Abandoned water right

 A water right which was not put to beneficial use for a number of years, generally five to seven years.


Abandoned well

 : The term abandoned well as used in the oil and gas industry means a well that is not in use because it ceased to produce natural gas or because it was a dry hole.


 Elimination or reduction of polluting or hazardous substances such as asbestos by either removing them completely or lessening their effect through better waste management.

Abatement Debris

 Waste from re-mediation activities.

Abiotic factors

Abiotic factors are non-living things or conditions that affect or influence ecosystems and the organisms within the ecosystems


The process by which snow and ice are removed from a glacier orother mass of ice. Ablation typically occurs through melting,sublimation, wind erosion, or calving.The ablation zone is the areaof a glacier that has the lowest elevation,where annual water loss isgreater than the annual accumulation  of snow. 

Abscisic acid

A plant hormone that maintains the water balance of plants, prevents seed embryos from germinating, and induces the dormancy of buds and seeds.


Abscission zone

The word abscission in biological terms means a shedding of various parts of an organism. The noun is of latin origin and was first used in 15th century English as a word to describe the act or process of cutting off.


To take in (something, such as a liquid) in a natural or gradual way  OR  to draw in (heat, light, energy, etc.)

Absorbed dose
An absorbed dose calculation comparison has been computed for radio labeled tumor associated antibodies distributed over a standard geometry and tumor location. Halflife data, maximum specific activities.


The results presented here demonstrate that meaning- full absorption studies of molecular  

ions in solid Ne should be possible. We believe that such studies will provide a wealth of information,
in particular for non- fluorescing ions and other transient species.

Absorption barrier

 Any of the exchange sites of the body that permit uptake of various substances at different rates (e.g.  skin, lung, tissue, and gastrointestinal-tract wall).



 The part of a valley or canyon wall against which a dam is constructed. Right and left abutments are those on respective sides of an observer looking downstream.


Abutment seepage

 This invention relates to improved methods and means for impeding the flow of water and for reinforcing structures to prevent the seepage of water there through. The seepage and flow of water through earthworks, dams, masonry constructions, water barriers and the like causes untold economical loss, much of which can be prevented by the invention here in described. Seepage through water barriers, such as dams.

Accessory pigment

Any pigment in plants that can absorb light energy and pass the electrons along to the primary pigment which starts the process of photosynthesis.

Accident site

 The location of an unexpected occurrence, failure or loss, either at a plant or along a transportation route, resulting in a release of hazardous material.


 Is the process in which an individual organism adjusts to a gradual change in its environment (such as a change in temperature, humidity, photoperiod, or pH), allowing it to maintain performance across a range of environmental conditions.


Adaptation to a new climate (a new temperature or altitude or environment) acclimation, acclimatization. adaption, adaptation, adjustment - the process of adapting to something (such as Environmental Conditions) Based on Word Net. 

Acid rain

Air pollution produced when acidic  chemicals are incorporated into rain, snow, fog or mist. The "acid" in acid rain comes from sulfur oxides and nitrogen oxides, products of burning coal and other fuels and from certain industrial processes. The sulfur oxides and nitrogen oxides are related to two strong acids: sulfuric acid and nitric acid. When sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides are released from power plants and other sources, winds blow them far from their source. If the acid chemicals in the air are blown into areas where the weather is wet, the acids can fall to Earth in the rain, snow, fog or mist. In areas where the weather is dry, the acid chemicals may become incorporated into dusts or smokes. Acid rain can damage the environment. human health and property.

Activated Carbon

  Activated carbon has an incredibly large surface area per unit volume, and a network of submicroscopic pores where adsorption takes place. Activated carbon is a material that is produced from carbonaceous source materials, such as coal, coconuts, nutshells, peat, wood, and lignite. The primary raw material used for activated carbon is any organic material with a high carbon content. The carbon-based material is converted to activated carbon through physical modification and thermal decomposition in a furnace, under a controlled atmosphere and temperature. The finished product has a large surface area per unit volume and a network of submicroscopic pores where adsorption takes place. 

Activated Sludge

 The activated sludge process is a process for treating sewage and industrial wastewaters using air and a biological floc composed of bacteria and protozoa


 A chemical added to a pesticide to increase its activity.



A composition that has been recast into a new form: The play is an adaptation of a short novel. Biology. The alteration or adjustment in structure or habits, often occurring through natural selection, by which a species or individual becomes better able to function in its Environment.

Advanced Wastewater Treatment

 Any treatment of sewage that goes beyond the secondary or biological water treatment stage and includes the removal of nutrients such as phosphorus and nitrogen and a high percentage of suspended solids. 

Aerated Lagoon

 A water treatment pond that speeds up biological decomposition of organic waste by stimulating the growth and activity of bacteria, which are responsible for the degradation.


 The process of bubbling air through water or wastewater to remove impurities.


Aeration Tank

 Aeration tank where air (or oxygen) is injected in the mixed liquor. Settling tank(usually referred to as "final clarifier" or "secondary settling tank") to allow the biological flocs (the sludge blanket) to settle, thus separating the biological sludge from the clear treated water. 

Aeration Zone

 The zone of aeration consists of the upper layers of soil in which there is air-filled porosity, pores or pockets filled with air rather than water. The zone of aeration is also referred to as the unsaturated zone


An aerosol can be defined as a system of solid or liquid particles suspended in air or other gaseous environment. Aerosols vary in size and composition, they can be naturally or manmade generated, and thus exists in a wide range. Example:

              Natural Aerosol:   Fog, forest exudates, geyser steams etc.

              Artificial Aerosol: Haze, dust, smoke, particulate air pollutants and smog (smoke fog).


 Afforestation is the effort to plant trees in barren lands so as to create a forest. It is important because it helps check the over-use of natural resources  by providing an alternative source pool.

Agricultural Sewage

 Waste produced through the agricultural processes of cultivating the soil, producing crops, or raising livestock. 

Agro Ecosystem

 Land used for crops, pasture, and livestock; the adjacent uncultivated land that supports other vegetation and wildlife; and the associated atmosphere, the underlying soils, groundwater, and drainage networks.


The elastic, invisible and continuously moving mixture of gases (chiefly nitrogen and oxygen, as well as hydrogen, carbon dioxide, argon, neon, helium, etc.) that surrounds the earth and; is one of the main causes for sustainable life.


Air Binding

 Situation where air enters the filter media and harms both the filtration and backwash processes. 

Air Contaminant

 Air contaminants are particles, liquids, and gases in the air which have harmful chemical properties that affect our health.

Air Curtain

 A method of containing oil spills. Air bubbling through a perforated pipe causes an upward water flow that slows the spread of oil. It can also be used to stop fish from entering polluted water.

Air Padding

 Pumping dry air into a container to assist with the withdrawal of liquid or to force a liquefied gas such as chlorine out of the container.

Air Pollutants

The term may refer to the impurities that may alter the physical, chemical or biological properties of air and make it unsuitable for living organisms. E.g.

  •          Solid: Dust, soot, particulates, heavy metals, carbon particles, ash, pollens, bacteria etc.
  •          Liquid: Paint spray, acids (hydrochloric, acetic, fumaric, sulphuric, nitric, benzoic), bases (hydroxides of sodium, calcium, magnesium), carboxylic compounds, nitrogenous wastes etc.
  •          Gases: Oxides of nitrogen, sulphur, carbon, hydrogen sulphide, hydrogen cyanide, ammonia etc. 

Air pollution

The term refers to the addition of any solid, liquid or gaseous impurities in air either naturally or manually, which can adversely affect the physical, chemical or biological properties of air and make it unsuitable for the consumption of living beings. 

Air Purifier

 An air purifier is a device which removes contaminants from the air in a room. These devices are commonly marketed as being beneficial to allergy sufferers and asthmatics, and at reducing or eliminating second-hand tobacco smoke.

Alternative Energy

A form of energy derived from the natural resources, such as the sun, wind, tides, or waves; which can be used as an alternate to the fossil fuels. The energy obtained from such resources is also named as Renewable energy. The Alternate energy can be of any form e.g. kinetic energy, potential energy, electrical energy, thermal energy etc. 

Alternative Fibre

Any fibre extracted from non wood sources is called Alternative Fibre. Alternative fibre substitutes for papermaking include sources such as cotton, bamboo and sugar cane bagasse, which require fewer chemicals and less energy for processing than virgin tree fibre.

Alternative fuels

The term refers to the fuels such as electricity, methanol, bio gas etc derived from the alternative energy resources that are used to drive machines. 

Ancient Forest

A forest that is typically older than 200 years with large trees, dense canopies and an abundance of diverse wildlife.

Artesian Well

It is a kind of well drilled in the confined aquifer from which water comes out itself under natural pressure without any external pumping.



It may be defined as a greyish-white to black powdery residue, which left out after the combustion of solid/semisolid materials


It may be defined as a blanket/envelop of gaseous mass surrounding a celestial  body (earth or any planet) and retained by the celestial body's gravitational field.

