What is 'water security'?
Having access to enough clean, safe drinking water that aids well being and economic development
What is meant by water deficit?
Supply of water is lower than the demand
What is meant by water surplus
Supply of water is higher than demand
Which areas of the world have a water deficit?
Drier areas such as Australia, Northern Africa (Sahara) and Southern Africa, The Middle East.
Which areas of the world have a water surplus?
- Typically, equatorial locations such as the Amazon, Brazil.
- Mid-latitudes in the Northern Hemisphere such as Europe and North America.
What is water security?
When a country has a water surplus. They have a higher supply of water than they demand.
What is meant by water insecurity?
When a country has a water deficit. Their demand is higher than their supply of water.
What is 'water stress'?
When an area does not have
1. Access water
2. Access clean, safe water
3. The natural flows of water to sustain rivers etc
How is water security linked to well-being?
- Water aids crop production which secures a source of food and income
- Not having to travel daily for water enables children to go to school
- Improves the quality of life
Why is water consumption increasing?
- People are becoming wealthier
- Diets are changing - more variety is demanded which increases water in food production
- Energy production is changing which now involves higher levels of water
- Increasing urbanisation increases population demand for water i.e. domestic uses.
Identify the 6 factors that affect water availability
Climate - rainfall patterns
Poverty - some places have to share water sources
Poor infrastructure - limited pipes to bring water to communities
Pollution - some water is highly contaminated with industrial pollution
Geology - the rock type in an area dictates how much water is stored underground
Over abstraction - water is removed from the ground quicker than it replenishes which reduces the water table.
List the impacts of water insecurity
- Waterborne diseases
- Water pollution
- Lowering food production
- Changing industrial output
What are waterborne diseases?
Diseases that affect people who drink contaminated water. e.g. cholera, dysentery.
How does water insecurity lead to waterborne diseases?
Drinking from unsafe water supplies in places that do not have infrastructure e.g. pipes. This increases the likelihood of disease
How does water insecurity lead to lower food productivity?
Food production requires water. Agricultural practices suffer if there is not an adequate amount of water to tend to crops. As a result, lower supply increases food prices.
How does water insecurity lead to lower industrial output?
Industry requires large amounts of water to be productive. Many factories around the world close in times of water shortage. This reduces productivity and a loss of profits.
How does water insecurity lead to conflict?
- Many people rely on rivers for a supply of water - building dams in a shared river e.g. the Nile, can restrict flow and cause conflict
- Some industries do not regulate their waste which means water pollution can occur, affecting some communities source of drinking water.
List 4 strategies that can be used to increase water supply?
- Diverting supplies and increasing storage
- Building dams and reservoirs
- Water transfers
How does diverting supplies and increasing water storage increase water supply?
To prevent water lost through evaporation, some water can be diverted and stored underground for times of need.
What is a dam?
A barrier built in a river used to control the flow of water at any given time
What is a reservoir?
An artificially made body of water, usually found behind a dam.
How do dams and reservoirs increase water supply?
Dams can be closed during times of plentiful water, allowing water to be stored and released during times of deficit. This enables sufficient supply of water downstream and prevents loss of water through flooding.
What is a 'water transfer'?
Moving water from an area of surplus to an area of deficit through a network of pipes
How do water transfer schemes increase water supply?
Moving water from one basin to another, shares out water to avoid an area of deficit becoming seriously impacted by a water scarcity.
What is desalination?
Removing salt from sea water.
How does desalination increase water supply?
Removing salt from sea water can solve serious water stress by creating freshwater for human use.
What are the problems with desalination?
- It is expensive It requires a lot of energy
- Water has to be transported inland which costs and causes emissions
- LICs may not be able to afford to do this
Briefly describe China's water transfer scheme
It transfer water from the South (which receives more rainfall) to the North (which is drier). It has three planned routes that can channel water each year
What are the advantages of China's water transfer scheme?
+ Relieved water shortages in the North
+ More even industrial development as industry can set up in the North
+ It has opened up more potential farmland as there is more available water for irrigation
What are the disadvantages of China's water transfer scheme?
- Constructing the scheme often floods land
- Water is not equally shared
- it is very expensive so is therefore used mainly by the urban rich
- Puts stress on water sources in the South