Where does our water come from?Purpose: This webquestwill be done for two reasons. The first is to review what wehave learned about the water cycle before the test and see how it applies to ourlives. The second objective for this activity is for you to become more familiar withresources on the internet and asked to analyze the information, these sites includethe USGS, GoogleEarth, NASA, EPA and others.Part I: The Water Cycle: 1) This first step to understanding where our water comes from is to review the water cycle. Go to the site listed below and explore the water cycle. When you think you have an understanding of the material take the quiz (found on the lower left side of the diagram). Then answer the question below.http://earthguide.ucsd.edu/earthguide/diagrams/watercycle/Taking into account your knowledge of the Salt Lake area, where does water exist orwhat are the reservoirs of water found in the local area? Rivers, lakes, atmospheric, snow, and groundwaterIn the following activities we will continues to explore the natural reservoirsof freshwater (ground water, ice/glacial, rivers/lakes, and atmospheric) inmore detail. 2) Freshwater storage: Explore the following website to understand freshwater storage (i.e. rivers, and lakes).http://ga.water.usgs.gov/edu/watercyclefreshstorage.htmlWhat are the inputs or inflows of freshwater sources? Inputs: precipitation, snowmelt, glacial runoff, and groundwater outletsHow can surface water impact human society and where we choose to live? Water is such a huge part of human life that typically humans must live nearfreshwater. In Egypt much of the population lives near the Nile River whichprovides drinking water as well as irrigation from crops. Answers will vary!Do you think the use of surface water a good source of drinking water? Explain.What are the disadvantages and advantages? Answers will vary! Pros: Easily accessible/ easy to capture. Cons: Easily polluted, water levels/flow can be seasonal
3) In this activity we will explore ground water. Go to the following webpage and take a look around. Pay particular attention to the diagrams. Then answer the following questions.http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/1993/ofr93-643/What is an aquifer? An aquifer is a body of water in which the rock is both permeable andporous, allowing water to easily be transported and stored in these bodies.What conditions need to be present in order for rocks make a good aquifer? Whattypes of rocks are these? Permeability and porosityDo you think the use of ground water a good source of drinking water? Explain.What are the disadvantages and advantages? Answers will vary: Pros: One of the largest and most accessible fresh water reservoirs, clean/natural filtration Cons: Depleting source faster than its replenished, increased pollution, can require energy to get water to surface and finally natural pollutants (i.e. arsenic. 4) Now explore the following webpage to learn about glaciers:http://ga.water.usgs.gov/edu/earthglacier.htmlWhat are the major types of glaciers? Alpine and ContinentalExplain the effect glaciers can have on the landscape? Alpine glaciers form cirques and valleys in mountains. Whereas, continentalice sheets will smooth the landscape. Both create potholes, moraines, and striations.Do you think the use of glacial water a good source of drinking water? Explain. Whatare the disadvantages and advantages? Answers will vary! Pros: Abundant source, easily captured from runoff Cons: Not found throughout the world (only found in specific regions), pollution (picks up pollutants from atmosphere and store them), and energy required to capture source and transport.
5) The next webpage provides information about water found in the atmosphere. http://ga.water.usgs.gov/edu/watercycleatmosphere.htmlWhat is the percentage of freshwater found in the atmosphere? 0.04 %How does water move from the surface of the earth to the atmosphere. And how isthis water then transferred back to the surface? Evaporation and precipitation. Transfer of energyDo you think the use of atmospheric water a good source of drinking water? Explain.What are the disadvantages and advantages? Answers will vary! Pros: It’s everywhere, but can be captured as rainfall Cons: hard to capture, not consistent, polluted6) To summarize what we have learned about the water cycle, I would like you tocarefully read the following article. Finally, write a healthy paragraph (4-6 sentences)relating the water cycle to your life.http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/Water/ Answers will vary!Part II: Drinking Water 7) The following website gives information about the sources of drinking water.http://cec.vcn.bc.ca/cmp/modules/wat-sou.htmWhat are the three major sources of water? Air, surface water, and groundwater
How do these relate to the water cycle? They are all major freshwater reservoirs. Ensure students are making connections to the previous activitiesHow is the water captured in each one of these sources? Air: precipitation/rain Groundwater: Wells, pumps and springs/seeps Surface Water: pumps/reservoirs, diverting rivers and lakesIn the next section we are going to learn where the water in salt lake comes from.Before we do that take a guess. Where do you think your drinking water comesfrom? Briefly explain. Rivers/snowmelt!8) In the next section I want you to find Salt Lake City in Google earth. Once thereensure that you are viewing the aerial photographs. Use the scale tool to zoom in andout. While doing this note the reservoirs of water found in the local area (i.e. riversand lakes).List the seven creeks that enter salt lake city from the Wasatch Mountains andwhich eventually flow into the Jordan River/Great Salt Lake ? City Creek, Redbutte, Emigration, Parley’s, Millcreek, Big Cottonwood, and Little Cottonwood.9) In this next activity we are going to determine where your drinking water comesfrom. Open the following link. Under the “Water Program Snapshots” tab on the rightside of the screen click drinking water information. Then look at the surface waterreservoirs. Type in your address in the upper left corner.http://watersgeo.epa.gov/mwm/ Find the water shed that is closest to your home and click on it. What is the name ofthis water shed? How many people does this source serve? Answers could vary! For me its City Creek part of the Salt Lake Water System, which serves a population of 318,506.What do you think our responsibility is in protecting our local water sources? Why? Answers will vary
10) Finally, explore the following webpage concerning different issues surroundingaccess to water.http://www.nrdc.org/water/What is something an individual can do to protect our water sources? Conserve water, don’t use toxic pollutants and be careful how you dispose of hazardous waste, be careful when you’re in a watershed, etc. Answers will vary!What can be done on a societal level to better protect our water sources? Better regulations, greener energy use, changes to manufacturing ,etc Answers will vary!