Back Flow/Back Siphonage

 Back Siphonage occurs when there is a partial vacuum (negative pressure) in a water supply system, which draws the water from a contaminated source into a potable water supply. The water pressure within the distribution system falls below that of the plumbing system it is supplying. The effect is similar to siphoning or drinking water through a straw. For example, during a large fire, a pump is connected to a hydrant. High flows pumped out of the distribution system can result in significantly reduced water pressure around the withdrawal point. A partial vacuum has been created in the system, causing suction of contaminated water into the potable water system. During such conditions, it is possible for water to be withdrawn from non potable sources located near the fire -- for example, air-conditioning systems, water tanks, boilers, fertilizer tanks and washing machines -- into buildings located near a fire. The same conditions can be caused by a water main break.    

Garden hoses, toilets or similar devices create most household cross-connections. Under certain conditions, the flow in household water lines can reverse and siphon contaminates into the water supply. A toilet installed incorrectly without a "plumbing-code approved" toilet ball cock (air gap) will allow contaminated water to backflow to other water outlets in your house, including the kitchen sink.

Back Pressure

 A resistant pressure exerted by liquid or gas against the forwardmotion or flow of an exhaust or pipe system: Careful control of backpressure ensures an even supply of oil from the well.

Back Sight

 A reading of the leveling rod in its unchanged position when the leveling instrument has been taken to a new position.

Background Level

 Levels of chemical or physical agents that are normally found in the environment.

Two types of background levels may exist for chemical substances or physical agents:

(A) Naturally occurring levels: ambient concentrations of substances or agents present in the environment, without human influence;

(B) Anthropogenic levels: Concentrations of substances or agents present in the environment due to human-made, non-site sources (e.g., automobiles, industries).


Reversing the flow of water back through the filter media to remove entrapped solids.

Backwater Curve

 In hydrologic terms, the longitudinal profile of the surface of a liquid in a non-uniform flow in an open channel, when the water surface is not parallel to the invert owing to the depth of water having been increased by the interposition of an obstruction such as a dam or weir. The term is sometimes used in a generic sense to denote all water surface profiles; or for profiles where the water is flowing at depths greater than the critical.

Backwater Effect

 Backwater Effect In hydrologic terms, the effect which a dam or other obstruction has in raising the surface of the water upstream from it

Backwater Effect

 The rise in surface elevation of flowing water upstream from and as a result of an obstruction to flow. In stream gagging, a rise in stage produced by a temporary obstruction such as ice or weeds, or by the flooding of the stream below. The difference between the observed stage and that indicated by the stage-discharge relation is reported as backwater.

Backwater Flooding

 Flooding caused by a restriction or blocking of flow downstream. Examples include a narrowing of the channel, logjam, ice jam, high flow in a downstream confluence stream, or high tide blocking high river flows from entering estuaries. 

Backyard Composting

Diversion of organic food waste and yard trimmings from the municipal waste stream by composting hem in one's yard through controlled decomposition of organic matter by bacteria and fungi into a humus-like product. It is considered source reduction, not recycling, because the composted materials never enter the municipal waste stream.


A bacterium is a single-celled (unicellular) micro-organism that does not have a nucleus or any other membrane-bound organelles. Bacteria are sometimes called 'prokaryotes.' In Greek, 'prokaryote' literally means 'before the nut'(where 'the nut' is the nucleus.)

Bacteria adapt to become well-suited to their environments, and therefore come in many shapes and forms. However, they all have a few parts in common.


 A dark gray to black dense to fine-grained igneous rock that consists of basic plagioclase, augite, and usually magnetite

Baseline Study

 A baseline study is carried out at the operation and closure stages. It describes the possible environmental impact of mining activity on the soil, groundwater and surface water.


Beach Closure

The closing of a beach to swimming, usually because of pollution.


Waste material composed primarily of naturally-occurring constituent parts, able to be broken down and absorbed into the ecosystem. Wood, for example, is biodegradable, for example, while plastics are not.


 A fuel derived from organic oils, such as vegetable oil, rather than petroleum. Biodiesel's use and production are increasing.


BiodiversityA large number and wide range of species of animals, plants, fungi, and microorganisms. Ecologically, wide biodiversity is conducive to the development of all species.


 A fuel, such as biogas or biodiesel, that is produced from renewable resources, especially plant biomass, vegetable oils, or treatedmunicipal and industrial wastes.

Biological Control

 Biological control is a component of an integrated pest management strategy. It is defined as the reduction of pest populations by natural enemies and typically involves an active human role.

Biological indicator

 Biological indicators are species which can be used by observers to determine how various conditions in an environment have changed over time. The peppered moth is a good indicator of species, because its wings change color depending on how polluted the area is, white moths having lighter wings. This is an evolutionary adaptation called industrial Melanism.



(1) The amount of living matter in an area, including plants, large animals and insects;

(2) Plant materials and animal waste used as fuel.

Biomechanical Engineering

 Biomechanical Engineering is a bioengineering sub discipline which applies principles of mechanical engineering to biological systems, and stems from the scientific discipline of biomechanics. Many cases are related to Biomedical engineering and Agricultural engineering.

Biomedical Waste

 Biomedical waste, also known as infectious waste or medical waste, is defined as solid waste generated during the diagnosis, testing, treatment, research or production of biological products for humans or animals. Biomedical waste includes syringes, live vaccines, laboratory samples, body parts, bodily fluids and waste, sharp needles, cultures and lancets.


 Analyzing a sample of an organism to see if they were exposed to hazardous substances and how much. Using live animals to test pollution in an Environment.



(1) The part of the earth and its atmosphere in which living organisms exist or that is capable of supporting life; (2) The living organisms and their environment composing the biosphere.


Of or relating to life.

Blood lead levels

The amount of lead in the blood. Human exposure to lead in blood can cause brain damage, especially in children.

Bottled water

Purchased water sold in bottles.

Brackish Water

 Technically, brackish water contains between 0.5 and 30 grams of salt per litre more often expressed as 0.5 to 30 parts per thousand (ppt or ‰), which is a specific gravity of between 1.005 and 1.010. Thus, brackish covers a range of salinity regimes and is not considered a precisely defined condition. It is characteristic of many brackish surface waters that their salinity can vary considerably over space and/or time. 


Abandoned, idled, or under-used industrial and commercial facilities where expansion or redevelopment is complicated by real or perceived environmental contamination.


 The energy needed to raise the temperature of 1 gram of water through 1 °C (now usually defined as 4.1868 joules).

Capacity Assurance Plan

 A statewide plan which supports a state's ability to manage the hazardous waste generated within its boundaries over a twenty year period.

Carbon Adsorber

 Means a bed of activated carbon into which an air-solvent gas-vapor stream is routed and that adsorbs the solvent on the carbon.

Carbon Adsorption

 Process in which a gas, liquid, or solid adheres to the surface of a solid or (less frequently) a liquid but does not penetrate it, such as in adsorption of gases by activated carbon (charcoal). In comparison, a gas or liquid taken-in during absorption penetrates or mixes with the absorbent.


Carbon dioxide (CO2)

A naturally occurring greenhouse gas in the atmosphere, concentrations of which have increased (from 280 parts per million in pre-industrial times to over 350 parts per million today) as a result of humans' burning of coal, oil, natural gas and organic matter (e.g., wood and crop wastes).

Carbon Monoxide

 A colorless, odorless toxic flammable gas formed by incomplete combustion of carbon.


Sharing a car to a destination to reduce fuel use, pollution and travel costs.

Carrying Capacity

 The carrying capacity of a biological species in an environment is the maximum population size of the species that the environment can sustain indefinitely, given the food, habitat, water, and other necessities available in the environment.


Case Study

 A study of an individual unit, as a person, family, or social group,usually emphasizing developmental issues and relationships with the environment especially in order to compare a larger group to the individual unit.

Cash Crop

 A cash crop is an agricultural crop which is grown for sale to return a profit. It is typically purchased by parties separate from a farm. The term cash crop is applied exclusively to the agricultural production of plants; animal agriculture is not a part of the terminology.

Catalytic Converter

 It converts three harmful substances into harmless ones: carbon monoxide (a poisonous gas) into carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides (cause acid rain and smog) into nitrogen and oxygen, and hydrocarbons (cause smog and respiratory problems) into carbon dioxide and water.


Catalytic Incinerator

 A control device that oxidizes volatile organic compounds (VOCs) by using a catalyst to promote the combustion process. Catalytic incinerators require lower temperatures than conventional thermal incinerators, thus saving fuel and other costs. 

Catch basin

 A receptacle or reservoir that receives surface water runoff or drainage. Typically made of precast concrete, brick, or concrete masonry units, with a cast-iron frame and grate on top.

Catchment Area

 An area from which surface runoff is carried away by a single drainage system.


Categorical Pre-Treatment Standard

 A technology based effluent limitation for an industrial facility discharging into a municipal sewer system. Analogous in stringency to best availability technology (BAT) for direct dischargers.



See chlorofluorocarbons.

Chemical oxygen demand

 The standard method for indirect measurement of the amount of pollution (that cannot be oxidized biologically) in a sample of water.

Chemical weathering

 Carbonation is another type of chemical weathering. Carbonation is the mixing of water with carbon dioxide to make carbonic acid. This type of weathering is important in the formation of caves. Dissolved carbon dioxide in rainwater or in moist air forms carbonic acid, and this acid reacts with minerals in rocks.


