Glossary of Water Terms

ABANDONED WATER RIGHT A water right which was not put to beneficial use for a number of years, generally 5 to 7 years.
ABANDONED WELL A well which is no longer used. In many places, abandoned wells must be filled with cement or concrete grout to prevent pollution of ground water bodies.
ABOVEGROUND STORAGE TANK A non vehicular device (including any associated piping that is made of non earthen materials) located on or above the surface of the ground, or on or above the surface of the floor of a Structure below the ground, such as mineworking basement or vault; and designed to contain an accumulation of petroleum products.
ABSORB To take in. Many things absorb water.
ACID a substance that has a pH value between 0 and 7, which is neutral. Specifically, an acid has more free hydrogen ions (H+) than hydroxyl ions (OH-).
ACRE FEET The amount of water required to cover one acre one foot deep. Also abbreviated as ac-ft.
ACRE-FOOT An expression of water quantity. One acre-foot will cover one acre of ground one foot deep. An acre-foot contains 43,560 cubic feet, 1,233 cubic meters, or 325,829 gallons (U.S.).
ADJUDICATION A court proceeding to determine all rights to the use of water on a particular stream system or ground water basin.
AERATION The process of bubbling air through a solution, sometimes cleaning water of impurities by exposure to the air.
ALKALINE Quality of being bitter due to alkaline content (pH is greater than 7)
ALKALINITY The capacity of water for neutralizing an acid solution.
ALLUVIUM Deposits of clay, silt, sand, gravel, or other particulate material that has been deposited by a stream or other body of running water in a streambed, on a flood plain, on a delta, or at the base of a mountain.
APPLICATION, WATER RIGHT An official request for permission to initiate a water right; includes a description of the proposed project, a map of the project and a legal description of the property involved.
APPROPRIATE To authorize the use of a quantity of water to an individual requesting it.
APPURTENANT TO PLACE OF USE A water right that belongs to the legal owner of the land described as the place of use on the water right.
AQUA Prefix meaning water.
AQUACULTURE Farming of plants and animals that live in water, such as fish, shellfish, and algae.
AQUEDUCTA man-made pipe or conduit made for bringing water from a source.
AQUICLUDE A formation which, although porous and capable of absorbing water slowly, will not transmit water fast enough to furnish an appreciable supply for a well or a spring.
AQUIFER A water bearing stratum of permeable rock, sand, or gravel.
ARID An adjective applied to regions where precipitation is deficient in quantity; where agriculture is impractical without irrigation.
ARIDITY The quality or state of being arid, dry or barren.
ARTESIAN AQUIFER An aquifer where the water is under sufficient head (pressure) to cause it to rise above the zone of saturation if the opportunity were afforded for it to do so.
ARTESIAN WATER Water that comes from artesian wells.
ARTESIAN WELL A well tapping a confined or artesian aquifer in which the static water level stands above the top of the aquifer. The term is sometimes used to include all wells tapping confined water. Wells with water level above the water table are said to have positive artesian head, (pressure) and those with water level below the water table, negative artesian head.
ARTESIAN WALL A well made by drilling into the earth until water is reached which, from internal pressure, flows up like a fountain.
ARTIFICIAL RECHARGE A process where water is put back into groundwater storage from surfacewater supplies such as irrigation, or induced infiltration from streams or wells.
ASSIGNMENT OF WATER The transfer of a water right application or permit from one person to another. This can be done in conjunction with the sale of land.
ATTACHED GROUND WATER The portion of amount of alkali substances sufficient to raise the pH value above 7.0 or to be harmful to the growth of crops. Such a condition is called alkaline.
BASEA substance that has a pH of more than 7, which is neutral. A base has less free hydrogen ions (H+) than hydroxyl ions (OH-).
BASEFLOWStreamflow coming from groundwater seepage into a stream.
BASINA groundwater reservoir defined by the overlying land surface and underlying aquifiers that contain water stored in the reservoir
BENEFICIAL USE OF WATER The use of water for any beneficial purpose. Such uses include domestic use, irrigation, recreation, fish and wildlife, fire protection, navigation, power, industrial use, etc. The benefit varies from one location to another and by custom. What constitutes beneficial use is often defined by statute or court decisions.
BMPs (Best Management Practices)Structural or management practices which are implemented to reduce pollution (e.g., using a permeable material for parking lots to reduce urban runoff).
