6GEO3 Unit 3 Contested PlanetTopic 2 Water Conflicts
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. Mega technological fixes for mega problems• There are also growing (Hoover Dam, USA) versus Low tech pressures resulting from solutions (Taanka storage of India) climate change
CONTENTS 1.The geography of water supply 2. The risks of water insecurity 3. Water conflicts and the futureClick on the information icon to jump to that section.Click on the home button to return to this contents page
2. The risks of water insecurity • What are the potential implications of an increasingly ‘water insecure’ world? Water conflicts Water supply problems Where demand exceeds supplyIncreasing water shortages and no effective management may be more important operates, then there will be than energy shortages- conflicts between the various because there is no players involved alternative! 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
1.The geography of water supply and demand Climate •Climatic zones are critical in determining water•River systems availabilitytransport this •Equatorial / tropical areas have higher rainfall thanwater, often at temperate / arctic areas. Physicalcontinental scale. •High altitude areas have snowpack water reserves released in late spring. influences•Flows increasedownstream as •Monsoon areas have one main peak, equatorial areas on water supplytributaries enter. two peaks. and scarcity•Seasonal changes • Some tropical areas experience recurring droughtin temperature cancreate distinctiveriver regimes.•The relationshipbetween waterinputs and outputsis water balance 97.2% Geology Ocean &•Surface drainage occurs on saltwaterrocks which are impermeablesuch as granite and clay.•Permeable rocks likelimestone, chalk and somesandstones store water, calledaquifers.
Human influences on water supply and scarcity• Humans affect the hydrological cycle at • Blue water flow is the visible part of the hydrological system: surface flows many points of flows and storage: 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!
Some key definitions low level of water • measured by annual renewable flows (in cubic metres) per head ofWatershortage supply relative to basic population, or the number of people dependent on each unit of water needs.Water often taken as less than •growing conflict between users and competition for waterstress 1700m3 per person per • declining standards of reliability and service year • harvest failures and food insecurity.Water supply of water per •an imbalance of supply and demand Domesticscarcity person falls below •a high rate of use compared to available supply, especially if the 1000m3/year remaining supply is difficult or costly to tap.Physical reached when 60% of Physical water scarcity is shown by:water river flows are diverted • Severe environmental degradation for agricultural, •Declining groundwater and water allocation which favours some groupsscarcity industrial & municipal over others. purposes; globally over •Arid and semi-arid areas are most at risk 75% is now usedEconomic when less than 25% of This is often due to political reasons and conflict: easiest to solve by lowwater rivers are used, and technology solutions: small dams, water harvesting from roof tops etc. It is there is abundant targeted by NGOs like Water Aidscarcity supply potential: water does not reach the poorest people
Water scarcity hotspots According to the International Water ManagementInstitute environmental research organisation global water stress is increasing, and 1/3 rd of all people Aral Sea faces environmental face some sort of water scarcity. Agricultural uses catastrophe, although recent attempts dominate in the growing need for food. to reduce impacts of river diversions for especially cotton production Severe water scarcity N China, Egypt imports > 50% of its food because leading to South North transfer of physical scarcity scheme-see later slide R Ganges: physical stress from Ogallala aquifer pollution and over abstraction provides 1/3 all US irrigation water, but isseriously depleted: thewater table is dropping by about 1m/yr. Australia; diversion ¼ As a ‘fossil’ reserve, of all water away formed probably from from Murray Darlingpast glacial meltwater Basin for agricultureflows, it is effectively a Much of sub Saharan Africa suffers finite resource 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
