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GGR288-Exam prep

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University of Toronto Mississauga
Harvey Shear

GGR288-2010 Exam Answers 1) a. Why is Mexico (the country) faced with a water shortage that is predicted to become worse in 25-40 years? QUALITY:  septic tanks  not many public sewage systems. In 2002 only about 27% of the waste water was treated  low groundwater quality  from 122 countries Mexico is ranked 106 in its water quality eg. it is very low  high phosphorus and arsenic in many lakes  high dissolved oxygen QUANTITY:  groundwater over exploitation  annual precipitation very low  Mexico ranked 94 out of 182 countries for natural water availability  increase in industrialization has put stress on aquifers b. Mexico City has a severe water shortage problem. Why?  lower decreased water supply  high population growth around a small reservoir of water  weak sewage system  Overdrafting or over use eg. Ogallala river  low precipitation c. What is Mexico City doing to provide water to its citizens?  It is estimated that there are some 1,200 water utilities throughout the country providing 83.3% of the population with drinking water 2) a. What do the Dublin Principles say about how we should regard water?  Water is a resource that has now become an economic commodity  Water has an economic value in all its uses, and should be recognised good. b. Discuss the positive and negative aspects of privatization of water supplies. POSITIVE  Public water agencies have been unable to satisfy the most basic needs for water for all humans;  private water companies build, own, and operate water systems around the world with annual revenues of approximately $300 billion NEGATIVE  it may bypass under-represented and under-served communities  can worsen economic inequities and the affordability of water  Privatization agreements may fail to protect public ownership of water and water rights  Privatization agreements often fail to include public participation and contract monitoring  Inappropriate privatization efforts ignore impacts on ecosystems or downstream water users  Privatization efforts may neglect the potential for water-use efficiency and conservation improvements  privatization agreements may lessen protection of water quality, they lack dispute-resolution procedure 3) a. What is a water right?  A water right is a right to use and access water. Ownership of a water right normally means usufructuary power and not ownership of the water body itself b. Discuss the issue of water rights using the Edwards Aquifer (Texas) example.  Historically, Texas law granted complete ownership of ground water to the landowner above it. This common law was ruled and replaced long time ago in most US states. After several serious droughts serious legal decision to enforce the endangered species act and citizens actions that raised public awareness about the importance of the aquifer led Texas legislature to gradually impose public control over wat
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