BRACKISHWater containing too much salt to be useful to people but less salt than ocean water
CANCELLED WATER RIGHTA water right that is made void either at the request of the water right holder or due to forfeiture.
CAPILLARY WATERA continuous film of water found around soil particles.
CAPILLARITYThe process by which water rises through rock, sediment or soil caused by the cohesion between water molecules and an adhesion between water and other materials that "pulls" the water upward .
CERTIFICATE OF WATER RIGHT An official document which serves as court evidence of a perfected water right.
CHECK DAM A small dam constructed in a gully or other small water course to decrease the streamflow velocity, minimize channel erosion, promote deposition of sediment and to divert water from a channel.
COMMERCIAL WATER Water used for motels, hotels, restaurants, office buildings, other commercial facilities, and institutions. Water for commercial uses comes both from public supplied sources, such as a county water department, and self supplied sources, such as local wells.
CONDENSATION The process of water vapor in the air turning into liquid water. Water drops on the outside of a cold glass of water are condensed water. Condensation is the opposite process of evaporation.
CONDUIT A natural or artificial channel through which fluids may be conveyed.
CONFINED AQUIFERAn aquifer that is bound above and below by dense layers of rock and contains water under pressure.
CONFINED GROUND WATER A body of ground water covered by material so impervious as to sever the hydraulic connection with overlying ground water except at the intake. Confined water moves in pressure conduits due to the difference in head between intake and discharge areas of the confined water body.
CONJUNCTIVE USEThe planned use of groundwater in conjunction with surface water to optimize total water resources
CONSUMPTIVE USEThat part of water withdrawn that is evaporated, transpired by plants, incorporated into products or crops, consumed by humans or livestock, or otherwise removed from the immediate water environment. Also referred to as water consumed.
CONTRACTORA water agency that signs a contract to acquire given amounts of water from another agency, usually under specified conditions.
CONVEYANCE LOSSWater that is lost in transit from a pipe, canal, or ditch by leakage or evaporation. Generally, the water is not available for further use; however, leakage from an irrigation ditch, for example, may percolate to a ground-water source and be available for further use.
CORRELATIVE RIGHTS Certain rights of land owners over a common ground water basin are coequal, or correlative, so that any one owner cannot take more than his share even if the rights of others are impaired.
COUNTY BASELINE State Department of Highways and Public Transportation County Map in a digital format depicting site-specific locations in latitude and longitude coordinates.
COUNTY WATER AUTHORITYA water district serving a county-wide area.
CREEK A small stream of water which serves as the natural drainage course for a drainage basin. The term is relative according to size. Some creeks in a humid region would be called rivers if they occurred in an arid area.
CREST The crest is the top of a dam, dike, or spillway, which water must reach before passing over the structure. It is also the summit or highest point of a wave. The highest elevation reached by flood waters flowing in a channel is also called the crest.
CRITICAL GROUND WATER AREAAn area that has certain ground water problems, such as declining water levels. These areas are usually limited in their development and use.
CRITICAL LOW-FLOW Low flow conditions below which some standards do not apply. The impacts of permitted discharges are analyzed at critical low-flow.
CUBIC FOOT PER SECOND (c.f.s.) A unit expressing the rate of discharge of water. One cubic foot per second is equal to the discharge through a rectangular cross section, one foot wide and one foot long, flowing at an average velocity of one foot per second. One cubic foot per second equals 448.8 gallons per minute, and 1.98 acre feet per day. It is a rate of water movement in volume per time unit.
CURRENT The portion of a stream or body of water which is moving with a velocity much greater than the average of the rest of the water. The progress of the water is principally concentrated in the current.
DAM A structure of earth, rock or concrete designed to hold water back to make a pond, lake, or reservoir.
DESALINIZATION The removal of salts from saline water to provide freshwater. This method is becoming a more popular way of providing freshwater to populations.
DISCHARGE The amount of water flowing past a location in a stream/river in a certain amount of time, usually expressed in liters per second or gallons per minute. In the simplest form, discharge means outflow of water. The use of this term is not restricted as to course or location and it can be applied to describe the flow of water from a pipe or from a drainage basin. If the discharge occurs in a course or channel, it is correct to speak of the discharge of a canal or of a river. It is also correct to speak of the discharge of a canal or stream into a lake, stream or ocean. Discharge is a comprehensive outflow term. Other words related to it are runoff, stream flow and yield.