Water conflicts Population growth Consumer demand Reductions because of: Industrial growth •Users abstracting/pollutingAgricultural demand upstream •Deteriorating quality •Impact of climate change DEMANDS? SUPPLY? Rising Diminishing PRESSURE POINT- ie need for management. This is shown spatially as a ‘hotspot’ of conflict, see map on next slide. DIFFERENT Pressure and hence USERS? tension and conflict may be over surface flow Conflicting and/or groundwater demands supplies Dams and diversions and loss of wetlands are particularly contested. •International conflicts i.e. basin crosses national boundaries •Internal conflicts ie within a country •Conservation versus exploitation
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 Tigris-Euphrates Iraq + Syria concerns that Turkey’s GAP project will divert Large International drainage basins their water Ob Colorado: disputes between the 7 US states and Mexico it The Aral Sea, an flows through. The inland drainage basin, river is so overused, once the world’s 4th that it no longer largest inland lake has reaches the sea!. shrunk sine the 1950s 90% abstracted Lake Mekong after the 2 rivers before reaches Chad feeding it: the Amu Mexico Dayra and Syr Darya Ganges were diverted for irrigation. By 2007 the sea was Okavango Zambezi 10% of original volume and split into 2 lakes. La Plata Insert Figure 2.11 page 47 Orange The ex soviet states are in conflict:Note: although there have been rising tensions Uzbekistan ,globally, many areas demonstrate effective Nile hotly disputed between Ethiopia and Turkmenistan andmanagement to diffuse the situation and create Kazakstan. Sudan ,who control itsmore equitable and sustainable demand-supply headwaters, and Egypt .balance, such as the Mekong River Committee,&the Nile River Initiative
Hydropolitics and geopolitics Political negotiations centred on conflicts over the shared use of water sourcesHistory of hydropolitics in •The Nile is the world’s longest river , 6,500kms,Nile Basin 2.9km2 catchment,10% of Africa, running through•tensions due to the 10 countries with 360 million people dependingdominance of Egypt on it for survival.• civil wars in Sudan •Growing issues of desertification & salination andEthiopia increased evaporation linked to climate change• tensions from Egypt’s •About 85 % water originates from Eritrea andtreaties dating back to the Ethiopia, but 94 % is used by Sudan and Egypt.1929 and 1959 Nile WaterAgreements.• Upstream states Evidence of more effective co-operationincreasingly challenging • The Nile Basin Initiative, system ofEgypt’s dominance. cooperative management which started•Ethiopia wants to use the late 1990sNile River for HEP plants • All countries except Eritrea working withand industrial development. The World Bank and bi-lateral aid donors . • Community level involvement . • Managers visited Colorado River recently to see how effectively the 1922 River Tech Fix ; Water Compact and its ‘law of the river’ The megaprojects of works dams like Aswan are famous. • 1996 Helsinki Rules on the Uses of the Latest high tech is the Waters of International Rivers - 1990sproject called regulating how transboundary rivers and ‘Tecconile’ a joint GIS groundwater are managed system to help monitor • The Nile Basin is an example that ‘Water and plan the basin Wars’ may be averted
Water transfers- a quick fix? Source area Receiving area Examples of existing schemes Proposed schemesInternational National: International National:Lesotho to South Africa: Snowy Mountains-Australia Turkey to Israel undersea South-North transfer- ChinaLesotho Highlands Water Melamchi Nepal pipelines Ebro -SpainProject Tagus-Mercia Spain Austrian Alps to Spain + Ob to the Aral SeaTurkey to Israel by tanker Greece by pipeline NAWAPA Alaska to California
Mega Tech Fixes: China’s South–North water transfer One of the Demand from industrial centres, high population density and intensive agriculture. Low rainfall and over abstracted groundwater: physical scarcity largest water transfers Central routes globally. 1267 km diversion. May Beijing Aim: to divert Externalities Western have to use some water 45bn m3/year•Industrial growth Routes from 3 Gorges reservoir Tianjin from thealong routeways Work starts to help water surpluswill exacerbate 2010, at Eastern river basins ofexisting pollution high Yellow Route the S and E altitude, River to the waterproblems 1,155km•Changes in water very long deficit areasbalances: difficult diversion of the North,reduced water in 500kms at 3- especiallyYangtze means 5000m Beijing and CHINA Shanghailess dilution and above sea Tianjinmore pollution level• Displacedpeople especially Yangtze Riverfrom Dang JiangKou dam ...... 0 mls 250 South China Originally planned 1952, started 2002 ,due to finish 2050. Chief player: Sea 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
