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Flashcards in The Challenge Of Resource Management Deck (61):


A stock or supply of something that has a value or purpose.


Resource management

The control and monitoring of resources so they don’t become depleted or exhausted.



When there is more of a resource than is needed to meet demand.



When there is not enough of a resource to meet demand.


What is the significance of FOOD to economic and social well being?

-Calories provide energy.

-Malnourishment leads to disease and death. In children it can lead to underperforming at school + in adults they will be less productive at work which decreases economic well being.

-Globally over 1 billion people are malnourished (not enough calories) and 2 billion are undernourished (poor diet).

-Obesity is and issue in some areas, mainly HICs.


What is the significance of WATER to economic and social well being?

-Source of energy for people, plants, factories, power.

-Clean, safe water enables development + allows people to break free from the cycle of poverty.

-Globally 2 billion people drink from contaminated water sources.

-Over 500,000 people per year die due to diarrhoeal diseases linked to contaminated water supplies.


What is the significance of ENERGY to economic and social well being?

-Traditionally we get energy from oil, coal + wood.

-Used for electricity production, heating, transport + water supply.

-Supports industrialisation + development.

-Used a lot by HICs + used increasingly more by NEEs.


Global inequalities in the supply and consumption of FOOD

-Average calorie consumption is 3200 calories per person per day in the UK, but 2590 in Mali.

-Areas of greatest population growth have highest levels of undernourishment.

-Demand depends on changing diets + increasing population.

-Supply depends on climate, soil + level of technology.


Global inequalities in the supply and consumption of WATER

-Fresh water is unequally distributed.

-The average amount of water used per day is 2483 litres in the USA, but 896 litres in Bangladesh.

-Water scarcity can be physical (little rainfall) or economic (can’t afford access to water)

-1 in 5 people live in areas of water scarcity.


Global inequalities in the supply and consumption of ENERGY

-The richest 13% of people globally use 50% of the world’s energy, whereas the poorest 13% of people globally use 4% of the world’s energy.

-Countries import + export energy.

-Some countries don’t have their own sources of energy.



A farm run as a business with the main aim being profit.


Carbon footprint

A measurement of all greenhouse gases we individually produce.


Food miles

The distance covered supplying food to consumers.


Organic farming

Farming which does not include the use of chemicals (e.g. pesticides and fertilisers).

-natural predators for pest control (e.g. ladybirds)

-natural fertilisers (e.g. animal slurry)

-mechanical weeding

-animals farmed without use of drugs


The changing demand for food in the UK:

Growing demand for high value food exports from LICs and all year demands for seasonal and organic produce.

•Foods used to be seasonally and locally sourced. Now we eat globally sourced foods all year.

•Consumers in the UK want out-of-season and exotic foods available all year round.

•In 2013, 47% of UK food was imported.

•High quality products are 5 times the price of similar products.

•Positive impacts - jobs + wages for those in LICs, more tax income leads to a better quality of life.

•Negative impacts - less land for locals to farm for themselves, high water use + exposure to chemicals (pesticides + fertilisers).

•Since 1990s there has been an increase in demand for organically farmed foods. Now worth £2 billion a year in the UK.


The changing demand for food in the UK:

Larger carbon footprints due to the increased number of food miles travelled.

•Foods can be grown cheaply elsewhere.

•Production + transport create a carbon footprint.

•17% of UK’s carbon footprint is due to food.

•Annual food miles travelled by UK food imports is 18.8 billion miles.

•However, carbon footprints from growing food in the UK where greenhouses would have to be heated can be bigger than that created by the food miles of imported food.

•UK now encouraging buying local and having an allotment.


The changing demand for food in the UK:

A trend towards agribusiness.

•Agribusinesses have significant impacts on the environment as they are associated with heavy use of pesticides + fertilisers, leading to reduction in wildlife + eutrophication.

•East Anglia has lots of agribusinesses.