DISCHARGE OF GROUND WATER Occurs when water flows out from underground.
DISCHARGE PERMIT A permit issued by the state to discharge effluent into waters of the state.
DISSOLVED OXYGEN (DO) The amount of oxygen dissolved in water or sewage. Concentrations of less than 5 parts per million can limit aquatic life or cause offensive odors. Low DO is generally due to excessive organic matter present in water as a result of inadequate waste treatment and runoff from agricultural or urban land.
DISTRIBUTION OF WATER The management of water which allows water users to receive the amount of water to which they are entitled by law and as supply permits.
DIVERSION In the most simple term it means to remove water from a water body. It can also mean individually designed diversions across a hillside. They may be used to protect bottomland from hillside runoff, divert water away from active gullies, or protect buildings from runoff.
DIVERT Direct a flow away from its natural course.
DIVIDEA ridge or high area of land that separates one drainage basin from another.
DOMESTIC CONSUMPTION (USE) Water used for household purposes such as washing, food preparation and showers. It is the quantity, or quantity per capita, of water consumed in a municipality or district for domestic uses or purposes during a given period. It sometimes encompasses all uses, including the quantity wasted, lost, or otherwise unaccounted for.
DRAINAGE BASIN An area in which water drains in to a stream system.
DRAINAGE DENSITY The number of watercourses per unit of land area.
DRAINAGE WATER The water which has been collected by a drainage system. It may come from surface water or from water passing through the soil. It may be of a quality suitable for reuse or it may be of no further economic use.
DRAWDOWN The lowering of the water level caused by pumping. It is measured in feet for a given quantity of water pumped during a specified period, or after the pumping level has become constant.
DRIP IRRIGATION Above ground, low-pressure watering system with flexible tubing that releases small, steady amounts of water through emitters placed near individual plants.
DROP SPILLWAY An overfall structure in which water drops over a vertical wall onto a protected apron at a lower elevation.
DROUGHT There is no universally accepted quantitative definition of drought. Generally, the term is applied to periods of less than average precipitation over a certain period of time; nature's failure to fulfill the water wants and needs of man.
ECOSYSTEMAn interacting network of groups of organisms together with their non-living or physical environment.
EFFLUENTWater that flows from a sewage treatment plant after it has been treated.
EROSIONThe processes (including soil erosion) of picking up sediments, moving sediments, shaping sediments, and depositing sediments by various agents; erosional agents include streams, glaciers, wind and gravity.
EVAPORATIONWater changing into vapor and rising into the air.
EVAPORATION POND A containment area where liquids are allowed to evaporate. In some cases a spraying mechanism is used to speed evaporation.
FlRST IN TIME, FIRST IN RIGHT A phrase indicating that older water rights have priority over more recent rights if there is not enough water to satisfy all rights.
FORFEITED WATER RIGHT A water right canceled because of several consecutive years of nonuse.
FIXED GROUND WATER Water held in saturated material with pore spaces so small that it is permanently attached to the pre-walls, or moves so slowly that it is usually not available as a source of water for pumping.
FLOOD A flood is an overflow or inundation that comes from a river or other body of water and causes or threatens damage. It can be any relatively high streamflow overtopping the natural or artificial banks in any reach of a stream. It is also a relatively high flow as measured by either gage height or discharge quantity.
FLOOD, 100 YEAR A 100-year flood does not refer to a flood that occurs once every 100 years, but to a flood level with a 1 percent chance of being equaled or exceeded in any given year.
FLOOD PLAIN A strip of relatively level land bordering a stream or river. It is built of sediment carried by the stream and dropped when the water has flooded the area. It is called a water flood plain if it is overflowed in times of highwater, or a fossil flood plain if it is beyond the reach of the highest flood.
FLOOD STAGE The elevation at which overflow of the natural banks of a stream or body of water begins in the reach or area in which the elevation is measured.
FLOODWAY A part of the flood plain. The channel of a river or stream; the parts of the flood plains adjoining the channel which are reasonably required to carry and discharge the flood water or floodflow of any river or stream.
FLOW The rate of water discharged from a source given in volume with respect to time.
FLOWING WELLS A well where the piezometric surface lies above the ground surface.
FREE GROUND WATER Water in interconnected pore spaces in the zone of saturation down to the first impervious barrier, moving under the control of the water table slope.
GAGING HEIGHT The height of the water surface above the gage datum (zero point). Gage height is often used interchangeably with the more general term, stage, although gage height is more appropriate when used with a gage reading.
