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Water School

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What is a wetland?

Wetlands are areas where water covers the soil or is present at or near the soil’s surface for most or all of the year. Wetlands provide a habitat for a variety of plants and animals and can serve as a natural water filter.Man-made wetlands have been developed to treat water coming from an outside source, such as a river, before it enters a water treatment program.
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What is an estuary?

An estuary is a place where fresh and salt water mix, for example, a bay, salt marsh or where a river enters the ocean or Gulf of Mexico.The Brazos River estuary is located on the upper Texas coast and is a riverine estuary that flows directly into the Gulf of Mexico rather than into a system of bays. Riverine estuaries, like the Brazos River estuary, are unique in that the area of the estuary is dependent on freshwater inflows versus typical bay like estuaries that are also influenced by evapor...
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What is a watershed? A subwatershed?

A watershed is the land area or topographic region that drains into a particular stream, river or lake. This land feature can be identified by tracing a line on a map along the highest elevations between two areas.Large watersheds may contain hundreds or thousands of smaller subwatersheds that drain into the river or other water body. The Brazos River watershed encompasses more than 42,000 square miles and includes many smaller streams and rivers with their own smaller watersheds.For a map of su...
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What are total dissolved solids?

Total dissolved solids or TDS is the amount of minerals that remain when a water sample is completely evaporated, such as the water spots on your glasswear.  TDS is a measurement of all organic and sometimes inorganic solids in water and is reported as milligrams per liter (mg/l). TDS includes elements and organic compounds such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, bicarbonates, chlorides, and sulfates.  TDS is used as a general indicator of water quality.
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What are the benefits of wetlands?

Wetlands provide a habitat for a variety of plants and animals that would fare poorly in other environments. They also provide water storage, functioning like a sponge, storing water and slowly releasing it. This helps ease water’s potential for flooding and erosion. The slow release also contributes to surface water flow during dry periods.Wetlands also can act as a natural water filtration system. As the water enters the wetland, its movement slows around plants, which allows suspended sedime...
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What is salinity?

Salinity or chloride concentration, refers to the amount of salt dissolved or contained in water. The higher the salinity, the less useful the water is for human consumption, agriculture and other uses.The Brazos River particularly in the upper part of the watershed, contains a high amount of salinity due to a naturally occurring underground salt deposits located northwest of Abilene.  As a result, surface water in some areas of the Brazos River must be treated to remove the amount of salt befor...
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The information provided on this site is intended as background on water within the Brazos River basin. There should be no expectation that this information is all encompassing, complete or in any way examines every aspect of this very complex natural resource.

If you have questions about a post or would like additional information, please contact us or call 888-922-6272.

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