(Original post by Rebecca-K)
Hi Guys, just a bit of last minute revision notes for you
Potential Threats to Water Supply in the Region:
1. Dam Construction:
- China, 3 gorges dam on the Yangtze- world's largest HEP plant.
- India, tehri dam on the Ganges- aim to irrigate 600,000hectares of land, control the supply of water and increase supply to Delhi.
2. Increased population = increased demand:
- China- overexploitation of water from the Yellow river to supply increasing population, only flows for 185 days p/yr.
- Link to figure 7.
- Link to view 1 (decreased water available per capita in India due to more people).
3. Increased agricultural demand (irrigation):
- Pakistan 93% of water demand is for irrigation, means people's health suffers as there isn't enough water for locals.
- Links to figure 8 and 9.
- Link to view 3.
- India- Coca Cola using local water supplies unsustainably, decreasing the amount available to the population.
- In 2004, the Kerala government (India) closed down a $16million Cola bottling plant due to their unsustainable use of local water. They blamed them for the decrease in quality and quantity of water and the "aggravated water scarcity problem"- Kerala Authority.
- TNCs pump large amounts of waste into rivers, e.g. high level of pollution in the Ganges.
5. River Pollution:
- Ganges, India- pollution affects 400 million people that live close to the river, it is now no longer available for human consumption. poor people rely on it daily for cooking, washing and bathing- est. 66% of people that use of Ganges each yr suffer from water-borne diseases.
- Synoptic link- Salton Sea, CA- agricultural slump acting as a receiving basin for run-off from fields, 75% of inflow comes from fields using pesticides, herbicides and harmful chemicals. It has lead to increased salinity and eutrophication, making it unavailable for human consumption.
6. Climate Change:
- Increased temperatures, decreased precipitation/more unpredictable, increased glacier melt = increased water stress conditions.
- Link to figure 10.
- Link view 2.
Potential Reasons for Conflict in the Himalayas Region:
1. Unequal distribution of water:
- Some areas have a large amount of water sourcing in their country, e.g. Nepal with 700 glaciers and lakes, yet have a low demand due to small population and lack of industry.
- other areas have a small amount of water sourcing in their country, e.g. Bangladesh with 90% of rivers sourcing outside of the country and a decline in groundwater levels by 2-3 metres p/yr, yet they have a large population, experience water scarcity, and are trying to develop industrially.
- China- Many rivers originate in western China meaning political control over other countries. large amount of dam construction proposed, e.g. China wants to build HEP projects on ALL suitable rivers to cope with increasing energy demand.
- Link to figure 6.
- India-Pakistan dispute over Jammu-Kashmir region. In 2010 India claimed the entire state as theirs, administering 43% of the region. The conflict is based on historical and religious developments that have taken place in the area throughout history. it is also the origin point of many rivers and tributaries of the Indus- a source of water for both countries.
- Where their are territorial disputes, there is potential for conflict, and therefore unsustainable use of water.
3. Tranboundary rivers:
- Mekong River- Flows through China, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam, yet all are heavily reliant on it as a primary water source. China has constructed 4 major dams on the Mekong, limiting the amount of water available downstream. This has decreased fishing productivity by up to 60% in some regions- many areas of which fishing is the primary industry.
- Synoptic- Conflict on the Colorado River, USA and Mexico- Each state of the US relies of the Colorado as a river source, e.g. Las Vegas to meet demands on mega-industry, CA for agriculture and irrigation. By the time it gets to Mexico, the river has had a 80% depletion from its original flow, Mexico are unable to develop as they do not have the water to supplement development, so remain an LEDC.
- 'Territorial Sovereignty' - Belief that as they are part of the upstream river, they can use as much of the resource as they want because they receive it first.
- 'Territorial Integrity' - Belief that countries downstream have as much entitlement to the same amount of water as those upstream.
4. Dam construction/River Engineering:
- India-China- building on the Tsangpo River, a river that contributes to flows into the Bramaputra. The dam has caused a 60% reduction in the Tsangpo, impacting agriculture and fishing.
- Synoptic- Turkey Gap Project on the Euphrates River to benefit the Turkish economy. Those counties downstream, Syria and Iraq are reliant on the Euphrates as a major source of water- Syria 80% of water comes from Euphrates. They have both accused Turkey of "stealing" water.
5. TNC demand for water:
- See threats to supplies notes.
6. Changing of sectors (demand):
- See threats to supplies notes.
7. Disputes with conservationists:
- The construction of the Diamer-Basha Dam, Pakistan- displaces people, destroys villages and floods prehistoric rock carvings.
- Synoptic- Turkey's Gap Project- The ancient town of Hassankyf flooded, the historic buildings and a 12th Century bridge was drowned, along with the displacement of 34,000 people.
I hope this helps to clear any last minutes doubts on a couple of potential exam questions.. good luck with tomorrow everyone!