Above and Below!
The children of our Nature Club, recently learnt about the importance of surface and groundwater and the differences and similarities. The water in our world’s rivers, streams, creeks, lakes, and reservoirs—are very important to everyday life. Surface water is found above the earth’s surface. The main uses of surface water include drinking-water and irrigation uses. We learnt that groundwater is an important part of the water cycle. An aquifer is an underground layers of water-bearing rock, gravel and sand from which groundwater can be extracted using a water well. Groundwater is the part of precipitation that seeps down through the soil until it reaches rock material that is saturated with water. Water in the ground is stored in the spaces between rocks. Groundwater slowly moves underground, due to gravity and may eventually seep into streams, lakes, and oceans. We also learnt about the water table. The problem is that surface water can be contaminated by rainwater runoff from homes, businesses, roads, fertilizers, pesticide from lawns and gardens and can get washed into surface water! Ground water is less pollutant that surface water. Fracking is also a huge threat to groundwater!
By filling glasses with sand, gravel, and mud is a good way to demonstrate how water flows to become groundwater from surface water. If groundwater is contaminated it influences surface water and if groundwater is removed it can lead to streams and rivers on the surface to dry up! We get most of our water from glaciers.
We also learnt how to extract water from the ground by different syphon hand pumps and wells. The children also made their own hand pumps by using two syringes and valves. What a challenging task, but so rewarding when it can be used to pump water, even on a small scale!
Surface water and groundwater are very important and needs to be protected and preserved!