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Water Studies - The Math of Sufficient Fresh Water

Read: Orme Tenn has run out of water

Create a video based assessment and report of your community's water resources.

What is your community's source of potable water?

How much precipitation has your community gotten in the past month? year?

Calculate how much water is needed to meet the needs of your family, school or town.

How much growth in population can be supported by your current supply of water?

What is the cost of the potable water in your community?

What are the impacts of diminished precipition?

What are the impacts of diminished flow or pollution in an area stream or river?

What steps have been taken to protect your water supply?

What steps should be taken?

Who is responsible?


The United States Geologic Survey provides this water information:

Rain - a Water resource

Water Use at Home USGS Q&A

Water Equivalents (approximate) The following equivalents show the relationship between the volume and weight of water and between the volume and speed of flowing water.

Volume and weight

* One inch of rain falling on 1 acre of ground is equal to about 27,154 gallons and weighs about 113 tons.

* An inch of snow falling evenly on 1 acre of ground is equivalent to about 2,715 gallons of water. This figure, however, based upon the "rule-of-thumb" that 10 inches of snow is equal to 1 inch of water, can vary considerable, depending on whether the snow is heavy and wet, or powdery and dry. Heavy, wet snow has a very high water content--4 or 5 inches of this kind of snow contains about 1 inch of water. Thus, an inch of very wet snow over an acre might amount to more than 5,400 gallons of water, while an inch of powdery snow might yield only about 1,300 gallons.

* One acre-foot of water (the amount of water covering 1 acre to a depth of 1 foot) equals 326,000 gallons or 43,560 cubic feet of water, and weighs 2.7 million pounds.

* One cubic mile of water equals 1.1 trillion gallons, 147.2 billion cubic feet, or 3.38 million acre-feet, and weighs 9.2 trillion pounds (4.6 billion tons).

Rate of flow (in a stream)

* Water flowing at the steady rate of 1 gallon per minute is equivalent to: 1,440 gallons per day; 0.00223 cubic foot per second; 192.7 cubic feet per day; or 0.00442 acre-foot of water per day.

* Water flowing at the steady rate of 1 cubic foot per second is equivalent to: 449 gallons per minute; 646,000 gallons per day; 86,400 cubic feet per day; or 1.98 acre-feet of water per day.

* Water flowing at the steady rate of 1 acre-foot per day is equivalent to: 226 gallons per minute; 326,000 gallons per day; 0.504 cubic foot per second; or 43, 560 cubic feet of water per day.

* Water flowing at the steady rate of 1 cubic mile per day is equivalent to: 764.6 million gallons per minute;
spacer 1.1 trillion gallons per day; 1.7 million cubic feet per day; or 3.38 million acre-feet of water per day.

"In the confrontation between the stream and the rock, the stream always wins -
not through strength, but through persistence." - Anonymous

Lentic or Lotic Ecosystems online activity Water Vocabulary puzzle
Natural Resource Wars - who will be the winner? Map Pennsylvania Waters
What is a watershed? Make a crossword puzzle about water & watersheds
Population and Precipitation Activity Watershed Atlas of the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers
Drought Presentation - Problem based Learning Groundwater in Pennsylvania
Water Use in the United States Pathfinder Science - Stream Monitoring
Water, Climate, Vegetation ppt High Temperature records by State
Wetlands EcoStudy Unit Water Studies Index

This activity is aligned with the Pennsylvania State Academic Standards for Reading, Writing, Speaking; Science and Technology; Environment and Ecology, Mathematics, and Geography

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11/2007 Cindy O'Hora All Rights Reserved. FAQ
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