reminds you of a cloud or cloud drops? N A T U R U A R L B A N Lower East Side Ecology Center | | +1(212)477-4022
  7. 7. Urban Water Cycle Page Seven Activity 2 What’s the Weather?For the Teacher:1. Consider reading a “weather warm-up” book such as Magic Monsters Learn About Weather by Sylvia Tester.It’s an easy-to-understand book about basic weather concepts.2. Reproduce the weather chart, symbols, and graph for each student (attached below).3. Have students observe daily weather conditions for a week.4. At the end of each school day, have the students record the day’s weather by cutting out the correct weathersymbol and pasting it on the chart.5. At the end of the week, students should transfer the information on the chart to the bar graph or coloring in a box on the graph for each corresponding weather symbol on their chart.6. Use the information from the completed chart and graph to help students draw conclusions about the weather theyobserved. Ask questions such as: What kind of weather did we see the most? The least? How many days did it rain (orsnow, etc.)? How many days had the same kind of weather? How many days had more than one kind of weather?Extensions:1. Using pictures from magazines, have students cut and paste different weather conditions on a poster. Label eachpicture with a weather word.2. Place a variety of clothing in a large box. Include rain, snow, and hot weather clothes. Have students pick an articleof clothing and talk about the type of weather in which the clothing would be appropriate to wear.3. Use rhythm instruments and create your own sounds to imitate the different sounds that weather can make.See if students can make sounds resembling rain, thunder, wind, and hail. Supporting Literature Barrett, J. Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs. Macmillan Publishing Company. ISBN 0-689-70749-5. An engaging story about the townspeople who live in Chewands Wallow and deal with all their food falling from the sky. Branley, F. It’s Raining Cats and Dogs. Explanations about all kinds of weather and why we have it. Gibbons, G. Weather Words and What They Mean. Scholastic. ISBN 0-590- 44408-5. Easy to understand definitions and explanations about common weather terms. Rogers, P. What Will the Weather Be Like Today? Scholastic. ISBN 0-590- 45013-1. A first grade level, easy reader about animals discussing the various types of weather. . Lower East Side Ecology Center | | +1(212)477-4022
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  11. 11. Urban Water Cycle Page Eight Activity 3 Weather ExplorationWe are going to look at various weather forecasts and see if they are true. TV Weather Forecast: Source Cloudy/Sunny sky? Precipitation Wind Temperature UPN 9 Channel 4 Newspaper Forecast: Source Cloudy/Sunny sky? Precipitation Wind Temperature Internet Forecast: Source Cloudy/Sunny sky? Precipitation Wind Temperature Check the Weather Ourselves! Source Cloudy/Sunny sky? Precipitation Wind Temperature Lower East Side Ecology Center | | +1(212)477-4022
  12. 12. Urban Water Cycle Page Nine ACTIVITIES For Older Students The following activities are best suited for students in grades 6-9. CITY CYCLE For natural areas, the water balance can be defined with the following formula: P = E +R + S P - precipitation, the only source of water delivered to the ecosystem. E - evapotranspiration, which means evaporation of the water from the ground combined with transpiration of plants. R - run-off, i.e. the water that leaves the area; it can be divided into surface run-off (i.e. water that flows on the ground surface e.g. to the river), and ground-water run-off (i.e. water that infiltrates to the ground and then flows in the rocks e.g. to the underground water reservoirs, springs or also to the rivers). S - groundwater storage (retention); note that a snow cover is also a form of temporary water retention. In a city (urban areas), the water balance consists of the same elements, but theirproportions are significantly different. Precipitation is usually higher than in non-urban areas, evapotranspirationis much lower, surface run-off is much larger (the ground-water run-off is very little), and the storage is much lower. Generally, the effect of a city on air humidity, precipitation, and fog formation is the subject of uncertainty.For some cities, increased number of days with fog and higher frequency of cumulus and cumulonimbus clouds wereobserved. Those phenomena were favoured by both higher air humidity and the presence of large amount of air pollutionserving as condensation nuclei. Additionally, clouds formation was enhanced by convenction intensified by urban heatisland, and fog formation - by low wind speed or lack of wind. However, every city is located in a certain landform,latitude, distance from the sea etc., and those local conditions may modify the properties of its climate.Additionally, the presence of huge factories or power plants may favour some processes, e.g. deliver air pollution,anthropogenic heat or huge amounts of water vapour from the cooling towers of power plants. Evapotranspiration is reduced to a large extent in a city. It can be as low as 38% of the evapotranspiration innearby non-urban areas. It is mainly evaporation, not transpiration, as the green areas are rather small, so there are noplants to transpirate. The evaporation is low because there is little water on the surface to evaporate, and theprecipitation is taken away from the city by the sewage system, so it does not infiltrate and does not evaporate in a city. City surface generally does not allow the infiltration of the water as it consists of asphalt, concrete, stone.Therefore, surface run-off is almost four times larger in a city that in non-urban areas, and the ground-water run-off islower by about 50%. That results in low retention. Snow cover is a form of contemporary water retention in a city.However, it disappears faster in a city that in surrounding non-urban areas, due to the impact of the urban heat islandand human activity, e.g. removal of snow from the streets. Moreover, air pollution falling on the snow in a city decreasesits albedo, which in turn allows it to absorb more energy, warm, and melt faster.Air Humidity In a city, there may be more sources of water income than in rural areas, e.g. if potable water is delivered to acity from another area by the system of pipes and pumps. In such case, it is not only precipitation that delivers the waterto a city. On the other hand, some kinds of human activity make additional amounts of water or water vapour availableto the citys environment, e.g. washing streets, watering the lawns, cooling water in cooling towers of power plants.That water may evaporate, go to the sewage system etc. Therefore, the air humidity is differentiated over the city. In thenight-time, city centre is usually more humid than the suburbs. It is mainly controlled by the wind speed. Low wind speedor the lack of wind favours higher humidity, that is why it occurs in city centre where high buildings weaken the air flow.The suburbs, with more dispersed and lower buildings, are better ventilated and drier. Lower East Side Ecology Center | | +1(212)477-4022
