Water conflicts

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Turkey, Syria & Iraq

  • 3 Muslim states 
  • Regional rainfall variations 643mm per year - only 16% available for use 
  • Cash crops

South-eastern Anatolia Project (GAP)

  • $32 billion 
  • South East economy growth of 400% 
  • Agro-industril urbanisation - 1.7 million hectares of land supports 7% of population 
  • 22 dams & 19 HEP plants - damming Tigris & Euphrates- 22% energy by 2010
  • Socio-economic development: bread basket of Middle East, Integrated water & energy supply, provide jobs to stop out migration, better education & healthcare provisions
  • Syria & Iraq unhappy about damming - they receive restricted flow & Turkey may not allow flow once dam is full due to political conflicts

Is conflict inevitable? YES

  • Conflict only averted through international intervention
  • Water released from Ilisu dam only to Syria NOT Iraq
  • Plans to build Cizre Dam for irrigation in Turkey - Syria & Iraq left to fight over the remaining water
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Ilisu Dam

  • Damming Tigris river 

Potential negative impacts

  • Ancient town of Hasakeyf flooded displacing 34,000 Kurds
  • Increased malaria & waterborne disease risk 
  • WB, UK government & Skansa Swedish TNC pulled out 

2004

  • Amended plans 
  • Kurds relocated 

2007

  • Austrian, German & Swiss Consortium built Ilisu Dam 
  • Released water to Syria NOT Iraq
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Israel, Syria & Palestinian territory

Israel

  • Consumes 500 billion litres more than receives naturally - unsustainable consumption 
  • Population increase of 1.5% annually
  • Internal competition for water resources
  • Israel has control over 80% of aquifers 
  • Palestine has control over 8% of aquifers 

Geopolitical tensions

  • 1953 US Special Envoy dictated water shares - Israel largest shares & Lebanon Syria smallest shares depite providing the most water
  • Shifting territorial borders - hard to supply whole population 
  • 2050 11 million Israelis will be living in desert conditions - daily water needs need to be met 
  • Israel & Palestine blame each other for water mismanagement

Is conflict inevitable? YES

  • Israel, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon & Jordan suffered conflict since 1948 - some received greater shares in 1953
  • Diplomacy & hydropolitics unlikely to work as Syria & Israel already do not get on
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Securing water pathways

Syria Al-Thawra Dam 1974 

  • Iran-Iraq war disputes over territorial Shatt Al Arab waterway 
  • Reduced flow of Euphrates to Iraq by 25% 

Manavgat Project 2004-5

  • 50 million m3 shipped from Turkey each year 
  • Turkey & Israel - in return for high tech military support
  • Syria forced to cut off water from Jordan in order to secure own supplies

Desalinsation Master Plan 

  • Red Sea & Mediterranean 
  • Sea water will provide Israel with 25% water by 2020
  • Import water-rich foods
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Colorado River

Colorado Compact 1922 - Law of the river 

  • 7 states between USA & Mexico 
  • 11 major dams supply 4,000mW HEP to 30 million people 
  • Calfornia largest proportion because large population & political power

Stakeholders

  • Farmers - 80% allocation for 810,000 hectares of agricultural land irrigation 
  • Mexicans - delta reduced water & sediment 90% extracted before reaching Mexico
  • US Federal government - line Imperial Valley with concrete (water conservation project) but any change will affect supplies in Mexico 
  • Indigenous groups - Native Americans disputes with federal government since 1880
  • Environmentalists & recreationalists - development of lakes heavy use of Lake Powell threatening lakeshore areas
  • City dwellers - SW states urbanisation - California forcing Imperial Valley farmers to supply Los Angeles & San Diego 
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Consequences for Colorado

Benefits

  • Flood & sediment control
  • Domestic water supply

Costs 

  • Water loss from evaporation & seepage 
  • Groundwater overdraft 
  • Salinisation as a result of irrigation 

Big Thompson Project 1959

  • Farmers VS developers 
  • Farmers argue water rights but water wasted from irrigation 
  • Cucupa fishermen in Mexico forced to leave 90% extracted before reaching Mexico 

Conflict Inevitable? NO

  • Dams created issues
  • No real underlying tension
  • Drug smuggling more of an issue
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Aral Sea

Issues 

  • Former Soviet Union diverted Amu & Syr Darya rivers 
  • Chemical fertilisers & pesticides DDT
  • Fields used to grow water-intensive crops - main source of income for Kazakhstan 
  • 4.5 million hectares 1960 to 7 million hectares 1980 due to rapid irrigation development
  • High temperatures = high evporation rates
  • Covers 10% of former surface area
  • Receives 10 times less water 

Impacts 

  • Economic - 60,000 fishermen lost livelihoods (live below poverty line, salinisation, migrate to seek employment elsewhere)
  • Social - cancers, TB & malnutrition - drink salty water kidney failure - dust from exposed ground respiratory disorders.
  • Environmental - destruction of ecosystems & salt water insursion farming increases pollution 
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Management of Aral Sea

