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Water's Journey

Essay by   •  November 11, 2010  •  Essay  •  588 Words (3 Pages)  •  1,292 Views

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Water's Journey

Water is an endless cycle that repeats itself but doesn't necessarily remain drinkable. Rain feeds vegetation, evaporation occurs, and then returns to rivers, streams, and lakes and may seep into rocks and caves underground through limestone and into aquifers. It may take many years before it reaches the surface. Water is a valuable resource that people tend to mishandle and take for granted. Explorers have dove into the paths underground to trace paths of water that flow deep under homes, streets, cities, and pastures only to surface a dirty and contaminated pond. Inside these deep paths explorers have found tires, oil barrels and chemical containers that most people are unaware of. Over 8 billion gallons of water emerge from the earth per minute.

The Floridan Aquifer is the largest aquifer in Florida where the state gets it drinking water. The Floridan aquifer system also provides water for several large cities, including Savannah and Brunswick in Georgia; and Jacksonville, Tallahassee, Orlando, and St. Petersburg in Florida. In addition, the aquifer system provides water for hundreds of thousands of people in smaller communities and rural areas. The Floridan Aquifer runs into Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and South Carolina.

Major issues impacting the health of the springs include population growth, urbanization, growing demand for groundwater and introduction of fertilizers, pesticides and other pollutants to the spring sheds. Storm water run-off and pollution represents one of the most serious threats to the health of Florida's groundwater. As storm water flows off highways, county roads, parking lots, and residential developments, it carries with it heavy metals, petroleum by-products, pet wastes, and pollutants. Homeowners that water grass may require large amounts of fertilizer that contribute to high levels of nitrates in the aquifer, a major source of drinking water. Water containing nitrates contribute to algae growth and can endanger plants and wildlife in the springs. Lawns with landscaping with non-native plants may also require daily watering and frequent pesticides to keep them healthy and disease-free. Nearly half of all water withdrawn for our supply is used only to water lawns and landscaping. Population increase in Florida has led to more to transforming rural areas and uninhabited land into housing, shopping centers, and buildings.

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