LIVING IN THE ENVIRONMENT, 18e G. TYLER MILLER SCOTT E. SPOOLMAN Water Resources and Aquatic Biodiversity Cengage CengageLearning Learning2015 2015 Case Study: The Colorado River Story The Colorado River Flows 2,300 km through seven U.S. states Includes 14 dams and reservoirs
Water supplied mostly from snowmelt of the Rocky Mountains Supplies water and electricity for about 30 million people Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Diego Responsible for irrigation of crops that help feed America Cengage Learning 2015 Issues Very little water is reaching the Gulf of California The southwest has recently been recent droughts
Freshwater Is an Irreplaceable Resource That We Are Managing Poorly Water covers 71% of the earths surface Poorly managed resource Global health issue Economic issue National and global security issue Environmental issue Cengage Learning 2015 Most of the Earths Freshwater Is Not Available to Us Freshwater availability 0.024% Groundwater, lakes, rivers, and streams
Hydrologic cycle Movement of water in the seas, land, and air Driven by solar energy and gravity Distributed unevenly Humans can alter the hydrologic cycle Withdrawing water, polluting, climate change Cengage Learning 2015 Groundwater and Surface Water Are Critical Resources Zone of saturation Spaces in soil are filled with water Water table Top of zone of
saturation Aquifers Natural recharge Lateral recharge Cengage Learning 2015 Surface water Surface runoff Watershed (drainage) basin We Are Using Increasing Amounts of the Worlds Reliable Runoff 2/3 of the surface runoff lost by seasonal floods Reliable runoff
Remaining 1/3 on which we can rely Worldwide averages Domestic: 10% Agriculture: 70% Industrial use: 20% Cengage Learning 2015 Agriculture counts for 92% of humanitys water footprint Virtual water Not consumed; used to produce food and other products Case Study: Freshwater Resources in the United States
More than enough renewable freshwater, unevenly distributed and polluted What are the effects of the following? Floods Pollution Drought U.S. Geological Survey projection, 2007 Water hotspots Cengage Learning 2015 Freshwater Shortages Will Grow Main factors that cause scarcity: Dry climates Drought
Too many people using a normal supply of water Wasteful use of water U.N. 2010 study By 2025, three billion people will likely lack access to clean water Cengage Learning 2015 The California Water Crisis Four years of historic drought Due to record lows in rainfall & snow combined with record heat Overuse of groundwater aquifers & groundwater
contamination Water restrictions ordered by the governor Cengage Learning 2015 Groundwater is Being Withdrawn Faster Than It Is Replenished in Some Areas Most aquifers are renewable Unless water is contaminated or removed Aquifers provide drinking water for half the world Water tables are falling in many parts of the world, primarily from crop irrigation Cengage Learning 2015 Case Study: Overpumping the Ogallala
Ogallala aquifer largest known aquifer Irrigates the Great Plains Very slow recharge Water table dropping Water pumped 10-40 times faster than recharge Government subsidies to continue farming deplete the aquifer further Biodiversity threatened in some areas Cengage Learning 2015 Overpumping Aquifers Has Several Harmful Effects Limits future food production
Bigger gap between the rich and the poor Land subsidence Mexico City San Joaquin Valley in California Groundwater overdrafts near coastal regions Contamination of groundwater with saltwater Cengage Learning 2015 Deep Aquifers Might Be Tapped May contain enough water to provide for billions of people for centuries Major concerns Nonrenewable Little is known about the geological and
ecological impacts of pumping deep aquifers Some flow beneath more than one country Costs of tapping are unknown and could be high Cengage Learning 2015 Use of Large Dams Provides Benefits and Creates Problems Main goal of a dam and reservoir system Capture and store runoff Release runoff as needed to control: Floods Generate electricity Supply irrigation water Recreation (reservoirs)
Cengage Learning 2015 Use of Large Dams Provides Benefits and Creates Problems Advantages Disadvantages Increase the reliable runoff available Reduce flooding Displacement of people Grow crops in arid regions
Loss of plant and animal species Flooded regions Impaired ecological services of rivers Fill up with sediment Cengage Learning 2015 Can cause other streams and lakes to dry up How Dams Can Kill an Estuary Only small amount of
Colorado River water reaches Gulf of California Threatens aquatic species in river and species that live in the estuary Reservoirs Leak water into ground below Lose much water through evaporation Current rate of river withdrawal is not sustainable Fill up with silt load of river, depriving delta
Much water used for agriculture that is inefficient with water use Could eventually lose ability to store water and create electricity Cengage Learning 2015 Water Transfers Can Be Inefficient and Environmentally Harmful China South-North Water Diversion Project Divert six trillion gallons of water California central valley
