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Title: 6GEO3 Unit 3 Contested Planet Topic 2 Water Conflicts


1
6GEO3 Unit 3 Contested PlanetTopic 2 Water
Conflicts
2
What is this topic about?
  • Water Conflicts is the second of the resources
    topics
  • It examines the range of conflicts associated
    with the supply and demand patterns of the
    fundamental resource of water.
  • Water supplies and quality vary globally, and
    actual and potential conflicts arise from the gap
    between growing demands and diminishing supplies.
  • There are also growing pressures resulting from
    climate change
  • Mega technological fixes for mega problems
    (Hoover Dam, USA) versus Low tech solutions
    (Taanka storage of India)

3
CONTENTS
  • 1.The geography of water supply
  • 2. The risks of water insecurity
  • 3. Water conflicts and the future

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4
2. The risks of water insecurity
  • What are the potential implications of an
    increasingly water insecure world?

Water supply problems Increasing water shortages
may be more important than energy shortages-
because there is no alternative!
Water conflicts Where demand exceeds supply and
no effective management operates, then there will
be conflicts between the various players involved
Water geopolitics The conflicts between nation
states, despite the international agreement
called the Helsinki Rules designed to create more
equitable use of water extending across boundaries
Water transfers Of this precious resource by
either diverting the actual river, or using
canals . Long carried out at a small scale but
increasingly over larger distances, and even
transboundary
5
1.The geography of water supply and demand
  • Climate
  • Climatic zones are critical in determining water
    availability
  • Equatorial / tropical areas have higher rainfall
    than temperate / arctic areas.
  • High altitude areas have snowpack water reserves
    released in late spring.
  • Monsoon areas have one main peak, equatorial
    areas two peaks.
  • Some tropical areas experience recurring drought
  • River systems transport this water, often at
    continental scale.
  • Flows increase downstream as tributaries enter.
  • Seasonal changes in temperature can create
    distinctive river regimes.
  • The relationship between water inputs and outputs
    is water balance

Physical influences on water supply and
scarcity
97.2 Ocean saltwater
  • Geology
  • Surface drainage occurs on rocks which are
    impermeable such as granite and clay.
  • Permeable rocks like limestone, chalk and some
    sandstones store water, called aquifers.

6
Human influences on water supply and scarcity
  • Humans affect the hydrological cycle at many
    points of flows and storage
  • Blue water flow is the visible part of the
    hydrological system surface flows and then
    recharging aquifers
  • Green water flow is water intercepted, stores and
    released by vegetation by evaporation and
    transpiration
  • Grey water is polluted water
  • Supply can be from
  • Surface sources
  • groundwater sources
  • In the UK 2/3 of supply is from surface and 1/3
    from groundwater, with regional variations.
  • Freshwater is effectively a finite resource since
    only about 1 of freshwater is easily available
    for human use.
  • The water footprint indicates how much is
    required by consumers- and in an increasingly
    globalised world, the footprint of someone in a
    country like the UK will not be just local as so
    many products using water will have been produced
    elsewhere!