GAGING STATION The site on a stream, lake or canal where hydrologic data is collected.
GALLON A unit of volume. A U.S. gallon contains 231 cu. in., 0.133 cubic feet, or 3.785 liters. One U.S. gallon of water weighs 8.3 lbs.
GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION SYSTEM (GIS) A map based database. Plots locations of information on maps using latitude and longitude.
GEYSER A geothermal feature of the Earth where there is an opening in the surface that contains superheated water that periodically erupts in a shower of water and steam.
GIARDYASIS A disease that results from an infection by the protozoan parasite Giardia Intestinalis, caused by drinking water that is either not filtered or not chlorinated. The disorder is more prevalent in children than in adults and is characterized by abdominal discomfort, nausea, and alternating constipation and diarrhea.
GLACIERA large mass of ice formed on land by the compacting and recrystallization of snow; glaciers survive from year to year, and creep downslope or outward due to the stress of their own weight.
GREY WATERWastewater from clothes washing machines, showers, bathtubs, hand washing, lavatories and sinks.
GROUND WATER The supply of fresh water found beneath the Earth's surface (usually in aquifers) which is often used for supplying wells and springs. Because ground water is a major source of drinking water, there is growing concern over areas where leaching agricultural or industrial pollutants or substances from leaking underground storage tanks are contaminating ground water.
GROUND WATER HYDROLOGY The branch of hydrology that deals with ground water; its occurrence and movements, its replenishment and depletion, the properties of rocks that control ground water movement and storage, and the methods of investigation and utilization of ground water.
GROUNDWATER Water under ground, such as in wells, springs and aquifirs.
GROUND WATER LAW The common law doctrine of riparian rights and the doctrine of prior appropriation as applied to ground water.
GROUND WATER RECHARGE The inflow to a ground water reservoir.
GROUND WATER REGISTRATION A statement made by a well owner registering the beneficial use of ground water.
GROUND WATER RESERVOIR An aquifer or aquifer system in which ground water is stored. The water may be placed in the aquifer by artificial or natural means.
GROUND WATER RUNOFF A portion of runoff which has passed into the ground, has become ground water, and has been discharged into a stream channel as spring or seepage water.
GROUND WATER STORAGE The storage of water in ground water reservoirs.
GULLY A deeply eroded channel caused by the concentrated flow of water.
HARDNESS A water quality indication of the concentration of alkaline salts in water, mainly calcium and magnesium. If the water you use is "hard" then more soap, detergent or shampoo is necessary to raise a lather.
HARVESTED RAINWATER The rain that falls on a roof or yard and is channeled by gutters or channels to a storage tank. the first wash of water on a roof is usually discarded and the subsequent rainfall is captured for use if the system is being used for potable water. Good quality water is available by this method in most areas.
HEADGATE The gate that controls water flow into irrigation canals and ditches. A watermaster regulates the headgates during water distribution and posts headgate notices declaring official regulations.
HEADWATER (1) the source and upper reaches of a stream; also the upper reaches of a reservoir. (2) the water upstream from a structure or point on a stream. (3) the small streams that come together to form a river. Also may be thought of as any and all parts of a river basin except the mainstream river and main tributaries.
"HIGHEST AND BEST USE" The classification of water based on an analysis of the greatest needs of the future. Certain quantities are reserved for appropriation according to the classification.
HOLDING POND A small basin or pond designed to hold sediment laden or contaminated water until it can be treated to meet water quality standards or be used in some other way.
HYDRO The prefix denoting water or hydrogen.
HYDROELECTRIC Having to do with production of electricity by water power from falling water.
HYDROELECTRIC CYCLE The cyclic transfer of water vapor from the Earth's surface via evapotranspiration into the atmosphere, from the atmosphere via precipitation back to earth, and through runoff into streams, rivers, and lakes, and ultimately into the oceans.
HYDROELECTRIC PLANTA power plant that produces electricity from the power of rushing water turning turbine-generators.
HYDROLOGIC CYCLEThe natural recycling process powered by the sun that causes water to evaporate into the atmosphere, condense and return to earth as precipitation.
HYDROLOGY The science dealing with the properties, distribution and circulation of water.
HYDROPOWER Power produce by falling water.
IMPERMEABLE LAYER A layer of solid material, such as rock or clay, which does not allow water to pass through.
IMPORT Water piped or channeled into an area.
