UNIT 3 WATER

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water stress, scarcity and vulnerability

  • nearly half of the world population will be water vulneravle by 2025
  • many will expereince water stress (north africa, sub-saharan africa, southwest USA and middle east)
  • Two types of water scarcity : Physical ( when more than 75% of country/regions river flows are being used) , Economic ( the development of blue water sources is limited by llack of capital and technology)
  • many parts of the continent of africaq currently have physical availability but only access 25% of the water supplies because of high levels of poverty ( Dev gap)
  • with the onset of climate change and the associated deterioration of ecosystems, combined with rapid economic develeopment in asia, the number of people experienceing water stress is expected to rise ( dev gap, bio div )
  • some regions within developed countries ( southwest USA , mediterranean France and spain) that are also areas of concern and shortages may need to be solved by transfers or widespread desalination
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THE ARAL SEA

  • the extraction and use of water resources can lead to environmental damage and suplly problems for both groundwater and surface water supplies
  • The aral sea declines to 10% of its original size as a result of the diversion of rivers such as the Amu Darya and syr Darya to provide irrigated water for cash cropping of cotton
  • it is an ecological and environemtal catastrophe ( bio div)
  • Soviet Union originally in control of the area (sp)
  • following the break up of the USSR, there is potential for conflicts between newly independent states.
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Main water pressure points

  • Tigris-Euphrates basin - concerns from iraq and syria that turkeys GAP project will divert much of the water via a series of irrigation DAMs.
  • Jordon river - the use of the river has reduced the flow to a mere trickle which affects supplies to palestines west bank
  • Ganges-brahmaputra : india has built dams such as the Faraka, which has reduced the flow of the river into bangladesh
  • Colorado basin - states in USA dispute their allocation of water from the colarado, which is so great that the quantity and quality reaching mexico does not reach the standard agreed
  • Nile basin - while agreement exists, schemes developed in ethiopia and sudan may threaten supplie to egypt.
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water transfer schemes

  • Tagus - murcia transfer in spain : takes water from tagus river by canal to the drought stricken area of almeria-murcia-alicante to provide water for 700,000 new villas and the tourist industry and irrigating cash-cropping areas
  • snowy mountains scheme in southeast australia : water is transferred from the storage lake of Eucumbene westwards by the snowy-geehi tunnel to the head waters of the murray to irrigate farms and provide water to an increasingly drought stricken area
  • Melamchi project in nepal : water is diverted from the melamchi river via a 26km tunnal to water stressed areas in the kathmandu basin. in returnm the residents of melamchi are provided with improved health and education system
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