The Valley Courier Water 2012 series: Water cycle explained

Here’s the second installment of Judy Lopez’s Water 2012 series running in the Valley Courier. Here’s an excerpt:

The water cycle is an important part of how all exist; everyone learned that little fact in fourth grade. The problem today is that many have forgotten it.

So let’s have a quick refresher course. Remember that water is needed to fall in the form of precipitation, and then it does one of a few things. It is stored in the form of snow or ice, infiltrates to groundwater, runs-off to streams lakes and rivers or is used by plants. Next, as the plot continues – it evaporates from the surface or transpires through plants and then condenses in the atmosphere and starts all over again.

The key is the process recharge. When water from the surface infiltrates the ground it recharges ground water supplies. With adequate precipitation rivers, streams and aquifers are recharged allowing surface areas to stay hydrated. Even the atmosphere stays hydrated. The system stays full. But this is in a perfect world without large cities, paved streets, concrete parking lots, malls, humans and such progress. It is in this world, recharge gets inhibited, because water doesn’t always go in, but instead it gets used up or runs overland and suddenly picks up a lot of other substances before going into streams and rivers.

More Colorado Water 2012 coverage here.

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