People Need Water, Challenge 1: Westward H20!

Research and Revise

Now that you have examined multiple perspectives on the topic and shared information about what you know, it is time for you to research and revise your ideas.  Use the Web sites listed at the bottom of the page to help you address the challenge, this will allow you to focus on the important dimensions of your challenge.

Vocabulary List

Groundwater Artesian springs Aquitard
Aquifer Well Edwards Aquifer
Water table Water resources Hydropower/water power
Spring Hydrograph Water transportation routes
Infiltration Base flow Karst

Guided Inquiry Lab

The TXESS Revolution module called Understanding Surface Water and Groundwater Interactions - Graphing Spring Flow in the Barton Springs Segment of the Edwards Aquifer, Texas requires that you examine the relationship between surface water and groundwater at Barton Springs located in Austin, Texas.  Barton Springs is part of the Edwards Aquifer, a karst aquifer that provides much of the water to central Texas.  In the activity, you will construct stream hydrographs to compare precipitation to springflow based on three different time scales: hourly, daily, and annually.

This lab requires your teacher's supervision.  Your teacher will download and distribute materials.  Your teacher will guide you in carrying out the activity.


Visit the U.S. Geological Survey and create stream hydrographs for the Comal and Guadalupe rivers for the past five years.  Compare the discharge rates of the Comal and Guadalupe rivers over the past five years and observe trends.  Can you use the data to make comparisons and inferences for future consumption rates, usage advisories, and so on?


Read the articles and/or visit the Web sites listed in order to obtain background information on both the Comal and Guadalupe rivers and the Edwards Aquifer.

  • The Edwards Aquifer by Gregg Eckhardt is a good source of information about one of the greatest natural resources on Earth, serving the diverse agricultural, industrial, recreational, and domestic needs of almost 2 million users in south central Texas.
  • Wikipedia, provides a brief history of New Braunfels with background information on both the Comal and Guadalupe rivers and the Edwards Aquifer.