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Geography Revision Guide
Water Conflicts




What affects water supply?

PHYSICAL FACTORS

CLIMATE : v. significant as global distribution of water reflects the events climate zones ­ with their distinctive
rainfall regime

Rainfall varies frequently with seasons affected by cloud cover
in the Hadley Cells.

[see image on the left -…

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(Surface process): River basin collects and stores huge quantities of water and rivers transfer much of the water
from Place ­ Place.

High temperatures = high evaporation water, but river flow does increase DOWNSTREAM
- tributes feed into the main river.

GEOLOGY

Rock types affect the type of water in…

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Hugh projects Yangzi River saw 1 million moved
Very expensive 4 x more than predictions
Reduces flood plain fertility
Reduces flow of nutrients from River ­ Sea
Sediment change can kill fish in the ecosystem

OVER-ABSTRACTION

Removed drinking water for irrigation
Too much in too little time = arid areas…

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LOCAL RESIDENTS

Health issues ­ polluted drinking water (weapon testing, pesticides and fertiliser runoff)


Infant mortality = increased and 10% die in the 1st year due to kidney and heart failure

FARMERS

Kazakhstan ­ drinking water and crops are made salty and polluted

What did they experts say?

SCIENTISTS

160/310…

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WATER GEOPOLITICS

WHAT IS IT

About = INTERNATIONAL CONFLICTS, TREATIES and AGREEMENTS
Generally player with the greatest military, economic and political power likely to be the
WINNER!



WHY IS GEOPOLITICS IMPORTANT?

INTERNATIONAL TREATIES = vital to avoid conflicts and tension

MAIN PLAYERS

WATER COMPANIES = Responsible for providing supplies of…

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Issues:
o The states are all seeing rapid population growth = phoenix = 1.5 million, Las Vegas = 1.8 million!
o Salinisation = increased salty water from Pacific Ocean and Gulf of Mexico
o Mojave Desert = expanding
History: Colorado compact 1922 ­ allocated water rights between the states, 1920s…

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WHAT ARE NGO'S AND TNC'S DOING - TO HELP SOLVE WATER SCARCITY?

THE IMPORTANCE OF WATER AID

Their vision = everyone has water and sanitation

TV adverts ­ used to show the reality of water stress and persuade the viewer to donate.

The reality is:

Example 1: 1.1billin people don't…

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WHAT IS THE ISSUE WITH TNCS?Often associated as being corrupt and unfair!

TNC's often mean private water companies who have had negative effects on countries. For example the
Government of Bolivia (important case study - see the case study sheet) saw an opportunity to save money by
using a TNC…

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WATER CONFLICTS: WATER CRISIS RECAP

Significant areas are under increasing water stress and rising water scarcity
Water availability falling = long term trends
Huge increase in use (demand increases) especially from farming (irrigation)

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