7
Some key definitions

Water shortage low level of water supply relative to basic needs. measured by annual renewable flows (in cubic metres) per head of population, or the number of people dependent on each unit of water
Water stress often taken as less than 1700m3 per person per year growing conflict between users and competition for water declining standards of reliability and service harvest failures and food insecurity.
Water scarcity supply of water per person falls below 1000m3/year an imbalance of supply and demand a high rate of use compared to available supply, especially if the remaining supply is difficult or costly to tap.
Physical water scarcity reached when 60 of river flows are diverted for agricultural, industrial municipal purposes globally over 75 is now used Physical water scarcity is shown by Severe environmental degradation Declining groundwater and water allocation which favours some groups over others. Arid and semi-arid areas are most at risk
Economic water scarcity when less than 25 of rivers are used, and there is abundant supply potential water does not reach the poorest people This is often due to political reasons and conflict easiest to solve by low technology solutions small dams, water harvesting from roof tops etc. It is targeted by NGOs like Water Aid
Domestic
8
Water scarcity hotspots
According to the International Water Management
Institute environmental research organisation
global water stress is increasing, and 1/3 rd of
all people face some sort of water scarcity.
Agricultural uses dominate in the growing need
for food.
Aral Sea faces environmental catastrophe,
although recent attempts to reduce impacts of
river diversions for especially cotton production
Severe water scarcity N China, leading to South
North transfer scheme-see later slide
Egypt imports gt 50 of its food because of
physical scarcity
R Ganges physical stress from pollution and over
abstraction
Ogallala aquifer provides 1/3 all US irrigation
water, but is seriously depleted the water table
is dropping by about 1m/yr. As a fossil
reserve, formed probably from past glacial
meltwater flows, it is effectively a finite
resource
Australia diversion ΒΌ of all water away from
Murray Darling Basin for agriculture
Much of sub Saharan Africa suffers from economic
scarcity from especially poverty but also lack
of infrastructural development . Some 1 bn people
involved1
Little/no water scarcity
Physical water scarcity- not necessarily dry areas but those where over 75 river flows are used by agriculture, industry or domestic consumers
Economic water scarcity- less than 25 rivers used, and abundant supply potential but not reaching the poorest people .
Approaching physical water scarcity More than 60 river flows allocated, and in the near future these river basins will have physical scarcity
9
Water conflicts
Population growth Consumer demand Industrial
growth Agricultural demand
  • Reductions because of
  • Users abstracting/polluting upstream
  • Deteriorating quality
  • Impact of climate change

SUPPLY? Diminishing
  • DEMANDS?
  • Rising

PRESSURE POINT- ie need for management. This is
shown spatially as a hotspot of conflict, see
map on next slide. Pressure and hence tension and
conflict may be over surface flow and/or
groundwater supplies Dams and diversions and loss
of wetlands are particularly contested.
DIFFERENT USERS? Conflicting demands
  • International conflicts i.e. basin crosses
    national boundaries
  • Internal conflicts ie within a country
  • Conservation versus exploitation

10
Present and potential water conflict hotspots
  • As water supply decreases, tensions will increase
    as different players try to access common water
    supplies
  • Many conflicts are transboundary in nature,
    either between states or countries

River basins currently in dispute
River basins at risk in the future
Large International drainage basins
Tigris-Euphrates Iraq Syria concerns that
Turkeys GAP project will divert their water
Ob
Colorado disputes between the 7 US states
and Mexico it flows through. The river is so
overused, that it no longer reaches the sea!. 90
abstracted before reaches Mexico
The Aral Sea, an inland drainage basin, once the
worlds 4th largest inland lake has shrunk sine
the 1950s after the 2 rivers feeding it the Amu
Dayra and Syr Darya were diverted for
irrigation. By 2007 the sea was 10 of original
volume and split into 2 lakes. The ex soviet
states are in conflict Uzbekistan , Turkmenistan
and Kazakstan.
Mekong
Lake Chad
Ganges
  • Insert Figure 2.11 page 47

Zambezi
Okavango
La Plata
Orange
Note although there have been rising tensions
globally, many areas demonstrate effective
management to diffuse the situation and create
more equitable and sustainable demand-supply
balance, such as the Mekong River Committee, the
Nile River Initiative
Nile hotly disputed between Ethiopia and Sudan
,who control its headwaters, and Egypt .
11
Hydropolitics and geopolitics
Political negotiations centred on conflicts over
the shared use of water sources
  • The Nile is the worlds longest river , 6,500kms,
    2.9km2 catchment,10 of Africa, running through
    10 countries with 360 million people depending
    on it for survival.
  • Growing issues of desertification salination
    and increased evaporation linked to climate
    change
  • About 85 water originates from Eritrea and
    Ethiopia, but 94 is used by Sudan and Egypt.
  • History of hydropolitics in Nile Basin
  • tensions due to the dominance of Egypt
  • civil wars in Sudan Ethiopia
  • tensions from Egypts treaties dating back to
    the 1929 and 1959 Nile Water Agreements.
  • Upstream states increasingly challenging Egypts
    dominance.
  • Ethiopia wants to use the Nile River for HEP
    plants and industrial development.
  • Evidence of more effective co-operation
  • The Nile Basin Initiative, system of cooperative
    management which started late 1990s
  • All countries except Eritrea working with The
    World Bank and bi-lateral aid donors .
  • Community level involvement .
  • Managers visited Colorado River recently to see
    how effectively the 1922 River Water Compact
    and its law of the river works