Water issues in the Middle East In the Northern region: Turkey is in The Aral Sea, on the boundary of the Middle East • There are dispute with Syria and Asia is suffering from over abstraction and significant and Iraq over pollution disputes over access to waterdamming more of the already in this area Tigris and Euphrates river • The combination of a growing population and low In the Western seasonal rainfall Region: Israelis, are the main Syrians, causes. Jordanians and • Is the energy Lebanese are all in dependent dispute over technological fix of shrinking water desalination the supplies answer? A contributory • Photo of a plant in factor to the 1967 Dubai Arab-Israeli warWater storage is in 3 huge aquifers underthe Israeli mountainsand coastal strip and the R Jordan
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 1. Trends in water demand globally and locally 2. Water players 3. Responses to need to increasing water supply and the issues these strategies raise 4. The role of technology in water supply Business as The cost of water will increase usual 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 world’s 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 Agricultural and household water prices will double in the developed world and Water 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 declinesFrom: 2002 International Food Policy and Research Institute future models
World Water Days- trying to be more sustainable?• The importance of water in managing global issues is Previous Themes for World Water shown by the profile given to it by the UN: Days• It declared 2005 to 2015 as the International Decade for • 2009 Transboundary water Action, "Water for Life”. • 2008 Sanitation• Every year on March 22nd the UN gives a theme to • 2007 Coping with water publicise current issues. 2010 World Water Day: scarcity dedicated to the theme of water quality. • 2006 Water and Culture• Such global action is rooted in the iconic Earth Summit • 2005 Water for Life on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio de • 2004: Water and Disasters Janeiro in 1992, and the creation of Agenda21 (the • 2003: Water for the Future Blueprint for planet management at global scale)and • 2002: Water for Development Local Agenda 21( global problems, local action) • 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.
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 Political: water is a human need Economic•International •International:organisations e.g. World Bank & IMFUN •TNCs and•Government developers•Regional & local •Businesses andcouncils users•Lobbyists &pressure groups Photograph of Aral Sea with grounded tanker Social: water is a human right Environmental •Individuals •Conservationists •Residents •Scientists & •Consumers land owners, planners health officials, NGOs like Water Aid
Classifying the water players Political Economic Social EnvironmentalGlobal 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 G8 Summits : 2002 Evian action Plan, focus on The role of NGOs WWF and water, and 2009 L’Aquila summit increased aid to such as Water Aid Friends of the poorer countries to help MDGs, + highlighted need or GLOWS has been Earth campaign for for more integrated management crucial in managing full Environmental water supplies Impact Assessments Countries such as of major projectsNational Government owned water TNCs (Viendi and India, have likely to damage companies, eg China Suez RWE which mounted successful the environment owns Thames massive This group will Water, American community-led include manyLocal Water Works campaigns on things scientists and Companies like elimination of researchers providing open defecation At a local scale technological fixes Government NIMBY groups will Health Agencies campaign from national to local scaleIndividual 6.9 billion consumers
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?What is Present Obstacles to sustainable Future policies?Sustainability? policies management Longer term?Millennium Driven by •Climate change uncertainty and Need moreEcosystem short term effects research,Assessment economic + •Natural variability of water information anddefinition: political •Pressures caused by human monitoringA characteristic or concerns activities and rapid growth of especially onstate whereby the Often do not transition economies towards a aquifers inneeds of the present include consumerist society developingand local population science and •Increased water demands countriescan be met without effective •Gross inefficiencies in use Morecompromising the technology •Poor existing quality of supply partnerships?ability of future across huge areas of world More communitygenerations or •Funding involvement?populations in other •Access to appropriate technology Morelocations to meet accountable?their needs.
