Research and Revise

Now that you have shared information about what you know about the location and distribution of water on Earth and within Texas and have explored multiple perspectives about the factors that influence water distribution, it is time for you to research and revise your ideas on the uneven distribution of water on Earth and in Texas using the Web.  Use the Web sites listed at the bottom of the page to help you understand this topic.  Find out information about the following topics related to each region.

Vocabulary List

Hydrogeology Ocean/atmospheric circulation Water resources Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ)
Weather Runoff River basin/drainage basin Wetland
Climate Surface water Watershed Glacier
Evaporation Groundwater River Flood
Precipitation Water cycle Stream Drought


  • EarthLabs: Drought. Lab 1, Where's the Water?.  In this lab, you will (a) use data on the world's water distribution to calculate the percentage of water that is available to humans; and (b) examine graphics that illustrate the distribution.  This lab will help you to develop a sense of where the world's water is located and how it moves through the Earth system.
  • EarthLabs: Drought. Lab 3, Normal Climate Patterns.  In this lab, you will generate and explore a variety of graphs, charts, and map images in order to better understand the concept of normal climate.  Ideally, you should work in pairs on this lab and investigate the climate of Texas, or a single region within the state (for example, Central Texas, the Texas Panhandle, and so on).
  • As the world's population grows, access to freshwater declines.  This relationship is evident in both industrialized and developing countries and in both arid and wet climates.  The Discovery Education activity, Water Everywhere?, introduces you to the relationship between population growth and water availability, asking you to analyze data and report on the water situation in a developing country with an arid climate.  The lessons learned have applications to Texas.
  • Modify activity from Earth Exploration Toolkit to analyze streamflow and precipitation.

    This chapter leads you to consider key aspects of the water cycle as you investigate the relationship between precipitation and streamflow.  The duration and intensity of the precipitation, soil porosity, the slope of the ground, and the time of year, emerge as some of the potential factors in this investigation.  Using real-time water data for Texas, you can analyze regional precipitation and how it influences the location and distribution of water in their region.  Availablestatewide streamflow table.


  • Water Water Almost Everywhere 1: Why is Earth Called the "Water Planet"?.  The presence of water in solid, liquid, and gaseous forms is one of the primary factors that distinguishes Earth from its neighbors in the solar system.  In this investigation, you will use NASA photographs and hands-on activities to compare the amounts of land and water on our planet.  This investigation is one of four in the Water Water Almost Everywhere Module, which includes:

    1. Why is Earth called the "water planet"?;
    2. How can we tell if other planets have water?;
    3. Water bodies, where are they?; and,
    4. How do water bodies change over time?

Mapping Tools/Data

  • Become more familiar with using Google Earth by navigating through tutorials at the Exploring Google Earth Web site:

  • Worldmapper is a collection of world maps, in which territories are sized on each map according to the subject of interest.  Map No. 102 shows the world's freshwater resources.  Water resources are computed by summing both average annual surface runoff and groundwater recharge occurring within territorial borders.  The source of this data is the United Nations Environment Programme, 2005.
  • The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Climatic Data Center has the world's largest archive of climate data, including satellite data, regional climate data, and information on weather events.
  • The U.S. Drought Monitor enables you to compare drought conditions in Texas to the rest of the U.S. with contour maps.