Tech Fix The megaprojects of dams like Aswan
are famous. Latest high tech is the 1990sproject
called Tecconile a joint GIS system to help
monitor and plan the basin
  • 1996 Helsinki Rules on the Uses of the Waters of
    International Rivers - regulating how
    transboundary rivers and groundwater are managed
  • The Nile Basin is an example that Water Wars
    may be averted

12
Water transfers- a quick fix?
Receiving area
Source area
Examples of existing schemes Examples of existing schemes Proposed schemes Proposed schemes
International Lesotho to South Africa Lesotho Highlands Water Project Turkey to Israel by tanker National Snowy Mountains-Australia Melamchi Nepal Tagus-Mercia Spain International Turkey to Israel undersea pipelines Austrian Alps to Spain Greece by pipeline National South-North transfer- China Ebro -Spain Ob to the Aral Sea NAWAPA Alaska to California
13
Demand from industrial centres, high population
density and intensive agriculture. Low rainfall
and over abstracted groundwater physical scarcity
Mega Tech Fixes Chinas SouthNorth water
transfer
One of the largest water transfers
globally. Aim to divert 45bn m3/year from the
water surplus river basins of the S and E to the
water deficit areas of the North, especially
Beijing and Tianjin
Central routes 1267 km diversion. May have to use
some water from 3 Gorges reservoir to help
  • Externalities
  • Industrial growth along routeways will exacerbate
    existing pollution problems
  • Changes in water balances reduced water in
    Yangtze means less dilution and more pollution
  • Displaced people especially from Dang Jiang Kou
    dam ......

Beijing
Western Routes Work starts 2010, at high
altitude, very difficult 500kms at 3-5000m above
sea level
Tianjin
Eastern Route 1,155km long diversion
Yellow River
CHINA
Shanghai
Yangtze River
0 mls 250
South China Sea
Originally planned 1952, started 2002 ,due to
finish 2050. Chief player Government sponsored
South to North Water Transfer Project Company,
with each province having a local water company.
Involves huge civil engineering works, 3 major
canals, pipelines, tunnels, pumping stations
14
Water issues in the Middle East
In the Northern region Turkey is in dispute with
Syria and Iraq over damming more of the Tigris
and Euphrates river
  • There are significant disputes over access to
    water already in this area
  • The combination of a growing population and low
    seasonal rainfall are the main causes.
  • Is the energy dependent technological fix of
    desalination the answer?
  • Photo of a plant in Dubai

The Aral Sea, on the boundary of the Middle East
and Asia is suffering from over abstraction and
pollution
In the Western Region Israelis,
Syrians, Jordanians and Lebanese are all in
dispute over shrinking water supplies A
contributory factor to the 1967 Arab-Israeli
war Water storage is in 3 huge aquifers under the
Israeli mountains and coastal strip and the R
Jordan
15
3. Water conflicts and the future
  • What are the possible conflicts and solutions to
    increasing demands for water?
  • This section looks at 4 themes, and the table
    below summarises three scenarios for the future
  • Trends in water demand globally and locally
  • Water players
  • Responses to need to increasing water supply and
    the issues these strategies raise
  • The role of technology in water supply