 An unstable, colorless liquid, NH 2 Cl, with a pungent odor, derived from ammonia any of a class of compounds obtained by replacing a hydrogen atom of an =NH or −NH 2 group with chlorine.

Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs)

Stable, artificially-created chemical compounds containing carbon, chlorine, fluorine and sometimes hydrogen. Chlorofluorocarbons, used primarily to facilitate cooling in refrigerators and air conditioners, have been found to damage the stratospheric ozone layer which protects the earth and its inhabitants from excessive ultraviolet radiation.

Clean fuel

Fuels which have lower emissions than conventional gasoline and diesel. Refers to alternative fuels as well as to reformulated gasoline and diesel.

Cleanup Treatment, re-mediation, or destruction of contaminated material.

Climate change

A regional change in temperature and weather patterns. Current science indicates a discernible link between climate change over the last century and human activity, specifically the burning of fossil fuels.

Coastal Zone

 The coastal zone is the interface where the land meets the ocean, encompassing shoreline environments as well as adjacent coastal waters. Its components can include river deltas, coastal plains, wetlands, beaches and dunes, reefs, mangrove forests, lagoons, other coastal features.

Coastal zone

 The coastal zone is the interface where the land meets the ocean, encompassing shoreline environments as well as adjacent coastal waters. Its components can include river deltas, coastal plains, wetlands, beaches and dunes, reefs, mangrove forests, lagoons, other coastal features.

Coastal Zone Management

 Coastal zone management involves managing coastal areas to balance environmental, economic, human health, and human activities. 

Commercial extinction

The depletion of a population to the point where fisherman cannot catch enough to be economically worthwhile.

Community right-to-know

Public accessibility to information about toxic pollution.


Process whereby organic wastes, including food wastes, paper, and yard wastes, decompose naturally, resulting in a product rich in minerals and ideal for gardening and farming as a soil conditioners, mulch, resurfacing material, or landfill cover.
contamination - pollution.

Confined Aquifer

The type of water aquifers, in which, water is sandwiched between the two impervious layers of rocks. Confined aquifers are usually undisturbed by the climatic factors such as temperature and pressure. They generally have somewhat higher pressure than the atmospheric pressure and water start come out of them itself, if the upper layer is bored/drilled.



 A recent or fossil resin from various tropical trees.


 Innermost layer(s) of a planet.


CreekA watercourse smaller than, and often tributary to, a river.

Crop dusting

The application of pesticides to plants by a low-flying plane.

Crop rotation

 The practice of growing different crops in succession on the same land chiefly to preserve the productive capacity of the soil.


 The crust is the outermost solid shell of a rocky planet or natural satellite, which is chemically distinct from the underlying mantle. 


A protozoan (single-celled organism) that can infect humans, usually as a result of exposure to contaminated drinking water.

Daily Flood Peak

 The term 'Daily Flood Peak' as it applies to the area of the weather can be defined as ' In hydrologic terms, the maximum mean daily discharge occurring in a stream during a given flood event'.



 A barrier constructed to hold back water and raise its level, forming a reservoir used to generate electricity or as a water supply.

Dam Failure

 A dam is a barrier across flowing water that obstructs, directs or slows down the flow, often creating a reservoir, lake or impoundments. Most dams have a section called a spillway or weir over which, or through which, water flows, either intermittently or continuously, and some have hydroelectric power generation systems installed.



 A damper is a valve or plate that stops or regulates the flow of air inside a duct, chimney, VAV box, air handler, or other air handling equipment. A damper may be used to cut off central air conditioning (heating or cooling) to an unused room, or to regulate it for room-by-room temperature and climate control. Its operation can be manual or automatic. Manual dampers are turned by a handle on the outside of a duct. Automatic dampers are used to regulate airflow constantly and are operated by electric or pneumatic motors, in turn controlled by a thermostat or building automation system. Automatic or motorized dampers may also be controlled by a solenoid, and the degree of air-flow calibrated, perhaps according to signals from the thermostat going to the actuator of the damper in order to modulate the flow of air-conditioned air in order to effect climate control.


DCP (Data Collection Platform

 An electronic device that connects to a river or rainfall gage that records data from the gage and at pre-determined times transmits that data through a satellite to a remote computer.

Dead End

 The end of a water main, which is not connected to other parts of the distribution system.

Dead Storage

 The Volume in a reservoir below the lowest controllable level


 organic material (Leaves, twigs, etc.) and sediment.


 Is the process by which organic substances are broken down into a much simpler form of matter. The process is essential for recycling the finite matter that occupies physical space in the biome. Bodies of living organisms begin to decompose shortly after death. Animals, such as worms, also help decompose the organic materials. Organisms that do this are known as decomposers. Although no two organisms decompose in the same way, they all undergo the same sequential stages of decomposition. The science which studies decomposition is generally referred to as taphonomy from the Greek word taphos, meaning tomb.


Deep Percolation Loss

 Water that percolates below the lower limit of the Root Zone of plants into a ground water aquifer and cannot be used by plants.



Deforestation implies the long-term or permanent loss of forest cover and implies transformation into another land use. Such a loss can only be caused and maintained by a continued human-induced or natural perturbation.


 A river delta is a landform that forms at the mouth of a river, where the river flows into an ocean, sea, estuary, lake, or reservoir. Deltas form from deposition of sediment carried by a river as the flow leaves its mouth. Over long periods, this deposition builds the characteristic geographic pattern of a river delta. 


 Crystal that develops with a typical multi-branching tree-like form.

Denuded Land

In geology, denudation is the long-term sum of processes that cause the wearing away of the Earth’s surface leading to a reduction in elevation and relief of landforms and landscapes. Endogenous processes such as volcanoes, earthquakes, and plate tectonics uplift and expose continental crust to the exogenous denudation processes of weathering, erosion, and mass wasting.


 Desalination (desal) is the process of removing dissolved salts and minerals from seawater or brackish water. It is also called desalting or by its shortened name, desal. Desalination produces drinking water and concentrate (the water that contains the salts that were removed in the desalination process, which is sometimes called brine). The dominant technology used in desalination today is reverse osmosis, which involves forcing water through semi-permeable membranes to remove salts and other impurities. 


 Desertification defind as "land degradation in arid, semi-arid and dry subhumid areas resulting from various factors, including climatic variations and human activities". 


 Diagenesis  is the change of sediments or existing sedimentary rocks into a different sedimentary rock during and after rock formation (lithification), at temperatures and pressures less than that required for the formation of metamorphic rocks. It does not include changes from weathering. It is any chemical, physical, or biological change undergone by a sediment after its initial deposition, after its lithification. This process excludes surface alteration (weathering) and metamorphism. These changes happen at relatively low temperatures and pressures and result in changes to the rock's original mineralogy and texture. There is no sharp boundary between diagenesis and metamorphism, but the latter occurs at higher temperatures and pressures than the former. Hydrothermal solutions, meteoric groundwater, porosity, permeability, solubility, and time are all influential factors. 


A petroleum-based fuel which is burned in engines ignited by compression rather than spark; commonly used for heavy duty engines including buses and trucks.
diesel engine - an internal combustion engine that uses diesel as fuel, producing harmful fumes.

DioxinA man-made chemical by-product formed during the manufacturing of other chemicals and during incineration. Studies show that dioxin is the most potent animal carcinogen ever tested, as well as the cause of severe weight loss, liver problems, kidney problems, birth defects, and death.

Drainage Area

 The total land area where surface water runs off and collects in a stream or series of streams that make up a single watershed.


 Dredging is the removal of sediments and debris from the bottom of lakes, rivers, harbors, and other water bodies. It is a routine necessity in waterways around the world because sedimentation the natural process of sand and silt washing downstream gradually fills channels and harbors.

Dump sites

Waste disposal grounds.

Dune Stabilization

 Dunes are a natural coastal feature on moderately exposed and exposed coasts. Dunes are formed by the sand, which blows inland from the beach and is deposited in the area behind the coastline.

Ecological Entity

 In ecological risk assessment, a general term referring to a species, a group of species, an ecosystem function or characteristic, or a specific habitat or biome.


EcologistA scientist concerned with the interrelationship of organisms and their environment.


A branch of science concerned with the interrelationship of organisms and their environment.

EcosystemAn interconnected and symbiotic grouping of animals, plants, fungi, and microorganisms.

Edge cities

Bounded by water, usually with eroding or polluted waterfront areas.


See energy efficiency.

Electric vehicles

Vehicles which use electricity (usually derived from batteries recharged from electrical outlets) as their power source.

Elephant Corridor

 The continuous stretch of forest path in which elephants locally migrate every year for food and water.


Emissions cap

A limit on the amount of greenhouse gases that a company or country can legally emit.

Endangered species

Species in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant part of its range.

Endemic Species

 Unique plant or animal species found only in that location

Endemic Species

 Unique plant or animal species found only in that location

Energy conservation

Using energy efficiently or prudently; saving energy.

Energy efficiency

Technologies and measures that reduce the amount of electricity and/or fuel required to do the same work, such as powering homes, offices and industries.