Kok-Aral Dam 2005 

  • World Bank & Kazakhstan government
  • Syrn Darya prevetned from reaching futher south 
  • Sea level rose from 30-38m by 2006
  • Fish stocks recovered 
  • Uzbekistan had no say but unlikely to reduce use of Amu Darya as most income from cotton exports 

Afforestation 

  • International Fund for saving the Aral Sea 
  • 14-20% forest cover
  • Influence hydrological cycle - more channel flow as well as more infilitration, trnaspiration & precipitation.
  • Imporve both North AND South 
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The Nile

World's longest river 

  • 10 countries providing 360 million people with water 
  • Covers 10% Africa's land mass
  • Relatively low flow (compared to Amazon & Congo)
  • Lower course (Egypt) soil degradation & Aswan Dam mega project 
  • 94% used by Egypt & Sudan BUT 85% originates in Eritrea & Ethiopia 

Issues& Hydropolitics 

  • Rising population in Eypt & Ethiopia 
  • Climate change Sahel & general patterns of rainfall & less evapotranspiration 
  • Source - immediate flooding - White Nile Storage 
  • No government in East DRC, South Sudan & CAR civil war - no management 
  • Nile Basin Initiative - water war averted 
  • UN Helsinki rules 1996 regulated how transboundary rivers & groundwater should be managed
  • Negotiated with World Bank & bi-lateral aid donors 10/11 countries equal use - large community involvement 

Conflict Inevitable? 

  • Tensions present due to Egypt's dominance & treaties in 1929 & 1959 Nile Water Agreements 
  • Ethiopia dam building for HEP & industrial dev 1990s - Blue Nile - Eqgypt threatened war 1999
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Bolivia Privatisation of Water

Bolivia, Cochabamba

  • 36% GDP spent servicing debt
  • 1990s Bolivia required new development lonas from the World Bank 
  • Needed to comply with the World Bank's requirements - privatisatio of services including water
  • 50% increases in protests between 1999-2000
  • SEMAPA sold to French & US Aguas del Tunari - invested in buildingd dams Misicuni Project - Law 2029 gave Aguas del Tunari control over all water in Cochabamba

La Paz - privately run water supply 

  • Corporate efficiency 
  • 100& coverage - water pipes installed only in city but could not afford - 200,000 excluded since 2005 due to cost 
  • $450/ person for connection but average wages $17/ month 
  • Less than 20% population connected 

Cochabamba - nationalised water supply 

  • Government inefficiency 
  • 45% coverage & available 2 hours a day 3 days a week - walk for safe water - dig own wells & collect from trucks
  • Low rates therefore able to afford BUT government lack funding & infrastructure
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Water privatisation

Water is a human right 

  • World Bank 
  • UN Human rights council 
  • 60% Bolivians live below the poverty line 
  • Average earnings $100/ year
  • Water rates rose in Cochabamba from $10 to $20 per month

Water is a commodity

  • Limited areas have access 
  • Aguas del Tunari took on $30 million in debt 
  • Sanitation to residents 
  • Generate electricity
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Sahel Region Physical Water Scarcity

Issues

  • Majority landlocked therefore lack precipitation - extreme poverty 
  • Population growth
  • Global warming & climate change 
  • High pressure dominates - short rainy season - below average since 1970 
  • Poor agricultural management - overgrazing 
  • Lack of surface avilability
  • Poor geology - no aquifers & lack money/ technology 

Economic impacts 

  • Dehydrated & malnourished workforce - limited productivity - little economic growth 
  • Government investing in securing water supplies rather than education & healthcare 
  • Debt - moast of region reliant on aid 

Social Impacts 

  • Drought & famine dominate - Niger famine 2004 
  • Locals forced to leave & become refugees elsewhere 
  • Sahel is always food insecure - constant threat 
  • Girls collect water - no education 

Environmental Impacts

  • Past 50 years Sahara moved 2-5km / year into Sahel - desertification & soil erosion  - can't maintain vegetation 
  • Flash floods 
  • Drought - lower river levels - reduced availability 
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China's Water Security

South-North Water Diversion Project 

  • Chinese government $62 billion 
  • 330,000 people displaced - relocated for expansion of Danjiangkou reservoir 
  • East & Central route completed 
  • West route complete 2050 
  • East - factories - pollution - water not fit to drink 
  • 2011 Han River & Danjiangkou so low - not sufficient water for drinking & crops 
  • Diversion of water from the Yangtze River Basin causing problems to worsen since 3 Gorges

3 Gorges Dam 

Advantages 

  • Ships able to navigate the rivers & reach the Chungong 
  • Job creation - increasing tourism along river
  • Development of new towns & farms - protect farmland from flooding 
  • 10% electricity through HEP 

Disadvantages

  • 150 towns & 4500 villages flooded - displacement of 1.3 million people 
  • Lake pollution - industrial waste
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