Business as usual The cost of water will increase Water consumption will increase resulting in declining stores Food transfers will mitigate shortage of water in areas where agriculture declines
Water Crisis Demand will outstrip supply The proportion of the worlds population without access to clean water will increase Food insecurity and migration will increase Conflicts of water supplies (intra and inter state) become more likely
Sustainable Water Agricultural and household water prices will double in the developed world and triple in the developing world Global water consumption will fall, although the gap between per capita use will close Green water flows will increase Improvements in water harvesting and farming techniques allow food yields to increase whilst water consumption declines
From 2002 International Food Policy and Research
Institute future models
16
World Water Days- trying to be more sustainable?
  • The importance of water in managing global issues
    is shown by the profile given to it by the UN
  • It declared 2005 to 2015 as the International
    Decade for Action, "Water for Life.
  • Every year on March 22nd the UN gives a theme to
    publicise current issues. 2010 World Water Day
    dedicated to the theme of water quality.
  • Such global action is rooted in the iconic Earth
    Summit on Environment and Development (UNCED) in
    Rio de Janeiro in 1992, and the creation of
    Agenda21 (the Blueprint for planet management at
    global scale)and Local Agenda 21( global
    problems, local action)
  • Previous Themes for World Water Days
  • 2009 Transboundary water
  • 2008 Sanitation
  • 2007 Coping with water scarcity
  • 2006 Water and Culture
  • 2005 Water for Life
  • 2004 Water and Disasters
  • 2003 Water for the Future
  • 2002 Water for Development
  • 2001 Water and Health

UN MDG TARGET set in 2000 Halve, by 2015, the
proportion of the population without sustainable
access to safe drinking water and basic
sanitation. The world is ahead of schedule in
meeting the 2015 drinking water target. Yet a
number of countries face an uphill battle 884
million people still rely on unimproved water
sources for their drinking, cooking, bathing and
other domestic activities. Of these, almost 85
(746 million people) live in rural areas. 1990 to
2006, 1.1 billion people in the developing world
received access to toilets, latrines and other
forms of improved sanitation. But this leaves
1.4 billion people still needing such facilities
if the 2015 target is to be met.
17
Water Players and decision makers
  • Different players have conflicting views on water
    insecurity
  • One player may have quite complex views most
    Governments will have departments wanting
    conservation as opposed to development
  • You need to identify the stakeholders in any
    particular case study, and then the role of the
    gatekeepers who wield power. The next slide
    shows a classification of players
  • Economic
  • International World Bank IMF
  • TNCs and developers
  • Businesses and users
  • Political water is a human need
  • International organisations e.g. UN
  • Government
  • Regional local councils
  • Lobbyists pressure groups

Photograph of Aral Sea with grounded tanker
  • Environmental
  • Conservationists
  • Scientists planners
  • Social water is a human right
  • Individuals
  • Residents
  • Consumers land owners, health officials, NGOs
    like Water Aid