IMPORTED WATERWater brought into an area from a distant source, such as from one part of a state to another via an aqueduct.
IMPOUNDMENT A body of water such as a pond, confined by a dam, dike, floodgate or other barrier. It is used to collect and store water for future use.
INCHOATE WATER RIGHT An unperfected water right.
INDUSTRIAL WATER USEWater used for industrial purposes in such industries as steel, chemical, paper, and petroleum refining. Nationally, water for industrial uses comes mainly (80%) from self-supplied sources, such as a local wells or withdrawal points in a river, but some water comes from public supplied sources, such as the county/city water department.
INFILTRATIONFlow of water from the land surface into the subsurface.
INJECTION WELLRefers to a well constructed for the purpose of injecting treated wastewater directly into the ground. Wastewater is generally forced (pumped) into the well for dispersal or storage into a designated aquifer. Injection wells are generally drilled into aquifers that don't deliver drinking water, unused aquifers, or below freshwater levels.
INTERMITTENT STREAM A stream which has a period of zero flow for at least one week during most years. Where flow records are available, a stream with a flow of less than 0.1 cubic feet per second is considered intermittent.
INTERSTATE WATER According to law, waters are defined as (1) rivers, lakes and other waters that flow across or form a part of state or international boundaries; (2) waters of the Great Lakes; (3) coastal waters whose scope has been defined to include ocean waters seaward to the territorial limits and waters along the coastline (including inland streams) influenced by the tide.
IRRIGATIONSupplying water to agriculture by artificial means, such as pumping water onto crops in an area where rainfall is insufficient.
IRRIGATION EFFICIENCY The percentage of water applied, and which can be accounted for, in the soil moisture increase for consumptive use.
IRRIGATION RETURN FLOW The applied irrigation , water which is not consumptively used by plants and returns to a surface or ground water supply. Under conditions of water right litigation, the definition may restricted to measurable water returning to the stream from which it was diverted.
IRRIGATION WATER Water which is applied to assist crops in areas where rainfall is inadequate.
IRRIGATION The controlled application of water for cultural purposes through man-made systems to supply water requirements not satisfied by rainfall.
KILOGRAMA measurement of water, one thousand grams.
LEACHINGThe process by which soluble materials in the soil, such as salts, nutrients, pesticide chemicals or contaminants, are washed into a lower layer of soil or are dissolved and carried away by water.
LENTIC WATERSPonds or lakes (standing water).
LEVEEDike or other embankment which contain water within a given course.
LOCAL RUNOFFWater running off a local area, such as rainfall draining into a nearby creek.
LOTIC WATERSFlowing waters, as in streams and rivers.
MINIMUM STREAMFLOW The specific amount of water reserved to support aquatic life, to minimize pollution, or for recreation. It is subject to the priority system and does not affect water rights established prior to its institution.
NATURAL FLOW The rate of water movement past a specified point on a natural stream. The flow comes from a drainage area in which there has been no stream diversion caused by storage, import, export, return flow, or change in consumptive use caused by man-controlled modifications to land use. Natural flow rarely occurs in a developed country.
OVERDRAFTCondition that occurs in a groundwater basin when pumping exceeds the amount of replenishment over a period of years
PENSTOCK A gate or sluice used in controlling the flow of water. A tube or trough for carrying water to a water wheel, or a pipe carrying water to an electric turbine.
PERCOLATING WATERS Waters which pass through the ground beneath the earth's surface without a definite channel. It is presumed that ground waters percolate.
PERCOLATIONWater soaking into the ground.
PERENNIAL YIELDMaximum quantity of water that can be annually withdrawn from a groundwater basin over a long period of time (during which water supply conditions approximate average conditions) without developing an overdraft condition.
PERFECTED WATER RIGHT A water right which indicates that the uses anticipated by an applicant, and made under permit, were made for beneficial use. Usually it is irrevocable unless voluntarily canceled or forfeited due to several consecutive years of nonuse.
PERFORATION OF WELLS Holes in the casing of wells which allow water to flow into the well.
PERMEABILITYCapacity or ability of a porous rock, sediment, or soil to allow the movement of water through its pores.
PERMIT Any right or authorization granted by the Texas Water Commission or its predecessor agencies, including wastewater disposal permits, water rights permits, certificates of adjudication and certified filings.
PLACE OF USE The specific location where water is applied or used. A water user cannot use water at another location without transferring the right or obtaining a new right.
