Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Aquifers and Streams: Texas Aquatic Science- Chapter 7

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Have you ever seen a naturally occurring spring,... where water is flowing out of the ground like


Where does that water comes from?

Well, it comes from an underground reservoir where the water can be contained in porous

rock or sand, or even a complex network of underground caverns and cracks. These underground

places are called aquifers. You see, when it rains these aquifers gradually fill with

water. Some even become pressurized. And some aquifers give rise to springs- a place where

underground water emerges through ground faults and cracks leading to the earth's surface.

Here, a unique aquatic ecosystem can be created providing life to a whole host of rare invertebrates,

fish, and amphibians.

Texas has more than three thousand springs, some of which are among the largest in the

world. And springs also create the headwaters for many of our rivers.

Aquifers are an important source of water for humans, supplying about 60% of the water

we use. And no matter where you are in Texas, you're likely standing over an aquifer, possibly

hundreds or even thousands of feet below.

Because aquifers are deep underground most aquifers contain little or no large animals

and no plants, but major springs in Texas can be teaming with life. Some even contain

species found nowhere else. For example, Barton Springs, located in Austin, is the only place

where the Barton Springs and Austin blind salamanders live. And Texas Wild Rice along

with the San Marcos gambusia can only be found in the San Marcos Springs and river community

just downstream. In fact you can get your own close up look at how a natural spring

functions by riding in the glass-bottom boat at San Marcos Springs.

Like most important natural features in our state, aquifers and springs are at risk from

human intervention, contaminants from pollution, overuse by agriculture or our own neglect

to conserve water. Not to mention the weather threat of long droughts in Texas that have

already caused many of our springs to stop flowing.

We just need to be water wise. You can think of Groundwater in an aquifer as money in your

bank account. Each time you put money in, the amount of money you have grows. When you

take money out, your bank account goes down and stays down until you put more money in.

Aquifers grow when nature puts water in through rainfall, snow, and other precipitation. By

protecting our springs, rivers and streams, we help aquifers continue to store water for

generations to come.

The Description of Aquifers and Streams: Texas Aquatic Science- Chapter 7