18
Classifying the water players
Political Economic Social Environmental
Global World Bank funds megaprojects to improve supply. Has become more environmentally conscious. This group also has businesses and TNCs UN Millenium Development Goal called The Water Target"Halve, by 2015, the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation " World Health Organisation World Bank funds megaprojects to improve supply. Has become more environmentally conscious. This group also has businesses and TNCs UN Millenium Development Goal called The Water Target"Halve, by 2015, the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation " World Health Organisation World Bank funds megaprojects to improve supply. Has become more environmentally conscious. This group also has businesses and TNCs UN Millenium Development Goal called The Water Target"Halve, by 2015, the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation " World Health Organisation World Bank funds megaprojects to improve supply. Has become more environmentally conscious. This group also has businesses and TNCs UN Millenium Development Goal called The Water Target"Halve, by 2015, the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation " World Health Organisation
Global G8 Summits 2002 Evian action Plan, focus on water, and 2009 LAquila summit increased aid to poorer countries to help MDGs, highlighted need for more integrated management G8 Summits 2002 Evian action Plan, focus on water, and 2009 LAquila summit increased aid to poorer countries to help MDGs, highlighted need for more integrated management The role of NGOs such as Water Aid or GLOWS has been crucial in managing water supplies Countries such as India, have mounted successful massive community-led campaigns on things like elimination of open defecation Government Health Agencies from national to local scale WWF and Friends of the Earth campaign for full Environmental Impact Assessments of major projects likely to damage the environment This group will include many scientists and researchers At a local scale NIMBY groups will campaign
National Government owned water companies, eg China TNCs (Viendi and Suez RWE which owns Thames Water, American Water Works Companies providing technological fixes The role of NGOs such as Water Aid or GLOWS has been crucial in managing water supplies Countries such as India, have mounted successful massive community-led campaigns on things like elimination of open defecation Government Health Agencies from national to local scale WWF and Friends of the Earth campaign for full Environmental Impact Assessments of major projects likely to damage the environment This group will include many scientists and researchers At a local scale NIMBY groups will campaign
Local TNCs (Viendi and Suez RWE which owns Thames Water, American Water Works Companies providing technological fixes The role of NGOs such as Water Aid or GLOWS has been crucial in managing water supplies Countries such as India, have mounted successful massive community-led campaigns on things like elimination of open defecation Government Health Agencies from national to local scale WWF and Friends of the Earth campaign for full Environmental Impact Assessments of major projects likely to damage the environment This group will include many scientists and researchers At a local scale NIMBY groups will campaign
Individual 6.9 billion consumers 6.9 billion consumers 6.9 billion consumers 6.9 billion consumers
19
Responses Management strategies
  • Water conflicts can be managed in a range of
    different ways
  • There is a spectrum of different management
    strategies
  • Some are sustainable as they balance ecological
    and human needs

Strategies rely on technology?
Present policies Driven by short term economic
political concerns Often do not include science
and effective technology
  • Obstacles to sustainable management
  • Climate change uncertainty and effects
  • Natural variability of water
  • Pressures caused by human activities and rapid
    growth of transition economies towards a
    consumerist society
  • Increased water demands
  • Gross inefficiencies in use
  • Poor existing quality of supply across huge areas
    of world
  • Funding
  • Access to appropriate technology

Future policies? Longer term? Need more research,
information and monitoring especially on
aquifers in developing countries More
partnerships? More community involvement? More
accountable?
What is Sustainability? Millennium Ecosystem
Assessment definition A characteristic or state
whereby the needs of the present and local
population can be met without compromising the
ability of future generations or populations in
other locations to meet their needs.
20
Low tech solutions to water a case study
The problem The River WAKAL area of Rajasthan
in NW India is one of the driest and poorest
areas in India. Subsistence agriculture
dominates. 96 of rainfall is from the 3-4
month monsoon (late June through September.) and
the traditional methods of using groundwater and
conserving surface water are falling short of
demands
  • Water management often focuses on large scale,
    technologically advanced mega-projects
  • These often have complex costs and benefits
  • Water conservation and restoration of supply have
    a role
  • Small scale, bottom-up schemes are likely to be
    important in the developing world
  • However, unless duplicated on large scale may be
    ineffective for longer term economic growth
  • A solution? Basic technology and information is
    channelled through the NGO GLOWS( global water
    for sustainability project) a partnership between
    World Vision India and Florida International
    University.
  • Methods
  • 1. Increasing simple low tech appropriate and
    intermediate solutions to increase storage
  • Increased rainwater harvesting
  • Improved storage system at a family scale
    Taankas 3 m in diameter , 3-4 m deep, most below
    land level with a side opening to allow surface
    flow in. They store about 20,000litres, and once
    full provide water for a family until next
    monsoon.
  • 2. Using colourful drama performed by trained
    locals to villagers to illustrate the advantages
    of working cooperatively with other families and
    villages to reduce desertification and pollution
    of ground water by since aquifers are shared-if
    an unseen resource! (see photgraph)

