The effects of urbanization on the water cycle have been extensively studied in recent years. Urban areas have different hydrologic properties than natural or rural areas due to the large number of impermeable surfaces like buildings, roads, and parking lots. This can cause major differences in the fate of precipitation once it has interacted with the urban environment. Here, we explore the major differences in the fate of precipitation after urbanization.
Urbanization and the Water Cycle
Urbanization affects the water cycle by changing the water balance of a given area. Urban landscapes tend to have larger amounts of impermeable surfaces, which reduce the amount of water that can be infiltrated to the subsurface. This usually results in a decrease in the amount of recharge that infiltrates the groundwater, leading to a decrease in runoff. Impermeable surfaces also affect the way precipitation interacts with the environment, causing it to evaporate more quickly, which can lead to a decrease in the amount of water that enters the water cycle.
Urbanization Effects on Precipitation
Urbanization can cause major changes to the fate of precipitation as it interacts with the urban landscape. Impermeable surfaces reduce the amount of infiltration and can cause precipitation to become runoff more quickly. This increased runoff can lead to flooding and increase the amount of pollutants in the environment. Additionally, urbanization can cause precipitation to evaporate more quickly, reducing the amount of water that is used in the water cycle.
Urbanization can have major effects on the fate of precipitation in an area. It can reduce the amount of infiltration and increase the runoff, leading to flooding and increased pollutants in the environment. Additionally, it can cause precipitation to evaporate more quickly, reducing the amount of water that is available for use in the water cycle. Understanding these effects can help us create better strategies for managing urbanization and reducing its impact on the water cycle.