River key facts

Case study for how rivers are used comparing the Mekong (China) and the Thames.

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  • Created on: 31-03-12 14:35
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Rivers Case Studies Key Facts
In what ways can river basins be used as a multi-use resource?
Thames and Mekong
o Water Supply ­ 4700m litres taken daily from rivers and groundwater supply
-Rain falling in the Cotswolds can be used 8 times before reaching Thames
- Demand for water by 1.7% per year in past 30 yrs due to: water use
in home and gardens, pop, dev pressure, losses through leakage.
o Farming ­ Lower regions: Water supply. Gentle slopes. Upper: cooler,wetter,steeper
o Water supply and farming ­ Cambodia reliant on river for food + economy, need
annual floods. Need to refresh Tonie Sap lake ­ less water from Chinese dams. 80%
of rice production in Lower Mekong Basin depends on Mekong flooding (silt etc).
o Water supply and fishing ­ Turnover at Chiang Rai Port ¼ of previous year. Fish
caught are small. Catch halved from pre dam.
o Industrial Development ­ Chalk, limestone, sand and gravel = mineral extraction
London Docklands
Cheap land. Allows imports and exports. Water for cooling.
o Residential Development ­ Drinking water supply. Flat. Trade. Raised ground.
Thames Gateway (E London) planned growth of 100,000 2001-2016.
o Residential Development ­ Home to 55m people who face annual flooding. In
2000, over 800 died. Pop e.g. pop growth in Cambodia in 2007 was 1.73% with ec
growth of 7.2%. Raw sewage problem.
o Transportation and Trade ­ Railway line Oxford to London follows river Thames.
o Transportation ­ Water level dropped. Crossings from Chiang Rai to Luang Prabang
take 2 days instead of 8 hours. Limited because extreme seasonal variations ­
cannot negotiate beyond Phnom Penh (dry season reefs and shifting sandbars, wet
season rapids)
o Energy Development ­ River Cole at Colehill nr Faringdon had grain mill. OR river
Wandle from Beddington (nr Croydon) to Thames had over 30mills.
o Energy Development ­ Many dams on river's tributaries. E.g. Pak Mun Dam,
Thailand. Only 5% of HEP potential developed ­ possible 30 000MW. China building
on the river itself, 3 completed, 12 planned, first dam Man Wan, China in 1993
because Pacific Rim economies growing esp China + Vietnam.
o Recreation and Leisure ­ Fishing, swimming, canoeing, rowing, sailing, walking etc.
-Oxford ­valleys ­ sports ground, botanical gardens, allotments. ­rivers
­punting and watersports

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Cotswold Water Park ­ many lakes for recreation. Thames Path runs through
o Flood Defences ­ Thames Barrier ­ protection for 420,000 London properties. Since
October 1982. Needs upgrading in 2030 - £4bn. Average closes 3-4 times a year but
in 2001 shut 24 times.
-Flood Alleviation and strategic facility ­ reduces discharge in floorplain prior
reaching major urban centres. E.g.…read more


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