Science & Environmental Issues Chapter 12

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About how long have wastewater treatment plants been in existence?
120 years. Wastewater treatment plants have been around since the late 1800s.
Once a groundwater supply is contaminated with marine water, how long will it remain contaminated?
Which of the following is considered to be the safest drinking water source?
the groundwater
What percentage of Earth’s water is available for drinking and irrigation?
Most of the productivity of the ocean occurs in or on the ___.
Uppermost layer of the ocean called the photic zone.
What is our primary consumptive (as opposed to non consumptive) use of water?
What is the direct cause of death for the aquatic animals during eutrophication?
A los of dissolved oxygen in the water.
Occurs when excess nutrients cause a bloom of algal growth that then is decayed by bacteria, which use up all the oxygen, creating anoxic conditions.
___ percent of our annual fresh water is used in agriculture in order to irrigate crops.
Because the upper layers of the ocean absorb the most ___, they are the most productive.
Only 2.5% of all water is considered fresh water because it has few dissolved salts. Even less is available for consumption because most of the fresh water is tied up in what?
Glaciers and icecaps.
Which of the following fishing methods would be most appropriate if a fisherman wants to catch benthic fish?
A: Trawling in open water.
B: Longline fishing.
C: Driftnets
D: Bottom-trawling.
Involves dragging weighted nests across the ocean floor, catching fish that live in the benthic region.
Which of the following diseases has been all but eliminated from the United States because of wastewater treatment plants?
Cholera. Cholera is a waterborne disease. It has been virtually eliminated in the US because of the advent of wastewater treatment facilities.
You accidentally flush your cell phone. Where will it most likely be found at a wastewater treatment facility?
Bar Screen. Bar screens are designed to remove large items from waste water as it enters the plant. This is the most likely place your cell phone will be found.
Where does settling of solids occur at a wastewater treatment facility?
What does the Kanapaha Wastewater Treatment Facility use to disinfect the treated water?
Which of the following products of a wastewater treatment facility is often put on farm fields as a fertilizer?
A: Grit
B: Biosolids
C: Methane Gas
E: Effluent
B: Biosolids, they contain valuable materials plants need.
Ocean currents can affect climate. One major downwelling specifically responsible for keeping Europe warmer than it would otherwise be is known as ___.
North Atlantic Deep Water
North Atlantic Deep Water
Is a specific type of thermohaline circulation that moves warmer surface water in the Gulf to the Atlantic and to Europe.
What type of farming has led to the destruction of mangroves?
Shrimp Farming
Maria wakes up in the morning and takes a shower, drinks a glass of water, washes her clothes in the laundry machine, and then goes to work. Which of the following describes Maria’s water use appropriately?
Maria’s water use is consumptive. When humans use water in a way that does not return the water to the environment without treatment, it is considered consumptive.
If oil accumulates in a body of water in small amounts over time as a result of leaks from boats and runoff from land, then this oil pollution is from ___.
Non-point Sources
Non-point Sources of Pollution
Are small cumulative inputs that occur from many different sources over a large area such as applying fertilizers and pesticides on lawns and salt on roads in the winter.
Which is true regarding marine reserves?
They tend to increase species diversity. Marine reserves have been documented to increase species diversity by 23% and in just 1-2 years after their establishment.
Louisiana’s vital coastal wetlands:
– Support biodiversity
– Protect the coast from storms
Mississippi River sediments:
– Keep soil levels high, water stable, and plants healthy
Why are Louisiana’s wetlands disappearing?
Oil and gas extraction promote wetland losses.
Withdrawal compacts land and lowers soil levels.
Canals fragment wetlands and increase erosion.
Oil spills destroy vegetation.
Fresh Water
Relatively pure, with few dissolved salts.
Water Percentages:
Ocean 97.5%, Fresh Water 2.5%,
Of the 2.5% of fresh water, 79% Icecaps and glaciers, 20% groundwater, 1% Surface fresh water.