Enteric Viruses:

 Survival of human enteric viruses in the environment and food. Human enteric pathogenic viruses can enter the environment through discharge of waste materials from infected persons, and be transmitted back to susceptible persons to continue the cycle of disease.


 The sum total of all surroundings of a living organism, including natural forces and other living things, which provide conditions for development and growth as well as of danger and damage.

Environmental Agents

 These topics are chemicals or factors in the environment to which humans are exposed that may cause adverse health effects. 

Environmental Exposure

 Employees' exposure to pollutants in their work environment. Such exposure normally does not exceed threshold levels, but low-level chronic exposure to hazardous substances can cause serious health problems over a period.

Environmental Fate

 Degradation of a pollutant, documented in stages, once it is placed in an environment. Pollutants can be chemical, like a pesticide, or biological, like an enzyme.

Environmental Fate Data

 Data that characterize a pesticide's fate in the ecosystem, considering factors that foster its degradation (light, water, microbes), pathways and resultant products.

Environmental Indicator

 “An Environmental indicator is a numerical value that helps provide insight into the state of the environment or human health.

Environmental Monitoring

 Environmental monitoring describes the processes and activities that need to take place to characterize and monitor the quality of the environment. Environmental monitoring is used in the preparation of environmental impact assessments, as well as in many circumstances in which human activities carry a risk of harmful effects on the natural environment. All monitoring strategies and programmes have reasons and justifications which are often designed to establish the current status of an environment or to establish trends in environmental parameters. In all cases the results of monitoring will be reviewed, analyses statistically and published. The design of a monitoring programme must therefore have regard to the final use of the data before monitoring starts. 

Environmental Sustainability

 A state in which the demands placed on the environment can be met without reducing its capacity to allow all people to live well, now and in the future.

Environmental/ecological risk

 Process for analyzing and evaluating the possibility of adverse ecological effects caused by environmental pollutants.


 The part of the Earth’s surface that is directly above the place where an Earthquake starts


 The act or state of eroding; state of being eroded  And the process by which the surface of the earth is worn away by the action of water, glaciers, winds, waves, etc.



 A piece of rock that differs in composition, shape, etc, from the rock surrounding it, having been transported from its place of origin, esp by glacial action.



A bay or inlet, often at the mouth of a river, in which large quantities of freshwater and seawater mix together. These unique habitats are necessary nursery grounds for many marine fishes and shell fishes.


Large and biologically diverse wetland ecosystem in South Florida.


 The peeling off in flakes or scales of bark or dead skin; "exfoliation is increased by sunburn"


Ex-situ Remediation

 Ex situ technologies are remediation options where the affected medium (soil, water) is removed from its original location and cleaned on-site or off-site. Examples: bioremediation or soil washing.


Fabric Filter

Fabric Filters (also called bag houses and bag filters) are air pollution control devices that remove particulate matter from a gas stream by passing the dirty air through a layer of cloth. The particulate matter deposits on the cloth surface and the clean air passes through.


Fallow (Fallow land)

 Land plowed, but not sown, and left uncultivated for a time after successive crops.


The total animal population that inhabits an area.

Fecal Coli form Bacteria

In general, increased levels of fecal coliforms provide a warning of failure in water treatment, a break in the integrity of the distribution system, possible contamination with pathogens. When levels are high there may be an elevated risk of water borne gastroenteritis. Tests for the bacteria are cheap, reliable and rapid (1-day incubation).


Federal land

Land owned and Administered by the federal Government, including national parks and national forests.


A plot of ground, often near a stockyard, where livestock are gathered to be fattened for market.


Low land that is covered wholly or partly with water unless artificially drained and that usually has peaty alkaline soil and characteristic flora (as of sedges and reeds).


 A chemical or natural substance added to soil or land to increase its fertility.

Field (moisture) Capacity

Field Capacity is the amount of soil moisture or water content held in the soil after excess water has drained away and the rate of downward movement has decreased. This usually takes place 2–3 days after rain or irrigation in pervious soils of uniform structure and texture.

Field Moisture Deficiency

The term 'Field Moisture Deficiency' as it applies to the area of the weather can be defined as ' The quantity of water, which would be required to restore the soil moisture to field moisture capacity'.


 Man-made deposits of natural soils or rock products and waste materials.


Fill Dam

Any dam constructed of excavated natural materials or of industrial wastes.

Finished Water

Water is "finished" when it has passed through all the processes in a water treatment plant and is ready to be delivered to consumers.



The total vegetation assemblage that inhabits an area.

Food Chain

 The definition of a food chain is a system where a small animal is the food for a larger animal which, in turn, is the food for an even larger animal.

Forest Canopy

 Forests, canopy also refers to the upper layer or habitat zone, formed by mature tree crowns and including other biological organisms (epiphytes, lianas, arboreal animals, etc.). Sometimes the term canopy is used to refer to the extent of the outer layer of leaves of an individual tree or group of trees. 


Lands on which trees are the principal plant life, usually conducive to wide biodiversity.

Fossil fuel

A fuel, such as coal, oil, and natural gas, produced by the decomposition of ancient (fossilized) plants and animals; compare to alternative energy.

Functional Diversity

 Functional diversity refers to the variety of biological processes, functions or characteristics of a particular ecosystem in this case marine biodiversity. Functional diversity reflects the biological complexity of an ecosystem. 

Fundamental Niche

 The fundamental niche of a species includes the total range of environmental conditions that are suitable for existence without the influence of inter specific competition or predation from other species. The realized niche describes that part of the fundamental niche actually occupied by the species.

Gaining Streams

A losing stream, disappearing stream or influent stream, is a stream or river that loses water as it flows downstream. The water infiltrates into the ground recharging the local groundwater, because the water table is below the bottom of the stream channel.



 A passageway within the body of a dam or abutment.



 Food waste or discarded or useless material.


Natural gas, used as fuel.


 Gasification is a process that converts organic or fossil fuel based carbonaceous materials into carbon monoxide, hydrogen and carbon dioxide. This is achieved by reacting the material at high temperatures (>700 °C), without combustion, with a controlled amount of oxygen and/or steam.


A fuel consisting of a blend of ethyl alcohol and unleaded gasoline, especially a blend of 10 percent ethanol and 90 percent gasoline.



Petroleum fuel, used to power cars, trucks, lawn mowers, etc.


A facility or mobile source that emits pollutants into the air or releases hazardous waste into water or soil.

Geologic Erosion

Geologic Erosion or "natural" erosion, is the action of the wind, water, ice and gravity in wearing away rock to form soil and shape the ground surface.


A branch of science that deals with the physical movements and forces of the Earth (such as its climate and oceans).


A slowly moving mass or river of ice formed by the accumulation and compaction of snow on mountains or near the poles.

Glacier Dammed Lake

In geology, a proglacial lake is a lake formed either by the damming action of a moraine or ice dam during the retreat of a melting glacier, or by melt water trapped against an ice sheet due to isostatic depression of the crust around the ice.

Global warming

Increase in the average temperature of the earth's surface.


A polyethylene or polyvinyl chloride bag-like enclosure affixed around an asbestos-containing source (most often thermal system insulation) permitting the material to be removed while minimizing release of airborne fibers to the surrounding atmosphere.


Golden Carrot

An incentive program that is designed to transform the market to produce much greater energy efficiency. The term is a trademark of the Consortium for Energy Efficiency.

Green design

A design, usually architectural, conforming to Environmentally sound principles of building, material and energy use. A green building, for example, might make use of solar panels, skylights, and recycled building materials.


A building made with translucent (light transparent, usually glass or fibreglass) walls conducive to plant growth.

Greenhouse effect

The process that raises the temperature of air in the lower atmosphere due to heat trapped by greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, chlorofluorocarbons, and ozone.

Greenhouse gas

A gas involved in the greenhouse effect.

Grey Water

 Grey water is all wastewater that is generated in household or office building sources without fecal contamination. Therefore, by definitiongrey water does not include the discharge of toilets or highly focally contaminated wastewater, which is designated sewage or backwater and contains human waste.

Grinder Pump

 A mechanical device that shreds solids and raises sewage to a higher elevation through pressure sewers.

Gross Power-generation Potential

 The installed power generation capacity that landfill gas can support.

Ground Cover

 In an ecosystem, the ground cover forms the layer of vegetation below the shrub layer known as the herbaceous layer. ... In agriculture, ground cover refers to anything that lies on top of the soil and protects it from erosion and inhibits weeds. It can be anything from a low layer of grasses to a plastic material.

Ground Water

 Groundwater is the water present beneath Earth's surface in soil pore spaces and in the fractures of rock formations. A unit of rock or an unconsolidated deposit is called an aquifer when it can yield a usable quantity of water. 

Groundwater Discharge

A rise in the level of groundwater caused by an increase in the water table in rivers during construction of reservoirs, river dams, navigation canals, and other hydraulic-engineering structures. Groundwater discharge saturates soil by seepage of water through the bottom and banks of canals, by water loss from water-supply and sewage systems, or by silting of river channels; a natural cause may be a rise in sea level.


Groundwater Divide

 A line on a water table on either side of which the water table slopes downward. It is analogous to a drainage divide between two drainage basins on a land surface. It is also the line of highest Hydraulic Head in the water table or Potentiometric Surface.

