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GEOGRAPHY Cape '09 u1 p2#4b
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GEOGRAPHY Cape '09 u1 p2#4b

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  • 1. CAPE 2009 P2 UNIT 1 NUMBER 4BThursday, January 13, 2011DAMS:The major effects of reservoir construction on the hydrological cycle (excepting runoff control) are anincrease of evaporation and a rise of groundwater table. In dry regions, evaporationlosses from the reservoir water surface may be so large that they seriously compromiseany potential gains. At the same time, in the conditions of moderate climate, thereservoir losses on evaporation are relatively small. The rise in groundwater level along the reservoirperiphery and in surrounding areas changes the runoff generation mechanism on these areas. Gradualchange of the river flow regime can occur as a consequence of decreasing the river’sability to transport sediments, especially in upper parts and in reservoirs. Reduction ofsediment input at the dam site reduces the river channel slope and the bed sheer stress,resulting in dropping flow velocities and the development of river meandering.IRRIGATION:The impact of irrigation on the hydrological cycle is especially revealing in the aridregions, but it is also considerable in regions with moderate climate where irrigation isof supplementary character. Diversion of water for irrigation purposes from surface orgroundwater resources modifies the natural hydrological processes. It is common forrunoff and evaporation from irrigated areas to increase significantly. Irrigation in riverbasins where there is no additional method of supply often leads to runoff reduction inthe outlet site. In many dry regions, a considerable rise in the groundwater table canoccur because of water filtration from reservoirs, leakage from water distributingsystems, and faulty irrigation technology. Such a rise may cause waterlogging of plants
  • 2. CAPE 2009 P2 UNIT 1 NUMBER 4Band development of soil salinization.URBANIZATION:. The most significant distortions of the hydrological cycle are observed in urbanized areas. Thereplacement of natural land cover by the urban impermeable surface causes greatreductions in infiltration and evapotranspiration. The rainfall runoff from urbanizedareas is mainly generated as overland flow and reaches the river drainage system veryquickly. Accordingly, the rainfall flood volumes may increase by several times, and thepeaks of the hydrographs may increase by 10–15 times. At the same time, snowtransport may result in a decrease of snowmelt runoff. Due to reduction of infiltrationand groundwater abstractions for urban water supply, falls in the groundwater table arealso observed in urban neighborhoods.DEFORESTATION:The main clearly-expressed effects of deforestation on the hydrological cycle of a riverbasin are the increases in transpiration and interception of precipitation, which in turnresult in a decrease of the volume of total runoff. Deforestation reduces infiltration andimproves the conditions for overland flow. As a consequence, flood runoff and peakdischarges may significantly increase. At the same time, the higher infiltration of forestsoils increases the opportunity for recharge groundwater, and the flow of small riverstends to be more sustained, especially in the case of the generation of snowmelt runoff,
  • 3. CAPE 2009 P2 UNIT 1 NUMBER 4Bwhen forests further sustain flow by delaying the snowmelt. A rise in the groundwatertable and an increase of ground runoff may also raise the low flow of medium- andlarge-sized rivers. Such effects often result in the conclusion that forests increase runoff.