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Water Debit: Definition, Factor, and How to Calculate

by Reananda Hidayat Permono

Water is such an essential material for people on Earth. No wonder many astronomical scientists keep trying to find water resources on any other planet. Earth becomes the most perfect planet for living, since its orbit is not too far from the Sun. Moreover, it has sufficient amount of water to support the human and other living things on Earth.

Water has such various kinds and shapes. Generally, water on Earth is divided into surface water, air water and groundwater. Surface water is coming from the rain and flowing on Earth surface, it can’t be absorbed. Surface water is divided into two kinds; river and lake. Talking about river, it provides many things for people life, including as a medium for transportation. Trading activity used to be done around the downstream part close to the sea. That could be one of many reasons why a city or country close to the water resource is more developed than others.

This article is going to explain about the water debit: definition, factor, and how to calculate.

Water Debit Definition

Generally, water debit, with its strong relation with hydrology, is the volume of flowing water, including solid sediment (sand), dissolved mineral (magnesium chloride), and other biological material like algae. Meanwhile, water debit is defined as the volume of water that flows per time unit. Apparently, the word of ‘debit’ is not only used for water, but also for gas.

The river water debit is the estimation of the height of river surface. The calculation can be done every day, especially during rainy season, since the water debit is significantly increasing during that time. The river water debit is also determined as the flowing water per time unit. Water debit has such specific unit; volume per time unit m3/s (cubic meter per second).

Water Debit Factors

Besides its definition, this ‘water debit: definition, factor, and how to calculate’ article also explains the factors. Some factors are impacting the water debit rate, especially in river. Those factors such as:

  1. Rainfall

No doubt rainfall is the main factor of the water debit rate. If some area has such low rainfall rate, therefore the river water debit is also decreasing. Meanwhile, a high level of rainfall means an increasing river water volume, especially in upstream part. However, the downstream part is also affected. Furthermore, it could create flood if the water volume keeps getting higher and exceeds the river capacity. There are 5 chemicals in the rainwater.

  1. Topography

Topography also plays significant role for water debit rate, especially in the hillside, including the land slope and its length. Water erosion is such a serious thing in the ecosystem. It’s safe to assume that steeper land produces higher water debit. The same analogy could answer why the water debit in upstream area is higher than in the downstream. According to Direktorat Tata Guna Tanah Departemen Dalam Negeri (government body under the Ministry of Agrarianism), the land slope can be divided into:

  • 0% – 2%
  • 2% – 15%
  • 15% – 40%
  • More than 40%
  1. Vegetation

If there are plenty of vegetation exist at the riverbank, hence the rain water are held by the plants and not going into the soil. Furthermore, the plants also absorb the groundwater, so it won’t go down to the river. High rate of vegetation also increases the soil porosity. It means the land structure becomes better, the plants can help decreasing the groundwater too through transpiration process. There are some groundwater pollution that you need to know.

  1. Area

Such small rivers only have small rate of water debit during dry season. Later on, the water debit significantly increases during rainy season. It’s also possible for small river to have high water volume that exceeds their own capacities. Therefore, this event will produce floor around the river area. There are some water ecosystems on Earth.

How to Calculate Water Debit?

To be able to estimate the water debit rate, we need to use the formula of:

From the formula above, it can be determined the unit options for water debit, such as m3/second, m3/hour, liter/hour, and liter/second, depending on the unit. There are some abiotic components in our life.

So that’s the article of water debit: definition, factor, and how to calculate. Hopefully this information is useful for you.

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