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How We Use Surface Water

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Surface Water Questions & Answers

Our planet is covered in water. We see it in our oceans and on land we see it in our lakes and rivers. The vast amount of water on the Earth's surface is in the oceans, and only a relatively small amount exists as fresh surface water on land. Yet, it is vitally important to all life on Earth. Here at the Water Science School we have the answers to your questions about surface water.
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Surface Water Questions & Answers

Our planet is covered in water. We see it in our oceans and on land we see it in our lakes and rivers. The vast amount of water on the Earth's surface is in the oceans, and only a relatively small amount exists as fresh surface water on land. Yet, it is vitally important to all life on Earth. Here at the Water Science School we have the answers to your questions about surface water.
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Water Q&A: Where does our home wastewater go?

Learn what happens at a wastewater treatment plant.
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Water Q&A: Where does our home wastewater go?

Learn what happens at a wastewater treatment plant.
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Downloadable Products

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) offers you the most comprehensive information about the natural water cycle anywhere, and, our information is available in many languages. Here you can download our water-cycle posters as well as other educational products to assist you in the classroom or on your own learning adventure!
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Downloadable Products

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) offers you the most comprehensive information about the natural water cycle anywhere, and, our information is available in many languages. Here you can download our water-cycle posters as well as other educational products to assist you in the classroom or on your own learning adventure!
Learn More

Surface Water Use in the United States

The Nation's surface-water resources—the water in the nation's rivers, streams, creeks, lakes, and reservoirs—are vitally important to our everyday life.
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Surface Water Use in the United States

The Nation's surface-water resources—the water in the nation's rivers, streams, creeks, lakes, and reservoirs—are vitally important to our everyday life.
Learn More

Irrigation Methods: Furrow or Flood Irrigation

It's a good thing farmers don't need to haul buckets of water to keep crops watered. Nearly as old as the bucket method though, is furrow or flood surface irrigation where farmers flow water down small trenches running through their crops. For more information about irrigation read on.
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Irrigation Methods: Furrow or Flood Irrigation

It's a good thing farmers don't need to haul buckets of water to keep crops watered. Nearly as old as the bucket method though, is furrow or flood surface irrigation where farmers flow water down small trenches running through their crops. For more information about irrigation read on.
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Irrigation Methods: A Quick Look

Irrigation is the controlled application of water for agricultural purposes through manmade systems to supply water requirements not satisfied by rainfall. Crop irrigation is vital throughout the world in order to provide the world's ever-growing populations with enough food. Many different irrigation methods are used worldwide, including
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Irrigation Methods: A Quick Look

Irrigation is the controlled application of water for agricultural purposes through manmade systems to supply water requirements not satisfied by rainfall. Crop irrigation is vital throughout the world in order to provide the world's ever-growing populations with enough food. Many different irrigation methods are used worldwide, including
Learn More

Irrigation: Drip or Microirrigation

In drip irrigation (microirrigation), water is run through pipes (with holes in them) either buried or lying slightly above the ground next to the crops. Water slowly drips onto the crop roots and stems.
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Irrigation: Drip or Microirrigation

In drip irrigation (microirrigation), water is run through pipes (with holes in them) either buried or lying slightly above the ground next to the crops. Water slowly drips onto the crop roots and stems.
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Irrigation: Spray or Sprinkler Irrigation

Sprinkler/spray irrigation is the method of applying water to a controlled manner in that is similar to rainfall. The water is distributed through a network that may consist of pumps, valves, pipes, and sprinklers. Irrigation sprinklers can be used for residential, industrial, and agricultural usage.
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Irrigation: Spray or Sprinkler Irrigation

Sprinkler/spray irrigation is the method of applying water to a controlled manner in that is similar to rainfall. The water is distributed through a network that may consist of pumps, valves, pipes, and sprinklers. Irrigation sprinklers can be used for residential, industrial, and agricultural usage.
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Hydroelectric Power Water Use

Hydropower, or hydroenergy, is a form of renewable energy that uses the water stored in dams, as well as flowing in rivers to create electricity in hydropower plants. The falling water rotates blades of a turbine, which then spins a generator that converts the mechanical energy of the spinning turbine into electrical energy. Hydroelectric power is a significant component of electricity production...
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Hydroelectric Power Water Use

Hydropower, or hydroenergy, is a form of renewable energy that uses the water stored in dams, as well as flowing in rivers to create electricity in hydropower plants. The falling water rotates blades of a turbine, which then spins a generator that converts the mechanical energy of the spinning turbine into electrical energy. Hydroelectric power is a significant component of electricity production...
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Freshwater Withdrawals in the United States

The freshwater in the Nation's rivers, streams, creeks, lakes, reservoirs, and in underground aquifers are vitally important to our everyday life, and, indeed, to all life on Earth.
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Freshwater Withdrawals in the United States

The freshwater in the Nation's rivers, streams, creeks, lakes, reservoirs, and in underground aquifers are vitally important to our everyday life, and, indeed, to all life on Earth.
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Mining Water Use

Like all other industries, mining corporations need water to make bare rock give up its valuable minerals.
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Mining Water Use

Like all other industries, mining corporations need water to make bare rock give up its valuable minerals.
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The Story of Water in Dryville

Read on about our fictional tale of how YOU establish a new town in the desert and the role water plays in all aspects of the process.
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The Story of Water in Dryville

Read on about our fictional tale of how YOU establish a new town in the desert and the role water plays in all aspects of the process.
Learn More