Of surface fresh water: 52% lakes, 38% soil moisture, 8% atmospheric water vapor, 1% waters within organisms and 1% Rivers.
Water beneath the surface held in pores in soil or rock. 20% of the Earth’s supply of fresh water.
Porous formations of rock, sand, or gravel that hold water.
Zone of Aeration
Pore spaces are partly filled with water
Zone of Saturation
Spaces are filled with water.
Water Table
Boundary between two zones.
Surface Water
Water on Earth’s surface. 1% of freshwater. Vital for survival, becomes groundwater by infiltration.
Water that flows over land, water merges in rivers and ends up in a lake or ocean.
A smaller river flowing into a larger one.
The area of land drained by a river and its tributaries.
Area nearest to the river’s course that are flooded periodically, good for agriculture.
Zones of lakes and ponds:
Littoral Zone: Nutrient rich edge of a water body. Shallow.
Benthic Zone: Very bottom the lake/pond, home to invertebrates.
Limnetic Zone: Open part where sunlight allows photosynthesis.
Oligotrophic Lakes/Ponds
Low nutrient and high oxygen conditions.
Eutrophic Lakes/Ponds
High nutrient and low oxygen conditions.
The soil is saturated with shallow standing water.
Freshwater Marshes
Shallow, plants grow above the surface.
Shallow water in forested areas.
Ponds covered in thick floating mates of vegetation.
The US has lost over ___ of its wetlands.
Oceans cover ___% of the Earth’s surface.
Vast riverlike flows un the upper 1,300 feet, driven by wind, heating/cooling, gravity, density differences, and the Coriolis effect.
The rising of cold, deep water to the surface.
The sinking of warm, oxygen-rich water.
Seafloor Topography
Underwater volcanoes, steep canyons and deep trenches. The planet’s longest mountain range is underwater.
Thermohaline Circulation
A worldwide current system. Interrupting it can trigger rapid climate change.
El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO)
A shift in atmospheric pressure, sea surface temperature, and ocean circulation.
67% of all people live within ___ miles of the ocean.
Water bodies where rivers flow into the ocean.
Salt Marshes
Occur along coasts at temperate latitude. Provides habitat for birds, fish, and shellfish.
Provides habitats for marine life. Protects coastlines, filters pollutants.
__% of mangroves have been destroyed for resorts or shrimp farms.
Intertidal (littoral) Zones
Where the ocean meets the land.
Periodic rising and falling of the ocean’s height due to the gravitational pull of the moon and sun.
Large brown algae growing from the floor of continental shelves along temperate coasts.
Coral Reef
A mass of calcium carbonate composed of the skeletons of millions of tiny corals. Protects shorelines. Valuable ecotourism.
Ocean Zones:
Photic Zone: Top layer, warm shallow waters.
Pelagic Zone: Habitats and ecosystems occurring between the ocean’s surface and floor.
Benthic Zone: Habitats and ecosystems occurring on the ocean floor.
Water Usage:
70% to agriculture, 20% to industry, 10% for residential use.
Consumptive Use
Water is removed from an aquifer or surface water body and is not returned.
Non-consumptive Use
Does not remove, or only temporarily removes water. Ex. Electricity generation at hydroelectric dams.
About ___ of water withdrawals for irrigation are thought to be unsustainable.
Occur when aquifers lose water; the land above can’t support strata, and the surface sinks
Energy costs of bottled water are ____ times more than those of tap water.
1000 to 2000
___ of bottles (30-40 billion/yr) are thrown away and not recycles.
A normal, natural process in which water spills over a river’s banks. Spreads nutrient rich sediments over large areas.
Long raised mounds of earth along the banks of rivers hold water in channels. Makes floods worse by forcing water to stay in channels, which then overflow.
Any obstruction placed in a river or stream to block the flow of water. Erected to prevent floods, provide drinking water, allow irrigation, and generate electricity, 45,000 dams have been built in more than 140 nations.
