(Original post by Charlesworth)
Conflicts in South-East Asia
China and India
Conflicts between India and China due China building on the Tsangpo River, which contributes to the Brahmahputra river. This project will cause a decline of water in the Tsangpo of 60%. This will impact on agriculture and fishing
India and Bangladesh
Conflicts due to the construction of the Farakka Barrage in India, only 10km away from the Bangladesh/Indian border. It is hoped to help revive the port of Calcutta. Bangladesh feel they do not get their fair share of water during the dry season, but get too much during the monsoon seasons, when India releases the excess water. 1/3 of the 142 million people in Bangladesh live on the basin, so they will be impacted. Agreements have tried to be made since development began 35 years ago, but all have failed.
Nepal and India
Dispute of 75km^2 of land. which is an area that is home to a spring and source of a river. Both countries believe they own that land and wish to develop a dam, which would be valuable to both countries.
Burma and China
Conflict over 875km^2 of land, and where the border actually lies. Could be to try and gain from the glaciers in Tibet. China started to build roads into Burma without their permission, showing China's lack of care for what Burma thinks.
India and Pakistan
Pakistan believes India had caused its droughts. Both signed the Indus Water Treaty to try and prevent any more droughts. However, Kashmiris believe that the treaty is unfair and they do not get their fair share. Both countries have increasing populations, causing a rise in demand of water, while supply is remaining the same, causing more conflicts. Both countries need to work together for a sustainable future.
Dams in South-East Asia
Tehri Dam, Ganges
Aims to help irrigate 600,000 hectares of land and a further 270,000 hectares of land. Also aims to provide HEP and help control water supplies and increase supplies of water to Delhi by 270 million gallons. There have been issues including moving 100,000 people, the loss of 5,200 ha of land and 40 towns including Tehri being submerged. It has reduced flow from 1,000 cubic m/s to 200 cubic m/s. There has been concern over the fact it is in a seismic area, where an earthquake of 8.5 or greater could hit. It would be able to withstand an earthquake of 7.5. If it were to burst, over half a million people could be killed. There is the issue that it has a life span of 61 years, due to trapped sediment, but the full benefits of the dam will only be felt in the next 50 years. Also, the electricity produced costs twice as much to make than from surrounding provinces, such as Kashmir.
Impacts on Bangladesh includes causing agriculture and aquaculture to decline, and causes a quarter to the farm land to be useless. This will cost Bangladesh about half a billion dollars a year. There is increase in flooding, meaning money has to be spent on recovering from this. The quality of the water has declined due to the increase in salinity. Tributaries in Bangladesh have dried up, impact on transportation.
Benefits and Drawbacks of Dams on the Mekong
Benefits - Can help take people out of poverty my increasing living standards, can export energy to help reduce debts, not longer have to be reliant on other countries.
Drawbacks - Decrease fish productivity by 60%, and species by 10%. As 75% of households rely on fish for a living, this could have large impacts. It can block sediments and nutrients that is needed for fertile soil. Also 10s of thousands of people would have to be moved with little compensation due to land being flooded for the dam.
The increase in consumption due to population and industrial growth has made many rivers in China to dry up. The Yellow river now only flows for 185 days a year and 80% of rivers can no longer sustain marine life. 40% of China is classed as a desert, and they wish to increase water to these areas by 40 billion cubic meters, through projects such as damming the Tsangpo River. 90% of discharge into the river is untreated and put directly into rivers, due to lack of regulation. In one year there was 23.4 billion tonnes of waste dumped into China's rivers.
Demand exceeds supply by 300 million gallons each day. This is partly due to 40% of water being lost due to leaky and contaminate infrastructure. The lack of water can lead to violence, with there being 1000 water related incidents being reported in 2008, with the actual figure likely to be more due to not all incidents being reported. Also India has one of the highest levels of water borne diseases, showing how poor the water quality is in some areas. Also, large levels of industrial waste is pumped into rivers, which are also used by people and agriculture.
Organisations and Agreements
A non-profit organisation formed in 1975. Aims to monitor dams and try and limit the impacts. They are not allowed in China and are only allowed to monitor, so they cannot try and intervene. They help people get their deserved compensation if they are been relocated. They are currently against the development of the Xayaburi Dam in Thailand, which would negatively impact over 60 million people.
A bottom-up organisation that focuses on micro-schemes. It helps give technology to small communities to help get water. Benefits from these scheme include helping provide 1000 litres of water to communities, helping farmers have 3 crops a year instead of 2 and people no longer have to choose between drinking or farming. This can help increase economic growth to the economy on a small scale.
Mekong River Commission
An agreement signed by Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia and aims to limit transboundary impacts by making assessments. Only 10% of HEP on the Mekong is developed, so the MRC want to try and change this without having huge impacts. China did not sign the agreement. Although they only contribute a small total of the Mekong in total, during the dry season the Mekong from China contributes nearly a quarter of water to the river. China plans to make 8 dams on the Mekong, and believe as the dam is China, they are not responsible for what happens further downstream.
Water Management Schemes
Advantages - Cheap and effective, help increase efficiency, helps 1000s of families, little environmental impacts
Disadvantages - May impact downstream flow if taken straight from the spring, could be over exploited
Advantages - Helps control flow of water and reduce the chance of flooding, generates electricity, help irrigate more land
Disadvantages - Large impacts downstream, can block sediment, costs a lot to make, large environmental costs, land is flooded
Advantages - Helps bring short-term peace, reduces transboundary impacts, minimizes conflicts and ensures countries get their fair share of water.
Disadvantages - Only works if all players (especially the largest ones) sign them, they can easily be broken, can lead to tensions between countries if a country does not sign it.
The Tibetan plateau provides water for 2 billion people
37,000 glaciers in China alone
Ice cover has decreased by 6%
95% of glaciers are losing more ice than they are generating
Over the next 20-30 years:
Temperatures will increase by 0.79C
13.5% increase in precipitation
Glaciers are very sensitive to changes in climate.
That is all the notes and research I have about the pre-release. It includes information from those websites that are listed. I apologies if there are any typo or anything, just quote me if there is something that doesn't make any sense.
I hope that is of some use!