Groundwater Flow

 Groundwater flow and effects of pumping. (Not shown, but also important, is the potential movement of contaminants from the stream into the groundwater system.) Water-level declines may affect the environment for plants and animals.

Groundwater Hydrology

 The occurrence, circulation, distribution, and properties of any liquid water residing beneath the surface of the earth.

Groundwater Mining

 The environmental impact of mining includes erosion, formation of sinkholes, loss of biodiversity, and contamination of soil, groundwater and surface water by chemicals from mining processes.

Groundwater Recharge

 Groundwater recharge or deep drainage or deep percolation is a hydrologic process where water moves downward from surface water to groundwater. This process usually occurs in the vadose zone below plant roots and is often expressed as a flux to the water table surface.

Growth overfishing

The process of catching fish before they are fully grown resulting in a decrease in the average size of the fish population.


(1) The natural home of an animal or plant; (2) The sum of the environmental conditions that determine the existence of a community in a specific place.

Habitat Indicator

An indicator species is any biological species that defines a trait or characteristic of the environment. For an example, a species may delineate an eco-region or indicate an environmental condition such as a disease outbreak, pollution, species competition or climate change.


Any of a number of un reactive gaseous compounds of carbon with bromine and other halogens, used in fire extinguishers, but now known to damage the ozone layer.


Hard Water

Hard water is water that has high mineral content (in contrast with "soft water"). Hard water is formed when water percolates through deposits of limestone and chalk which are largely made up of calcium and magnesium carbonates.



A hardened impervious layer, typically of clay, occurring in or below the soil and impairing drainage and plant growth.


Hazardous Air Pollutants

Hazardous air pollutants, also known as toxic air pollutants or air toxics, are those pollutants that cause or may cause cancer or other serious health effects, such as reproductive effects or birth defects, or adverse environmental and ecological effects.


Hazardous Chemicals

 A Hazardous Chemical, as defined by the Hazard Communication Standard (HCS), is any chemical which can cause a physical or a health hazard.

Head Ward Erosion

Head ward erosion is erosion at the origin of a stream channel, which causes the origin to move back away from the direction of the stream flow, and so causes the stream channel to lengthen. 

Headwater Basin

A basin at the headwaters of a river. All discharge of the river at this point is developed within the basin.


 A tributary stream of a river close to or forming part of its source.


Heavy Metals

Arsenic, beryllium, cadmium, chromium, lead, manganese, mercury, nickel, and selenium are some of the metals (called 'heavy' because of their high relative atomic mass) which persist in nature and can cause damage or death in animals, humans, and plants even at very low concentrations (1 or 2 micrograms in some cases). Used in industrial processes, they are carried by air and water when discharged in the environment. Since heavy metals have a propensity to accumulate in selective body organs (such as brain and liver) their prescribed average safety levels in food or water are often misleadingly high.


Heavy Water

Water in which the hydrogen in the molecules is partly or wholly replaced by the isotope deuterium, used especially as a moderator in nuclear reactors.

Highly migratory fish

Fish that travel over great areas.

Household hazards

Dangerous substances or conditions in human dwellings.


 The organic component of soil, formed by the decomposition of leaves and other plant material by soil microorganisms.


Relating to electric energy produced by moving water.


Used as solvents and cleaners in the semiconductor industry, among others; experts say that they possess global warming potentials that are thousands of times greater than CO2.


Energy or power produced by moving water.


 A solid form of water.

Ice Bridge

A body of ice that forms across the width of a river and is strong enough to bear traffic.

Ice Shove

The term 'Ice Shove' as it applies to the area of the weather can be defined as ' In hydrologic terms, on-shore ice push caused by wind, and currents, changes in temperature, etcetera'.


 Fishes and other large organisms can be killed, injured, or weakened if they get trapped or pinned by the filters or screens or other parts of a cooling water intake structure.


 Water piped or channeled into an area. 


 A body of water, such as a reservoir, made by impounding.


In situ remediation

 Remediation carried out at the site where the pollutant is found.



The product of inches of rainfall times temperature in degrees above freezing (Fahrenheit), used as a measure of the snow melting capacity of rainfall. 

Inches of Runoff

 Average of water year runoff in inches or acre-feet for the total period of record.

Inchoate Water Right

 An unperfected water right.


Disposal systems that burn solid waste or other materials and reduce volume of waste. Air pollution and toxic ash are problems associated with incineration.

Indoor Air Pollutant

When you think of air pollution, you probably think of things like smog, power plants and emissions from cars and trucks. Those are all examples of outdoor air pollution, but air indoors can be polluted too. Pollutants are any harmful contaminants in the air; therefore, indoor air pollution is when pollutants from things such as gases and particles contaminate the air indoors.


Induced Recharge

Replenishing a water body or aquifer by transporting water from somewhere else and putting it into the water body or aquifer.



Substances used to kill insects and prevent infestation.

Integrated Pest Management

 Integrated pest management, or IPM, is a process you can use to solve pest problems while minimizing risks to people and the environment. IPM can be used to manage all kinds of pests anywhere in urban, agricultural, and wild land or natural areas.

International Conference on Population and Development

A conference sponsored by the United Nations to discuss global dimensions of population growth and change in Cairo, Egypt in September 1994. The conference is generally considered to mark the achievement of a new consensus on effective ways to slow population growth and improve quality of life by addressing root causes of unwanted fertility.

Invasive Species

 An invasive species is defined as an organism (plant, animal, fungus, or bacterium) that is not native and has negative effects on our economy, our environment, or our health. Not all introduced species are invasive. Invasive plants and animals are the second greatest threat to biodiversity after habitat loss.

Jet Stream

The jet stream consists of ribbons of very strong winds which move weather systems around the globe. Jet streams are found 9-16 km above the surface of the Earth, just below the tropopause, and can reach speeds of 200 mph.


A jet of water. 


Jokulhlaups, or glacial outburst floods (GLOFS) are a key part of the deglaciation of alpine mountains and ice sheet margins. They are a hazard to people and infrastructure, and can cause widespread land form modification through erosion and deposition. These floods occur very suddenly discharge large volumes of water, ice and debris from a glacial source. They can occur anywhere where water accumulates in a sub glacial lake beneath a glacier. The flood is initiated following the failure of an ice or moraine dam.


Juvenile Water

 Water brought to the surface or added to underground supplies from magma.


A hill or hummock composed of stratified sand and gravel laid down by glacial melt water.


 An irregular limestone region with sinkholes, underground streams, and caverns.


Kyoto Protocol, Kyoto agreement

 The Kyoto Protocol is an international treaty, which extends the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) that commits State Parties to reduce greenhouse gases emissions, based on the premise that (a) global warming exists and (b) man-made CO2 emissions have caused it.



 Relating to or associated with lakes.



 The measure of the time between the center of mass of precipitation to the center of mass of runoff (on the hydrograph); basin lag is a function of not only basin characteristics, but also of storm intensity and movement. Some hydrologic texts define lag from the center of mass of rainfall to the hydrograph peak.



 A shallow sound, channel, or pond near or communicating with a larger body of water.



Substantial inland bodies of standing water.

Land Application

 “Land application” is the application of deleterious substances and/or soils contaminated by deleterious substances to the land for the purpose of disposal or land treatment; also known as soil farming.

Land disposal restrictions

 In 1984, Congress created EPA's Land Disposal Restrictions (LDR) program. The LDR program ensures that toxic constituents present in hazardous waste are properly treated before hazardous waste is land disposed. Since then, the LDR team has developed mandatory technology-based treatment standards that must be met before hazardous waste is placed in a landfill. These standards help minimize short and long-term threats to human health and the environment, which directly benefits local communities where hazardous waste landfills are located.


Land Farming

 A disposal process in which hazardous waste deposited on or in the soil is degraded naturally by microbes. 

Land use

The way in which land is used, especially in farming and city planning.


Disposal area where garbage is piled up and eventually covered with dirt and topsoil.


Disposal area where garbage is piled up and eventually covered with dirt and topsoil.


 The definition of landscape is the features of a given area of land, especially when the area of land has been improved by carefully designed planting and arrangement.

Landscape ecology

 Landscape ecology is the science of studying and improving relationships between ecological processes in the environment and particular ecosystems. This is done within a variety of landscape scales, development spatial patterns, and organizational levels of research and policy.


Landscape impoundment

 A body of reclaimed water which is used for aesthetic enjoyment or which otherwise serves a function not intended to include contact recreation.

Landscape indicator

 A measurement of the landscape, calculated from mapped or remotely sensed data, used to describe spatial patterns of land use and land cover across a geographic area. Landscape indicators may be useful as measures of certain kinds of environmental degradation such as forest fragmentation.


A naturally-occurring heavy, soft metallic element; human exposure can cause brain and nervous system damage, especially in children.

Lead poisoning

Damaging the body (specifically the brain) by absorbing lead through the skin or by swallowing.

Lentic Waters

 Lentic Waters or relating to or living in still waters as lakes or ponds.


Light pollution

Environmental pollution consisting of harmful or annoying light.


Waste material which is discarded on the ground or otherwise disposed of improperly or thoughtlessly.