Artificial lakes created by dams.
China’s Three Gorges Dam
World’s largest dam, it is on the Yangtze River, $39 billion to build, flooded 22 cities, displaced 1.24 million people, submerged farmland, wildlife habitat, and 10,000 year old archaeological sites.
Removal of salt from seawater.
Drawbacks: Expensive, kills aquatic life, large inputs of energy.
Mostly found in wealth oil rich nations where water is extremely scarce.
Reducing Water Demand
From 1980 to 2005 the US population grew 31% but water consumption decreased 5%.
Replacing exotic plants with native plants adapted to local precipitation patterns.
Depletion of fresh water leads to shortages, which can lead to conflict. ___ major rivers cross national borders.
The release of matter or energy that causes undesirable impacts on health and well being of humans or other organisms.
Water Pollution
Has many forms and can cause diverse impacts on aquatic ecosystems and human health.
Chemical Indicators of Pollution
pH, nutrient concentrations, dissolved oxygen concentration
Physical Indicators of Pollution
Temperature, turbidity (density of suspended particles in water)
Biological Indicators of Pollution
Presence of harmful microorganisms, species diversty
Point Sources
Discrete locations of water pollution, factories, sewer pips, oil tanker
Non-point Sources
Multiple inputs of pollution over larger areas. Farms, city streets)
___ pollution causes more human health problems than any other type of water pollution.
___ people don’t have safe water.
1 Billion
Nutrient pollution causes:
Eutrophication and hypoxia
Harmful algal blooms (red tides)
Excessive nutrients increase marine algae, which release powerful toxins, kill organisms/people
Humans release biodegradable wastes, from toilets, showers, sinks, etc.
Oil Spills
1989 Exxon Valdez ran aground.
2010 Deepwater Horizon drilling platform exploded.
The US Oil Pollution Act of 1990
$1 Billion in prevention and cleanup fund. All ships must have double hulls by 2015.
Ocean regions where currents converge, they accumulate plastic trash.
Thermal Pollution
Water that is too warm that causes problems. Also water that is too cold.
Groundwater Pollution:
Hard to detect, retains pollutants for decades, breakdown slowly because of lower levels of sunlight, microbes, and oxygen.
What toxic chemicals occur naturally?
Aluminum, fluoride, sulfates.
What causes “Blue Baby Syndrome?”
Agricultural nitrates, caused by leaking underground storage tanks, improperly designed wells, improper storage of hazardous wastes.
The Federal Water Pollution Control Act (1972)
Renamed Clean Water Act in 1977, made it illegal to discharge pollution without a permit. Set standards for wastewater.
The ___ sets standards for over 90 drinking water contaminants.
Wastewater Treatment Plants:
Primary Treatment- Removes suspended solids
Secondary Treatment- Water is stirred and aerated
What is clarified water treated with?
Chlorine or ultraviolet light.
Treated wastewater
Solid material resulting from treatment.
___ of the world’s marine fish populations are fully exploited.
___ of fish populations are overexploited and heading to extinction.
With current trends, populations of ___ ocean species we fish for will collapse by 2048.
Transparent, nylon notes that span large expanses of water to capture passing fish.
Longline Fishing
Uses extremely long lines with thousands of hooks.
Entails dragoni immense nets through the water or on the ocean floor.
The accidental capture on non target animals.
Oceans only contain ___ of the large-bodied animals they once held.
Maximum Sustained Yield
Number of fish that can be harvested without reducing future catches.
Ecosystem- based management
Shift the focus away from species and toward the larger ecosystem.
Marine Protected Areas (MPAs)
Establish along the coastlines of developed countries, but you can still fish or other extractive activities.
Marine Reserves
Areas where fishing is prohibited, leaves ecosystems intact.
Reserves Work
Species density, biomass, size, and diversity all increased 1-2 years after establishment.

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