21.3 - SW Asia Human Environment Interaction
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21.3 - SW Asia Human Environment Interaction

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Human-enviornment interaction in SW Asia.

Human-enviornment interaction in SW Asia.

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21.3 - SW Asia Human Environment Interaction 21.3 - SW Asia Human Environment Interaction Presentation Transcript

  • SW Asia: Human-Environment Interaction
    • We already saw that that Southwest Asia is hot and dry
    • That means water is going to be a very important resource.
    • It’s all the more important as the population continues to increase.
    • So what to do?
    • Dams and irrigation systems
    • This is one option. Divert the few rivers that exist in the region and also construct dams that will produce reservoirs.
      • You can also use the dams to produce hydroelectricity.
    • Turkey and Iraq have dams on the Euphrates River.
    • Israel has dams on the Jordan.
    • Both divert water for irrigation.
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    • The downside of these techniques is that they disrupt the river ecosystems.
    • Part of the farming on the Tigris and Euphrates depends on periodic flooding, but that doesn’t happen with dams.
    • The Dead Sea is fed by the Jordan, but today only about 10% of the Jordan’s discharge gets to it. This has caused the Dead Sea’s depth to decrease significantly.
    • Modern methods
    • Drip irrigation
    • This is a low water consumption form of irrigation.
    • Instead of just spraying water all over the place, most of which evaporate as spray or on plants and never actually get to the soil, these systems drip water just above the ground.
  • Wasteful Efficient
    • Desalination Plants
    • These are plants along the coast that remove the salt from ocean water.
    Desalination plant in Saudi Arabia
    • The water isn’t always fit for drinking, but can be depending on the process.
    • It can also be expensive to do and will produce waste that needs to be disposed of.
    • But if you need water, you’ll do it.
    • Some plants can produce 25 million gallons of fresh water per day or more.
    • There are also desalination plants in the U.S. Tampa Bay has one and San Antonio has proposed building one on the gulf with a pipeline to the city.
    • Fossil Water
    • This process pumps underground well water from aquifers.
    • This is water that has been pooled there for a long time, however, and isn’t replenished by underground springs, rivers, or rainfall – hence the ‘fossil’ part.
  • The other problem is that salt water will start getting into the well and make it brackish.
  • In short, the Middle East has a water problem.
    • Oil
    • It was discovered in Iran in 1908 and a lot more was found on the Arabian Peninsula and around the Persian Gulf in the 1930’s.
    • The Middle East became extremely important as well as increasingly wealthy, especially as they gradually took control of the oil production for foreign entities.
    • Crude oil gets drilled up from the ground and is transported either to refineries or to tankers.
    • The refineries refine the oil into other products, e.g. gasoline, kerosene, diesel, and others.
    • The oil tankers transport the oil from SW Asia to other places, such as Texas City.
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  • Supertankers!
    • The largest supertanker in the world is the Knock Nevis
      • It’s 1504 feet long, 226 feet wide, and sits 80 feet in the water when fully loaded. It weighs 1,428,496,250 pounds and can carry 127,100,000 gallons of oil.
      • She’s so big, she can’t navigate the Panama Canal, the Suez Canal, or even the English Channel.
    • The big worry with tankers is oil spills, such as the Exxon Valdez back in 1989.
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