How can the UK reduce its carbon emissions and reliance on food imports?

Buy seasonal UK produce

+Little environmental implications.
+UK less reliant on imports.
+Seasonally appropriate food tastes better.

-Less choice.
-Yields not great so more expensive.


How can the UK reduce its carbon emissions and reliance on food imports?

Limit UK food imports

+Some choice.
+Less transport needed.
+Red Tractor Scheme labels the origins of the food.

-Less choice.
-UK crops likely to become monocultures, threatened by disease.


How can the UK reduce its carbon emissions and reliance on food imports?

Eat locally produced food

+Contributes to local economy.
+Reduces food miles.
+Good for the soil.

-Less choice.
-Lower yields so more expensive


How can the UK reduce its carbon emissions and reliance on food imports?

Subsistence farming

+Practically no CO2 emissions released.
+Mental health benefits + physical exercise.

-Would take time + land.
-Labour intensive.
-Lower yield.


Methods to increase farm size for agribusinesses:

Combining smaller family farms.

+More space to grow more crops—>greater yield—>more profit.

-Hedgerows separating the farms must be removed—>loss of animal habitats.


Methods to increase farm size for agribusinesses:

Removing hedgerows.

+Creates larger fields to accommodate large machinery.
+Farmers save money as they don’t have the costs of upkeep on hedges.

-Loss of animal habitats and shelter belts (to protect crops from fierce weather).


Methods to increase farm size for agribusinesses:

Using modern production methods (e.g. aeroponics + hydroponics).

+Little space is required.
+Crops can be easily maintained.

-Very expensive.
-Relies on specialist knowledge of the exact nutrient mix for the plants.


Methods to increase farm size for agribusinesses:

Increased mechanisation.

+Farming is less labour intensive, so more efficient.
+Larger machinery can work faster, so more efficient.

-Quality of the soil become poor over time as efficiency means the soil is constantly in use.


Methods to increase farm size for agribusinesses:

Using the latest technology, better seeds and increased use of chemicals.

+Increased crop yield as fertilisers make crops grow better.
+Pesticides mean fewer plants are eaten by pests, so there are more crops to sell + less wastage.

-Increased river pollution due to chemical run-off.


Water security

When the demand for water is lower than the supply of water there will be a surplus, so the location is water secure.


Water insecurity

When the demand for water is greater than the supply of water there will be deficit, so the location is water insecure. (Water scarcity).


Why has water consumption in the UK risen?

•Increase in demand for out-of-season foods, which need more watering.

•Increase in wealth means more people can afford domestic appliances, which use water (e.g. washing machines).

•Increase in population means more people need water.

•Increase in industrial production, which uses lots of water.

•Changes in personal hygiene (e.g. people are having more showers).

•Increase in leisure use (e.g. golf courses need extensive watering).


Factors affecting water supply - Climate

-Levels of precipitation are affected by global circulation + proximity to the sea.

-Areas with higher rates of precipitation are likely to have a higher water supply.


Factors affecting water supply - Geology

-High infiltration of water (water soaked into soil) in places such as deserts means that water is not stored on the surface in lakes, so is not able to be used by people easily.

-Percolation of water (water soaked into bedrock) leads to water storage in permeable rock (aquifers).


Factors affecting water supply - Pollution of supply

-Waste from industry cause pollution of water supplies, which can affect places a long way from the source of pollution.

-HICs have laws preventing pollution of water supplies, whereas even if laws exist in LICs they are not always enforced.

-Where sanitation is poor, human waste enters rivers and lakes. This can cause a rapid spread of cholera and typhoid.


Factors affecting water supply - Over-abstraction

-When water is pumped from the ground at a rate which is faster than it recharges (refills through precipitation percolation), the ground water level drops and wells dry up.


Factors affecting water supply - Limited infrastructure

-LICs have limited money to provide the infrastructure needed for water (pipes).

-This is a particular problem in rural areas.


