Geography B, Unit 4: Water World (FULL MARKS!)

Contains revision material which I have created and acquired full marks on the Geography B exam on.

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Glossary/Keywords, Hydrological Cycle, impacts of climate change on developed world, physical factors affecting the water cycle, wet & dry ecosystems, human factors affecting the water cycle, Reservoirs - benefits & disadvantages, quality of water, water stress, case study, water scarscity case studies, hard engenering (top-down), soft engineering (bottom-up).

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  • Created by: Belvast
  • Created on: 24-10-13 21:16
Preview of Geography B, Unit 4: Water World (FULL MARKS!)

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EVAPORATION Evaporation occurs when the physical state of water is changed from a liquid state
to a gaseous state.
CONDENSATION Condensation is the process by which water vapour changes its physical state
from a vapour, most commonly, to a liquid.
PRECIPITATION Precipitation is the process that occurs when any and all forms of water particles
fall from the atmosphere and reach the ground.
INTERCEPTION Interception is the process of interrupting the movement of water in the chain of
transportation events leading to streams. The interception can take place by vegetal cover or
depression storage in puddles and in land formations such as rills and furrows.
GREEN WATER ­ is water that never reaches the ground, it is intercepted by trees and then
evaporates off of the leaves.
TRANSPIRATION Water inside of plants is transferred from the plant to the atmosphere as water
vapour through numerous individual leave openings
INFILTRATION Infiltration is the physical process involving movement of water through the
boundary area where the atmosphere interfaces with the soil.
PERCOLATION The movement of water though the soil, and its layers, by gravity and capillary
RUNOFF Runoff is flow from a drainage basin or watershed that appears in surface streams.
STORAGE Water is stored in the atmosphere water is stored on the surface of the earth, and water
stored in the ground.
SATURATION ­ When soil is full of moisture.
GROUNDWATER FLOW ­ An underground flow in saturated rock/soil in streams.
RIVER BASIN SYSTEM ­ Part of the water cycle which operates on land.
WATER TABLE ­ The level at which saturation occurs in the ground or soil.
WATER STRESS ­ Occurs when the demand for water exceeds the amount that is available and of
good enough quality to use during a certain period.
PHYSICAL SCARCITY ­ Shortages occur when demand exceeds supply
ECONOMIC SCARCITY ­ When there is water supply, but poor are too poor to afford the water or
its extraction
OVERABSTRACTION ­ Too much water being taken from the source/water storage.

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This is the closed system where the water goes round and round, but none is added or lost from the
When precipitation falls from the atmosphere it may get to the river in several ways. If it falls directly
into the river it is called chemical precipitation, if rain falls onto vegetation it is known as interception.
Vegetation can also release water to the air via the process of transpiration.…read more

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Rapidly growing population which puts increased pressure in drought years on failing food supplies,
Global warming may reduce the amount of water available.…read more

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Human Factors affecting the water cycle:
Farming ­ Farming takes out water from rivers and lakes, decreasing the supply. Over
abstraction may take place, which can empty out rivers and lakes. This may cause famine. The
water that sits on surface may also evaporate, causing more frequent rainfall. The polluted water
might also get washed into rivers from fields, which can make freshwater sources turn into salt
water sources.…read more

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The biggest sources of water pollution are found in rapidly developing countries such as China and India -
they put economic growth before environmental problems. The rapidly growing cities mean slums around
the outskirts and badly pollute streams as there are no sewage systems in place. Chemicals added to the
crops run off in water sources.
Developed countries such as the UK and Japan have taken big steps to control pollution. Tertiary and
quaternary industries cause less pollution than primary and secondary.…read more

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Case Study: Sahel
Many of the countries in the Sahel are developing countries such as Chad, Ethiopia, Niger and Sudan.
They are among the poorest countries in the world and have rapidly growing population. They put
pressure in drought years on falling food supplies. Semi land is very fragile environment and water stress
causes human crises. Rain falls only ½ months a year and around a total of between 250 and 450mm.
The length of the rainy season is variable.…read more

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Drought resistant plants - These may be used to stabilise sand dunes and start the successful
development of vegetation
Water Scarcity Projects
APPROPRIATE/INTERMEDIATE SOLUTIONS: Schemes that meet the needs of local people and the
environment in which they live. Within their technical ability ­ they can operate and maintain the scheme
themselves. They can continue to run it when the NGO has left e.g. wells.…read more

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Hard Engineering (Top-down)
Case Study: Three Gorges Dam, China
Good Economic:
More energy attracts industry
more industry means development of the city
Bad Economic:
Population growth as people migrate to these areas
Huge cost to build and maintain
Fishing economy fail as there is less fish due to blockage
Good Environmental:
Sustainable/green energy
Leads to clear water downstream as sediment and litter stays behind
Bad Environmental:
Loss of habitat
Drought past the dam
Interferes with fish migration
More industrial waste due to more industry (china…read more


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