Aqueducts Water loss through evaporation Ecosystem degradation Cengage Learning 2015 Case Study: The Aral Sea Disaster Wind-blown salt Depositing on glaciers in the Himalayas Altered local climate Wetland destruction Hot dry summers; cold winters Desertification Restoration efforts Cooperation of neighboring Greatly increased countries
salinity More efficient irrigation Fish extinctions and Dike construction to raise lake level decline of fishing Large-scale water transfers in dry central Asia have led to: Cengage Learning 2015 Removing Salt from Seawater Is Costly and Has Harmful Effects Desalination Problems Removing dissolved High cost and
salts energy footprint Distillation evaporate Keeps down algal water, leaving salts growth and kills behind many marine organisms Reverse osmosis, Large quantity of microfiltration use high pressure to remove salts brine wastes More than 15,000 plants in 125 countries Cengage Learning 2015
Reducing Freshwater Losses Can Provide Many Benefits One-half to two-thirds of water is wasted The cost of water to users is low Subsidies mask the true cost of water Raising prices will hurt lower-income farmers and city dwellers Cengage Learning 2015 We Can Improve Efficiency in Irrigation Flood irrigation
Wasteful Center pivot, low pressure sprinkler Low-energy; precision application sprinklers Drip or trickle irrigation, microirrigation Costly Less water waste Cengage Learning 2015 Poor Farmers Conserve Water Using LowTech Methods Human-powered treadle pumps Harvest and store rainwater Use tensiometers Measure soil moisture
Use polyculture to create canopy vegetation Reduces evaporation Cengage Learning 2015 We Can Cut Freshwater Losses in Industry and Homes Recycle water in industry Fix leaks in the plumbing systems Use water-thrifty landscaping: xeriscaping Use gray water Pay-as-you-go water use
Cengage Learning 2015 Some Areas Get Too Much Water from Flooding Flood plains Highly productive wetlands Provide natural flood and erosion control Maintain high water quality Recharge groundwater Cengage Learning 2015 Benefits of
floodplains Fertile soils; nearby rivers for use and recreation Flatlands for urbanization and farming Some Areas Get Too Much Water from Flooding Human activities make floods worse Levees can break or be overtopped Paving and development increase runoff
Removal of water-absorbing vegetation Draining wetlands and building on them Rising sea levels from global warming means more coastal flooding Cengage Learning 2015 Core Case Study: Why Should We Care about Coral Reefs? Biodiversity Coral reefs form in clear, warm coastal waters in tropical areas Tiny animals (polyps) and algae have a mutualistic relationship
Polyps secrete calcium carbonate shells, which become coral reefs Cengage Learning 2015 Provide important ecological and economic services Vulnerable to damage Warmer ocean temperatures leading to coral bleaching Kills algae and thus the polyps Increasing ocean acidity
What Is the General Nature of Aquatic Systems? Saltwater and freshwater aquatic life zones cover almost Saltwater 71% of the earths surface three-fourths of the earths surface, with oceans Global ocean divided into dominating the planet four areas Key factors determining Atlantic biodiversity in aquatic systems Pacific Temperature, dissolved Arctic oxygen content, availability Indian
of food, and access to light and nutrients necessary for Freshwater 2.2% of the photosynthesis earths surface Cengage Learning 2015 Most of the Earth Is Covered with Water Aquatic life zones Saltwater life zones (marine life zones) Oceans and estuaries Coastlands and shorelines Coral reefs Mangrove forests Freshwater life zones
Lakes, rivers, and streams Inland wetlands Cengage Learning 2015 Aquatic Species Drift, Swim, Crawl, and Cling Plankton drifting Phytoplankton Primary producers for most aquatic food webs Ultraplankton Tiny photosynthetic bacteria Zooplankton Secondary consumers Single-celled to large invertebrates like jellyfish
Cengage Learning 2015 Nekton Strong swimmers fish, turtles, whales Benthos Bottom dwellers oysters, sea stars, clams, lobsters, crabs Decomposers Mostly bacteria Aquatic Species Drift, Swim, Crawl, and Cling Key factors in the distribution of organisms Temperature Dissolved oxygen content Availability of food
Availability of light and nutrients needed for photosynthesis Turbidity Degree of cloudiness in water Inhibits photosynthesis Cengage Learning 2015 Oceans Provide Vital Ecosystem and Economic Services Estimated $12 trillion per year in goods and services
Three major life zones: Coastal zone Warm, nutrient rich, shallow; shore to edge of continental shelf; usually high NPP from ample sunlight and nutrients Open sea Ocean bottom Cengage Learning 2015 Estuaries and Coastal Wetlands Are Highly Productive Examples: River mouths Inlets Bays
Sounds Salt marshes Sea-grass beds Mangrove forests Estuaries Where rivers meet the sea Coastal wetlands Coastal land covered with water all or part of the year Seawater mixes with freshwater Cengage Learning 2015 Very productive
