“Water” – A Glossary for Creative Kids

by Willi Paul, Planetshifter.com Media

sun shower is a meteorological phenomenon in which rain falls while the sun is shining. These conditions often lead to the appearance of a rainbow, if the sun is at a low enough angle. The phenomenon has a wide range of sometimes remarkably similar folkloric names in cultures around the world. A common theme is that of clever animals and tricksters getting married or related to the devil, although many variations of parts of this theme exist.

rainbow is a phenomenon that is caused by reflection, refraction and dispersion of light in water droplets resulting in a spectrum of light appearing in the sky. It takes the form of a multi-colored arc. Rainbows caused by sunlight always appear in the section of sky directly opposite the sun.

Fracking pollutes by placing stress on surface water and ground water supplies from the withdrawal of large volumes of water used in drilling and hydraulic fracturing. Each time a well is fractured ("fracked") it requires massive amounts of water. It is estimated that the average well will use 5.6 million gallons per frack. If you figure an average family of 4 in Ohio uses about 300 gallons of water per day, the water used in one fracture would supply one household with water for 51 years.

Drought is an extended time when a region receives a deficiency in its water supply, whether atmospheric, surface or ground water. A drought can last for months or years. Generally, this occurs when a region receives consistently below average precipitation. It can have a substantial impact on the ecosystem and agriculture of the affected region. Although droughts can persist for several years, even a short, intense drought can cause significant damage and harm to the local economy.

Adhesion tension is how water molecules get together and march up and down the roots and leaves of the plants.

Beaver dams are dams built by beavers to provide ponds as protection against predators such as coyotes, wolves, and bears, and to provide easy access to food during winter. These structures modify the natural environment in such a way that the overall ecosystem builds upon the change, making beavers a keystone species.

An iceberg is a large piece of freshwater ice that has broken off a glacier or an ice shelf and is floating freely in open water. It may subsequently become frozen into pack ice (one form of sea ice). As it drifts into shallower waters, it may come into contact with the seabed, a process referred to as seabed gouging by ice.

In meteorology, a cyclone is an area of closed, circular fluid motion rotating in the same direction as the Earth. This is usually characterized by inward spiraling winds that rotate counterclockwise in the Northern Hemisphere and clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere of the Earth.

waterspout is an intense columnar vortex (usually appearing as a funnel-shaped cloud) that occurs over a body of water. In the common form, it is a non-supercell tornado over water. Most waterspouts do not suck up water; they are small and weak rotating columns of air over water.

Nestle Water Bottling Proposal - Nestlé has proposed to bottle over 100 million gallons of water per year from Oxbow Springs, a publicly-owned water source in the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. The accompanying bottling plant would be built in the city of Cascade Locks and would strain existing water and transportation infrastructure, requiring millions of dollars of upgrades. Despite this, and the 200 semi-truck trips through town every day, city officials support the proposal based on Nestlé's promise of up to 50 new jobs. Bark is a lead member of the Keep Nestlé Out of the Gorge Coalition, which represents many tens of thousands of concerned citizens who do not want Nestlé to take their water. Bark has facilitated over 94,000 people in telling state officials that the Oxbow Springs giveaway is not in the “public interest,” a standard by which the application is measured.

fish ladder, also known as a fish way, fish pass or fish steps, is a structure on or around artificial and natural barriers (such as dams, locks and waterfalls) to facilitate diadromous fishes' natural migration (i.e. - can both live in fresh water and in the ocean). Most fish ways enable fish to pass around the barriers by swimming and leaping up a series of relatively low steps (hence the term ladder) into the waters on the other side. The velocity of water falling over the steps has to be great enough to attract the fish to the ladder, but it cannot be so great that it washes fish back downstream or exhausts them to the point of inability to continue their journey upriver.

composting toilet is a type of dry toilet that uses a predominantly aerobic processing system to treat human excreta, by composting or managed aerobic decomposition. These toilets generally use little to no water and may be used as an alternative to flush toilets. The human excreta is usually mixed with sawdust, coconut coir or peat moss to facilitate aerobic processing, liquid absorption, and odor mitigation. Most composting toilets use slow, cold composting conditions, sometimes connected to a secondary external composting step.

water cannon is a device that shoots a high-velocity stream of water. Typically, a water cannon can deliver a large volume of water, often over dozens of meters. They are used in firefighting, large vehicle washing and riot control.

Bottled water is drinking water (e.g., well water, distilled water, mineral water, or spring water) packaged in plastic or glass water bottles. Bottled water may be carbonated or not. Sizes range from small single serving bottles to large carboys for water coolers. Homeless people often gather discarded empty water and pop bottles for a small cash reward.

An irrigation canal is a waterway, often man-made or enhanced, built for the purpose of carrying water from a source such as a lake, river, or stream, to soil used for farming or landscaping. An essential element of farming found in archaeological digs dating as far back as 4,000 BC, irrigation canals have often meant the difference between sustenance and starvation.

Greywater (also spelled graywater) or sullage is defined as all wastewater streams generated from households or office buildings except for the wastewater from toilets. Sources of greywater include for example sinks, showers, baths, clothes washing machines or dish washers. As greywater contains many fewer pathogens than domestic wastewater, it is easier to treat and to recycle onsite for uses such as toilet flushing, landscape irrigation or even irrigation of crops.

spritzer is a tall, chilled drink, usually made with white wine and seltzer, club soda or sparkling mineral water.

water balloon or water bomb is a latex rubber balloon filled with water. They are commonly used in water balloon fights and as a practical joke device.

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Other glossaries in the series by Planetshifter.com Media:

+ Alchemy: A Glossary for Permaculture & Transition

+ Prosperity: A glossary featuring Permaculture, New Mythology, Bioneers, Transition USA, Green Peace and Daily Acts with Discussion Questions.

+ Light: A Glossary for Creative Writers.

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