Changes Traditional low tech methods of water
conservation. stone dams, Persian water wheels
and tube wells- but cannot cope with increased
demand and increased droughts
21
Hard and soft management
  • How to meet the challenge of the need for more
    water?
  • Softer more environmentally and ethically
    responsible approaches
  • Water conservation eg targeted drip irrigation
    on plants in Ethiopia, includes water harvesting
  • Water restoration eg Northern Aral Sea, and on
    smaller scale river Colne in UK
  • Integrated drainage basin management , especially
    if bottom up and community involved.
  • The 4 Rs ie an attitudinal fix Reduce, Respect,
    Reuse, Renew.....
  • Traditional hard engineering
  • Dams currently 845000 of which 5000 classed as
    megadams. The aim is to increase natural storage
    capacity by artificial reservoirs. Rivers most at
    risk at present Yangtze, Amazon, Danube and many
    in the Himalayas
  • Channels, seen in most arid/semi arid countries
    whatever their economic status, eg Jonglei Canal
    on Nile
  • Pipelines eg Australia and California Aqueduct
    and snowy Mountains scheme Australia
  • Desalination plants eg in Middle East
  • Recharging schemes for depleted aquifers, eg
    North London Artificial recharge Scheme and Long
    Island New York
  • Newer hard technologies
  • Tankers to transport water eg turkey to israel
  • Osmosis membranes filtering salt from brackish
    water eg Israel (the Ashkelon plant produces 15
    of domestic demand). Also in California, Spain
    and China
  • Fertigation fertilser and water drip feeding of
    crops, as in Israel
  • Specific Technologies seen as appropriate
    /intermediate with less negative externalities
  • Water harvesting of grey water eg Belize
  • Micro dams serving villages eg Nepal
  • Water meters to reduce use eg UK
  • Composting latrines seen in National Trust
    properties in UK to Mumbai slums!

22
Water Conflicts overview
  • Water Resources
  • Water Conflict
  • Water like energy is a fundamental need but not
    evenly distributed
  • Factors influencing geography of supply
  • Physical-surface, groundwater, desalinisation
  • Human demand, management, mismanagement
  • Increasing demand not matched by supply WATER
    GAP
  • Implications for human well being- which is why
    it is named in the MDGs
  • Demand from various users
  • Water resources are often transboundary
  • Potential conflictshigh both local
    international
  • Resource use often exceeds recharge capacity
    leading to long term degradation
  • Future is in doubt because of unsustainable use
    climate change
  • Vulnerable populations most at risk
  • Management strategies to ensure supply require
    cooperation of many different players changes
    in way water is valued used
  • Water Futures
  • Water stress and scarcity are projected to
    increase because
  • Climate change will make some areas more arid and
    rainfall more unreliable
  • Glacial water sources will reduce due to climate
    change
  • Unsustainable use of some supplies will decrease
    their quality and quantity
  • Demand will rise due to population and economic
    growth
  • Water wars will lead to winners and losers in
    water supply

Therefore, there are alternative futures It all
depends on the decisions the players
make.... and climate change, population trends,
energy security, superpower politics, bridging
the development gap etc
23
Synopticity-Water-Energy
  • Energy and Water Solving Both Crises Together
  • Water and energy are the two most fundamental
    ingredients of modern civilization
  • We consume massive quantities of water to
    generate energy, and we consume massive
    quantities of energy to deliver clean water
  • Peak Oil is topical. Peak Water or Blue Gold is
    less thought about. There are tensions between
    the two
  • An issue in energy rich states ,which are semi
    arid/arid to sell cheap oil or keep to power
    desalinisation plants
  • Water is needed to generate energy. Energy is
    needed to deliver water. Both resources are
    limiting the otherand both may be running short.
    Is there a way out?

energy problems, particularly rising prices, are
curtailing efforts to supply more clean water.
water restrictions are hampering solutions for
generating more energy
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