Presentation on theme: "6GEO3 Unit 3 Contested Planet Topic 2 Water Conflicts"— Presentation transcript:
1 6GEO3 Unit 3 Contested Planet Topic 2 Water Conflicts
2 What is this topic about? Water Conflicts is the second of the ‘resources’ topicsIt 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 changeMega technological fixes for mega problems (Hoover Dam, USA) versus Low tech solutions (Taanka storage of India)
3 1.The geography of water supply 2. The risks of water insecurity CONTENTS1.The geography of water supply2. The risks of water insecurity3. 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
4 2. The risks of water insecurity What are the potential implications of an increasingly ‘water insecure’ world?Water supply problemsIncreasing water shortages may be more important than energy shortages- because there is no alternative!Water conflictsWhere demand exceeds supply and no effective management operates, then there will be conflicts between the various players involvedWater geopoliticsThe conflicts between nation states, despite the international agreement called the Helsinki Rules designed to create more equitable use of water extending across boundariesWater transfersOf 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 ClimateClimatic zones are critical in determining water availabilityEquatorial / 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 droughtRiver 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 balancePhysical influenceson water supplyand scarcity97.2%Ocean & saltwaterGeologySurface 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 aquifersGreen water flow is water intercepted, stores and released by vegetation by evaporation and transpirationGrey water is polluted waterSupply can be from:Surface sourcesgroundwater sourcesIn 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!Disruption of water cycleLand use changes affect interception + infiltration + surface storage;Eg urbanisation, deforestationWater abstraction affects ground water storage, and can create salinisation and salt water incursionFlood management + dam construction affect channel flow + storageBy Quantity( adding to or abstracting) or Quality(pollution)
7 Some key definitions Water shortage stress scarcity Physical water 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 waterstressoften taken as less than 1700m3 per person per yeargrowing conflict between users and competition for waterdeclining standards of reliability and serviceharvest failures and food insecurity.scarcitysupply of water per person falls below 1000m3/yearan imbalance of supply and demanda high rate of use compared to available supply, especially if the remaining supply is difficult or costly to tap.Physicalwaterreached when 60% of river flows are diverted for agricultural, industrial & municipal purposes; globally over 75% is now usedPhysical water scarcity is shown by:Severe environmental degradationDeclining groundwater and water allocation which favours some groups over others.Arid and semi-arid areas are most at riskEconomicwhen less than 25% of rivers are used, and there is abundant supply potential: water does not reach the poorest peopleThis 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 AidDomestic
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 productionSevere water scarcity N China, leading to South North transfer scheme-see later slideEgypt imports > 50% of its food because of physical scarcityR Ganges: physical stress from pollution and over abstractionOgallala 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 resourceAustralia; diversion ¼ of all water away from Murray Darling Basin for agricultureMuch of sub Saharan Africa suffers from economic scarcity from especially poverty but also lack of infrastructural development . Some 1 bn people involved1Little/no water scarcityPhysical water scarcity- not necessarily dry areas but those where over 75% river flows are used by agriculture, industry or domestic consumersEconomic 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 DEMANDS? SUPPLY? DIFFERENT USERS? Water conflicts Rising Diminishing Population growthConsumer demandIndustrial growthAgricultural demandReductions because of:Users abstracting/polluting upstreamDeteriorating qualityImpact of climate changeDEMANDS?RisingSUPPLY?DiminishingPRESSURE 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 suppliesDams and diversions and loss of wetlands are particularly contested.DIFFERENT USERS?Conflicting demandsInternational conflicts i.e. basin crosses national boundariesInternal conflicts ie within a countryConservation versus exploitation
10 Present and potential water conflict hotspots As water supply decreases, tensions will increase as different players try to access common water suppliesMany conflicts are transboundary in nature, either between states or countriesRiver basins currently in disputeRiver basins at risk in the futureLarge International drainage basinsTigris-EuphratesIraq + Syria concerns that Turkey’s GAP project will divert their waterObColorado: 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 MexicoThe Aral Sea, an inland drainage basin, once the world’s 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.Lake ChadMekongGangesInsert Figure 2.11 page 47OkavangoZambeziLa PlataOrangeNote: 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 InitiativeNile hotly disputed between Ethiopia and Sudan ,who control its headwaters, and Egypt .