Low-emission vehicles

Vehicles which emit little air pollution compared to conventional internal combustion engines.

Low-impact camping

Camping that does not damage or change the land, where campers leave no sign that they were on the land.


Wood or wood products used for construction.

Main stem

 The major reach of a river or stream formed by the smaller tributaries which flow into it. 

Major flooding

 In addition to the criteria for moderate flooding, extensive rural areas and/or urban areas are inundated. Properties and towns are likely to be isolated and major traffic routes likely to be closed. Evacuation of people from flood affected areas may be required.


An animal that feeds its young with milk secreted from mammary glands and has hair on its skin.

Managed growth

Growth or expansion that is controlled so as not to be harmful.

Mandatory recycling

 Programs which by law require consumers to separate trash so that some or all recyclable materials are recovered for recycling rather than going to landfills.

MAP (Mean Area Precipitation)

 An environmental sensitivity index map is a diagram that provides a concise summary of coastal resources that could be at risk in the event of an oil spill.


 Cultivation of marine organisms in their natural habitats, usually for commercial purposes.



 The oceans, seas, bays, estuaries, and other major water bodies, including their surface interface and interaction, withthe atmosphere and with the land seaward of the mean high water mark.


Marine intertidal

 The intertidal zone, also known as the foreshore and seashore and sometimes referred to as ... Organisms in the intertidal zone are adapted to an environment of harsh ... The low intertidal zone, which borders on the shallow sub tidal zone, is only exposed to air at the lowest of low tides and is primarily marine in character.

Marine mammal

A mammal that lives in the ocean, such as a whale.

Marine Pollution

 Marine pollution occurs when harmful, or potentially harmful, effects result from the entry into the ocean of chemicals, particles, industrial, agricultural and residential waste, noise, or the spread of invasive organisms.


Marine sanitation device

 For purposes of the CWA, an MSD is "any equipment for installation on board a vessel which is designed to receive, retain, treat, or discharge sewage, and any process to treat such sewage.


 A marsh is a wetland that is dominated by herbaceous rather than woody plant species. Marshes can often be found at the edges of lakes and streams, where they form a transition between the aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. They are often dominated by grasses, rushes or reeds. If woody plants are present they tend to be low-growing shrubs. This form of vegetation is what differentiates marshes from other types of wetland such as swamps, which are dominated by trees, and mires, which are wetlands that have accumulated deposits of acidic peat.


Wetland, swamp, or bog.

Mass Extinction

 The extinction of a large number of species within a relatively short period of geological time, thought to be due to factors such as a catastrophic global event or widespread environmental change that occurs too rapidly for most species to adapt. 

Mass transit

See public transportation.

Mining Waste

The contract is for a service consisting in ensuring the collection, transport and processing of waste including in particular the management of mining waste and waste water generated during the execution of exploration work.  


 Protects the soil from erosion, Reduces compaction from the impact of heavy rains, Conserves moisture, reducing the need for frequent watering, Maintains a more even soil temperature, Prevents weed growth. 

Native Species

 The native plant species in any particular area of interest are those which arrived, established, and survived there without direct or indirect human assistance. It is obvious that plants (or animals) accidentally or deliberately imported by people from faraway places are not native, but it is more difficult to determine whether plants in a general region or state are native to a particular site.

Natural Control

Natural control refers to the maintenance of insect populations within certain bounds by environmental conditions, or factors. Both non-biological and biological factors contribute to the natural control of insects.

Natural Flow

 The rate of water movement past a specified point on a natural stream from a drainage area for which there have been no effects caused by stream diversion, storage, import, export, return flow, or change in Consumptive Use caused by man-controlled modification to land use. Natural flow rarely occurs in a developed county. 

Natural Resources

 Are useful raw materials that we get from the Earth. They occur naturally, which means that humans cannot make natural resources. Instead, we use and modify natural resources in ways that are beneficial to us. The materials used in human-made objects are natural resources.


 Death of plant tissue due to disease, frost, etc.

Net rainfall

 A concept in which all emissions sources in the same area that owned or controlled by a single company are treated as one large source, thereby allowing flexibility in controlling individual sources in order to meet a single emissions standard. 



 A concept in which all emissions sources in the same area that owned or controlled by a single company are treated as one large source, thereby allowing flexibility in controlling individual sources in order to meet a single emissions standard. 


 Nitrate is a common contaminant in water supplies, and especially prevalent in surface water supplies and shallow wells.  However, it can be found in any water source. 

Nitrogen Oxides

 Harmful gases (which contribute to acid rain and global warming) emitted as a byproduct of fossil fuel combustion.

Nitrogenous Wastes

 Nitrogenous Waste Any metabolic waste product that contains nitrogen. Urea and uric acid are the most common nitrogenous waste products in terrestrial animals; freshwater fish excrete ammonia and marine fish excrete both urea and trimethylamine oxide.



 Environmental noise is the summary of noise pollution from outside, caused by transport, industrial and recreational activities. Noise is frequently described as 'unwanted sound', and, within this context, environmental noise is generally present in some form in all areas of human activity.

Non Biodegradable

 Biodegradable substances decay or decompose and become part of nature again through bacterial or fungal activities. Non-biodegradable materials do not decompose. Instead, they remain intact in landfills and cause potential harm to the environment once they have outlived their usefulness. Such materials include items like metals, plastic and glass. Some manufacturers now strive to make their goods biodegradable, and environmentalists urge consumers to stay away from non-biodegradable products as much as possible.

Non- compliance coal

Any coal that emits greater than 3.0 pounds of sulfur dioxide per million BTU when burned. Also known as high-sulfur coal. Non-Contact Cooling WaterWater used for cooling which does not come into direct contact with any raw material, product, byproduct, or waste.

Non –consumptive use

Any non-hunting or non-extractive use of wildlife. Examples include bird watching, wildlife observation, and wildlife photography or Individuals may use yet not consume, certain living ocean resources, like whale watching, sight-seeing, or scuba diving. Additionally, individuals might value the mere existence of living ocean resources without actually observing them.

Non discharging treatment plant

Wastewater can only be disposed of as permitted by a license under the Environmental Protection Act 1994, administered by the department. This usually means wastewater has to be treated or contaminants removed before it can be discharged to waterways.

Non-contact cooling water

Water used for cooling which does not come into direct contact with any raw material, product, byproduct, or waste.

Non-conventional pollutant

Any pollutant not statutorily listed or which is poorly understood by the scientific community.


An environmental policy which disallows any lowering of naturally occurring quality regardless of pre-established health standards.

Non-methane hydrocarbon

The sum of all hydrocarbon air pollutants except methane; significant precursors to ozone formation.


Something which does not allow water to pass through it.


Water that is unsafe or unpalatable to drink because it contains pollutants, contaminants, minerals, or ineffective agents


 No-till farming (also called zero tillage or direct drilling) is a way of growing crops or pasture from year to year without disturbing the soil through tillage

Observation Well

 A well that is used to observe changes in groundwater levels over a period, or more specifically during a pumping test. Pumping does not normally take place from observation wells which are often relatively small in diameter.

Off Stream Use

 Off stream use of water is water withdrawn or diverted from a groundwater or surface water source for public water supply, industry, irrigation, livestock, thermoelectric power generation or other uses.

Offshore Dumping

 Offshore Dumping is the deliberate disposal of hazardous wastes at sea from vessels, aircraft, platforms or other human made structures. It includes ocean incineration and disposal into the seabed and sub-seabed.


Off-site Facility

 A hazardous waste treatment, storage or disposal area that is located away from the generating site.


Oil and Gas Waste

 Gas & oil Drilling muds, oil productionbrinces, and other waste associated with exploration for, development & production of crude oil or natural gas.


 Especially of a lake relatively poor in plant nutrients and containing abundant oxygen in the deeper parts.


On site facility

 A hazardous waste treatment, storage or disposal area that is located on the generating site.


Open Burning

 Open burning is the burning of unwanted materials such as paper, trees, brush, leaves, grass, and other debris, where smoke and other emissions are released directly into the air without passing through a chimney or stack.


Open Dump

 An open dumping is defined as a land disposal site at which solid wastes are disposed of in a manner that does not protect the environment, are susceptible to openburning, and are exposed to the elements, vectors, and scavengers.


Open System

 A material system in which mass or energy can be lost to or gained from the environment.


Organic matter

 Organic matter, organic material, or natural organic matter (NOM) refers to the large pool of carbon-based compounds found within natural and engineered, terrestrial and aquatic environments. It is matter composed of organic compounds that have come from the remains of organisms such as plants and animals and their waste products in the environment. Organic molecules can also be made by chemical reactions that don't involve life. Basic structures are created from cellulose, tannin, cut in, and lignin, along with other various proteins, lipids, and carbohydrates. Organic matter is very important in the movement of nutrients in the environment and plays a role in water retention on the surface of the planet.

Organic Phenomenon

 (Biology) a natural phenomenon involving living plants and animals.




Is an individual living thing, such as a plant, animal, bacterium, protest, or fungus. Sometimes organisms are grouped by the environment they live in. For example, marine organisms live in the ocean.

