water conflicts

HideShow resource information
  • Created by: emily
  • Created on: 19-05-15 16:12

water in California

  • -mostly arid annual percipitation between 200-500mm per year
  • - A third of the freshwater supply from ground water (aquifers)
  • most rivers are fed by snow melt from the sierra nevada mountins
  • colorado river provides water for 25 million californioans 60% of S Calli water supply comes from colerado water systems (dams and aquifers)
  • south and east eg death valey reive under 100mm due to rain shadow
  • water supply influenced by El Nino bringing above averge run of meaning flooding and La Nina bringing droughts. 
  • Population growth 10 million in 1950 38 million by 2008 (unevenly disspributed south demands it 75% of percipitaion in the north)
  • 6th largest economy high quality lifestyle.
  • state wtaer project (SWP) centrall valley project ( CVP) provide water from sacramento san joaquin river delta for central southern california) 
1 of 15

scarcity in northern china

  • rainfall is not even distruted across china (deficit in the north with 150-500mm per year) south recives over 1500mm per year 
  • NE china is prone to drought + most rainfall falls in july- september theres wet years follwed by dry years 
  • rising population(16m in bejing rural to urban migrants) 
  • industrial output has increased more than 6th fold in last 20 years 
  • fastest rate of increase is domestic water use risen 10 fold in last 50 years (growing economy = higher standeres of living 
  • Bejing drwas 60% of water from aquifers = overexploited 
  • northern city of shijiazhuang water table falling by 1.5m per year 
  • yagantze river heavily pollutued by industrial waste (low enviromental regualtions) 
  • yellow river contains alot of toxic waste and heavy metals (could enter human food chain) 
2 of 15

millennium development goals

  • vital for tackling global issues for health and well being 
  • in 2005 only 12% of devloping countries have manged to introduce effective strategies to provide safe water and sanitaion 
  • 2008 international year on sanitaion
  • a number of countries still face a uphill batter with 884 million people relying on unimproved water. (85% if these people live in rural areas) 
3 of 15

coca-cola plachimada India

  • largest beverage company in the world and in 2004 used 283 billion litres of water 
  • invested 1 billion dollars betweent 1993 and 2003 
  • employs 6000 directly and more tha indirectly 
  • plachimada bottling plant oppned in 1998 and wells began dry up 
  • comapany accused of putting farmers out of work by poising the land with waste sludge 
  • claimed coca-coala was discharging waste water to the fields and rivers pulutting ground water and soil. 
  • depeation of the water table
  • following protest local goverment revoked the comapanies lincence and the 25 million dollar plant was shut down 
4 of 15


  • suffers from water scaricity 
  • water consuption of 1 littre per day population of 79 million 
  • fetched daily from shared recourses 
  • water shortages puts water at risk of pollution and spread of disease 
  • 24% of people have acsses to improved water 12% accsess to improved sannitation 
  • 93% used for agriculture !% for domestic use
  • emerging economy increasingly trying gain recousres from the nile.
  • wants to devlop an irragted farming system that would tap in to egypts supply (potential conflict)
  • small scale projects (bottom up) from NGO's (water aid) wells in rural communities improving health and sanitation.
5 of 15

water extremes / ground water supply

  • Bolivia - water prices are charged by french private company 
  • proces are to ohigh for local people 200000 'choose' not to be connnected to water 
  • Detroit -  40000 to poor to pay water bil resroted to illegal night tapping 

                                         ground water 

  • South American guarni aquifer sytem could serve 15 million people but threatned by polution 
  • USA/Mexico hueco basin aquuifer - treated wate waterfrom USA beining injested back into well to replenish the aquifers
  • Middle East Isreal and pallistein shre 4 aquifers (1995 oslo agreement isrealies get 4x as much water) 
6 of 15

Conflict in the middle east

  • low seasonal rainfall
  • successive droughts through whole region 1990-2005 (increased tennsion) 
  • growing population + economic growth meaning increased standard of living 
  • no single country can resolve there problems without impact on another country 
  • Gaza aquifer is badly overdrawn and polluted 
  • costal aquifer in israel is depleated and suffers salt water icursion 
  • eastern aquifer overdrawn and saline 
  • Turkey + isreal use natural water supplies to improve economically they use water from rivers that flow through other countries meaning there water policies have seriouse impacts on syria iraq jordan and lebonon 
  • disputes over water supplies 
  • israel consumes the most water 2200 billion litres anually
  • bombing of lembonies pipelines in 2006 highlights reginal sensitivties over water 
  •  Turkey plans to build dams in tigris strongly oppossed by syria and iraq as it reduces there water supply hold them back in economic devlopment and food production 
  • israel and turkey under sea pipeline link via N cyprus 2006 the pipline was scrapped as fear of terroism an desalinatinf sea water fall 
  • turkey propossed a peace bridge overland pipeline to link all middle eastern states 
7 of 15


