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13: Water Resources

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    Chapter Hook

    The aqueducts of Rome are a huge feat of ancient achievement and ingenuity. Not only did they provide water for drinking and bathing but contributed to agriculture, hygiene (through sewers and plumbing), culture, and industry. These stone waterways took about 500 years to complete (312 BC to 226 AD) and contributed significantly to the success of Rome. Water is essential for survival, so other ancient civilizations found ways to move water as well; however, none even came close to being as successful or magnificent.

    Roman aqueduct

    Figure \(\PageIndex{a}\): Roman aqueduct. Image by Pixabay (Public Domain)


    • 13.1: Fresh Water Supply and the Water Cycle
      Despite the abundance of water on Earth, only about 0.01% is available for human use. Most of Earth's water is in the oceans, and much of the freshwater is trapped in ice caps and glaciers. The water cycle describes the movement of water among bodies of water, the atmosphere, organisms, and the ground. This drives the availability of water resources, including precipitation, surface water, and groundwater.
    • 13.2: Water Usage
      In the United States, 281 billion gallons of water are withdrawn each day, of which 82 billion gallons are groundwater. The state of California accounts for 9% of national groundwater withdrawals. A typical person in the U.S. directly uses 80-100 gallons of water each day.
    • 13.3: Water Scarcity and Solutions
      Many people still lack access to sufficient and clean water, resulting in the water crisis. Water shortages (scarcity) may be physical or economic. Solutions to water scarcity involve dams and reservoirs, rainwater harvesting, aqueducts, desalination, water reuse, and water conservation.
    • 13.4: Data Dive- Aqueducts of Rome
    • 13.5: Review


    Modified by Rachel Schleiger (CC-BY-NC).

    13: Water Resources is shared under a CC BY-NC 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Melissa Ha and Rachel Schleiger (ASCCC Open Educational Resources Initiative) .

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