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Glossary of *S Largent* Environmental Science Ch 10 Terms

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Groundwater
water held in gravel deposits or porous rock below the earthÂ’s surface.
Aquifer
porous; water-bearing layers of sand; gravel; and rock below the earthÂ’s surface; reservoirs for groundwater.
Discharge
the amount of water that passes a fixed point in a given amount of time; usually expressed as liters or cubic feet of water per second.
Renewable water supplies
annual freshwater surface runoff plus annual infiltration into underground freshwater aquifers that are accessible for human use.
Water withdrawal
the total amount of water taken from a water body.
Water consumption
the loss of water due to evaporation; absorption; or contamination.
Watershed
the land surface and groundwater aquifers drained by a particular river system.
Water pollution
any chemical; biological; or physical change in water quality that has a harmful effect on living organisms or makes the water unusable.
Point source pollution
refers to discharge of pollution from specific locations (drain pipes & ditches); these are identifiable and are relatively easy to monitor/regulate; examples include: factories; power plants; sewage treatment plants; oil wells
Nonpoint source pollution
refers to scattered/diffuse discharge having no specific location where they enter the water; these are harder to monitor/regulate because the sources are harder to identify; examples include: runoff from farms; golf courses; lawns; gardens; construction sites; roads; and parking lots.
Biochemical oxygen demand (BOD)
the amount of dissolved oxygen consumed by aquatic microorganisms
Clean Water Act (US 1977)
The Act established the basic structure for regulating discharges of pollutants into the waters of the United States. It gave EPA the authority to implement pollution control programs such as setting wastewater standards for industry. The Clean Water Act also continued requirements to set water quality standards for all contaminants in surface waters. The Act made it unlawful for any person to discharge any pollutant from a point source into navigable waters; unless a permit was obtained under its provisions. It also recognized the need for planning to address the critical problems posed by nonpoint source pollution.

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