Factors affecting water supply - Poverty

-1/8th of the population don’t have access to clean, safe water.

-If people don’t have money they are not able to buy clean water or filtration systems, which means they have to walk miles to collect water from unsafe sources.

-Unclean water leads to illness, which leads to less time for children to be in school + for adults to work.

-Inability to work or become educated means people can not afford clean water - vicious cycle.


Impacts of water insecurity—Water pollution

—>Too many chemicals from agriculture + industrial waste.

—>Lack of water prevents chemicals being flushed away.

—>Poor quality water affects aquatic ecosystem (e.g. eutrophication).

—>More than half the world’s wetlands have disappeared.


Impacts of water insecurity—Waterborne diseases

—>Chemicals, raw sewage, manufacturing waste, human + animal remains end up in the water supply.

—>With limited flow the river can’t remove it quick enough + it becomes unfit for human consumption.

—>Dirty water leads to waterborne diseases (e.g. cholera).

—>2 million people die each year from diarrhoea.


Impacts of water insecurity—Food production

—>Most agriculture relies on irrigation to maintain high crop yields.

—>If there is insufficient water of a high quality then crops can’t be grown.

—>Safe water is needed for livestock.

—>Reduced yields can lead to social and economic issues.

—>Food shortages and famine in areas like the Sahel in Africa which don’t have enough irrigation for growing crops.


Impacts of water insecurity—Industrial output

—>Water is needed for cooling and other industrial processes.

—>If less water is available or the cost of water increases, the profitability of industry decreases.

—>Coal, gas + nuclear power need large quantities of water.

—>Water insecurity can affect energy supplies.


Impacts of water insecurity—Conflict

—>When water is limited it becomes a valuable commodity.

—>International competition can lead to tension or even ‘water wars’.

—>Tensions are inevitable in large river basins which are shared by 2 or more countries.

E.g. Conflict between Jordan and Israel since the Sea of Galilee provides water for the Jordan River, but Israel is taking 60% of water from the Sea of Galilee, leaving little for those in Jordan.


Strategies to increase water supply

-Diverting supplies-

•Rainwater can be used to recharge aquifers.
•This helps support a clean supply of water that has been filtered by percolation.


Strategies to increase water supply

-Dams and reservoirs-

•Damming a river allows water to be stored in a reservoir + controls river flow.
•This is a long-term solution, but very expensive.

E.g. Kielder Water is UK’s largest reservoir + also used to generate electricity.


Strategies to increase water supply

-Water transfer-

•Water from areas of surplus is transferred to areas of deficit through canals + pipes.
•The infrastructure required can be expensive + areas that previously had a surplus may go into deficit.

E.g. Kielder transfer scheme carries water south to rivers Tees and Wear. (+ tourism and HEP, - habitats and farmland flooded)


Strategies to increase water supply


•Saline water is taken from the sea.
•This passes through a desalinisation plant to create fresh water.
•Water supplies cannot run out, but it uses a lot of energy + is expensive.


Case study of a large-scale water transfer scheme: Three Gorges Dam, China

What does the dam do?

•Allows river levels to be controlled so flooding is reduced.
•Water can be redirected for irrigation.
•Sewage waste which used to be dumped in the river is now treated.


Case study of a large-scale water transfer scheme: Three Gorges Dam, China

Pros of the dam

+53 million people in the north benefit from access to better water supplies.
+Protects precious farmland from flooding.
+Water can be used for industry.
+Supplies 10% China’s energy.


Case study of a large-scale water transfer scheme: Three Gorges Dam, China

Cons of the dam

-Cost $27 billion to build and lots more to relocate everyone.
-1.3 million people were relocated.
-Water loss is high due to evaporation from channels.
-Reservoir may easily become polluted from industrial waste.


Sustainable water management

Water conservation

-Using less water.
-Use of more efficient white goods + toilets reduces water use.
-Water meters charge for the water used.
-Improved public awareness on the importance of saving water.


