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The Total Water Cycle

Water and the cycle of water are critical to sustaining life. The Total Water Cycle will investigate the complex interrelationship, use and flow of the water resource in our urban environment.

Water and Us

The water cycle in an urban environment includes several different components. These components include water treatment plants and stormwater drainage networks and are vital aspects to maintaining a functional healthy community. Students can investigate the cycle of water through our urban environment and the processes involved in:

  • Drinking water treatment and supply

  • The chemistry of water treatment

  • Wastewater treatment

  • Stormwater and waterway management

The importance of water recycling and reuse will be investigated within our community looking at techniques and processes of water conservation that can be undertaken within the home at school or in the work environment.

Water in our Catchment

The movement and flow of water from rainfall to outfall is complex. Through connection of atmosphere, land and sea, the water cycle conveys water through our urban environment, with one component of the cycle driving another. As water evaporates, vapours rise and condense to form clouds which, through precipitation, return water to drainage lines, groundwater, waterways and wetlands and eventually the ocean, where the Sun can drive evaporation and the water cycle process begins once more.

Students can investigate the differing components of the water cycle including:

  • Evaporation

  • Transpiration

  • Condensation

  • Precipitation

In our urban environment, the movement of stormwater is critically important. Stormwater includes any water that runs off roads, pavements and roofs and is transported to the ocean through a network of gutters, pipes, drains creeks and channels.

Students can learn about the journey of stormwater in our environment (Where Does Our Stormwater Go?) as well as identifying:

  • Impacts of stormwater pollutants

  • Stormwater protection measures

  • Topography, landuse and catchment

Waterways and Wetlands

GPT - Gross polutant trap
GPT - Gross pollutant trap
on Louisa Creek

Waterways and wetlands have many important roles and functions including:

  • Controlling and filtering flood water

  • Providing fish and bird habitat areas and wildlife refuges

  • Providing recreational areas

Students can undertake water quality and wetlands health monitoring, analysing water quality and ecological indicators (macro-invertebrate survey), in order to understand the important and complex role of wetlands and waterways and encourage students to explore all aspects and linkages of these systems.



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