Life is believed to have originated in the aqueous solutions of the world’s oceans, and living organisms depend solely on aqueous solutions, such as blood and digestive juices, for biological processes.
In small quantities water appears colourless, but water actually has an inherent blue colour caused by slight absorption of light at red wavelengths.
Although the molecules of water are simple in structure (H2O), the physical and chemical properties of the compound are extraordinarily complicated, and they are not typical of most substances found on Earth.
Water is vital both as a solvent in which many of the body’s solutes dissolve and as an essential part of many metabolic processes within the body. Metabolism is the sum total of anabolism and catabolism.
In anabolism, water is removed from molecules (through energy requiring enzymatic chemical reactions) in order to grow larger molecules (e. g. starches, triglycerides and proteins for storage of fuels and information).
Natural Sources Of Water
Water is one of the vital element needed in our day to day activities as a living being. Water is not just essential to our health, but we also use it for numerous household tasks such as cooking, bathing, cleaning, and drinking; but how often do we think about its source? Where does our water come from? How is it treated? How do we know it is safe to drink? and many other questions we ought to raise.
However, there are two major sources of water which are surface water and groundwater. Surface Water is found in lakes, rivers, and reservoirs. Groundwater lies under the surface of the land, where it travels through and fills openings in the rocks.
For the benefits of our readers Concise news have split-ed the sources of water into different places for better understanding.There are a total of eight natural sources of water. Let take a look at each and what supplies these sources.
1. Ground Water
Groundwater is water that is found underground within rocks. Its presence depends primarily on the type of rock. Permeable rocks have tiny spaces between the solid rock particles that allow water and other fluids to pass through and to be held within the rock structure. The layers of rock that hold groundwater are called aquifers.
Groundwater in an aquifer is replenished by rain and other forms of precipitation (any form of water, such as rain, snow, sleet or hail that falls to the Earth’s surface. The level of water below ground is called the water table. Groundwater can be extracted from wells or collected from springs.
Advantages And The Disadvantages Of Using Ground Water
|Likely to be free of pathogenic bacteria
Usually free of turbidity and colour
Can usually be used without further treatment
Can often be found in close vicinity to consumers
Economical to obtain and distribute
The water-bearing soil or rock provides a natural storage point
|Often has a high mineral content (i.e. has naturally occurring substances that are not from living organisms) such as calcium, magnesium, iron and manganese
Usually requires pumping for extraction
May have a high level of bicarbonate, carbonate and chloride
Poor in oxygen content
Can contain chemical contaminants such as arsenic, fluorides and nitrates
If it gets polluted, treatment can be difficult to achieve
2. Well Water
Well water as a source of water can be described by their depth, or by the way they are constructed. Most especially they use different types of pump at the surface to raise the water.
The pump is usually used to retrieve water and it go through an extensive filtration or decontamination process either naturally or chemically. There are two major types of well water
Shallow wells and boreholes usually have a depth of less than 30 m, although they can be as much as 60 m deep, especially in a very dry areas of Ethiopia where the water table is low.
Wells can be excavated by hand if the soil is not too hard or the water table is high. Hand-dug wells have a relatively large diameter because they have to be wide enough for a person to be able to stand inside and dig.
These are wells that have been sunk with drilling machines designed for constructing water extraction boreholes. These machines are able to penetrate through harder material that cannot be tackled by hand digging and can therefore pass through at least one impermeable layer of rock to a productive aquifer underneath.
Deep well typically obtain water from depths ranging from 30 to 60 m, but large urban supply boreholes can be much deeper than this. A casing of metal or plastic pipe is usually necessary to line the borehole and prevent the soil and rock from collapsing into it. The lower part of the casing must have suitable openings to allow water to enter the borehole from the aquifer.
3. Rain Water
Rain water is the source of water that comes from above the clouds, this water is very pure. Until it encounter something on it way down. However if it is stored properly it may relinquish clean drinking water.
In regions where rainfall is abundant and frequent, rainwater can be a good source of water supply for individual, families and some communities. The storage of rainwater is particularly important in areas with a long dry season, or where spring water is difficult to obtain.
The term rainwater harvesting is sometimes used. It simply means collecting, or harvesting, rainwater as it runs off from hard surfaces and storing it in a tank or cistern.
Rainwater has several advantages. It is free, relatively clean and usually reliable, even if it rains only once or twice a year, a rainwater harvesting system can be easily constructed and maintained at low cost. Although mainly found in rural areas.
Apparently, if rainwater is used for water supply, it is important to ensure that it is not contaminated by improper methods of storage, or by bird droppings and leaves from the roof that it is collected from.
Rainwater may also be contaminated by pollution in the air, dust, dirt, paint and other material on the roof or in roofing materials. All of these contaminants can be washed into the storage tank or cistern.
4. Surface Water
Surface water is easily the most abundant supply of natural water. The downside is that most of the surface water on the planet is salt water so it is not ideal for drinking for most living species. Surface water does play an important part in our daily lives in addition to being a source of drinking water.
Surface water is used to produce hydro-electric power as a clean energy source that is also renewable. Surface water is supplied by precipitation, springs and ice melting from higher elevations and glaciers.
5. Snow melt
Melting snow is another natural source of water when melted in great amounts can yield clean drinking water especially once boiled
7. Lake And River Water
Lakes and rivers provide much water to wild animals and if cleaned and filtered properly it could become clean enough to drink for humans. Most countries with access to lakes and rivers use their water for human consumption. This source of water supply is usually regularly replenished by various weather events.
8. Salt water from oceans
Ocean water can effectively be processed for consumption through the desalinisation process removing excess salt. Without this process the water becomes counter-active and actually dehydrates you.
Careful Use Of Water Sources
Although all the natural sources of water are constantly replenished through weather cycles, we still need to be conservative on how we use water. Fresh water is like a precious gift. We should use it sparingly and do everything in our power to share and protect it for future generations. When we control how we use water, we are helping the planet.
Try to not waste water in your home by using flow regulators and collect rain water for use in your garden. There are several ways to keep the natural water cycle flowing if we are careful in how we use the water we have access to today.