Water Conflicts Case Studies

Where does all of California's precipitation get lost?
65% through evaporation, 13% from surface run-off into the sea, leaving only 22%
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Why has water demand increased in California?
increasing domestic footprints, expanding agriculture, rapid urbanisation
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Where is the Californian rapid urbanisation taking place?
in the desert sunbelt e.g. Phoenix and Las Vegas
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Why has supply fallen in California?
prolonged droughts e.g. 2005-08, worsening climate change, reduction of Sierra Nevada snowpack
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Why does conflict occur in California?
due to the spatial imbalance of rainfall distribution between the north and south, the Alamo Canal disrupting Mexican supply
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When and why was the Alamo Canal built?
built in 1901 to supply water for farmers in Southern California
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What was the scheme called in California to overcome the conflict?
The California State Water Project (SWP) - 1950s
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Why was the SWP controversial?
It was designed to provide water for the South but Northerners lost out so both sides demanded guarantees
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How much does California now take since the SWP 1963 allocation
20% more than its allocation
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Where does the River Ganges emerge from?
the Central Himalayas
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How many people rely on the River Ganges?
350 million
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What is expected to happen to the demand on the River Ganges?
double by 2050
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What dam was built along the River Ganges? (when/where?)
The Farakka Dam was built in 1975 only 18km from the Bangladeshi border
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What negative effects did the Farakka Dam bring for Bangladesh?
flow was seriously reduced during dry periods, shortages, decreased soil quality, decreased fish population and mangroves, salt water intrusion
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What negotiations took place between India and Bangladesh?
negotiations began in 1975 but a treaty was only decided in 1996 as all previous agreements were broken as India over-withdrew
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Which river is the longest in SouthEast Asia and 12th longest in the world?
The Mekong River
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How many countries does the Mekong flow through?
6 (China, Burma, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos)
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When did plans to build dams along the Mekong begin?
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How many dams are there currently along the Mekong?
17 planned or completed
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What did an environmental group say about the Mekong dams?
International River said it was "a trans-boundary water crisis"
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What did the Mekong Dams cause?
half of free-flowing water to turn stagnant, fish migration, 100,000 lost homes, risking the food security of over 2 million, reduced sediment flow
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What did the Mekong Agreement establish to overcome conflict? (when/why?)
The Mekong River Commission (MRC) was established in 1995 with the aim of joint management of the shared water resources
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What MRC created procedures to overcome what issues?
navigation, fishing, drought/flooding, hydropower, environmental monitoring
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What river is the Three Gorges Dam located?
the Yangtze River
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What were the estimated costs of the Three Gorges Dam?
$22.5 billion
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What was the aim of the Three Gorges Dam?
to take care of several major issues (flooding, drought, water insecurity) with one large stroke as well as hoping it would be a future source of energy
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What has the Three Gorges Dam set a record for?
the most amount of people displaced (1.2 million)
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What were the benefits of the Three Gorges Dam?
power production would save 50million tonnes of coal per year, supply water for an area responsible for 22% of China GDP, increase tourism due to the calming on the Yangtze
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What were the costs of the negatives of the Three Gorges Dam?
drown 100,000 hectares, 13 cities and 1,500 factories, displace 1.9 million people, damage fish, habitats and biodiversity, trap sediment which would damage turbines
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What is the largest and most complex engineering project in Australia?
The Snowy Mountains Scheme
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What does the Snowy Mountains Scheme consist of?
16 major dams, 7 power stations and a network of pipes/tunnels
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When did work on the Snowy Mountains Scheme start and finish?
started in 1949 and finished in 1974
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What was the aim of the Snowy Mountains scheme?
to divert and collect water to be used by power stations to create electricity
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What were the negatives of the Snowy Scheme?
the storage lakes destroyed valuable wildlife habitats and in some place the Snowy River has fallen to 1% of its original discharge
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Why did conflict arise with the Snowy Scheme?
because farmers and city dwellers were competing for this 1% of original discharge
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What is making the impacts of the Snowy Mountains Scheme worse?
El Nino
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What spatial water inequality is present in China?
the south is rich in water yet the north is not
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When did China's South-North Project start and how long will it take, and how much did it cost?
project began in 2003 and it will take 50 years to complete, costing $62 billion
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What does the South-North project consist of?
3 canals, linking the four major Chinese rivers
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What else is included in the South-North plans?
water conservation, improved irrigation, pollution treatment and environmental protection
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Why are people still worried about the South-North scheme?
pollution of the Yangtze is already at alarming levels and industrial and city wastewater is being mixed unchecked, fearing an ecological disaster
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How many people were given safe water in rural Bangladesh?
94% in the form of tube wells
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Why is the Bangladesh tubewell success now being endangered?
because of the discovery that 20 million people may be at great danger and 20 million at lesser danger due to arsenic contamination
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Since the discovery, how many households have stopped using the tube wells in Bangladesh?
87% used tube wells but this has only fallen by 1.5% due to a lack of education/alternatives
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Why is pollution along the Citarum River so high?
all riverside towns have no way of disposing waste so it gets dumped in the river and factories waste all flows straight into the river.
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What are the impacts of this pollution along the Citarum?
fishermen no longer catch fish, millions depend on the river for washing/drinking, more than 60% of children suffer from impetigo, mercury levels 4x safe level
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What are factories doing along the Citarum river?
the large textile industry ($12billion) pollute the river by dumping coloured dye which workers inside use protective wear when dealing with it, yet children play in the red water on the outside
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How was the pollution managed by the government along the Citarum?
a wastewater legislation was introduced in 2009 for all factories but government now fails to imply it
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How is pollution being managed by locals along he Citarum?
groups of locals go out each day to block factory waste pipes but receive death threats if caught and dealt with by local gangs
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Other cards in this set

Card 2


Why has water demand increased in California?


increasing domestic footprints, expanding agriculture, rapid urbanisation

Card 3


Where is the Californian rapid urbanisation taking place?


Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4


Why has supply fallen in California?


Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5


Why does conflict occur in California?


Preview of the front of card 5
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