PLAYAS The flat-floored bottom of an undrained desert basin which may become a shallow lake.
POTABLE WATER Drinkable water.
PUMPING LIFTDistance water must be lifted in a well from the pumping level to the ground surface.
PUMPING PLANTFacility that lifts water up and over hills.
RECHARGEIncreases in groundwater storage from precipitation, infiltration from streams, or human activity (artificial recharge), such as putting surface water into spreading basins moisture the air could hold under the same conditions; usually expressed as a percentage.
RECLAIMED WATERWastewater that has been cleaned so that it can be reused for most purposes except drinking.
RECLAMATION The process of matter or energy being reclaimed or restored to a better or useful state. For instance, dams reclaim water which would otherwise be lost through runoff.
RESERVOIRA lake where water is collected and stored until it is needed.
RIPARIAN WATER RIGHT The legal right held by an owner of land contiguous to or bordering on a natural stream or lake, to take water from the source for use on the contiguous land.
RIVER AUTHORITY Any district or authority created by the legislature which contains an area within its boundaries of ten or more counties and which is governed by a hoard of directors appointed or designated in whole or in part by the governor, or by the Texas Water Development Board, including without limitation the San Antonio River Authority, and other river authority or Special district created under Article111, Section 52, Subsection (b)(1) or (2), or Article XVI, Section 59, of the Texas Constitution that is designated by rule of the commission to comply with this chapter.
RIVER A natural stream of water of considerable volume.
RUN-OFF Water from rainfall or irrigation that is allowed to flow off the property. Run-off can be thought of as a lost resource and a contributor to non:point source pollution.
SHEET WASHFlow of rainwater that covers the entire ground surface with a thin film and is not concentrated into streams.
SNOWPrecipitation that consists of frozen flakes formed when water vapor accumulates on ice crystals, going directly to the ice phase
SNOW COURSE A line laid out and permanently marked on a drainage area along which the snow is sampled at definite distances or stations. Sampling occurs at appropriate times to determine snow depth, water equivalent, and density.
SNOW DENSITY Ratio between the volume of melt water derived from a sample of snow and the initial volume of the sample.
SNOW FIELD An area, usually at high elevation or in polar latitudes, where snow accumulates and remains throughout the entire year.
SNOW SURVEY The process or operation of determining the depth, water content, and density of snow at various selected points on a drainage basin. This is done in order to determine the amount of water stored there in the form of snow for the purpose of forecasting runoff.
SNOW Precipitation in the form of branched hexagonal crystals, often mixed with simple ice crystals, which fall more or less continuously from a solid cloud sheet. These crystals may fall either separately or in cohesive clusters forming snowflakes.
SNOWFALL The amount of snow, hail, sleet, or other precipitation occurring in solid form which reaches the earth's surface. It may be expressed in depth in inches after it falls, or in terms of inches in depth of the equivalent amount of water.
SNOWPACK The winter accumulation of snow in mountain areas.
SOIL SUBSIDENCELowering of the normal level of the ground, usually due to overpumping of water or oil from wells.
SPRINGGroundwater seeping or flowing out of the Earth's surface; springs occur where the water table reaches the surface.
STREAM A general term for a body of flowing water. In hydrology the term is generally applied to the water flowing in a natural channel as distinct from a canal. More generally, it is applied to the water flowing in any channel, natural or artificial.
Some types of streams
1. EphemeralA stream which flows only in direct response to precipitation, and whose channel is at all times above the water table.
2. Intermittent or Seasonal A stream which flows only at certain times of the year when it receives water from springs, rainfall, or from surface sources such as melting snow. Perennial - A stream which flows continuously.
3. Gaining A stream or reach of a stream that receives water from the zone of saturation. An effluent stream.
4. Insulated A stream or reach of a stream that neither contributes water to the zone of saturation nor receives water from it. It is separated from the zones of saturation by an impermeable bed.
5. Losing A stream or reach of a stream that contributes water to the zone of saturation. An influent stream.
6. Perched A perched stream is either a losing stream or an insulated stream that is separated from the underlying ground water by a zone of aeration.
STREAMFLOW DEPLETION The amount of water that annually flows into a valley or onto a particular land area minus the amount that flows out of the valley or away from the particular land area. It is also the amount of water taken from a stream.
