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Full Course Notes for 2WW3.docx

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Department
Earth Sciences
Course Code
EARTHSC 2WW3
Professor
Luc Bernier

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Lecture 1 The Looming CrisisDecline in freshwater resources Per capita water resources have declined since 1960 Current Status of ResourcesDiminishing ResourcesCountries with least abundant resourcesCountries with the least amount of resources Tend to depend only on rainfallWhere nature provides the least Resources have fallen by 40 t0 50 overmuch of Southern Asia Part 1 What are the key issuesPopulation pressures and development people are forced to drink water that we know is contaminated 17 of the world population has no access to safe drinking water 300 million people in subSaharan Africa 40 of world population has no basic access to sanitation 36 million people die each year from waterborne diseases90 of these deaths are children under the age of 5 Global Change1 in 10 rivers now run dry part of the year ex Colorado RiverUnsustainable water use far more water given to plants then what is actually needed10 countries use more than 40 of their water resources for irrigationIs access to water a basic rightIf it is governments have responsibility of securing and subsidizing supplies World summit 2009 governments responsible for providing 25LdayPart 2 Global Warming and ChangeWhat is the problem with climate changeRedistribution of water recourses worldwide Floods droughts storms rainfall Could have major impacts on worldwide food production Regions relying on melt water Southern America Western Canada Europe Central AfricaEx Himalayas provide water for rivers draining India and ChinaAt the earliest 60 years complete melting Decreases water qualityo Increased temperatureoxygen efficiency goes down therefore fish and other organisms that require oxygen will die because there is not enough oxygen requiredo Less water in the rivers therefore less water to dilute different contaminants and pollutiono Proliferation of bacteria that decompose organics Part 3 The Millennium Developing GoalsProposed in 2000 by United Nations Reduction by half the number of people without o Safe water o Sanitation Over the years some improvements have taken place while some have dropped drasticallyProvision of water services has not kept pace with population growthPoverty limits access to safe water and sanitation Has a series of consequences o Health is under mined o Increase in exposure to diseases o Limited to access and inability to worko Proportion of people living on less than 125 a day Poverty and Access to WaterRate of economic growth is insufficient to keep people out of poverty Mostly people in Sub Saharan Africa and Southern Asia are living on less than 125 a day Water and PoliticsAccess to water not just an issue of supply and demandEx crossnational boundaries of groundwater resources Part 4 Water QualityAn increasing problem Immense damage to ecosystems 450km cubed of wastewater released every year without treatment Takes 6000km cubed of clean water to dilute to safe level Poor access to safe drinking water Poor access to sanitation Under 10 of the population in Ethiopia and Congo have access to proper sanitationPollution in Southern Asia 1 billion tonsday of untreated waste water in the Ganges River its filled with garbage rubbage and waste2006 100000 tones more faecal coliforms that safe limitNot enough water in China60 of its major cities suffer from water shortagesth 4 largest water recourses The water is so contaminated with pollution that it is a bright green colour of rivers flowing through urban areas are unfit for drinking 700 million people are affected by thisDeforestation and Water QualityHas increased rates of soil erosion Leads to high loads of sediments Upper Yangtze river 80 of land near Three Gorges Reservoir suffers from erosion Part 5 Water Overuse Particularly economies where agriculture dominates86 of withdrawals are for agriculture Ex India Over pumping of Groundwater Ex Falling water table in Western USFrom 1950 to 2005 Unable to grow crops in these regionsContamination of groundwater is also a major problemGroundwater in the Middle East Not replenished in the current climateUsed unsustainably by some countriesWithdrawals exceeding 100 of their natural resources Pumps 30 more groundwater than what is replenished by rainfall Destruction of Natural WetlandsDrained for agriculture in the past it was believed to be a source of diseasesDestruction results in less storage for storm water in floodplains Part 6 AgricultureWater and Food Agricult50 of the world food production is based on irrigated agriculture Will require 50 more water Even more for countries such as India and ChinaAgriculture the Big Water User Global water use dominated by agriculture Industry ex coalfired power plants Industry ex cooling water in nuclear plantsMost water used for agriculture is used for consumption within same countryOutside North America and Europe water demands almost exclusively for irrigationJust 18 of cropland is irrigated but produces 40 of the worlds food 75 of all land irrigated worldwide is currently in AsiaPart 7 Technology and Dams Technology has a roleDams have often been used in the past to solve water shortages The have some draw backs ex megadams have major environmental impacts o Construction o ExpensiveWater in a typical river is not entirely usable
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