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ENV100 Lecture NotesJan 9 2012 FRESHWATER SYSTEMS AND WATER RESOURCES continued READING Chapter 11Groundwater is Earths largest unfrozen freshwater reservoirAquiferunderground reservoirs of rock and sediment that hold groundwater o Water tableupper surface of water in an aquiferGroundwater may stay for thousands of years in an aquifer o In Canada there is much more water underground than on the surface o 26 of Canadas population depends on groundwater 8 million people o 23 are rural usersAquifers are porous and permeable watersaturated rock or sediment unitsAquifers store and transmit water o Porosity pore space o Permeabilityinterconnectedness of poresAerated zonesome air some waterSaturated zonecompletely filled with water otable top of the saturated zone Groundwater moves down from the surface to the saturated zoneGroundwater flow is controlled by gravityWater table mimics topography o Where water table intersects surfacesurface waterRechargewater flows into an aquifer via precipitationinfiltrationDischargewater flows out of an aquifer via percolationstreamsspringsoceanWater use has increased fourfold over the past 40 yearsPer capita access to clean water has declinedWater supply o Waterstressed10002000 m3personday overuse o Waterscarce 1000 m32700 lpersonday unavailability 42 countries waterscarce o 12 billion without access to clean water o 17 billion without access to sanitation o Most are in developing nationsWater is unequally distributedMany areas with high population density are waterpoor and face serious water shortages Water supplies houses agriculture and industry
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