Water and Stormwater Runoff

Solving the water problems we face today will be difficult. These problems have been caused by poor planning and management of the water we have available to us and the belief that the water available to us is infinite. It is not.

About Fresh WaterGreat lakes from Space Shuttle

Seventy percent of the Earth is covered by water. Nearly 97% of that water is saltwater and undrinkable. That means that only about 3% of Earth’s water is fresh. But, of that 3%, two percent of that water (about 66% of all fresh water) is in solid form and found in ice caps and glaciers.

That leaves about 1% of all the Earth’s water is in a form useable to humans and land animals. This small amount of fresh water is found our lakes, rivers, streams, ponds, and in the ground.

The Water Cycle

 Earth’s water is always moving. It truly moves in a “cycle” because there is no beginning or end. It is in a continuous movement on, above, and below the surface of the Earth.

The water is constantly being cycled between the atmosphere, the ocean and the land. The state of water (solid, liquid or gas) is determined mostly by temperature. Although water continuously changes states from solid to liquid to gas the amount of water on Earth remains constant. There is as much water now as there was hundreds of millions of years ago.

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“Although the balance of water on Earth remains fairly constant over time, individual water molecules can come and go in a hurry. The water in the apple you ate yesterday may have fallen as rain half-way around the world last year or could have been used 100 million years ago by Mama Dinosaur to give her baby a bath.”  USGS

The Natural Water Cycle

The Urban Water Cycle

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