Construction And The Environment - Effects On Water

In this regard, we will consider the following types of water;

· Surface water: this refers to water appearing on the surface of earth. Examples here include rivers, lakes, oceans, swamps and so forth.

· Ground water: this refers to water appearing in the ground, also referred to as sub-surface water. It is usually contained in rocks known as aquifers and forms a level commonly known as water table. Water table is usually an intermittent and rises or falls depending on the amount available in the feeder for instance through percolation.

· Precipitation: this refers to the various forms in which water appearing in the atmosphere is availed to the ground. It takes the form of rainfall, dew, hail storms and the like.

A number of common construction activities can hamper the normal patterns of the said forms of water, consequently interfering with the normal form of nature. The following are ways in which this happens;

· Sinking wells for drawing water results to a lowered water table level. This, for example, strains the vegetation drawing water from the same, hampering their growth.

· Building extensive hard surfaces reduces the amount of water percolating into the ground, depriving it of subsurface water and resulting to a lowered water table.

· Clearing extensive tracts of land for construction activities reduces the levels of moisture in the atmosphere and currently reducing the rate of precipitation expected.

· Construction of water bodies like reservoirs deprives normal flow downstream, hampering the normal aquatic patterns. This could also lead to an increase in moisture in the air, resulting to more precipitation.

· Disposal of effluent from construction sites as well as built up areas into water bodies like rivers alter the ordinary quality of water, thereby changing the life supporting mechanism for aquatic life.

· Building of barriers like trenches will change the normal flow of surface run off, thereby altering the usual rates and patterns of percolation.

· Mass rain water harvesting whether in above ground or under ground tanks or reservoirs will also have similar effects.

While these are only examples, the truth is that construction has a remarkable effect on water patterns in the environment. This effect increases with increase in magnitude of construction work being undertaken as well as ignorance in limitative measures possible. It should therefore be a number one priority in every envisaged project to plan for ways of reducing tendencies of altering water patterns in our environment, for this directly affects the environment and all that it carries with it.

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