Orgographic precipitation


Orographic precipitation, rain, snow, or other precipitation produced when moist air is lifted as it moves over a mountain range. As the air rises and cools, orographic clouds form and serve as the source of the precipitation, most of which falls upwind of the mountain ridge.



An orogeny is an event that leads to a large structural deformation of the Earth's lithosphere (crust and uppermost mantle) due to the interaction between plate tectonics. Orogeny is the primary mechanism by which mountains are built on continents.



An outfall sewer is any pipe or conduit used to carry either raw sewage or treated effluent to a final point of discharge into a body of water.

Outflow channel

 A natural stream channel which transports reservoir releases.


 An opening through which water can be freely discharged structure.

Outlet discharge structure


Protects the downstream end of the outlet pipe from erosion and is often designed to slow down the velocity of released water to prevent erosion of the stream channel.



Outwash is the deposit of gravel and sand carried by running water from melting ice at the terminus of a glacier.

Package Plants

 A package treatment plant is a method of sewage treatment which uses a process involving energy and mechanical, biological, chemical or physical treatment of the wastewater to reduce Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD), suspended solids (SS), nitrogen (N), bacteria and other sewage constituents and which is of a degree of complexity that a certified wastewater treatment plant operator is required.


Packed Bed Scrubber

 Packed Bed Scrubber is a wet scrubber that removes acids, soluble gasses, chemicals, fumes, and odors. Contaminated gas flows through a specially designed packing media that is wetted with recirculated liquid. The liquid solvent absorbs the gas pollutant by physical or chemical means.

Packed Tower

 A pollution control device that forces dirty air through a tower packed with crushed rock or wood chips while liquid is sprayed over the packing material. The pollutants in the air stream either dissolve or chemically react with the liquid. 

Palatable Water

 Water, at a desirable temperature, that is free from objectionable tastes, odors, colors, and turbidity.

Palmer Drought Severity Index

 The Palmer drought index is based on a supply-and-demand model of soil moisture. Supply is comparatively straightforward to calculate, but demand is more complicated, as it depends on many factors: not just temperature and the amount of moisture in the soil but also hard-to-calibrate factors including evapotranspiration and recharge rates. Palmer tried to overcome such difficulties by developing an algorithm that approximated them based on the most readily available data, precipitation and temperature.

The index has been most effective in determining long-term drought, a matter of several months, but it is not as good with conditions over a matter of weeks. The Palmer index can, therefore, be applied to any site for which sufficient precipitation and temperature data is available.

Palustrine Aquatic Beds

 Inland areas which contain floating or submerged aquatic vegetation. 

Palustrine Emergents

 Plants growing in inland marshes and wet meadows.


Palustrine Forested

Inland areas such as forested swamps or bogs.

Palustrine Shrub

 Inland wetland area with shrub growth. 

Particulate matter

 (Similar term(s): PM, suspended particulate matter, total suspended particulates, black smoke, inhalable particles, thoracic particles, Respirable particles): It may be defined as the sum of all microscopic solid and liquid particles, of human and natural origin, that remain suspended in a medium such as air for some time. These particles vary greatly in size, composition, and origin, and may be harmful. Particulate matter may be in the form of fly ash, soot, dust, fog, fumes etc

Potable Water

 Drinking water, also known as potable water or improved drinking water, is water safe enough for drinking and food preparation. 

Qualitative use assessment

 Report summarizing the major uses of a pesticide including percentage of crop treated, and amount of pesticide used on a site.


Quarry Water

 The moisture content of freshly quarried stone especially if porous.

Quench Tank

 A water-filled tank used to cool incinerator residues or hot materials during industrial processes.

Quick Water

 The part of a stream that has a strong current.



The condensed moisture of the atmosphere falling visibly in separate drops. 

Rain Gage

 A device for collecting and measuring the amount of rain which falls.


 A large, dense forest in a hot, humid region (tropical or subtropical). Rainforests have an abundance of diverse plant and animal life, much of which is still uncatalogued by the scientific community.

Receiving waters

 A river, lake, ocean, stream or other watercourse into which wastewater or treated effluent is discharged.



 The process by which water is added to a zone of saturation, usually by percolation from the soil surface; e.g., the recharge of an aquifer.


Recharge areas

 Aquifers are replenished with water from the surface through a process called "recharge." Over withdrawal of groundwater occurs when the discharge of groundwater in an aquifer exceeds the recharge rate over a period of time.



 The reclaiming of desert, marshy, or submerged areas or other wasteland for cultivation or other use. 

Reclaimed water

 Reclaimed water or recycled water is former wastewater (sewage) that is treated to remove solids and impurities, and used in sustainable landscaping irrigation, to recharge groundwater aquifers, to meet commercial and industrial water needs, and for drinking.



Reforestation is the process of specifically planting native trees into a forest that has decreasing numbers of trees.

Sacramento soil moisture accounting model

 Simulation process, such as the Sacramento model, should understand the physical. Definition of Tension Water and Free Water. The simplest way to ... of residual moisture was natural to any particular environment. This soil moisture accounting, this moisture can be considered as permanently resident.


Saline Intrusion

 The saltwater infiltration of freshwater aquifers in coastal areas, when groundwater is withdrawn faster than it is being recharged.



 The concentration of dissolved salt in a given volume of water is called salinity.

Salt marsh

 Salt marsh during low tide, mean low tide, high tide and very high tide (spring tide). A salt marsh or salt marsh, also known as a coastal salt marsh or a tidal marsh, is a coastal ecosystem in the upper coastal intertidal zone between land and open salt water or brackish water that is regularly flooded by the tides.

Salt Water

 Water that has a high level of salt, such as in oceans and seas.

Saltwater intrusion

 Saltwater intrusion is the movement of saline water into freshwater aquifers, which can lead to contamination of drinking water sources and other consequences. Saltwater intrusion occurs naturally to some degree in most coastal aquifers, owing to the hydraulic connection between groundwater and seawater.


Sanitary landfill

 Sanitary landfills are sites where waste is isolated from the environment until it is safe. 

Sanitary sewers

 Underground pipes that carry off only domestic or industrial waste, not storm water.

Saturated air

Saturated air that contains the maximum amount of water vapour that is possible at the given temperature and pressure, i.e. air in which the relative humidity is 100%.

Saturated zone

 The zone below the Water Table in which all pore spaces are filled with ground water. The water table is the top of the zone of saturation in an unconfined aquifer. Also referred to as the Phreatic Zone. 

Tail Water Height

Tap water

 Drinking water monitored (and often filtered) for protection against contamination and available for public consumption from sources within the home.



 The degree or intensity of heat present in a substance or object, especially as expressed according to a comparative scale and shown by a thermometer or perceived by touch.


Temperature Climates

 In geography, temperate or tepid latitudes of Earth lie between the tropics and the Polar Regions. The temperatures in these regions are generally relatively moderate, rather than extremely hot or cold and the changes between summer and winter are also usually moderate.



 A stretch of land, especially with regard to its physical features is called terrain.


Thermal Pollution

 Thermal pollution is the harmful release of heated liquid into a body of water or heat released into the air as a waste product of a business. An example of thermal pollution is water used for cooling in a power plant that runs into a nearby river and harms the river's ecosystem.



   An abrupt temperature gradient in a body of water such as a lake, marked by a layer above and below which the water is at different temperatures.


Threshold Runoff

 Threshold runoff is the amount of excess rainfall accumulated during a given time period over a basin that is just enough to runoff for a given catchment, and are thus an essential component of flash flood warning systems. Used in conjunction with soil.



 Logged wood sold as a commodity.

Toe Drain (or Outfall)

 In this tutorial, finite element groundwater seepage analysis is used to simulate a levee with a horizontal toe drain. Toe drains are often used to prevent capillary rise on the downstream sloping surface. Slide can be used to test the effectiveness of different drain configurations.


Toe of Dam

 The term 'Toe (toe of dam)' as it applies to the area of reclamation can be defined as ' The point of intersection between the bottom of a slope or the upstream or downstream face of a dam and the natural ground, for example, the upstream or downstream toe of a dam or the downstream toe of a landslide or debris fan.


Topographic Map

 : In modern mapping, a topographic map is a type of map characterized by large-scale detail and quantitative representation of relief, usually using contour lines, but historically using a variety of methods. Traditional definitions require a topographic map to show both natural and man-made features.


 The physical features of a surface area including relative elevations and the position of natural and man-made (anthropogenic) features.



 Topsoil is the upper, outermost layer and of soil, usually the top 2 inches (5.1 cm) to 8 inches (20 cm). It has the highest concentration of organic matter and microorganisms and is where most of the Earth's biological soil activity occurs.


Total gross reservoir capacity

 The total amount of storage capacity available in a reservoir for all purposes, from the streambed to the normal maximum operating level. It does not include surcharge (water temporarily stored above the elevation of the top of the spillway), but does include dead (or inactive) storage.



 Harmful to living organisms (Poisonous).

Toxic emissions

 Poisonous chemicals discharged to air, water, or land.

Toxic sites

 Land contaminated with toxic pollution, usually unsuitable for human habitation.

Toxic waste

 Garbage or waste that can injure, poison, or harm living things, and is sometimes life-threatening.

