AF Lexicon

Glossary of terms used in the Aqueduct Futures Project

Acre-Feet: a volume of water covering an area of one acre with one foot deep (43,560 cubic feet), about 326,000 US gallons or 1,230,000 liters

Adjudicated Groundwater Basin: an aquifer managed by a court-negotiated plan

Allocated: distributed for a certain purpose

Annexation: the process to enlarge the boundaries of a city

Aquifer: water underground in porous soil (such as sand and gravel), shallow aquifers are close to the surface, while deep aquifers are far below

Bolster: to support or strengthen

Brine Pool: the shallow remnants of Owens Lake that are very salty

Buffalo Commons: a proposal to return a large portion of the Great Plains to native prairie, removing all the fences so American Bison (buffalo) can resume migrating [see http://gprc.org]

Bullion: bricks of a precious metal such as gold or silver/lead ore (as transported from Cerro Gordo Mine to Los Angeles)

Catalyst: something that sparks an event or enables a chemical reaction

Compensation: payment for an injury, damage to property, or lost use of property caused by others

Conduit: a channel for moving water

Conservation Easement: a real-estate contract that prevents future construction to preserve habitat

Delirious: a wildly excited or euphoric feeling

Desiccation: a state of extreme dryness

Diversion: turning something away from its original path

Divestment: reducing financial involvement

Dredging: digging out soil from underwater

Ecology: the connections of animals and plants to climate and geology

Enfranchise: to have the right to vote and a voice in making decisions

Evaporation: when water changes phase into a gas

Extirpated: when animals (or plants) become extinct in a region (but still live elsewhere)

Fauna: animals

Flora: plants

Groundflow: water flowing out of the ground into a lake or stream from a shallow aquifer

Habitat: the place where animals live

Halophyte: plants that tolerate high salt levels in the soil or water

Imported water: water moved from one watershed or groundwater basin to another by an aqueduct

Infrastructure: public works engineered to support society including roads, pipes, and wires

Irrigation: supplying water to grow plants

Landscape: the features of a place or area

Latitude: geographic measurement of how far north or south from the equator a place is, measured in degrees (0 to 90), minutes (1/60th a degree), and seconds (1/60th of minute), or in decimal degrees

Longitude: geographic measurement of far east or west a place is from Greenwich, England, measured in degrees (0 to 180), minutes, and seconds, or in decimal degrees

Metabolism: the flow of energy and resources used by living organism, can also be applied to resource flows supporting cultural/ engineered system

Metropolis: a highly populated urban area with many cities

Mitigation: reducing the severity of

Nexus: a series of connections

Obsolete: out of date

Overdraft: pumping too much so a well goes dry

Phreatophytes: Plants with very deep roots that survive on groundwater

Pleistocene: the most recent ice age from 2 million to 10,000 years ago

PM10: dust particles that are smaller than 10 microns (millionths of a meter), so can be absorbed by human lungs causing health problems

Precipitation: rain

Rambunctious: out of control

Rangeland: open land for grazing

Recharge: filling up an aquifer from rain or imported water

Reservoir: a natural or artificial lake storing water

Rewilding: restore an area of land to its natural state including reintroducing wild animals that were driven out

Right of Way: a legal right (easement) to pass through property that belongs to someone else

Riparian Vegetation: Plants along the edge of a river or lake

Sankey Diagram: a diagram of flow/movement where the arrow widths are proportionate to the quantities in different parts of the system

Siphon: a pipe allowing water to flow across a high or low spot

Transpiration: evaporation of water by plants

Tufa: volcanic ash used to make concrete

Verdant: lush green with plants

Watershed: an area where water flows into a single river, stream, or lake; also called a Basin

Wellfield: an area with many wells

Xeric landscape: a very dry landscape

Xerophytes: plants adapted to very dry place

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