Sustainable water management

Groundwater management

-Water in aquifers can become polluted by fracking + mining.
-Water abstraction must be balanced by recharge to make sure groundwater levels don’t fall.
-Governments can safeguard groundwater by creating protection zones.


Sustainable water management

Water recycling

-Grey water is water that has either been lightly used (e.g. shower or sink water) or is untreated rainwater.
-After filtering it can be used for toilet flushes.


Case study of a local scheme to increase sustainable water supplies: WaterAid in Mali

What has WaterAid done in Mali?

•WaterAid is an NGO that relies on charity.

•They provide small-scale schemes in Mali using intermediate technology (rope pump + composting toilet) to provide clean water, sanitation + hygiene education.

•Local people are taught how to maintain the systems so they are less reliant on aid + it helps them develop by themselves.


Case study of a local scheme to increase sustainable water supplies: WaterAid in Mali

What are the impacts of WaterAid in Mali?

+Reduces time used in water collection, improving productivity.

+Increased crop yield due to irrigation + composting toilet which helps to grow plants.

+Deaths by diarrhoea have reduced by 60% + improved health means more time can be spent in school.

+Local people make money from selling soap.


How does the UK manage water quality?

•Only 27% of UK’s water is classed as being of ‘good status’.
•Environment Agency manages water quality through:

-legislation which limits the amount + type of discharge factories + farms can put in rivers. (+ wildlife, - people may not follow rules)

-education campaigns to inform the public on how to dispose of certain waste appropriately. (+ cheap, - may not have impact)

-green roofs and walls which filter rainwater. (+ reduce spread of chemicals via run-off, - expensive)

-pollution traps—reed beds trap + filter out pollution. (+ provides habitats, - takes time to grow)


The changing demand for energy in the UK: changing energy mix

•1970—91% energy produced from fossil fuels.

•2015—65% energy produced from fossil fuels + 22% from renewable sources.

•75% of UK’s known oil + natural gas reserves has been exhausted, by 2020 75% of UK’s energy will likely be imported, effecting UK’s energy security.

•UK has invested in renewable energy (e.g. solar energy).


Energy mix

The range of energy sources of a region or country, both renewable and non-renewable.


The changing demand for energy in the UK: less energy used in homes and industry

•Less heavy industry, which uses lots of energy.

•More advanced technology (e.g. improved washing machines) are more efficient.

•Infrastructure technology (e.g. housing insulation) prevents energy lost through infrastructure.

•Increased public awareness has caused people to use more green energy instead.

•Increased cost of energy has caused people to use it more sparingly.


The changing demand for energy in the UK: economic and environmental issues of energy production

•It’s cheaper to import coal into the UK than to mine it.

•Nuclear power stations are expensive to construct and releases toxic waste. They are being decommissioned—all plants will close by 2023.

•As global warming becomes more prevalent, green technology has developed + people are encouraged to use renewable energy sources.


Nuclear power plants vs. Wind farms

N+W - high construction costs.
N - decommission of old plants is expensive.
N - construction of new plants provides jobs + boosts local economy.
W - Visual impacts on landscape + noise may reduce visitor numbers, negatively impacting local economy.
N - risk of harmful radioactive leaks.
W - avoid harmful gas emissions + help reduce carbon footprint.



Using high-pressure water to shatter shale rocks deep within the earth to release the natural gas inside these rocks and pipe it to the surface.


Opportunities of fracking

+Shale gas is readily available in the UK.

+Will act as a bridging fuel until alternative technologies are developed.

+Increased cost of fuel makes fracking now affordable.

+Half as much carbon emissions as coal.


Challenges of fracking

-Contaminated water is pumped back into the ground + can affect water supplies.

-Fracking uses a lot of energy.

-3% of gas extracted is lost to atmosphere; this is methane, a greenhouse gas.

-Possibility of small earthquakes.

-Large amount of water used can deplete supplies.