Transportation planning

 Systems to improve the efficiency of the transportation system in order to enhance human access to goods and services.

Trip reduction

 Reducing the total numbers of vehicle trips, by sharing rides or consolidating trips with diverse goals into fewer trips.

Ultraviolet Light

 Ultraviolet (UV) light is a type of electromagnetic radiation that is all around us even though our eyes can't detect it. Our bodies use it to make vitamin D, but too much exposure can cause painful burns and even cancer. Although UV light can be dangerous, it is also very valuable and is used in many ways. UV light is used to identify biological materials, like blood, at crime scenes and in places where sanitation is important. Because it can kill viruses and bacteria, it is also used to sterilize medical and biological research facilities and to sanitize much of our food and water.


Unconfined Aquifer

The term refers to the types of aquifers present between the impermeable rocks and the upper boundary is the water table or phreatic surface. The temperature and pressure of unconfined aquifer is very much influenced by the outer atmosphere. They are sometimes also called water table or phreatic aquifers.


 An underground drain or trench with openings through which the water may percolate from the soil or ground above.



 A current in the sea or ocean that is below the surface and that moves away from the shore.


 Underwater refers to the region below the surface of water where the water exists in a natural feature (called a body of water) such as an ocean, sea, lake, pond, or river.

Unit Hydrograph

 The unit hydrograph is the hydrograph that results from unit (e.g. 1 inch) excess rainfall uniformly over the watershed at a uniform rate during a given period of time.

Unit Ventilator

 A Fan Coil Unit (FCU) is a simple device consisting of a heating and/or cooling heat exchanger or 'coil' and fan. It is part of an HVAC system found in residential, commercial, and industrial buildings. A fan coil unit is a diverse device sometimes using ductwork, and is used to control the temperature in the space where it is installed, or serve multiple spaces. It is controlled either by a manual on/off switch or by a thermostat, which controls the throughput of water to the heat exchanger using a control valve and/or the fan speed.



 Toward or closer to the source of a stream; in the direction opposite to that of the current.

Upstream Slope

 The part of the dam that is in contact with the reservoir water. On Earthen Dams the upstream slope must be protected from the erosive action of waves by rock Rip Rap, concrete, or some other material. 

Urban flash flood guidance

 A specific type of flash flood guidance which estimates the average amount of rain needed over an urban area during a specific period of time to initiate flooding on small, gagged streams in the urban area.  


Urban runoff

 Urban runoff is surface runoff of rainwater created by urbanization. This runoff is a major source of flooding and water pollution in urban communities worldwide. Impervious surfaces (roads, parking lots and sidewalks) are constructed during land development. 

Vadose zone

 The unsaturated zone between the land surface and the water table . The vadose zone (from the Latin vadosus, meaning shallow) includes the soil-water zone, intermediate vadose zone, and capillary fringe. The pore space contains air, water, and other fluids under pressure, which is less than atmospheric pressure. Thus, the water is held to the soil particles by forces that are greater than the force of gravity. Saturated zones, such as perched groundwater aquifers, may exist in the vadose zone and water pressure within these zones is greater than atmospheric pressure.

Van Mahotsav

 Van Mahotsav is an annual tree-planting movement in India, which began in 1950. ... It has gained significant national importance and, every year, millions of saplings are planted across India in observation of Van Mahotsav week.


 A substance diffused or suspended in the air, especially one normally liquid or solid.


Variable Air Volume System (VAV)

 Variable Air Volume (VAV) is a type of heating, ventilating, and/or air-conditioning (HVAC) system. Unlike constant air volume (CAV) systems, which supply a constant airflow at a variable temperature, VAV systems vary the airflow at a constant.

Velocity zones

 Areas within the floodplain subject to potential high damage from waves. These sometimes appear on flood insurance rate maps.

Ventilation air

Ventilation is the process of changing of exhaled air with fresh air or Supply of fresh air to animals and carry away the exhaled air and unhealthy fumes arising from dropping and liquid excreta are called ventilation.

Vested water right

 A ground water or surface water right that pre-dates statutory water law. By virtue of their early pre-statutory nature, vested rights enjoy maximum protection against later appropriations and later statutory provisions. This protection does not extend to forfeiture and abandonment of ground water rights.

Virgin flow

 The stream flow which exists or would exist if man had not modified the conditions on or along the stream or in the drainage basin. 


 The term void is also sometimes used to indicate the elimination of solid waste (defecation).


Waste can be defined as a material for which the generator has no further use in terms of production,transformation or consumption and wish to dispose as per national laws.

Waste Disposal System

 Removing and destroying or storing damaged, used or other unwanted domestic, agricultural or industrial products and substances. Disposal includes burning, burial at landfill sites or at sea, and recycling.

Waste site

Any area which is used for the safe disposal or treatment of waste as per laws can be considered as  waste site such as landfill,open dumping ground

Waste stream

 Overall waste disposal cycle for a given population.

Waste Water

 Wastewater, also written as waste water, is any water that has been adversely affected in quality by anthropogenic influence. Wastewater can originate from a combination of domestic, industrial, commercial or agricultural activities, surface runoff or storm water, and from sewer inflow or infiltration.

Waste Water Treatment

 Waste water treatment is a process used to convert waste water - which is water no longer needed or suitable for its most recent use - into an effluent that can be either returned to the water cycle with minimal environmental issues or reused.

Water Contamination

 Water pollution is the contamination of water bodies (e.g. lakes, rivers, oceans, aquifers and groundwater). This form of environmental degradation occurs when pollutants are directly or indirectly discharged into water bodies without adequate treatment to remove harmful compounds.

Water Course

 Any surface flow such as a river, stream, and tributary.


Water Course

 Any surface flow such as a river, stream, and tributary.


Water Equivalent

 The depth of water that would result from the melting of the snowpack or of a snow sample; thus, the water equivalent of a new snowfall is the same as the amount of precipitation represented by that snowfall.

Water Filters

 Substances (such as charcoal) or fine membrane structures used to remove impurities from water.

Water Logging

 Water Logging is the natural flooding and over-irrigation that brings water at underground levels to the surface. As a consequence, displacement of the air occurs in the soil with corresponding changes in soil processes and an accumulation of toxic substances that impede plant growth.

Water Pollution

 Water pollution is the contamination of water bodies (e.g. lakes, rivers, oceans, aquifers and groundwater). This form of environmental degradation occurs when pollutants are directly or indirectly discharged into water bodies without adequate treatment to remove harmful compounds.

Water Table

 The level below which the ground is completely saturated with water. Also called water level. Or A projecting ledge, molding, or stringcourse along the side of a building, designed to throw off rainwater.

Water Table Aquifer

 The water table is the upper surface of the zone of saturation. The zone of saturation is where the pores and fractures of the ground are saturated with water. Below the water table, in the phreatic zone (zone of saturation), layers of permeable rock that yield groundwater are called aquifers.

Water Table Aquifer

 The water table is the upper surface of the zone of saturation. The zone of saturation is where the pores and fractures of the ground are saturated with water. Below the water table, in the phreatic zone (zone of saturation), layers of permeable rock that yield groundwater are called aquifers.

Waterborne Contaminants

 Unhealthy chemicals, microorganisms (like bacteria) or radiation,   found in tap water.

Waterborne Disease

 Waterborne diseases are caused by pathogenic microorganisms that most commonly are transmitted in contaminated fresh water. Infection commonly results during bathing, washing, drinking, in the preparation of food, or the consumption of food that is infected.

Waterborne Disease

 Waterborne diseases are caused by pathogenic microorganisms that most commonly are transmitted in contaminated fresh water. Infection commonly results during bathing, washing, drinking, in the preparation of food, or the consumption of food that is infected.


 This area of land raindrops roll over is called a watershed. A watershed, also known as a drainage basin, is an area of land where all water drains to a central point like a lake, river, or stream.


 This area of land raindrops roll over is called a watershed. A watershed, also known as a drainage basin, is an area of land where all water drains to a central point like a lake, river, or stream.


 As a basic definition, weather is the state of the atmosphere. Most weather occurs in the troposphere, or the lowest layer of the atmosphere. Weather is made up of multiple parameters, including air temperature, atmospheric (barometric) pressure, humidity, precipitation, solar radiation and wind. 


 As a basic definition, weather is the state of the atmosphere. Most weather occurs in the troposphere, or the lowest layer of the atmosphere. Weather is made up of multiple parameters, including air temperature, atmospheric (barometric) pressure, humidity, precipitation, solar radiation and wind. 

land (marshes or swamps) saturated with water constantly or recurrently; conducive to wide biodiversity.


animals living in the wilderness without human intervention.

Wildlife Refuges

land set aside to protect certain species of fish or wildlife (administered at the federal level in the U.S. by the Fish and Wildlife Service).


power or energy derived from the wind (via windmills, sails, etc.).

Zero emission vehicles

vehicles (usually powered by electricity) with no direct emissions from tailpipes or fuel evaporation.ash - incombustible residue left over after incineration or other thermal processes.

Zero Waste

 Turning waste into resource; the redesign of resource-use so that waste can ultimately be reduced to zero; ensuring that by-products are used elsewhere and goods are recycled, in emulation of the cycling of wastes in nature.