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River Flow and water Management

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River Flow and water Management 1. Explain why infiltration is the crucial 'valve' in the water cycle. Infiltration is very important due to its position in the water cycle. Its position is very close to the start of the cycle, creating knock on effects to stages later on in the water cycle. The amount of infiltration that occurs decides the amount of water that will carry onto later stages. If a low amount of water infiltrates it means a higher amount of water will flow through overland flow and through flow. Once an amount of infiltration occurs it will set the amount of water that will be above ground. After infiltration occurs percolation occurs moving the water further underground. 1b. Explain each of the factors that can affect infiltration rates. Rock Type - The rock type can affect the amount of infiltration as different rocks have different amounts of permeability. The more permeable the rock the more water it will allow in, meaning greater infiltration. ...read more.


2. Explain the term 'Water Budget' with reference to Fig.1.11. A water budget helps show us the detail of the processes that take place in the drainage basin on a yearly basis. It shows the balance of the water and the usage and quantity of water at that time. Water budgets can be compared to see how the drainage basins in different climates act. Looking at figure 1.11 we can see how the processes vary in the contrasting climates. The more temperate climate of Birmingham shows only a small period in the height of summer when there is water deficiency. The term means there is a shortage in the balance of the water. We can also see that after this period of deficiency the drainage basin recharges itself with the autumnal rain. It then reaches a point where there is surplus, too much water that is needed. This would result in overland flow due to the soil contain the optimum amount of water. ...read more.


There is therefore likely to be a bigger chance of water surplus in those months. But the trouble is the usage of water in winter months will be lower than that of the summer months. The reason being is people don't need to water their plants or wash the car when the higher amounts of rain are already doing that for them. The time when peoples usage of water increases is the time when there is water deficiency. Southern water need to use this information to keep storage of the excess winter water and not let it got to waste through overland flow into surrounding rivers. This water surplus needs to stored as extra water encase there is water deficiency and extra water is needed. Although they cannot change peoples demand for the water itself they can control the storage of the excess water. When the drainage basin reaches optimum capacity the excess water would go to waste or even cause flooding. If southern water stored the excess for summer months they could prevent shortages and even possibly prevent a hazard in the making. ...read more.

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