Construct a catchment - primary
Water Catchment Area
One of the projects is to work as part of a team to construct a working model of a water catchment area. To begin, here is some interesting information about catchments that is sure to amaze!
Water catchments are areas of land where the natural landscape/landforms are used to collect rainfall. They can stretch across thousands of square kilometres and hold millions of gigalitres of water, or can be as small as a few square kilometres.
Dams/reservoirs in the catchments are used to store the water collected. Catchments can provide healthy waterways and vegetation; a supply of clean drinking water; reliable water for farming and agriculture; and an unspoilt natural habitat for recreation and wildlife.
Water catchment areas comprise a number of key elements - both natural and man-made. These include:
- a suitable location free from pollution, with an abundant flow of water (often situated within protected areas such as national parks)
- ridges, hills or mountains to 'catch' rainfall, allowing it to flow into creeks and rivers
- a depression such as a valley or gorge suitable for trapping and storing water
- a wall to hold back the water, allowing it to accumulate in a dam/reservoir for storage
- pumping stations and pipelines to deliver the water to where it is needed for use.
Catchments are important as they provide many animals with an ideal habitat. In a dry landscape a catchment can stand out like an oasis. The rich water supply means it is a cool and colourful place where flora and fauna flourish. Catchments will often create wetlands made up of marshes, swamps, mudflats and lakes. Wetlands also support a rich biodiversity of fish, birds and other animals.
If you would like to construct a catchment as an EngQuest project, why not ask your teacher?