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Flashcards in Water conflicts Deck (75):

Threats to California through precipitation

-Much of it is arid, with an annual rainfall of between 200-500mm
-65% of the precipitation is lost through evaporation and transpiration while 13% flows out to sea leaving only 22% as runoff for human consumption
-50% of California's rain falls between November and March- leading to seasonal shortages


Threats to California through population

-California's population has grown from only 2 million in 1900, to 10 million by 1950 and 37.7 million by 2007. It is likely to reach 45-50 million by 2025.
-There is also a spatial imbalance. Three quarters of the demand for water comes from the heavily populated areas. While 75% falls of north.
-The increasing demands for water exceeds California's natural water supplies.


What have been the impacts on the natural environment after California's 2000-2007 drought

-Wetlands have been drained, natural habitats altered, and fish stocks depleted, to secure water supplies.
-Additional problems are polluted waterways, the over-extraction of groundwater and increasing salinity.
-The Bay-Delta region and the Salton Sea have become environmental disaster zones, and the once mighty Colorado River has been reduced to little more than a trickle as it enters the Gulf of California.


What is the SWP

State water project


What is the CVP

Central Valley project


What do the SWP and CVP do

Provide water from the sacremento San Joaquin river delta for central and southern california


How much of southern californias water does the colorado river provide and how

60% and via a system of dams and aqueducts


How much more water does california take from the Colorado than it envisaged in 1963



Where does surface runoff occur

Over impermeable, saturated or baked surfaces-eventually reaching river channels as streamflow


How does surface water become groundwater

Some surface water infliltrates through the surface layer and eventually percolates through the rocks to become groundwater


Where does California gain 1/3 of its fresh water from

Ground water surfaces known as aquifers


The Sacramento river and the San Joaquin river provide huge volumes of water for what?

Urban and agricultural use


What are most of the major rivers in california fed by

Snowmelt from the Sierra Nevada Mountains


What does the high pressure system cause for California

A high-pressure system over the pacific ocean blocks moist air currents from reaching southern california. Occasional shifts in the system allow storms and heavy rain to reach the area.


What does El nino cause for california

Brings above-average runoff and flooding to the south west, while la nina events bring drought


What in recent years have extended droughts meant

The groundwater and surface storage levels have decreased.


How much of the USA does the colorado river basin drain



What does californias water mainly go to

The needs to its growing population-with its affluent, water-heavy lifestyle- also the needs of agriculture for irrigation


How much of colorados total flow does Mexico take



How much of colorados total flow do states in the lower basin take



How much more of the colarado's water does california take now than its original 1963 allocation



How much are native americans owed of the colarado

5% but could claim more as their reservations extend along the river and two of its tributaries


What did the colorado compact (1922) do

Divided the river into two basins-upper and lower


California has been given until 2016 to reduce the amount it extracts by



What are some methods of saving water

-Domestic conservation: 30% savings by repairing leaks. 50% drought tolerant plants
-Groundwater plants: Saving storm water for release during dry periods
-Re-using waste water
-Saving storm water
-Reducing agricultural water usage: currently use 80% california's clean water. 10% reduction would double amount available in urban areas
-Smart planning: Only new housing where enough supplies of water


What are the environmental issues surrounding the sacramento river delta

-Old poorly maintained, man-made levees and river banks alongside it have allowed salty water to submerge some of the islands and reduce water quality for all users and habitats.
-Several species of fish are on the endangered list-salmon migrant paths are blocked at Stockton on san joa river when fresh water O2 levels too low. SWP pumps also suck in a lot of fish so are turned off 3/4 times a year to allow stocks to recover.
-Chlorine is released into the waters from water treatment work and the build up of trihalomethanes as a result (which cause cancers), mean that safe water supplies cannot be guaranteed


What does CALFED aim to do

Aims to reduce conflicts by developing a sustainable, long-term solution to water management and environmental problems.
-levee restoration
-increased water storage
-improved water conveyance
-Maintained oxygen levels


What is the salton sea

An agricultural sump - it acts as a receiving basin for runoff from irrigated farmland. It formed when canal banks collapsed in 1905, allowing the colorado river to fill a natural hollow with water. Creating a large lake which became a wildlife refuge. Attracting lots of wildlife and over half million tourists/yr


What are the possible threats to the salton sea

-75% of its inflow is from cotton, citrus and sugar beet farms in the Imperial and Coachella valleys - with a toxic mix of pesticides, fertilizes, defoliants and nutrients.
-High evaporation rates mean that the salt content here is 25% higher than in the pacific ocean.
-High salinity, algal blooms and eutrophication are thought to have caused the death of millions of birds and fish (7.5mil fish died in 1 day)
-The new river brings industrial pollutants and sewage to from mexicali in mexico
-The lands of the Cahuilla tribe are at risk from the de-oxygenated and poor quality water, also decreased fish stocks.
-Tourists have stopped visiting because of the high salt content, the stench of decay and perception that it is a toxic waste dump.


