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Glossary

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aquifer
An area of rock underneath the surface of the Earth which absorbs and holds water.

agriculture
Another word for farming. It includes both growing and harvesting crops and raising animals, or livestock.

arable
Another word for crops, or (of land) used or suitable for growing crops.

condensation
The process of changing water from a gas to a liquid.

crops
Plants that are grown on a large scale commercially, especially a cereal, fruit, or vegetable.

drought
A long period of low rainfall, leading to a shortage of water.

ecosystems
Communities of living things together with the environment that they inhabit and depend on.

erosion
The process by which the surface of the earth is worn away by the action of water, glaciers, wind, waves, etc.

evaporation
Changing from a liquid into a vapour.

fertile
Capable of producing abundant vegetation or crops.

fertiliser
Substances added to soil to help plants grow.

groundwater
Underground water.

hydrosphere
All the waters on the Earth's surface, such as lakes and seas.

impermeable
Does not allow water to pass through.

irrigation
The artificial watering of land that does not get enough rainfall.

leach
Drain down through the soil.

molecule
A group of atoms bonded together.

permeable
allows fluid to pass through

sustainability
Using natural resources without destroying the ecological balance of an area.

water cycle - also known as the hydrological cycle
Describes the exchange of water in every form between Earth's systems.

water intake
Part of a river or canal etc where water is taken for use in such things as irrigation of hydroelectrical generation.

water vapour
Water in its gaseous state. Water that is heated turns from a liquid to a gas