  • gangles flow mainly through india but last part of course travles though bangaldesh
  • upstream the ater was diverted into irragation systems and many of indias largest cities it also carries watse water from domestic and industrial use 
  • this means bangladesh is deprived of much needed water and suffers the effect of pollution
  • reduced flow is effecting irragation an dfood production 
  • fish stocks and fishing industries declined 
  • navagation and water bourne trade becoming harder because of lower levels 
  • increasing salinisation 
  • delta is eroding because less silt is being eroded and deposited 
  • 1990 a treaty was signed by the two countries sharing the water india has much contorl over it
8 of 15

the Nile

  • worlds longest river runs through 10 countries 360 million people depending on its water
  • desertification and slaination increased evaporation linked to climate change 
  • 85% of its water originates from eritra and ethiopia 94% of it used in sudan and egypt
  • egypt has always had dominace over the nile (sudan and ethiopia in civil wars) 
  • tension from egypts treaties dating back to 1929 and 1959 
  • ethiopia finnaly have a growing economy it wants more water from the nile to devlop irragated farming
  • 8 out of the 10 countries are willing to work together 
  • sudan and egypt refuse to sighn the frame work of the nile basin initative they dont want to loose hisorical power over the nile 
  • with populations growing and economies devloping the ponteencial for conflict is growing.
9 of 15

Colorado River

  • Basin most heavily source of iragation water in the USA 10 major dams serves 30 m people 
  • water rights between states allocated in 1922 by colorado compact 
  • established division water between colorado, wyoming, utah and new mexico,arizona, nevada, california and mexico where the river meets the sea.
  • allocated califonia larget proportion because of the largest population(and political power) this has been reduced however california still takes 20%
  • population levels have increased since 1922 and rainfall has decressed by 10% (less water more people)
  • 2007 a new agreement was reached to divide the shortages the actual amount of water available will determine the deliveries to each state california has been given to 2016 to cut the amount it extracts by 20%

                                             stake holders

  • farmers recive 80% of river allocation foverment supply water at a low cost 
  • city dwellers SW increasingly urbanised (accused of taking water tahts other states might need in the future 
  • envirometalist concerned over recreatinal use of lakes
  • native americans claims to water rights based on treaties between tribes and goverments
  • 90% of water is used up before it gets to mexico
  • hard enginering - large scale dam construction - envirmentally damagaing 
10 of 15

snowy mountains transfer scheme

  • largest hard engineering project in autrallia 16 major dams 7 power stations
  • collects and diverts water so can be used in power stations to create electricity 
  • the creation of storage lakes eg eucubene have destroyed valuble habbitats
  • some places sowny river flow has fallen to 1% of uts original discharge 
  • low flow have led to salinisation problems have affected farming in muray low lands
  • water scaricty has set farmers aginst city dwellers in the compeate for supply 
  • pollitical fallout forced goverments in to water saving projects by restoring the flow in the snowy river 
11 of 15

private or public supplies

  • acssess to water is increasingly beaing made by TNC's rather than natinal goverments 
  • goverments in MEDC's passing the responsibility for mondernising water inferstucture to private companies goverments would save money 
  • charging comercial price was thought to reduce consumption 
  • 7% of worlds population get water from private supplies
  • water privatisation not always gone to plan Bolivia water was to expencive poor couldnt afford to pay 20% of there wadges for water
  • took to streets to start rioting (4 days 170 injuries and 17 year old killed) goverment cancelled the contract.
12 of 15

three gorges (china)

  • largest bydro electrical scheme (constructed along the yangtze river)
  • needed due to there reliance on coal power this is a clean energy source for rapid industrial growth 
  • 18000 MW electricity gennerated could save 50 million tones of coal per year
  • supply water to a regioin responsible for 22% of chinas GDP
  • flood protection could save many lives and financial looses created by flooding 
  • the dammed water will drown 100000hectares on arable land, 13 cities villiges ans 1500 factories
  • 1.9 million people will be displaced 
  • damm faliure and earthquakes and heavy rain pose seriouse risk 
  • ecological impacts on fisheries and biodiversity 
  • pollution will increase as abandoned mines and factories will be flooded 
  • cost benefit anaylisis profitible after 25 years
  • most likely will over run projected cost by 50%
13 of 15

aral sea

  • soveit goverment secured 68 million dolla loan from word bank to help save the aral sea to build a dam that split sea into 2 
  • diverted water to the river amu darya and sry darya
  • the aral sea shurk to only 20% of its previouse size 

                                    restoration of the aral sea

  • they have a loan from world bank of 126 million this will be used to  build a second dam to bring water back to the deserted port of aralsk
  • northern sea is filing back up because water from the syr darya is once again flowing to the aral sea
14 of 15

china's north south divide

  • south of china is rich in water rescourses north is not
  • projected is needed because of high population, industrial centres and intensive agricultural land
  • low rain fall and over extrcated ground water recourses (physical scarity in north)
  • started in 2003 expected to take 50 years to compleate and 62 billion dollas
  • involves building 3 cannals runinng 13000km links 4 major rivers (yangtze, yellow,huai and han
  • supply to big cities eg bejing and tianjin
  • transfers around 44.8 billion m3 of water per year 
  • central goverment paying 60% and local authorities 40%
  • people are concerned about the uncertanties of the project 
  • ecological and enviromental impacts (worsening the water quality yangtze is polluted at alarming levels) 
  • untreated industrial and city waste water being mixed with unchecked agricultural run off
  • huia river serverly polluted and and yellow river is undrinkable 
15 of 15


No comments have yet been made

Similar Geography resources:

See all Geography resources »See all Case studies resources »