Issue of farmers efficiency and the salton sea

As farmers become water efficient there is less runoff into the salton sea, however, this means that the pesticides, fertiliser etc are more concentrated.


What choice did the salton sea project face

In 2003, the $2bn project had to face the choice of maintaining it as an agricultural sump or restoring its natural habitats and boosting its recreational and economic potential.


How much water on the earth is freshwater in %



How much of the freshwater on earth is fit for human consumption



What is a water gap

A water gap is the difference in water consumption quantities between different groups.


Some global water statistics

-Every 15 seconds a child dies from a water borne disease.
-Half the world's rivers and lakes are badly polluted
-Food supplies are threatened due to water shortages increasing.
-12% of the worlds population consumes 85% of its water


When is water stress

It occurs when the demand for water exceeds the amount available during a certain period, or when poor quality restricts its use.


When does physical water scarcity exist

It exists when shortages occur because demand exceeds supply


When does economic scarcity exist

When people simply cannot afford water, even when its readily available.


What percentage of water does agriculture use

70% in some LEDCs it can be 90%


what is the average distance a woman walks to collect water in Africa



At the second meeting of the world water forum (2000) what was established

Water security is a key issue for the 21st century


What was the millennium development goals target by 2015

To halve by 2015 the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and sanitation


By 2005 what % of developing countries had introduced effective strategies to provide safe access to water and sanitation.



Why in some LEDCs are there many outbreaks of water borne diseases such as cholera and dysentery

Freshwater supplies are often not separated from waste products, so the water becomes contaminated


The world heath organisation says 'every dollar spent on improving sanitation...' does what

generates on average a benefit of $7. thus reducing poverty and increasing economic development
UN declared 2008 the year of sanitation in order to raise awareness


Why is the population of Central African republic (CAR) suffering with water scarcity

There is no shortage of rain but there is fighting between the government forces and rebels and attacks by local bandits. Thousands forced to leave their homes and live in the bush. Many had to resort to using stagnant pools and polluted streams or rivers. Those who remained in villages often found the wells to not work as lowly skilled people and faulty equipment.


Why is the population of Central African republic (CAR) suffering with poor health

Many people suffered from internal diseases like intestinal parasites, diarrhoea and guinea worm after drinking polluted water. Households lost income, food and their children died. In the CAR half the infant deaths were caused by poor sanitation, and the current situation has made the problem worse. Children make up 60% of the CARs population.


What is the correlation representing access to water

The more wealth the higher access to water


What was the issue in Rajasthan, india

The coco-cola company was accused of extracting so much water to use in its local bottling plant, that agriculture in the area suffered and farmers were forced to dig deep wells and buy bottled water.


What was the issue in Bolivia (brief)

The french owned water companies prices were too hgih so 200,000 people 'chose' to not be connected to the water supply. Health problems followed and families took illegal act to siphon off water from the official supply.


What was the issue in Detriot USA

40,000 people were too poor to pay their water bills and resorted to 'illegal tapping' at night.


What has happened in Indonesia

Due to its development and its manufacture of cheap goods to sell to Europe and the USA it has led directly to pollution of water supplies. The Citarum river in west java, carries the waste from 9 mil people and hundreds of factories and farms. untreated river water is sued to irrigate the surrounding fields, to wash clothes and drink. Poor people risk disease from the filthy water and salvage plastic, wood, glass and anything else of value.


What is the issue with irrigation

40% of the worlds food comes from irrigated land, and irrigation often leads to the problem of slainity and waterlogging (which stops air getting into the soil and drowns the plants).


What is salinity

iriigation water contains mineral salts which can become concentrated in the surface layers of the soil as the water table rises. In arid areas, the moisture evaporates from the surface layers of the soil - leaving salt crystals behind. Many plants cannot tolerate the salts and die. Salinisation can destroy the land that the irrigation was meant to improve. The salt can be flushed from the soil when it rains - if the layers are not too thick - but clays and nutrients will also be leached away. The leached particles then can join rivers - increasing their salinity.


