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**What is the water (hydrologic) cycle? Why is it important?**

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The hydrologic cycle

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**The Hydrologic Cycle Water input and output is in balance globally**

P = R + ET

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The Hydrologic Cycle Water input and output is not always in balance locally Something is missing ΔS is the change in groundwater storage P ≠ R + ET P = R + ET + ΔS

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The Hydrologic Cycle Local variations can have serious consequences (floods or drought)

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Hydrologic Balance Measuring the amount of water coming in and going out to assess availability

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**Precipitation (Input)**

How do we measure it? Rain gauge collects 1 inch of rain. What does that mean? In a one-inch rain, what is the volume of water that falls on an area of one square mile? (Don’t have to do the numerical calculation; just outline the steps).

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**Measuring Precipitation (P)**

1 inch = 1/12 feet 1 sq. mi = 5,280 ft x 5,280 ft = 27,878,400sq.ft. 27,878,400 sq.ft. x 1/12 feet = 2,323,200 cu.ft. 2,323,200 cu.ft. x 7.48 gal./cu.ft = 17,377,536 gals. (17 x 106 gals.) If rain fell over 1 day, the rate is 2,323,200 cu. ft. ÷ 86,400 sec/day = 26.9 cu. ft/sec.

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Measuring Runoff (R) Measure how fast the water is moving in the stream (velocity, ft./sec) Measure the width and depth of the stream = area (sq. ft.) velocity depth width velocity (ft/sec) x area (sq. ft) = cu.ft/sec

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