A2 GEOGRAPHY WATER CONFLICTS

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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 -
http://www.michw.com/2013/05/the-mystery-of-the-shifting-tropical-rain-belt/]
Regions near the Equator have higher annual rainfall than other tropical areas sometimes in drought!
RIVER SYSTEMS

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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 a system:
1. IMPERMABLE ROCK = HIGH DRAIGNAGE DENSITY ­ ensures rainfall quickly feeds into the river system
2. PERMABLE ROCK= ALLOWS RAINFALL to pass into underground drainage system e.g.…read more

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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 created = water can't return
Bangladesh and Pakistan
Can lead to salt water intrusion and salinization ­ occurs in wells and oceans
E.g. California coastline and the Aral Sea
ACCESS TO WATER
1.…read more

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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 bird species, 32/70 mammals and very few fish species now remain
Climate has also been impacted causing it to be more arid, with hotter and drier summers and colder and
longer winters!
WATER ENGINERS
Canals…read more

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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 safe water in a cost effective and efficient
way
GOVERNMNETS = decide which water sources to rely on and how best to achieve high degree of water
security
INTERNATIONAL ORGANISATIONS = ensure the principle of…read more

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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 LAW OF THE RIVER
divided into upper basin states who had responsibilities to supply lower states ­ now involving New
Mexico.…read more

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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.…read more

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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 to privatise their water. They thought by changing the use of water they would reduce consumption
levels. The World Bank (WB) had encouraged the privatisation in return for debt relief.…read more

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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)…read more

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