Water is an irreplaceable part of our existence. This is evident by looking at our sheer composition. 60% of our entire body is composed of water. Without it, none of our respiratory, circulatory, or excretory processes can function efficiently.
It’s not just for us humans, but for plants and animals as well. Water is what keeps us all thriving. These days, people take access to water for granted so much that no one ever wonders what the sources of water are.
It is essential to understand the sources of water to be able to appreciate this gift from nature truly. This is why we have below a list of the sources of water with pictures to help you keep better informed.
Let’s start learning!
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Sources of Water
Water is a renewable resource that exists abundantly in nature. Nearly 70% of our planet is composed of water. This water can be in many forms and can be categorized into three main types:
True to its name, groundwater is the water that is found under the surface of Earth. This water is located within the spaces of rocks. Permeable rocks generally have small spaces that hold water within the rock structure. In many places, some aquifers refer to the collection of water in between rock fractures.
Groundwater is replenished from rainwater as the ground absorbs it. This water is considered to be quite a pure source of water as it is usually free of pollution. It is also affordable to access and can be widely found all around the world.
The downside of groundwater is that it is susceptible to the presence of contaminants like arsenic, nitrates, and fluorides. This water also typically has lower oxygen and high mineral content. Groundwater is extracted via drilling and pumping.
The most common utilization of groundwater is through wells.
It is estimated that every day the United States uses about 349 billion gallons of freshwater every day. And out of this, 79.6 billion gallons is groundwater. There are approximately 15.9 million water wells in the US alone. Among these, most of the wells are privately owned.
There is generally a pump in place to retrieve water from these wells. Since well water is susceptible to a variety of contaminants, this water needs to go through adequate filtration before it is safe to use.
There can be shallow wells that are only between 30- 60m deep. In places where groundwater is much deeper, wells need to be dug deep. These types of wells will require drilling through harder materials to reach aquifers.
Surface water is the water that we see all around us in the form of rivers, lakes, and oceans. This is the largest source of water on Earth. Surface water is also the water that is utilized in the production of hydroelectricity. This energy has been the front runner in terms of green energy.
Lakes and Rivers
Lakes and rivers provide abundant supplies of freshwater. The water from these sources is used widely for drinking, cleaning, agriculture, and so on. These sources are naturally replenished by rain or from melting snow.
The oceans cover the most significant density as a source of water. This water is full of salt and hence is unfit for human consumption. However, these days there have been many technological advances in the field of desalination. High expenses and the slow process have made it difficult to implement fully on the large-scale. But if we can harness this water, then it could solve water scarcity problems around the world.
Rainwater is typically known to be the purest natural form of water. The impurities get left behind as water evaporates to form clouds. Any contamination found is rainwater is the result of something it encountered on the way down.
Rainwater is essential for replenishing surface water, supporting plant growth, as well as keeping the environment clean. Rainwater harvesting is also widely practiced these days. This is the practice of collecting and storing rainwater. This water can then be filtered and reused to minimize water wastage.
Water is sourced from nature in three forms: rainwater, surface water, and groundwater. It then becomes our job to maintain these sources and protect them from getting polluted. We have a limited supply of fresh water, so we should do our best to remain informed about the sources as well as their current conditions.