Low tech solutions to water : a case study The problem: The River WAKAL area of Rajasthan in NW India is one of• Water the driest and poorest areas in India. Subsistence agriculture dominates. management 96% of rainfall is from the 3-4 month monsoon (late June through often focuses on September.) and the traditional methods of using groundwater and large scale, technologically conserving surface water are falling short of demands advanced mega- A solution? Basic technology and projects information is channelled through the NGO:• These often have GLOWS( global water for sustainability complex costs and project) a partnership between World Vision benefits India and Florida International University.• Water Methods: conservation and 1. Increasing simple low tech appropriate restoration of and intermediate solutions to increase supply have a role storage: •Increased rainwater harvesting• Small scale, •Improved storage system at a family scale: bottom-up Taankas: 3 m in diameter , 3-4 m deep, schemes are most below land level with a side opening to likely to be allow surface flow in. They store about important in the 20,000litres, and once full provide water for Changes: Traditional low tech developing world methods of water conservation.: a family until next monsoon.• However, unless duplicated on 2. Using colourful drama performed by stone dams, Persian water trained locals to villagers to illustrate the large scale may advantages of working cooperatively with wheels and tube wells- but be ineffective for other families and villages to reduce cannot cope with increased longer term economic growth desertification and pollution of ground water demand and increased droughts by since aquifers are shared-if an unseen resource! (see photgraph)
Hard and soft management How to meet the challenge of the need for more water?Traditional ‘hard’ engineering Softer more environmentally and• Dams; currently 845000 of which 5000 classed as ethically responsible megadams. The aim is to increase natural storage capacity by artificial reservoirs. Rivers most at risk at approaches present: Yangtze, Amazon, Danube and many in the • Water conservation eg targeted drip Himalayas irrigation on plants in Ethiopia,• Channels, seen in most arid/semi arid countries includes water harvesting whatever their economic status, eg Jonglei Canal on • Water restoration eg Northern Aral Nile Sea, and on smaller scale river• Pipelines eg Australia and California Aqueduct and Colne in UK snowy Mountains scheme Australia • Integrated drainage basin• Desalination plants eg in Middle East management , especially if bottom up and community involved.• Recharging schemes for depleted aquifers, eg North London Artificial recharge Scheme and Long Island New • The 4 Rs: ie an attitudinal fix: York Reduce, Respect, Reuse, Renew..... Newer hard technologies•Tankers to transport water eg turkey to israel Specific Technologies seen as•Osmosis membranes filtering salt from appropriate /intermediate with lessbrackish water eg Israel (the Ashkelon plant negative externalities •Water harvesting of grey water eg Belizeproduces 15% of domestic demand). Also in •Micro dams serving villages eg NepalCalifornia, Spain and China •Water meters to reduce use eg UK•Fertigation: fertilser and water drip feeding of •Composting latrines – seen in National Trust properties in UK to Mumbai slums!crops, as in Israel
Water Conflicts overview Water Resources • Water like energy is a fundamental need but not Water Conflict evenly distributed • Potential conflicts=high both local & international • Factors influencing geography of supply: • Resource use often exceeds recharge capacity Physical-surface, groundwater, desalinisation leading to long term degradation Human: demand, management, mismanagement • Future is in doubt because of unsustainable use+ • Increasing demand not matched by supply= WATER climate change GAP • Vulnerable populations most at risk • Implications for human well being- which is why it • Management strategies to ensure supply require is named in the MDGs cooperation of many different players = changes in • Demand from various users way water is valued & used • Water resources are often transboundaryWater FuturesWater stress and scarcity are projected to increasebecause: Therefore, there are alternative futures –•Climate change will make some areas more arid It all depends on the decisions the players make....and rainfall more unreliable•Glacial water sources will reduce due to climatechange and climate change, population trends, energy•Unsustainable use of some supplies will decrease security, superpower politics, bridging thetheir quality and quantity•Demand will rise due to population and economic development gap etc…growth•Water wars will lead to winners and losers in watersupply 22
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: water restrictions energy problems, are hampering particularly rising solutions for prices, are curtailing generating more efforts to supply energy more clean water.• 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 other—and both may be running short. Is there a way out? 23
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