Is the water you drank today the same water your grandma drank? How about the same water a young girl from the Seneca Nation drank 300 years ago? How about the same water a dinosaur drank? Who else drank it?
Have you ever thought about the journey that water takes before it ends up as streamflow, like in this headwater stream?
How old is the water we have today? In general, scientists feel the majority of the water we have on earth has been around a really long time. There is information about water being made* or unmade** but not in major amounts compared to the existing water.
Cannonsville Reservoir in the Catskills, which supplies NYC with drinking water
Have you ever thought of where the water you drink comes from? I don’t mean what stream, river, lake, reservoir or well, but where in the world did it come from to get into your water supply?
Think “water cycle” to find some answers.
The Water Cycle
Let’s check out some water off the coast of northwest Africa, where the hurricanes that move into the southeast U.S. start:
And where did that water come from before it was in the ocean off the coast of Morocco? Well, that is for you to discover. My point is, the water you drink can come from thousands of miles away and the source of that water can be amazing.
What if the dirty, stinky water from a city in a third world country with no sewage plant gets cycled back into the sky and ends up falling near where you live and becomes the water you drink?
And after you drink it where does it go?
It becomes part of the water cycle and who knows whose glass of water it will end up in.
And the cycle goes on and on.
Just something to think about when you drink a glass of water.
*Some scientists have done experiments that create water under very high temperatures and pressures similar to what exist in the upper mantel of the earth. Some tests reveal 3 times the amount of water in our oceans exists in this upper mantel.
**The basic elements of water (hydrogen and oxygen) can be broken apart and some hydrogen may escape into space. Some scientists believe we have lost some water via this mechanism called methanogenesis.