STREAMFLOW The discharge that occurs in a natural channel. Although the term discharge can be applied to the flow of a canal, the word streamflow uniquely describes the discharge in a surface stream course. The term "streamflow" is more general than runoff, as stream flow may be applied to discharge whether or not it is affected by diversion or regulation.
SUBSIDENCEsinking of the land surface due to a number of factors, of which groundwater extraction is one
SUBSURFACE WATERAll water, solid, liquid or gaseous, that occurs beneath the Earth's surface; located below the water table in the zone of saturation.
SURFACE RUNOFFWater flowing along the ground into rivers, lakes, and oceans.
SURFACE WATERWater on the earth's surface. Lakes, bays, ponds, impounding reservoirs, springs, rivers, streams, creeks, estuaries, wetlands, marshes, inlets, canals, gulfs inside the territorial limits of the state, and all other bodies of surface water, natural or artificial, inland or coastal, fresh or salt, navigable or nonnavigable, and including the beds and banks of all watercourses and bodies of surface water, that are wholly or partially inside or bordering the state or subject to the jurisdiction of the state; except that waters in treatment systems which are authorized by state or federal law, regulation, or permit, and which are created for the purpose of waste treatment are not considered to be waters in the state.
SURFACE WATER Water on the earth's surface exposed to the atmosphere, e.g., rivers, lakes, streams, oceans, ponds, reservoirs, etc.
UNCLASSIFIED WATERS Those waters for which no classification has been assigned and which have not been identified in Appendix A of 31 Texas Administrative Code, 307.10 of Title 31 (relating to definitions).
UNCONFINED AQUIFER An aquifer that discharges and recharges with an upper surface that is the water table.
USABLE STORAGE CAPACITYQuantity of groundwater of acceptable quality that can be economically withdrawn from storage.
VIRGIN FLOW The streamflow which exists or would exist if man had not modified the conditions on or along the stream or in the drainage basin.
WATER CYCLE The process by which water travels in a sequence from the air (condensation) to the earth (precipitation) and returns to the atmosphere (evaporation). It is also referred to as the hydrologic cycle.
WATER FLOW The rate of flow of water measured in volume and time.
WATER LAW A law that has been instigated to control the right to the use of water.
WATER LEVEL The water surface elevation of a particular water body.
WATER LOSSES Water which is unavailable or lost from a particular containment system.
WATER RIGHT A legally protected right, granted by law, to take possession of water occurring in a water supply and to divert the water and put it to beneficial use.
WATER SPREADING The retention of water behind dams or in basins; maintenance of flow in ditches or stream channels, or infusion of water into wells and shafts to develop influent seepage.
WATER SUPPLY Any quantity of available water.
WATER TABLE The upper surface of a zone of saturation; the upper surface of the ground water.
WATER WELL REPORT A report which a water well contractor or landowner who is constructing his own well submits to a water resources department. It includes the location and dimensions of the well, its flow, a record of geologic materials encountered in drilling, the temperature of the ground water, and other data.
WATER WHEEL A device such as an turbine or similar engine to transform the energy of flowing water into mechanical power.
WATER YEAR The 12-month period, usually October 1 through September 30. The water year is designated by the calendar year in which it ends and which includes 9 of the 12 months. Thus, the year ending September 30,1979 is called the1979 Water Year.
WATER BUDGET This is the calculated amount of water a household should use based on the type and number of fixtures, landscape requirements, and size of family. ECSD's Water Conservation Program can assist in developing the budget.
WATER The liquid that descends from the clouds as rain; forms streams, lakes, and seas, and is a major constituent of all living matter; is an odorless, tasteless, colorless, very slightly compressible liquid.
WATERCOURSES Depressions formed by runoff moving over the surface of the earth; any natural course that carries water.
WATERMASTER An employee of a water department who distributes available water supply at the request of water right holders and collects hydrographic data.
WATERSHED The area of land that contributes surface runoff to a given point in a drainage system.
XERISCAPE Creative landscaping for water and energy efficiency and lower maintenance. The seven Xeriscape principles are good planning and design; practical lawn areas; efficient irrigation; soil improvement; use of mulches; low water demand plants; good maintenance.
YIELD The quantity of water expressed either as a continuous rate of flow (cubic feet per second, etc.) or as a volume per unit of time. It can be collected for a given use, or uses, from surface or ground water sources on a watershed.
ZONE OF SATURATIONThe portion of the ground below the water table where all the pores in rock, sediment, and soil are filled with water.

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