ecosystems with high nutrient levels Rocky and Sandy Shores Host Different Types of Organisms Intertidal zone Area of shore between high and low tides Rocky shore Sandy shore, barrier beach Organism adaptations necessary to deal with daily salinity and moisture changes Cengage Learning 2015
Coral Reefs Are Amazing Centers of Biodiversity Marine equivalent of tropical rain forests Reefs are being destroyed and damaged worldwide Cengage Learning 2015 Global Warmings Evil Twin (Ocean Acidification) Ocean acidification: Also called coral bleaching Oceans absorb CO2 CO2 reacts with ocean water to form a weak acid that decreases levels of carbonate
ions (CO32-) needed to form coral Cengage Learning 2015 The Open Sea and the Ocean Floor Host a Variety of Species Three vertical zones of the open sea Euphotic zone Phytoplankton Nutrient levels low Dissolved oxygen levels high Upwelling brings nutrients from below
Bathyal zone Dimly lit Zooplankton and smaller fishes Cengage Learning 2015 The Open Sea and the Ocean Floor Host a Variety of Species Abyssal zone Dark and cold High levels of nutrients Little dissolved oxygen Deposit feeders Filter feeders NPP low in the open sea Except in upwelling areas Cengage Learning 2015
Human Activities Are Disrupting and Degrading Marine Systems Major threats to marine systems include: Coastal development Overfishing; use of fishing trawlers Runoff of nonpoint source pollution Point source pollution Habitat destruction Introduction of invasive species Pollution of coastal wetlands and estuaries Cengage Learning 2015 Case Study: The Chesapeake Bay an Estuary in Trouble Largest estuary in the U.S. Polluted since 1960
Large population increase Point and nonpoint sources raised pollution Phosphate and nitrate levels too high Excess sediments from runoff and decreased vegetation Cengage Learning 2015 Case Study: The Chesapeake Bay an Estuary in Trouble Oysters, a keystone species, greatly reduced 1983: Chesapeake Bay Program
Integrated coastal management with local, state, and federal governments, as well as citizens groups 2008 update: 25 years and $6 billion Program failed to meet goals Cengage Learning 2015 Water Stands in Some Freshwater Systems and Flows in Others Standing (lentic) bodies of freshwater Lakes Ponds
Inland wetlands Flowing (lotic) systems of freshwater Streams Rivers Cengage Learning 2015 Water Stands in Some Freshwater Systems and Flows in Others Lakes have four zones based on depth and distance from shore Littoral zone Near shore where rooted plants grow; high biodiversity Turtles, frogs, crayfish, some fish
Limnetic zone Open, sunlight area away from shore; main photosynthetic zone Some larger fish Cengage Learning 2015 Water Stands in Some Freshwater Systems and Flows in Others Profundal zone Deep water too dark for photosynthesis Low oxygen levels Some fish Benthic zone Decomposers Detritus feeders Some fish
Nourished primarily by dead matter Cengage Learning 2015 Some Lakes Have More Nutrients Than Others Oligotrophic lakes Low levels of nutrients and low NPP Very clear water Eutrophic lakes High levels of nutrients and high NPP Murky water with high turbidity Cultural eutrophication of lakes from human input of nutrients
Cengage Learning 2015 Thermal Stratification Temperature Change with Depth Occurs Seasonally Brings oxygen from surface to bottom Brings nutrients from bottom to surface Cengage Learning 2015 Freshwater Streams and Rivers Carry Large Volumes of Water Surface water Runoff Downward flow of water
from mountains Three aquatic life zones Source zone Shallow, cold, clear, swiftly flowing High dissolved oxygen Cengage Learning 2015 Freshwater Streams and Rivers Carry Large Volumes of Water Transition zone Wider, deeper, warmer streams More turbid Less dissolved oxygen
Floodplain zone Wide, deep rivers Broad, flat valleys Cengage Learning 2015 Case Study: River Deltas and Coastal Wetlands Coastal deltas, mangrove forests, and coastal wetlands provide natural protection against storms Dams and levees reduce sediments in deltas Subsidence of New Orleans Rising sea levels will inundate coastal areas Cengage Learning 2015
Freshwater Inland Wetlands Are Vital Sponges Inland wetlands Lands located away from coasts that are covered with freshwater all or part of the time Include: Marshes, swamps, prairie potholes, floodplains, and arctic tundra Cengage Learning 2015 Provide free ecosystem and
economic services Filter and degrade toxic wastes Reduce flooding and erosion Help to replenish streams and recharge groundwater aquifers Biodiversity Food and timber Recreation areas How Have Human Activities Affected Freshwater Ecosystems? Human activities Threaten and disrupt ecosystem and economic services provided by freshwater lakes, rivers, and
wetlands Cengage Learning 2015 Dams and canals restrict the flows of rivers 40% of the worlds largest rivers Flood-control destroys aquatic habitats and alters wetlands Cities and farms pollute water Many wetlands have been drained for human purposes
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