challenge of resource management


key definitions


a nation or area having a higher supply than the demand


a nation or area having a higher demand than supply

water surplus:

have more water than is needed

water deficit:

have less water than is needed

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changing food habits


most food eaten was seasonal and local


increased income has led to more people eating high value foods

most of this needs to be imported ( avocadoes and spices ) so they have higher food miles. This increases their carbon footprint

people are also eating more organic food as we become more aware of the need to be environmentally friendly, and the health impacts of toxic chemicals used in fertilisers.

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to meet the increase in demand of food, agriculture has become commercialised.

how this has happened:

  • larger farms
  • increased use of fertilisers and machinery
  • farms being taken over by businesses


  • people lose their jobs as they're replaced by machines
  • biodiversity is reduced as hedgerows are destroyed
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water (in)security

causes of water insecurity:

  • low levels of precipitation
  • high population densities

strategies to solve water insecurity:

  • water transfer from areas of surplus to areas of deficit
  • intermediate technology in developing countries
  • desalination plants in areas with lots of seawater
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water security in the UK

areas of surplus:

  • North and West
  • higher precipitation, lower population densities

areas of deficit:

  • South East and MIdlands
  • lower precipitation, higher population densities

strategies to solve the water insecurity:

  • water transfer from surplus to deficit
  • dams and reservoirs to keep the security consistent
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energy resources in the UK


  • mostly fossil fuels and nuclear
  • an increase in oil due to large reserves discovered under the north sea


  • still mostly fossil fuels and nuclear
  • an increase in renewable sources, mainly wind


  • more will have to come from renewable sources
  • wind and tidal are most likely to be developed
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issues with energy resources

fossils fuels:

  • they're finite so will run out!
  • release greenhouse gases when burnt which cause global warming

renewable sources:

  • not as reliable as they rely on conditions ( wind/sun etc )
  • many people believe wind turbines are an eyesore


  • can cause minor geound tremors in the nearby area
  • it's thought they may pollute the groundwater
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increased water consumption


  • increase in global population; more people to provide for
  • economic development; people expect more ( showers etc )
  • increased use in manafacturing and agriculture


the strain on water resources is causing more areas to be in water deficit.

This increased global water insecurity hinders countries from developing, as many emerging enconomies need it for their increased industry.

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factord affecting water availability


  • lots of permeable rock means it all gets absorbed


  • hot and dry countries will often experience water deficit


  • some areas only have polluted water sources, which aren't potable


  • people can't afford potable water, so are forced to drink dirty water
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impacts of water insecurity


  • if areas share a water source there can be conflicts over it's abstraction

waterborne diseases:

  • if there's no acces to clean water diseases such as cholera and malaria will spread as people drink unsafe water.

food production:

  • if there's no water for irrigation crop yield will decrease

industrial output:

  • water is needed in all stages of manafacturing products
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large scale water tranfer scheme case study

Libya's great man-made river


  • 2,820km of underground water pipes
  • provide water to the major cities such as tripoli


  • allows for easy water transfer
  • long term solution


  • has disrupted natural ecosystems
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