Water Woes
(A fiction story that could be true)

During Christmas break three friends got permission from an their instructor to do a field study for their Environmental Studies class at UC Santa Barbara. One of them, Scherezade, was a student from Iraq (her parents moved to the USA to escape political persecution!). She came from a desert portion of that country, and the study of Water fascinated her. Bif was from the Los Angeles area, where noone has any idea where all their water comes from, and Luis is from the idyllic town of Guadalupe, where water and the crops it raises are everywhere to be seen. They had a special interest in health problems from poor water quality, so they used the Internet and their computers to look for information on areas that were having health problems that might be from environmental pollutants. Man! They couldn't believe how many problems were listed, almost every part of the state, not to mention the whole nation and beyond. Luckily, they noticed that a hospital in the town of Lompoc was listed as having 8 cases of babies who had to go for emergency care several times.....because they were turning blue! All of these children lived in the same neighborhood just out of town....except one, who lived on the other side of town, near the river.
Luis' parents were very generous, and invited Bif and Scherezade to stay at their home during the vacation so that they could easily drive to the whole watershed and city offices to gather information for their study. They gathered up equipment from the University that they thought they would need, and headed up to Guadalupe on December 13, excited and happy.

Their first step was to get lots of different kinds of maps,........... *Topographical maps to see where high ground, low ground, creeks and rivers are..... the "geography" of the area.

Then they got some of their water quality test kits, for coliforms (bacteria), pH, chlorine, nitrates, copper, iron, coliforms, and dissolved oxygen.

They went to the Internet again to search for information about water quality problems, testing, treatments, and looked especially for health problems that had been shown to come from certain pollutants in the water.

Finally, they made a list of all the things they knew about how water moves, how it is used by people, and ways that other things, like toxins, can get into it.

Here's their list of knowledge , and here is their plan of action :

Gravity flow makes water always try to move in this way: ____________________________________________________ __________________________________________________

Many things can be dissolved by water, in fact it is called "the Universal Solvent" because so many things can dissolve into water.

Substances that don't dissolve or mix with water, can still be carried along with water as it moves over, into, and through the ground.

Water moving down through the ground can go through many different kinds of material, and often is filtered by the soil, sand, and small rocks underground.

Although there are natural pollutants, like ashes from fires washed into the creeks, most water pollution comes from things dumped by factories, farms, and general human use.

Plan for what tests to do, and where to get the water samples: (Testing takes time and money, so the limit is 4 river samples, and eight samples from test wells ) Use maps to pick well sites for sampling

Test Sample Site # Result