What Is Hydrology

WHAT IS HYDROLOGY?

Hydrology is the study of water from a scientific standpoint. It includes the study of water’s occurrence, properties, circulation, and distribution on, beneath, and above the earth’s surface. Hydrologists are scientists who specialize in the study of hydrology.

IMPORTANCE OF HYDROLOGY

Water is one of the most valuable resources on the planet. Without it, all life on the planet will perish. We can learn more about the physical and chemical properties of water in various environments by studying hydrology.

Importance of hydrology

But hydrology’s importance does not end there: (Research from National Geographic)

Solving Water Problems

Aids In The understanding of Earth’s Complex Water System

  • We learn more about the hydrologic cycle, or water cycle, by studying hydrology. The water cycle is the movement of water on and across the earth’s surface.
  • The water cycle is the process that explains how water evaporates, condenses, and solidifies.
  • For the sake of the environment, it is important to understand how complex water systems work. This can assist us in making adjustments to existing systems for better water resource management.

Hydrology Helps in Defining the Quality and Quantity of Water in an Environment

  • Water quality means the chemical and physical characteristics of water.  Quantity, on the other hand, is the amount of measurable water in a given environment at a given time.
  • The quality of the water depends on the state of the water source. Low-quality water is found in polluted water sources, which is harmful to human health. Hydrology helps people know whether or not water from a specific source is safe to drink.
  • Hydrologists also predict whether the available water supply is enough to support the number of people living in an area.

Assists In Explaining the Effects of Water on, below, and above the Earth’s Surface

  • Scientists obtain important data on the movement of water at various levels in the ground by studying groundwater flow.
  • Water changes the landscape as it moves across and beneath the earth’s surface. In some areas, this results in the formation of rivers and lakes.

Hydrologists figure out how the presence or absence of water affects the animals and plants of a particular habitat.

WHAT DO HYDROLOGISTS DO?

Hydrologists specialize in resolving water issues in specific areas. They put their knowledge to good use by assisting in the improvement of water quality and availability. (Research from Career Explorer)

  • The hydrologists study water samples to see if pollutants are present.
  • They also take measurements of streamflow, volume, pH, and other characteristics in both small and large bodies of water.
  • Additionally, they investigate the effects of human activities on water sources.
  • They also assess water-related projects in order to decide if those projects will work or not. 
  • Hydrologists study strategies for reducing water pollution, sedimentation, erosion, and other issues.
Impact of humans on water condition

IMPACT OF HUMANS ON WATER CONDITION

Humans have a direct and indirect impact on water sources. Human activities are to blame for the majority of water-related issues on the planet.

Deforestation

  • Trees are necessary for the water cycle to work. They release water vapor into the atmosphere during photosynthesis, a process known as transpiration. Rain forms when the water condenses and falls to the ground.
  • Deforestation has a significant impact on the water cycle, leading to a lack of rain or irregular rainfall patterns. This leads to a shortage of water, resulting in drought in affected areas.

Pollution

  • Water pollution comes in a variety of forms. However, one of the most common causes of water pollution is the discharge of industrial waste into water sources.
  • Household sewage water also pollutes water sources. Basically, untreated wastewater contains pathogenic bacteria that make people sick. 

Urbanization

  • The expansion of urban areas results in a lack of water. Scientists call a lack of water “water scarcity.” As the human population grows, so does the demand for water.
  • Urbanization or the growth of cities changes the landscape. Then those changes hurt the water cycle in the area. For example, to make room for houses, forested areas are cleared, and the loss of forest causes more evaporation.

Climate Change

  • Humans contribute to climate change by emitting greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere. As a result, these gasses trap heat and cause global warming.
  • Global warming causes severe droughts in some parts of the world. In addition, climate change causes flooding and irregular rainfall patterns.

Sedimentation

  • Land clearing for farming removes the natural covering on the soil. Then the soil is at risk of washing or blowing away.  The term for soil loss by wind and water is erosion. Finally, the soil that gets carried away builds up in other places, causing sedimentation.
  • Sedimentation reduces the amount of water a reservoir holds. Then places that need water from large reservoirs will have water shortages.
How to improve water quality

HOW TO IMPROVE WATER QUALITY

Water quality is rapidly deteriorating, and it is quickly becoming a global issue. Contaminants are constantly finding their way into water sources. Basically, the contaminants come from farming and factories

The following ideas will help improve water quality:

Proper Disposal of Waste

  • Proper waste disposal protects water sources from harmful bacteria. Also, it helps to keep the environment clean.
  • Many countries practice separating wastes for reuse or recycling. As a result, less waste ends up in landfills.

Wastewater Treatment

  • Wastewater treatment is the process of removing pollutants from water before releasing it into reservoirs.
  • Treated water is less harmful to marine ecosystems and the environment in general.

Organic Farming

  • Organic farming is when farmers grow crops without the use of chemical pesticides or synthetic fertilizers. Overall, natural choices help reduce the number of harmful chemicals that soak into the groundwater or streams.
  • Farmers can also use crop rotation to prevent contamination of water sources. They can also use composted manure in place of synthetic fertilizers.

Stormwater management

  • Runoff water from heavy rains pollutes water systems. As a result, to prevent overflows, storm drains should be properly sealed. Then contaminants will not be picked up by the water as it flows.
  • Finally, to avoid clogging, debris should be kept out of storm drains. Basically, it’s best for water to flow through storm drains, so it is properly treated in a sewage plant.

HYDROLOGY CAN SOLVE MOST WATER-RELATED PROBLEMS ON THE PLANET

Hydrologists are crucial in determining the impact of pollution on water resources. They also come up with strategies for reducing the negative consequences of human activities on the water supply. There is a lot of water on the planet. However only a small percentage of it is suitable for human consumption, so we need to protect it.

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