On Tuesday, November 23rd, Rob, Matt, and Myself began working on our Water Usage Lab. This lab covered four sections: An Apple experiment done in class, a study of how wet our planet is, a study of water on the Rufus King Property, and the amount of water a person consumes over a period of time. Some Scientists believe that the water currently on earth is all us humans will ever see.
Therefore, it is imperative that we preserve our freshwater and work to keep all water as clean as possible. Everyday, people waste water and all of our activities harm waters’ quality through all the pollutants that are put into it. Currently, we are limited to a very small supply of freshwater lakes, so basically we need to be careful, not wasteful.
The earth, or water planet, has between 2/3 and 3/4 of its surface covered in water. Our water comes in all different shapes and sizes. All over the world, you can find rivers, ponds, lakes, oceans, icecaps, even moisture in the clouds overhead. All of this works together in one big water cycle.
The water on earth is as follows:
(This Chart is represented by the Apple experiment done in class showing the proportions of water that we have to use.)
Oceans – 97.2%
Icecaps/Glaciers – 2.0%
Groundwater – 0.62%
Freshwater Lakes – 0.009%
Inland seas/ Salt Lakes – 0.008%
Atmosphere – 0.001%
All Rivers – 0.0001%
* Each segment of the cycle has it’s own portion of the total make up. Regardless of what people may think, the water supply is not endless. Scientists believe that we are limited to the amount we have on earth already. Therefore, it is crucial that we maintain the quality of the quantity we have. Even the little of amount of freshwater we have is decrease from the pollution and contamination from us humans.
One of the most misunderstood concepts of this whole aquatic ecosystem is the idea of runoff from rainfall. It may not be as obvious as you’d think, but we get extreme amounts of water from rainfall. Precipitation and runoff are a big part of the Hydrologic Cycle. Rain is one of the many ways water re-enters our ecosystem.
Well, where does the water go after it rains? Once rainfall falls upon the surface, it moves both laterally outward and vertically downward. The Lateral Movement is another name for run off. Runoff causes the water to run/return to streams, rivers, lakes, etc. On certain surfaces, the water just flows right down into the ground and seeps into the soil and porous rock, which recharges the groundwater supply. Through runoff, many chemicals, pollutants, bacteria, and other hazardous things find their way into the water, which can harm the quality of life and water itself, for that matter.
After finding its way back to the water source, the toxins begin harming our ecosystem. It is responsible for erosion, transportation, and deposition of sediments scoured from the land’s surface. Many people prepare for this to happen.
Through urban development, man has become accustom to always having a steady flow of water. Nowadays, the average American uses 150 gallons of water everyday! People can get these water sources from just about anywhere; rivers, lakes, wells, etc. No human can go without water for more than a few weeks, but it just seems w/ the limited amount of freshwater, man abuses the privilege of having such a habitably environment to live in.
Part I – Earth: The Apple of Our Eye (ZPG Demonstration)
Part II – How Wet Is Our Planet (aquatic Project Wild # 7)
Part III – Where Does Water Go After School? (Aquatic Project Wild # 75)
Part IV – How Much Water Does Man Use and Why? (MPS En. St.)
5 Gallons of Water (representing all water)
One Water Bill
Rufus King Blue Print
Through our studies, it’s quite apparent that we need to conserve the water we use. When Rob, Matt, and I used the 5-gallon tank to put the amount of water on earth into proportion. The results were astonishing. With only .009% of freshwater lakes on earth, there is only .1152 tablespoons of freshwater in our 5-gallon tank. If you care to review the other results, they are as follows:
Inland Seas / Salt Lakes
Seeing Milwaukee is located right next to Lake Michigan, we have an excellent water source. From our class results, we use an average of 74.74 gallons of water each day per person per household. Within my household, we use only 69.4 gallons per person per day. Even though water comes relatively cheap at $0.002 a gallon, to say the least, that average is way down from America’s average of 150 gallons per person. You have to understand, certain people have certain needs depending on their climate, surrounds, personal preference, and it’s availability.
However, as low as our average was, don’t you think 74.74 gallons A DAY is still far too much? I do! If what the scientist say is true, we may not always have such a free-flowing water source. Even if we don’t used up the water we have, we are constantly making it less and less usable. Humans don’t need all the resources we consume. As much as they may perk up your life, they harm our ecosystem something terribly; our water being on of the elements suffering the worst blow. Rainfall and Runoff constantly picks up pollutants that bring water quality way down.
Regardless, if we wreck it or waste it, we wont have it either way if we continue.