Glossary/water dictionary

Alphabetical     Full list     References

wash load

Suspended material of very small size (generally clay and colloids) originating primarily from erosion on the land slopes of the catchment area and present to a negligible degree in the river bed itself.^


Water that has been used in homes, industries and businesses that is not for reuse unless it is treated.^

wastewater treatment return flow

Water returned to the environment by wastewater treatment facilities.^

water balance

Mathematical calculations for infow and outflow of water components for a given area or soil profile.^

water budget (water balance)

Accounting of inflow and outflow of water components for a given area or soil profile.^

water control

The physical control of water by measures such as conservation practices on the land, channel improvements and installation of structures for reducing water velocity and trapping sediments.^

water conveyance and delivery efficiency

The ratio or percentage of the irrigation water delivered at the irrigation plot to the water diverted from and measured at the source of supply.^

water cycle

The circuit of water movement from the oceans to the atmosphere and to the Earth and return to the atmosphere through various stages or processes such as precipitation, interception, runoff, infiltration, percolation, storage, evaporation and transportation.^

water quality

A term used to describe the chemical, physical and biological characteristics of water, usually in respect to its suitability for a particular purpose.^

water user association (WUA)

Association of water users combining both governance and management functions (they are not the owners of the infrastructure).^

water years

Continuous 12-month period selected to present data relative to hydrologic or meteorological phenomena during which a complete annual hydrologic cycle normally occurs. The water year used by the U.S. Geological Survey runs from October 1 through September 30, and is designated by the year in which it ends.^

well capacity

The rate at which a well will yield water, in litres per second or cubic metres per second.^