Water World

Why are there unreliable water supplies?

What are the effects of living in the Sahel?

How can climate change affect water?

Why are their threats to water quality?

How are humans interfering with the hydrological cycle?

Large scale water management

Small scale water management

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Why are there unreliable water supplies?

  • Population Growth- more people means a higher demand for drinking water and water for sanitary use
  • Agricultural Demand- more people means more food and crops, water needed for farming
  • Tourism- water needed for tourism development
  • Industrial Development- lots of water needed for making things eg. steel and paper
  • Energy- hydroelectric power and water stored in reservoirs means an increase in evaporation
  • Urbanisation- people living in urban areas mean water must be sanitised
  • Climate Change- affects rainfall, evaporation and water availability, a decrease in rainfall

Water Stress: demand for water exceeds the amount available during a certain period or when the quality isn't good enough for use

Water Scarcity:

  • Physical- demand exceeds supply eg. Central Asia
  • Economic- cannot afford water although readily available eg. sub-Saharan Africa
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What are the effects of living in the Sahel?

Rain falls only 1/2 months a year

250 and 450mm of rain falls 


  • river and water holes dry up
  • water table can fall
  • subsistence farmers affected, can produce enough crops for family
  • grasses die and soil erosion affects farming

The Sahel runs through countries such as Niger and Sudan which puts pressure in drought years due to their growing population. Famine can be caused from falling food supplies.

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How can climate change affect the amount of water?

By 2050, 50% of the world will face water shortages.

Global Warming:

  • changes in climate patterns- some areas decrease in rain fall
  • more glaciers will melt
  • increase in extreme weather eg. floods and droughts
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What are the threats to water quality?

Affects of water pollution:

  • Domestic: streams flow through slums and shanty towns of megacities which pollutes it
  • Industrial: streams are polluted with raw sewage
  • Agricultural: pesticides and herbicides run off into rivers
  • Transport-based 
  • Diseases such as cholera and dysentery
  • Use up oxygen which can kill organisms
  • Destroy life in rivers
  • Eutrophication
  • Lead to cancer
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How are humans interfering with the hydrological c

Uses of water:

  • Drinking
  • Washing
  • Industry
  • Hydroelectric power
  • Water disposal

Overabstraction: taking too much water which can result in droughts

Reservoir Building: storage of water but can cause loss of land, diseases and loss of habitat

Deforestation: affects water cycle

  • reduces evapotranspiration, less water is recycled
  • soil surface exposed to heat results in it becomign impermeable
  • Decrease interception increasing flood risk and loss of soil nutrients
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Large scale water managament

Akosombo Dam Located in Ghana, Africa and built to provide country with hydroeletric power


  • Expensive, £130 million which was borrowed from the World Bank
  • Surrounding land no longer fertile so more feritilisers need to be used
  • No flooding so nutrients are lost
  • Decline in shrimp and clams. caused famine and loss of money
  • 80,000 people homeless and loss of jobs
  • More earthquakes
  • Increase in coastal erosion


  • Lake can be used for transportation
  • Farming acitivites created
  • More tourists and power generated can be used to power industries
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Small scale water management

Water Aid worked in ghana to build 20 flushing toilets


  • small scale so it only helps a small amount of people
  • Dependant on donations
  • Reinforces gender roles


  • less corruption
  • Cheaper than large scale water management
  • less diseases and debt
  • Improves health
  • Local people involved and asked for their opinion
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