Water security case study cards

Case study cards:

  • GAP project
  • Israel
  • China (south north)
  • California
  • MDB
  • Bolivia 
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GAP project

  • Anatolia region; become the breadbasket of the Middle East by 2015
  • Geopolitical issue: Syria and Iraq; damming Euphrates and Tigris Rivers; By international law Turkey has agreed to control water supplies to an international level to Syria (but not to Iraq)
  • Syria and Iraq worried that Turkey will withold supplies for political reasons
  • Only 16% of water in Turkey is available for use 
  • GAP aims to provide irrigation for 1.7 million hectares of land; supporting 9% of Turkey's population
  • Help the SE Anatolian region by 400% and Turkey's economy as a whole to grow by 12%
  • 34,000 residents will be forced to relocate 
  • Flooding of Hasankeyf; an ancient town 
  • Austrian, Swiss and German companies formed a consortium to build the Ilisu Dam. 
  • Ilisu Dam most controversial; biggest part of GAP and highlights difficulties involved in securing the water for Middle East; several foreign gvts pulled out and engineering companies pulled out after the potential negative impacts became clear
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China South North transfer project

  • North not rich in water water supplies
  • South is rich
  • $62 billion; 2003
  • Project to re-distribute water 
  • Will take 50 years to complete 
  • 3 canals will connect four rivers (1300km) ; re-distribute 44.8 billion m3/ year
  • 60% funded by central gvt; rest funded by local governments 
  • Risks:
  • Fish supplies depletion
  • Resettlement of displaced communities 
  • Worsening water supplies 
  • Yangtze River polluted; excess pesticides & fertilisers (eutrophication)


1) Water conservation, 2) Improved irrigation, 3) Pollution treatment, 4) Environmental protection

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  • Much of California is arid 
  • Growing population
  • 65% of water is lost through evaportation and transpitation 
  • Seasonal shortages; 50% of rain falls between November and March 
  • Spatial imbalance; 75% of rainfall falls in the North but 75% of population lives in the South 
  • To provide this; wetlands have been drained, natural habitats altered, depleted fish stocks; all to secure water supplies 
  • Colorado River Basin; Provides 60% of California's supplies, 1922 Colorado Compact. Water flows and pop changed. California use 20% more water than they were allocated
  • Bay Delta; 60 low lying islands. Pop 1/2 mollion. Poorly maintianed levees, salty water has submerged some of the islands and reduce water quality
  • CALFED bay Delta Program aims to: reduce conflicts by developing a sustainable long term solution to water management and environmental problems; management of water conflict. 
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  • Salton Sea is now threatened: 

- agricultural sump; now threatened: 

  • Increasing evaporation rates
  • Tourists have stopped visiting the area.
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  • Four main sources: 
  • Mountain aquifers, underground aquifers, golan heights, smaller sources
  • Consumes 500 billion litres more than it recieves naturally 
  • Population is growing with an annual growth rate of 1.5% 
  • Droughts are increasingly common and are lasting longer
  • It is often in dispute with its neighbours 
  • Golan Heights; Syria want it to be returned; Israel would lost 25% of its water supply 
  • Palestines; salinised aquifers; threatening Israel's water supplies
  • Spatial imbalance; economic water scarcity 
  • Shifting economy to high tech technology 
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  • Demand mngmt
  • 1) Managing limited supplies
  • Recycling sewage water/ agricultural consumption 
  • Better water treatment plans and stringent conservation techniques 
  • 2) Acquiring new supplies 
  • Importing 50 million m3 of water per year by ship from Turkey
  • Piping seawater from the Red Sea and Med 
  • 3) Expanding virtual water supplies
  • Importing water rich foods saves vast amounts of water 
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  • Agua del Tunari took over Cochamba's water system in1999
  • Company then immediately raised water prices to pay for a major dam project & ensure a 16% profit margin 
  • Poor had to choose between paying for water and feeding families
  • Riots for four days; 170 injuries, one death 
  • Bolivian government cancelled Agua del Tunair's contract

Shows the problems with privatisation of water supplies. 

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Murray Darling Basin

  • Five fold increase in water extraction since the 1920s 
  • MDB; food bowl that feeds million of Australian's
  • Agriculture reallocates much of the water. As a result: 
  • - Natural floodplains no longer flood 
  • - Red gum trees are dying out 
  • - 50-80% of native wetland birds and fish species extinct 
  • Stakeholders: Industrial users, aquaculture, env. groups, gvmts 
  • MDB  experiencing env. degradation; tech fixes have allowed growth in agricultural sector, but have been at the expense of the environment 
  • Integrated management system necessary'; the Murray Darling Plan. Shows a willingness to change

Trends in water demand and supply make the future insecure. 

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