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Science - Earth Science
Standard 4 Objective 1
1 class periods of 45 minutes each
Students will use 10 liters (approximately 2.5 gallons) of water to represent all the water on the earth. They will be given the percentage for each water source in relation to the total amount, and asked to divide the 10 liters of water to demonstrate this.
For each group of students:
To identify the reservoirs of the Earths water cycle (e.g., ocean, icecaps / glaciers, atmosphere, lakes, rivers, biosphere, ground water) locally and globally and graph or chart relative amounts in global reservoirs.
Approximately 72 percent of the earth is covered with water. Sources of water are the oceans, icecaps and glaciers, groundwater, freshwater lakes, inland seas and salt lakes, the atmosphere, and rivers. In this activity, 10 liters of water in a bucket are used to represent all the water on the earth. See the table below for the percentage of each water reservoir in relation to the total amount, and the appropriate measurement for each reservoir
|RESERVIOR||APPROXIMATE % OF THE TOTAL AMOUNT||MEASUREMENT|
|Oceans||97.25||All water left in bucket|
|Icecaps / glaciers||2.0||~ 200 ml|
|Groundwater||0.7||~ 70 ml|
|Freshwater lakes||0.006||~ 3 ml|
|Inland seas / salt lakes||0.004||~ 4 drops|
|Atmosphere||0.001||~ 1 drop|
The percentage of usable freshwater is reduced by pollution and availability (location). Therefore, the actual amount of water that is usable by humans is very small (approximately 0.00003 percent).
Lesson plan authors: Andree Walker and Nancy Mesner (Utah State University Water Quality Extension)
This curriculum was made possible through funding from the Environmental Protection Agency, the United States Department of Agriculture, Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service, the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, and Utah State University Extension.
Additional resources can be found on the USU Stream Side Science 9th Grade Curriculum web page.