Water Drops: Celebrating the Wonder of Water

Overview

An introduction to our most precious natural resource.

In this engaging book, hydrologist Peter E. Black celebrates the wonder of our planet’s most precious natural resource. In these brief, nontechnical essays, readers are introduced to water’s unique scientific properties, the vital role it plays in Earth’s ecology and ecosystems, and the impact it has had on human history, culture, art, law, and economics. At turns educational and inspirational, humorous and reverent, the ...

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Water Drops

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Overview

An introduction to our most precious natural resource.

In this engaging book, hydrologist Peter E. Black celebrates the wonder of our planet’s most precious natural resource. In these brief, nontechnical essays, readers are introduced to water’s unique scientific properties, the vital role it plays in Earth’s ecology and ecosystems, and the impact it has had on human history, culture, art, law, and economics. At turns educational and inspirational, humorous and reverent, the book also sounds a cautionary note: water is abundant, but it is also scarce. Only three percent of the earth’s water is fresh, and only a small percentage of that fresh water is available for human use and consumption. Therefore, it must be managed carefully, and understood, lest we find ourselves with too little, too late.

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Editorial Reviews

CHOICE
...easily accessible to anyone who wishes to learn more about the science of hydrology.
ForeWord Reviews
Originally written as ninety-second NPR radio broadcasts, these essays drip, drip, drip a litany of fascinating facts and endearments - Informative and entertaining, Water Drops will motivate people into furthering their knowledge of this invaluable substance.
From the Publisher
“Informative and even entertaining, Water Drops is an encyclopedic look at water in its various manifestations … It is a celebration of water, the elixir of all life.” — d-sector.org

“Peter Black, in Water Drops, has provided us a much-needed guide to understanding water and water issues. He has put to paper his more than forty years of experience in the field of water management and given us his perceptive insights. If every other day a family that is sitting down to dinner would read one of his essays and spend a few minutes at the table discussing its implication in their lives, over the course of a year we would produce individuals and family units that recognize and are motivated to do something about our water challenges.” — from the Foreword by Gerald E. Galloway, University of Maryland

“…easily accessible to anyone who wishes to learn more about the science of hydrology.” — CHOICE

“Originally written as ninety-second NPR radio broadcasts, these essays drip, drip, drip a litany of fascinating facts and endearments … Informative and entertaining, Water Drops will motivate people into furthering their knowledge of this invaluable substance.” — ForeWord Reviews

“An encyclopedic look at water resources, told by a master storyteller. Water Drops is a must read for all interested in water, the environment, and natural resources.” — Michael J. Kowalski, Director of Operations, American Water Resources Association

“Two of my favorite water drops are ‘Black Ice’ and ‘Center Pivot Irrigation.’ As a reporter for many years, I often covered the multicar pileups blamed on black ice—Peter explained what made this ice, unlike other ice, so invisible and therefore much more treacherous. And ‘Center Pivot Irrigation’ is the story behind a man-made ‘wonder of water’ that is visible from 35,000 feet. The joy and enthusiasm of the author comes through in every segment.” — David E. White, State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781438444871
  • Publisher: State University of New York Press
  • Publication date: 8/1/2012
  • Series: Excelsior Editions
  • Pages: 200
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.70 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Peter E. Black is Distinguished Teaching Professor of Water and Related Land Resources, Emeritus, at the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry. His previous books include Watershed Hydrology, Second Edition (with Brian L. Fisher) and Conservation of Water and Related Land Resources, Third Edition. He lives in Syracuse, New York.