11 The megaprojects of dams like Aswan are famous. Hydropolitics and geopoliticsPolitical negotiations centred on conflicts over the shared use of water sourcesHistory of hydropolitics in Nile Basintensions due to the dominance of Egyptcivil wars in Sudan Ethiopiatensions from Egypt’s treaties dating back to the and 1959 Nile Water Agreements.Upstream states increasingly challenging Egypt’s dominance.Ethiopia wants to use the Nile River for HEP plants and industrial development.The Nile is the world’s 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 changeAbout 85 % water originates from Eritrea and Ethiopia, but 94 % is used by Sudan and Egypt.Evidence of more effective co-operationThe Nile Basin Initiative, system of cooperative management which started late 1990sAll 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’ worksTech 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 basin1996 Helsinki Rules on the Uses of the Waters of International Rivers - regulating how transboundary rivers and groundwater are managedThe Nile Basin is an example that ‘Water Wars’ may be averted
12 Water transfers- a quick fix? Receiving areaSource areaLess waterLeads to reduced use by locals, may increase povertyEcosystem changesDegradation/ destructionLess functioningLess productivePollutionLess dilutionMore concentration of pollutantsMore siltMore waterSolves existing demandleads to greater useDevelopmentdemandsRising megacities and Industrial growthtourism especially golf coursesImproved human healthAgricultural demandsEncourages unsustainable irrigated farming by agri- businessPollutionPollution from nitrate eutrophication and salinationTransfers pollution from original river to new locationEcosystem destructionExamples of existing schemesProposed schemesInternationalLesotho to South Africa: Lesotho Highlands Water ProjectTurkey to Israel by tankerNational:Snowy Mountains-AustraliaMelamchi NepalTagus-Mercia SpainTurkey to Israel undersea pipelinesAustrian Alps to Spain + Greece by pipelineSouth-North transfer- ChinaEbro -SpainOb to the Aral SeaNAWAPA Alaska to California
13 Mega Tech Fixes: China’s South–North water transfer Demand from industrial centres, high population density and intensive agriculture. Low rainfall and over abstracted groundwater: physical scarcityOne 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 TianjinCentral routes1267 km diversion. May have to use some water from 3 Gorges reservoir to helpExternalitiesIndustrial growth along routeways will exacerbate existing pollution problemsChanges in water balances: reduced water in Yangtze means less dilution and more pollutionDisplaced people especially from Dang Jiang Kou damBeijingWestern RoutesWork starts 2010, at high altitude, very difficult 500kms at m above sea levelTianjinEastern Route1,155km long diversionYellow RiverCHINAShanghaiYangtze River0 mls 250South ChinaSeaOriginally planned 1952, started 2002 ,due to finish 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 riverThere are significant disputes over access to water already in this areaThe 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 DubaiThe Aral Sea, on the boundary of the Middle East and Asia is suffering from over abstraction and pollutionIn the Western Region: Israelis, Syrians,Jordanians and Lebanese are all in dispute over shrinking water suppliesA contributory factor to the 1967 Arab-Israeli warWater 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 futureTrends in water demand globally and locallyWater playersResponses to need to increasing water supply and the issues these strategies raiseThe role of technology in water supplyBusiness as usualThe cost of water will increaseWater consumption will increase resulting in declining storesFood transfers will mitigate shortage of water in areas where agriculture declinesWater CrisisDemand will outstrip supplyThe proportion of the world’s population without access to clean water will increaseFood insecurity and migration will increaseConflicts of water supplies (intra and inter state) become more likelySustainable WaterAgricultural and household water prices will double in the developed world and triple in the developing worldGlobal water consumption will fall, although the gap between per capita use will closeGreen water flows will increaseImprovements in water harvesting and farming techniques allow food yields to increase whilst water consumption declinesFrom: 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 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 Days2009 Transboundary water2008 Sanitation2007 Coping with water scarcity2006 Water and Culture2005 Water for Life2004: Water and Disasters2003: Water for the Future2002: Water for Development2001: Water and HealthUN 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 insecurityOne player may have quite complex views; most Governments will have departments wanting conservation as opposed to developmentYou 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 playersEconomicInternational: World Bank & IMFTNCs and developersBusinesses and usersPolitical: water is a human needInternational organisations e.g. UNGovernmentRegional & local councilsLobbyists & pressure groupsPhotograph of Aral Sea with grounded tankerEnvironmentalConservationistsScientists & plannersSocial: water is a human rightIndividualsResidentsConsumers land owners, health officials, NGOs like Water Aid