  13. 13. Urban Water Cycle Page NineCITY CYCLE For Older Students Visit the following websites and complete the worksheets below. Lower Atmosphere,55a304092d09/df.html Higher Atmosphere,55a304092d09/lv.html Weather,55a304092d09/pw.html Clouds and Particles,55a304092d09/mf.html Climate in Cities,55a304092d09/hs.html Oceans,55a304092d09/o6.html Food and Climate,55a304092d09/pg.html People Changing Climate,55a304092d09/155.html Worksheet 1,55a304092d09/1a5.html Worksheet 2,55a304092d09/1ez.html Worksheet 3,55a304092d09/1f0.html Worksheet 4,55a304092d09/1f1.html Worksheet 5,55a304092d09/1a6.html Worksheet 6,55a304092d09/1a7.html Lower East Side Ecology Center | | +1(212)477-4022
  14. 14. IntroductionPERSONAL WATER USE SURVEYObjective:Students will examine: • the different ways that they use water in the home, • how much water is actually used for various activities, and • recognize ways that they can cut down on water usage in their own homeProcedure: 1. Ask the students to name all of the ways they use water in a typical day. List them. Show the students a gallon jug of water and ask them to estimate how many gallons they use in a day. 2. Have the students write the list from the board. Tell them that over the next 24 hours they are to keep track of the ways they use water by noting them on the paper. Example, one student might flush the toilet 5 times, wash his hands 8 times, brush her teeth 3 times, etc. 3. The next day, show students the chart (found on page 13), but with the final area (Water Conserving M ethods) covered. Tell them these are the average water uses in a home. Point out that if some of these seem high, it is because of the way we use water, i.e., letting the water get cold before we use it. 4. Have the students estimate the gallons they used in the 24-hour period. 5. Lead a discussion about the class’s findings. • How much water did you estimate you personally used in the 24 hour period? • People in the US use 100-150 gallons of water per person per day. How does your use compare with this average? • Imagine you did not have plumbing in your house, that you had to carry water from a well. Would this change the amount of water you used? How do you think your water use would be different? • What simple, routine steps could you take to reduce the amount of water used in a day? 6. Uncover the Water Conserving M ethods section and talk about the methods listed. How hard would it be to actually follow these methods? 7. Have students log their water use for another 24 hours, this time trying out as many water-saving methods as they can. 8. Ask students to calculate their water usage and compare the two days. Lead a discussion about the results: • How much did your water consumption change from the first 24-hour period? • What were the biggest reasons for the change? • For which tasks was it easier to save water? • For which tasks was it hard? • If you were only allowed 25 gallons of water per day, how would you use your 25 gallons? How would you cut back? • Choose three different water saving methods that you could use routinely. How much water would you save in a month if you were to use these three methods every day? Water in the Environm ent • 11
  15. 15. IntroductionQuestions for Discussion: Responses to seek:Where does our water come from? Not from the tap but where does the water really come fromWhat happens to water that goes down the drain? Concept of water treatment and pollutionWhy is water important to people? It is the source of all life and clean, drinkable water is limitedWhy do you think we should be concerned about water? Awareness of pollution and water usageWhat water saving ideas did you learn? Opportunities for taking personal responsibility for saving waterFor more information go to activity is a modified Water Share activity by the Bureau of Reclamation12 • Water in the Environm ent
  16. 16. IntroductionPersonal Water Use Survey DOMES TIC WATER TIME S PENT ES TIMATED WATER US E US ING GALLONS OF CONS ERVING WATER WATER US ED METHODKeeping Clean Washing hands and face T ap running Half-full bowl 2-5 Gallons per minute ½ gallon Showering Water running Five minutes with 5 gallons per minute low-flow head 12 gallons total T aking a bath Full tub Low level tub 30-40 gallons total 15 gallons T aking a sponge bath 5 gallons per minute Brushing teeth T ap running Wet brush, rinse 5 gallons per minute ½ gallon Preparing food Washing food Water running Rinsing only 5 gallons per minute About 1 gallon Cooking Approximate your use Approximate your use Drinking T ap water Running water Pitcher in fridge ¼ gallon 1/16 gallon T ea, coffee, cocoa Running water Pitcher in fridge ¼ gallon 1/16 gallonFlushing the toilet Regular flow Low flow 7 gallons 2 – 4.5 gallonsWashing clothes by hand 20-30 gallonsWashing clothes by machine Low setting 20 gallons High setting 30 gallonsWashing dishes By hand Running water Sponge wash and 30 gallons dishpan rinse 5 gallons In the dishwasher Full cycle Short cycle 15 gallons 7 gallonsCleaning the house 8 gallonsWashing the car Water running Bucket, sponge, 10 gallons per minute choke nozzle 5 gallons totalWatering the lawn In middle of day In morning hours 10 gallons per minute, 30 10 gallons per minutes minute, 10 minutesWatering plants 5-10 gallonsOther uses You estimate Water in the Environm ent • 13