AP Environmental Science : General Water Usage

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP Environmental Science

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : General Water Usage

Approximately what percentage of people in the United States rely on groundwater for their water supplies?

Possible Answers:

80%

50%

10%

95%

25%

Correct answer:

50%

Explanation:

It is estimated that roughly 50% of individuals in the United States rely on groundwater for their water supplies. In some countries this percentage approaches 100%.

Example Question #1 : General Water Usage

What percent of the world's fresh water use is for agriculture?

Possible Answers:

Correct answer:

Explanation:

Agriculture is by far the largest consumer of the usable fresh water on earth, using up roughly 70% of water consumed by humans.

Example Question #1 : General Water Usage

Which of the following irrigation methods is most efficient in terms of maximizing water absorbed by plants and minimizing water lost to the system?

Possible Answers:

Spray irrigation

Flood irrigation

Drip irrigation

Hydroponic irrigation

Furrow irrigation

Correct answer:

Hydroponic irrigation

Explanation:

In hydroponics, plants are grown in nutrient-rich water and there is no soil involved in the process. Some water is lost through evaporation, but since it is a closed system, very little water is lost.

Example Question #4 : General Water Usage

Which of the following household activities consumes the most water?

Possible Answers:

Drinking water

Cooking/Kitchen use

Showering/Bathing

Flushing the toilet

Laundry

Correct answer:

Flushing the toilet

Explanation:

Flushing the toilet is the largest contributor to household water consumption, averaging about three gallons of water per flush. 

Example Question #5 : General Water Usage

___________ percent of the Earth's surface is covered by water and the oceans currently contain __________ percent of the Earth's water.

Possible Answers:

Ninety-seven. . . seventy-five

Seventy-five. . . ninety-seven

Seventy. . . eighty-five

Seventy-five. . . eighty

Correct answer:

Seventy-five. . . ninety-seven

Explanation:

Seventy-five percent of Earth's surface is water, and the oceans contain ninety-seven percent of Earth’s water. This means that roughly three percent of the Earth's water resides in rivers, lakes, glaciers, and water vapor.

Example Question #1 : General Water Usage

Curtis owns a cottage on a freshwater lake in the Upper Peninsula. When he goes swimming in the lake, he sticks close to the shallow waters along the shore. In which layer of the lake is Curtis swimming?

Possible Answers:

Benthic

Limnetic

Littoral

None of these

Profundal

Correct answer:

Littoral

Explanation:

The correct response is littoral. The littoral layer is the layer in a freshwater lake along the shoreline with shallow water. The limnetic layer represent "open water", so this layer is off the coastline and in the middle of the freshwater lake. The benthic layer is along the bottom of the lake (i.e. benthic = bottom). And the profundal layer is the layer at the bottom of deep lakes where the light can't reach the bottom.

Example Question #2 : General Water Usage

Many rivers along the coast will move water from the terrestrial ecosystem into the oceans. What is the region where the river meets the ocean?

Possible Answers:

Benthic zone

Wetlands

Watershed

Groundwater

Delta

Correct answer:

Delta

Explanation:

The correct response is delta. This is the region where a river meets another body of water. It is a transition zone. Important ecological and biological processes occur in delta regions. One good example of a delta is the Nile Delta where the Nile River meets the Mediterranean Sea. 

Example Question #1 : General Water Usage

What is the region where water collects and drains within the landscape?

Possible Answers:

Watershed

Groundwater

Estuary

Wetland

Delta

Correct answer:

Watershed

Explanation:

The correct response is watershed. A watershed is the drainage basin for a particular region. It’s where water collects or drains. It's functions like a funnel. The other answer choices deal with different aspects of water. Estuaries are transition zones between marine and freshwater systems. Deltas are also transition zones where a river dumps sediment into a body of water. And groundwater is not specific to a region - it's just water that is found underneath the soil surface.

Example Question #9 : General Water Usage

Water is one of the most important resources necessary for sustaining life on Earth. How much of our water by volume is found in the oceans?

Possible Answers:

75%

99.9%

85%

97%

Correct answer:

97%

Explanation:

The correct response is 97%. The remaining 3% is freshwater. 

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