Groundwater Sustainability Lab Report
To determine the impact of human growth and industrialization on groundwater sustainability. The research will also demonstrate how groundwater sustainability will be affected if there is no change in current human growth.
Human beings rely on groundwater stored in acquirers and natural underground water chambers for survival because 99% of the groundwater in those areas is accessible freshwater (Van der Leeden, 2020). Unfortunately, the overreliance on groundwater from those areas has resulted in the depletion of aquifers faster than they are recharged through the hydrologic cycle, making three-quarters of the fresh and accessible groundwater nonrenewable. The main human activities that affect the sustainability of groundwater are farming and household consumption. In farming, groundwater is used for irrigation, hence decreasing the amount of water in freshwater sources. Clearing land for farming also limits groundwater sustainability because it leads to more flooding hence reducing the penetration of rainwater into the soil to recharge aquifers.
Hypothesis / predicted outcome
Human growth and industrialization limit the sustainability of groundwater.
The first step that will be taken in the data collection process is measuring the average amount of groundwater in a selected area and recording the findings. The selected area will be an open field under preparation for construction. The measurements will be repeated after one month to determine whether there were changes in groundwater levels after different structures have been put up on the land. The measurement will be repeated for three months to monitor the decrease in groundwater due to the increase in construction activities.
The study results are that groundwater decreases with the increase in human activity. Before the land was cleared for construction, the groundwater levels were high. The groundwater level continued to decrease as more buildings were being constructed because vegetation had to be cleared to create space for the construction, and most land was covered with concrete which limits water absorption into the ground.
Discussion / Analysis
The expected results were obtained because a reduction in groundwater levels was observed after idle land was subjected to more human activity. Construction activities also interfered with the water absorption into the soil because more land was covered with concrete, hence reducing groundwater. This information played an integral role in proving that human growth and industrialization reduce groundwater by interfering with the hydrologic cycle because there is less vegetation to support transpiration. Less vegetation also limits the reabsorption of water to remove impurities in groundwater (Thatcher, 2013). Therefore, the sustainability of groundwater can only be enhanced by reducing human activities such as construction and clearing vegetation.
Thatcher, L. L. (2013). Water tracing in the hydrologic cycle. Isotope Techniques in the Hydrologic Cycle, 97-108. https://doi.org/10.1029/gm011p0097
Van der Leeden, F. (2020). Groundwater environments/Groundwater systems. Geraghty & Miller’s Groundwater Bibliography, 25-40. https://doi.org/10.1201/9780429332531-7
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Write a Lab Report using the scientific method. Your report will include all of the following:
Purpose: In 2–3 sentences, state the purpose of the Groundwater Sustainability Lab.
Introduction: In a detailed paragraph, summarize what is currently known about the impact of human development on groundwater sustainability. Use the background information provided in the Unit 2 Lab: Groundwater Sustainability.
Hypothesis / predicted outcome: In 1 sentence, state what you expect the results of the lab procedure to be.
Methods: In a detailed paragraph, summarize the steps that you performed to collect the data in this lab exercise. The goal of the Methods section is to include enough information so that others can duplicate your process and obtain the same results.
Results/outcome: In a detailed paragraph, summarize your data.
Discussion/analysis: In a detailed paragraph, discuss whether you obtained the expected results and what you learned from the lab.
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