Surface water

Surface water

:"For water masses on the surface of the world ocean, see Surface water (ocean).":"For water masses on the surface of land-masses, see Surface water (land)."

Water collecting on the ground or in a stream, river, lake, wetland, or ocean is called surface water, as opposed to groundwater or atmospheric water.

Surface water is naturally replenished by precipitation and naturally lost through discharge to evaporation, and sub-surface seepage into the groundwater. Although there are other sources of groundwater, such as connate water and magmatic water, precipitation is the major one and groundwater originated in this way is called meteoric water.

Land surface water is the largest source of fresh water.

Classification of surface water quality

The field of hydrometry is used to characterize surface water quality.

*Class 1 is extra clean fresh surface water resource used for conservation not necessary pass through water treatment process required only ordinary process for pathogenic destruction and econsystem conservation where basic organisms can bread naturally.
*Class 2 is very clean fresh surface water resource used for consumption which required ordinary water treatment process before use, aquatic organism of conservation, fisheries, and recreation.
*Class 3 is medium clean fresh surface water resource used for consumption but passing through an ordinary treatment process before using and agriculture.
*Class 4 is fairly clean fresh surface water resource used for consumption but requires special water treatment process before using and in industry
*Class 5 is the source which are not classification in class 1-4 and used for navigation.definition:surface water is taken from the lakes,rivers,waterfalls and sea.

Conjunctive Use of Ground and Surface Water

Surface and ground water are two separate entities, so they must be regarded as such. However, there is an ever increasing need for management of the two as they are part of an interrelated system that is paramount when the demand for water exceeds the available supply (Fetter 464). Depletion of surface and ground water sources for public consumption (including industrial, commercial, and residential) is caused by overpumping. Aquifers near river systems that are overpumped have been known to deplete surface water sources as well. Research supporting this has been found in numerous water budgets for a multitude of cities.

Response times for an aquifer is long (Young & Bredehoeft 1972), however a total ban on ground water usage during water recessions would allow surface water to better retain levels required for sustainable aquatic life. By reducing ground water pumping, the surface water supplies will be able to maintain their levels, as they recharge from direct precipitation, run-off, etc.


Applied Hydrogeology, Fourth Edition by C.W. Fetter. R.A. Young and J.D. Bredehoeft Digital simulation for solving management problems with conjunctive groundwater and surface water systems from Water Resources Research 8:533-56

ee also


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  • surface water — Water derived from falling rain or melting snow, or rising to the surface in springs, and diffused over the surface of the ground. 56 Am J1st Water § 65. Inclusive of flood water severed from the main current and spreading out over lower ground.… …   Ballentine's law dictionary

  • surface water —    Water obtained from surface supplies [16] …   Lexicon of Cave and Karst Terminology

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