How many rivers are across boundaries in the world

263 rivers


Turkey vs syria and iraq brief

The Euphrates and the Tigris rivers provide massive potential for economic development in turkey but their exploitation could leave the middle east dry.


What is the african water crisis

Many African countries faced debt in the late 1980s and 1990s. The population grew at an alarming rate, poverty drove people to use marginal land, soils were eroded and Africa went into a debt crisis.
When droughts then struck and incomes fell further, many countries looked to their rivers as a means of progress and escape.


Schemes to alter the african water crisis

From the 1980s major irrigation schemes were introduced to encourage people to grow cash crops to help boost exports (such a green beans and flowers) so that the countries could get out of debt. The result was a huge additional demand for water.
From the 1980s, African rivers had been dammed as part of large-scale development projects, such as the Aswan Dam in Egypt. The economies of Egypt and Ghana grew significantly as a direct result of the dams. Now the other countries wanted to do the same, Uganda and Ethiopia had ideas for the Nile.


A number of African countries will be almost certainly water scarce by 2025 what will this do

which will threaten their economy (agriculture is high part of GDP
And millions of people will be unemployed


There are three approaches in africa

The trade in virtual water
Major irrigation schemes
Small-scale projects (water aid)


How many countries are in the Nile basin

10 and 40% of Africa's population


Egypt has originally benefited most from the Nile but 85% originated from the Blue Nile in?



What is the issue between ethiopia and egypt

Ethiopia had years of civil war and famine, Ethiopia has emerged as a growing economy - and it is increasingly tapping into the resources of the Nile. With a similar sized population to Egypt but a faster growth rate - it also wants to develop irrigated farming, and it is likely that it will need some of Egypts supply. Sudan also has plans to exploit the Nile and increase irrigation for its own economic development.


Virtual water trading

African countries find it difficult feed their own people or provide clean water and sanitation. Yet, from Egypt to Kenya precious water is being used to produce crops from European markets. Cut roses provide an income for farmers unable to compete with the prices of crops such as sugar. African countries are exporting their water in the crops they grow. Kenya needs water but also needs to trade in virtual water. Water shortages are made worse by buyers.


Water aid project

Wateraid is an international charity to overcome poverty by enabling the world's poorest countries to have access to clean water and sanitation. Wateraid has set out to improve the livelihoods of people in Ethiopia, using techniques that are appropriate to local conditions, affordable and easy to maintain.
The aim is for rural areas to achieve 100% access to clean water and sanitation. Also hygiene education, which leads to improved health and reduces the number of deaths through water borne diseases.


Cochabamba case study

A private TNC Agua Del Tunari took over Cochabamba's water system in 1999. The company immediately raised the prices to pay for a major dam project and to ensure a 16% profit margin. Cochabambas poor faced a choice between paying 20% of their wages for water supplies or feeding their children. It took 4 days of riots for the Bolivian government to cancel the contract.


Difference between public and private run supplies
France vs Cochabamba

-There is more corporate efficiency in priv.
-Coverage is 100% vs 45% priv vs pub
-Connections increased by 50% vs 16^


Water stress and scarcity are likely to get worse in the future because...

-Continued population growth
-Increasing economic development
-climate change


Factors affecting future demand and supply

Public opposition to large dams, virtual or local water, efficiency and waste reduction, technological advances, irrigation


Nations may react to the challenges in 3 ways

-Business as usual
Technology, economics and privatisation
Values and lifestyles


What happened to the Yangtze river

5 million people were suffering water shortages when it flowed through Chongqing . Yangtze dolphin extinct


China's problem with feeding the population

China's farmers can no longer cope with the demands of the growing population because of the rapid urbanisation. As part of China's economic growth parts of the country cannot be used anymore because it has been industrialised. Farmers have also been denied access for reservoirs because it is needed for residential and industrial purposes in beijing.


What did the FAO report was happening in China

In 2006 it was reported that China was running out of water and that it was unsustainable. Industrial demand was predicted to rise by 500% by 2030.


The impact of economic growth in China

-Rivers are not fit for human contact
-70% of China's lakes and rivers are polluted
-80% of china's rivers can no longer support fish.
-Vegetables and rich grown using the river have been found to contain traces of arsenic from the water causing developmental diseases in children.
-Farmers have to make aquifers deeper as dry rivers.


Beijing in north of china built three gorges to control the yangtze.

It can store water and enable a surplus to build up and be transferred to the drier North.