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Table of Contents

Preface xiii

Acknowledgments xvii

Foreword xix

Introduction xxiii

Science

Water on Earth 3

Ocean 4

Biodiversity 5

Gaia 6

Tipping Point 7

CO2, O2, and H2O 8

Unusual 9

Circulation 10

Water and Energy 11

Water Vapor 12

Evapotranspiration 13

Acid Rain 14

Studies of Water 15

Measuring Water 16

More Water Measurements 17

Hydraulics 18

Wonder 19

Water Storage 20

Hydropedology 21

Fertilizer in the Rain 22

Plants and Water 23

Invasive Species 24

Mosses and Water 25

Water and Trees 26

Interception and Energy 27

Interception Amount 28

Soil Storage 29

Frost in Soil 30

Measuring Soil Moisture 31

Wetlands 32

Flushing 33

Backyard Ponds 34

Culture and History

Water in Culture 37

Water Is… 38

The Word Water 39

Gods and Goddesses 40

Maxims 41

Nursery Rhymes 42

Jack and Jill 43

Weather and Climate

Umbrella? 47

Chance (1): Rain 48

Full Moon 49

Humidity 50

Clouds 51

Fog 52

Raindrops 53

Measuring Precipitation 54

Measuring Snow 55

Ice Precipitation 56

Black Ice 57

Morning Ice Crystals 58

Bad Weather 59

Storm Types 60

Storm Types (Again) 61

Cyclonic Storms 62

Convectional Storms 63

Orographic Storms 64

Lake Effect 65

Hurricanes and Tornados 66

Drought 67

Meteorological Drought 68

Agricultural Drought 69

Hydrological Drought 70

Climate Change Terminology 71

Canary 72

Our Greenhouse 73

Global Warming 74

Hydrology

Hydrology 77

Hydrology (Second Definition) 78

Annual Hydrograph 79

Hydrological Seasons 80

Happy New Year 81

Season of Soil Moisture Recharge 82

Season of Maximum Runoff 83

Season of Maximum Evapotranspiration 84

Arid Zone Hydrology 85

Deserts 86

Tropical Hydrology 87

Cold Regions Hydrology 88

Runoff 89

Measuring Runoff 90

Groundwater Runoff 91

Stormwater Runoff 92

Storm Hydrograph 93

Storm Flow 94

Stormwater Runoff Quality 95

Floods 96

Infiltration 97

Chance (2): Floods 98

More Flooding 99

Floodplains 100

Flood Insurance 101

Three Rivers, Three Floods 102

Economics, Management, and Policy

Using Water 105

Water in the World 106

Storage 107

Resource Buffers 108

Watersheds 109

Water Balance 110

Watershed Research 111

Watershed Functions 112

Wetland Watersheds 113

Watershed Planning 114

Watershed Management 115

Objectives of Watershed Management 116

Municipal Water Supplies 117

Forested Water Supplies 118

Woods and Water 119

Quantity, Quality, and Regimen 120

Measuring Water Quality 121

Water Quality Laws 122

Drinking Water 123

Water Meters 124

Pricing Water 125

Bottled Water 126

Hot Shower 127

Garbage Disposals 128

Waste Treatment 129

TMDLs 130

Best Management Practices 131

Point/Nonpoint Pollution 132

Permits 133

Concentrated Animal Feedlot Operations 134

Mining 135

Navigation 136

Fighting Fire 137

Dams 138

Policy on Dams 139

Removing Dams 140

Water Project Economics 141

Conservation 142

Center Pivot Irrigation 143

Government, Law, and Organizations

Organizations 147

Federal Organizations 148

Land Managing Agencies 149

Politics 150

Bureau of Land Management 151

Forest Service 152

National Park Service 153

Fish and Wildlife Service 154

Corps of Engineers 155

Bureau of Reclamation 156

Natural Resources Conservation Service 157

Tennessee Valley Authority 158

Environmental Protection Agency 159

Geological Survey 160

NOAA (and NWS) 161

Districts 162

Interstate Water Law 163

Native American Water Rights 164

Advisory Committees 165

Partnerships 166

Professional Organizations 167

Water Law 168

Water and Laws 169

Watershed Initiatives 170

Five Forested Watersheds 171

Great Lakes 172

River Basin Commissions 173

Mississippi River 174

Colorado River 175

Closing 176

Glossary (and Occasional Symbols) 177

Water Trivia 179

Notes, References, and Additional Reading 181

Index 185

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Foreword

Peter Black, in Water Drops, has provided us a much-needed guide to understanding water and water issues. He has put to paper his more than forty years of experience in the field of water management and given us his perceptive insights. If every other day a family that is sitting down to dinner would read one of his essays and spend a few minutes at the table discussing its implication in their lives, over the course of a year we would produce individuals and family units that recognize and are motivated to do something about our water challenges." - from the Foreword by Gerald E. Galloway, University of Maryland
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