Presentation on theme: "WATERSHEDS Produced by the COMET ® Program in partnership with the National Environmental Education Foundation Connecting Weather to the Environment Presented."— Presentation transcript:
WATERSHEDS Produced by the COMET ® Program in partnership with the National Environmental Education Foundation Connecting Weather to the Environment Presented by Kimberly Bradley & Kristen Ponak GEI Consultants, Inc.
Watersheds: Connecting Weather to the Environment 1.What is a watershed?What is a watershed? 2.The System of WatershedsThe System of Watersheds 3.Where does our water come from?Where does our water come from? 4.Weather & Watersheds: Rain Flooding and Tropical Storms Drought 5.What You Can DoWhat You Can Do
What is a watershed? A watershed is an area of land from which all runoff drains, or 'sheds' to the same river, lake, or other body of water.
Everyone lives in a watershed Your own backyard is part of a watershed. Youre already in one! You dont need to visit the Grand Canyon to see a watershed.
The System of Watersheds Each is part of a larger picture or mosaic. Each is part of a larger picture or mosaic. Watersheds are like pieces of a puzzle:
A Nested System Watersheds are also like Russian Matryoshka or nesting dolls. Larger watersheds contain smaller watersheds, which contain even smaller ones.
Watershed Addresses Just as our homes have street addresses, our neighborhood watersheds have environmental addresses.
Sacred Heart Universitys Watershed Address Resources for finding your watershed: USGS Science in Your Watershed: water.usgs.gov/wsc/ EPA Surf Your Watershed: www.epa.gov/surf CT Environmental Conditions Online (ECO): http://www.cteco.uconn.edu/ http://www.cteco.uconn.edu/ UCONN CLEAR Connecticut Changing Landscape: UCONN CLEAR Connecticut Changing Landscape: http://clear.uconn.edu/projects/l andscape/ http://clear.uconn.edu/projects/l andscape/
Where does our water come from? Evaporation Ocean Storage Groundwater flow to oceans Aquifers Infiltration into the ground Springs Streams and rivers Condensation Precipitation Lakes Snowmelt All of our freshwater starts as precipitation, which moves continually through the hydrologic cycle.
The Surface-Groundwater System Surface and underground water bodies form an inter- connected system. Surface water recharges groundwater storage. Groundwater also flows up into surface water bodies.
Drinking Water Sources Most water systems (80%) in the U.S. use a ground water source for drinking water, but the majority of the population (66%) are served by surface water sources.
Fairfileds Drinking Water Identify where your citys drinking water comes from. Visit http://www.epa.gov/safewater/dwinfo/index.html Is it surface water or groundwater?
Weather & Watersheds: Rain What is the most common cause of pollution in streams, rivers, and oceans? 1.Dumping of garbage by cities 2.Surface water running off yards, streets, paved lots, and farm fields 3.Trash washed into the ocean from beaches 4.Waste dumped by factories
Sources of Pollution Precipitation runoff from farms, lawns, and paved surfaces is the leading source of water pollution in America today.
Whats in the water? Main pollutants: Fertilizers Herbicides Insecticides Oil, grease, and toxic chemicals from urban areas Sediment Road Salt Bacteria and Nitrogen Air pollutants
Weather & Watersheds: Flooding A flood occurs anytime a water body overflows or when an unusual amount of water collects in dry areas.
Flash Flooding A flash flood is a particularly dangerous type of flood that occurs within 6 hours or even an hour after the start of rainfall.
Causes of Flash Floods Flash floods are typically caused by intense thunderstorm downpours, but… …the failure of a dam or levee can also trigger flash flooding.
Urban Flooding Because urban watersheds contain so many paved surfaces… Less water goes into the ground, and… More heads for the nearest stream or low- lying area.
Flooding from Tropical Storms Hurricane Floyd (1999) Sometimes a hurricanes worst punch comes after the storm has passed. This was the case with Hurricane Floyd, which left North Carolina inundated with historic and deadly floods days after the storm.
Weather & Watersheds: Drought 1. Reduced soil moisture (plant stress) 2. Reduced water levels in lakes, reservoirs, wetlands 4. Groundwater depletion, land subsidence 3. Reduced water flow in streams, rivers, springs 5. Water quality problems How can drought impact a watershed?
Drought in Your Area Is your area experiencing drought? Resources: U.S. Drought Monitor - http://drought.unl.edu/dm/monitor.html http://drought.unl.edu/dm/monitor.html Click on your state for a close-up view of drought stages.
Protecting Watersheds: What You Can Do Everyday Simple Ways to Protect Your Watershed Dont Dump or LitterDont Dump or Litter Water and Landscape WiselyWater and Landscape Wisely Control the FlowControl the Flow Pick up After RoverPick up After Rover Fix that LeakFix that Leak Participate in a CleanupParticipate in a Cleanup