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12: Water Supply and Water Pollution

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    • 12.1: Fresh Water Supply
      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.
    • 12.2: Case Study - The Aral Sea - Going, Going, Gone
    • 12.3: Water Pollutants and Their Sources
      Water can be contaminated by various human activities or by existing natural features, like mineral-rich geologic formations.  Agricultural activities, industrial operations, landfills, animal operations, and small and large scale sewage treatment processes, among many other things, all can potentially contribute to contamination. As water runs over the land or infiltrates into the ground, it dissolves material left behind by these potential contaminant sources.
    • 12.4: Water and Wastewater Treatment
    • 12.5: Mitigating Water Pollution
      Point source water pollution is regulated by the Clean Water Act. Remediation functions in cleaning up existing pollution. Watershed management relies on riparian areas to promote water quality.

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