Groundwater and the Hydrologic Cycle Essay

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Groundwater and the Hydrologic Cycle Introduction Water is the lifeblood of every living creature on earth. Approximately 70 percent of the earth's surface is covered with water. Thought the wonders of nature, water can take on many different forms, form the water we drink, to the ice we use to chill a glass of lemonade, to the water vapor used to steam clean equipment equipment. It is easy to understand the significance water plays in our lives, but it may be much more difficult ot understand the water that exists below the earth's surface, called groundwater. From the time the earth was formed, water have been endlessly circulating. This circulation is known as the hydrologic cycle. Groundwater is part of this continuous…show more content…
The unsaturated zones are soil and geologic materials located between the land surface and the saturated zone. The voids are filled with a combination of air and water. Water in this zone is often refereed to as soil moisture. Below the unsaturated zone is the water table. The water table is the level in the geologic formation below which all voids or cracks are saturated. The water table also can be thought of as the upper surface of the groundwater and top of the saturated zone for an unconfined aquifer. The entire region below the water table is called the saturated zone. In the saturated zones, all voids are filled with water and no air is present. The water in the saturated zone is call groundwater. The distance water has to travel to reach groundwater can range from a few feet to hundreds of feet. Water movement toward groundwater may take hours or years, depending on the depth to the aquifer and the characteristics of the unsaturated zone. Once in the groundwater, water may move into surface waters such as lakes or streams. Groundwater moves slowly within the groundwater aquifer, often remaining in storage for long periods of time. Groundwater Groundwater is an important natural resource, especially in those parts of the country that don't have ample surface water sources, such as the arid West. Groundwater provides about 38 percent of the water delivered by water department for use in our homes, businesses, and industries and

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