18 Classifying the water players PoliticalEconomicSocialEnvironmentalGlobalWorld Bank funds megaprojects to improve supply. Has become more environmentally conscious. This group also has businesses and TNCsUN 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 OrganisationG8 Summits : 2002 Evian action Plan, focus on water, and 2009 L’Aquila summit increased aid to poorer countries to help MDGs, + highlighted need for more integrated managementThe role of NGOs such as Water Aid or GLOWS has been crucial in managing water suppliesCountries such as India, have mounted successful massive community-led campaigns on things like elimination of open defecationGovernment Health Agencies from national to local scaleWWF andFriends of the Earth campaign for full Environmental Impact Assessments of major projects likely to damage the environmentThis group will include many scientists and researchersAt a local scale NIMBY groups will campaignNationalGovernment owned water companies, eg ChinaTNCs (Viendi and Suez RWE which owns Thames Water, American Water WorksCompanies providing technological fixesLocalIndividual6.9 billion consumers
19 Responses: Management strategies Water conflicts can be managed in a range of different waysThere is a spectrum of different management strategiesSome are sustainable as they balance ecological and human needsStrategies rely on technology?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.Present policiesDriven by short term economic + political concernsOften do not include science and effective technologyObstacles to sustainable managementClimate change uncertainty and effectsNatural variability of waterPressures caused by human activities and rapid growth of transition economies towards a consumerist societyIncreased water demandsGross inefficiencies in usePoor existing quality of supply across huge areas of worldFundingAccess to appropriate technologyFuture policies?Longer term?Need more research, information and monitoring especially on aquifers in developing countriesMore partnerships?More community involvement?More accountable?
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 demandsWater management often focuses on large scale, technologically advanced mega-projectsThese often have complex costs and benefitsWater conservation and restoration of supply have a roleSmall scale, bottom-up schemes are likely to be important in the developing worldHowever, unless duplicated on large scale may be ineffective for longer term economic growthA 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 harvestingImproved 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 approachesWater conservation eg targeted drip irrigation on plants in Ethiopia, includes water harvestingWater restoration eg Northern Aral Sea, and on smaller scale river Colne in UKIntegrated drainage basin management , especially if bottom up and community involved.The 4 Rs: ie an attitudinal fix: Reduce, Respect, Reuse, Renew.....Traditional ‘hard’ engineeringDams; currently 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 HimalayasChannels, seen in most arid/semi arid countries whatever their economic status, eg Jonglei Canal on NilePipelines eg Australia and California Aqueduct and snowy Mountains scheme AustraliaDesalination plants eg in Middle EastRecharging schemes for depleted aquifers, eg North London Artificial recharge Scheme and Long Island New YorkNewer hard technologiesTankers to transport water eg turkey to israelOsmosis membranes filtering salt from brackish water eg Israel (the Ashkelon plant produces 15% of domestic demand). Also in California, Spain and ChinaFertigation: fertilser and water drip feeding of crops, as in IsraelSpecific Technologies seen as appropriate /intermediate with less negative externalitiesWater harvesting of grey water eg BelizeMicro dams serving villages eg NepalWater meters to reduce use eg UKComposting latrines – seen in National Trust properties in UK to Mumbai slums!
22 Water Conflicts overview Water ResourcesWater ConflictWater like energy is a fundamental need but not evenly distributedFactors influencing geography of supply:Physical-surface, groundwater, desalinisationHuman: demand, management, mismanagementIncreasing demand not matched by supply= WATER GAPImplications for human well being- which is why it is named in the MDGsDemand from various usersWater resources are often transboundaryPotential conflicts=high both local & internationalResource use often exceeds recharge capacity leading to long term degradationFuture is in doubt because of unsustainable use+ climate changeVulnerable populations most at riskManagement strategies to ensure supply require cooperation of many different players = changes in way water is valued & usedWater FuturesWater stress and scarcity are projected to increase because:Climate change will make some areas more arid and rainfall more unreliableGlacial water sources will reduce due to climate changeUnsustainable use of some supplies will decrease their quality and quantityDemand will rise due to population and economic growthWater wars will lead to winners and losers in water supplyTherefore, 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 civilizationWe consume massive quantities of water to generate energy, and we consume massive quantities of energy to deliver clean waterPeak 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 plantsWater 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?energy problems, particularly rising prices, are curtailing efforts to supply more clean water.water restrictions are hampering solutions for generating more energy