Water Conflicts

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Water conflicts
-predicted water gap between growing demands and diminishing supplies
-population growth and economic development will increase demand
-if the business as usual model is followed there will be a 56% increase in demand
-potential conflicts between countries with a surplus and those with a water deficit
-66% of the world’s population is reliant on 25% of the world’s rainfall
-conflict may arise from the water availability gap which reflects the development gap
-climate change, over abstraction, population growth, costs and pollution will all influence supplies

The geography of water supply
-supplies are linked to three main physical factors; climate, rivers and geology
-only 1% of the earth’s total water resources are easily accessible as surface water

Water stress, scarcity and vulnerability
-by 2025 nearly half of the world’s population will be water vulnerable
-water stress will occur in the Middle East, North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa and South West USA
-scarcity can be grouped into physical and economic
-physical scarcity occurs when more than 75% of a countries river flows are in use
-economic scarcity occurs when water is limited due to poverty and a lack of technology, some 1 billion African’s have physical access to water but can not access water supplies due to technological limits enforced by poverty
-by 2050 there will be 4 billion people experiencing stress and 1.5 billion experiencing scarcity
-even south west England will be vulnerable

Human impacts on water availability
 -over abstraction can lead to a loss of supplies
 -salination may also occur due to over abstraction

 -sewage pollution may lead to water borne diseases such as Cholera; by 2020 up to 135 million people may die from these disease
 -in Bangladesh millions of deeptube wells were dug to provide clean water for the population however, the supplies have since become contaminated by arsenic slowly leading to the poisoning of the population
 -chemical fertilisers used in eutrophication contaminate ground water
 -industrial water is dumped which may be toxic

Water insecurity
-the world’s poorest countries are typically the most insecure
-the Water Poverty Index (WPI) is used to reflect water security
-wealthy countries such as Canada score highly on the WPI with high scores of 80/100 whilst poorer countries such as Ethiopia score low scores 40/100

The risks of water


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