In the past, streams and rivers were often used to dispose of human waste, and open sewers were common. During the mid-1800s, public health officials recognized the connection between disease outbreaks and contamination of public wells and drinking water. Advances in water treatment and sanitary sewers have helped eliminate diseases associated with human waste.
The student will investigate and understand the unique properties and characteristics of water and its roles in the natural and human-made environment. Key concepts include a) water as the universal solvent; b) the properties of water in all three phases; c) the action of water in physical and chemical weathering; d) the ability of large bodies of water to store thermal energy and moderate climate; e) the importance of water for agriculture, power generation, and public health; and f) the importance of protecting and maintaining water resources.