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Decline in fresh water resources.docx

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McMaster University
Earth Sciences
Luc Bernier

EARTH SC 2WW3 Jan 11 th 2013 1/11/2013 2:24:00 PM - will be podcasts posted online!! DECLINE IN FRESHWATER RESOURCES - per capita water resources have declined since 1960s  big part of this course! - African continent have had substantial loss in access…not necessarily less, however could be infrastructure collapse, of government etc to give access to resources has diminished  not just physical components, and climatic, but also social components to loss of freshwater CURRENT STATUS OF RESOURCES - countries with least abundant resources tend to depend almost exclusively on rainfall - I m^3 = 1000 L - areas in north have lots of freshwater, peak in freshwater resources is Greenland - loss of water from tropical rainforest etc. -Greenland has most freshwater resources per capita…not surprising considering island covered by large ice sheets that are nearly 2 km thick -10.5 million m^3 per capita - in Canada and Russia, so much water because of snow melt - in Brazil, no snowmelt so because of climate, because of local patterns of air circulation which leads to abundant water sources - middle east – exclusively on rainfall or possibly deep groundwater resources DIMINISHING RESOURCES - countries with the least amount of resources where nature provides the least - some countries in southern Asia – resources have fallen because of dry air - population growth – when population surged in India, is a component of diminishing resources - Africa – climate is a component, but collapsing economy and government has not been able to maintain the infrastructure that provides water has contributed - resources have fallen by 40 – 50% over much of Southern Asia - now focusing attention on industries that are going to be less water consumptive - African continent facing challenges, south American countries THE LOOMING CRISIS 1. what are the key issues 2. global warming and change 3. the millennium development goals (podcast) 4. water quality 5. water overuse (podcast) 6. agriculture 7. technology and dams (podcast) 8. Population Growth 9. The Drift to Cities 10. Future Water Demand (podcast) THE LOOMING CRISIS: UNIT 1 WHAT ARE THE KEY ISSUES - population pressures and development  half of population are exposed routinely to polluted and contaminated water (organic pollutants primarily)  often make choice not drink at all  17% of world population has no access to safe drinking water  300 million people in sub-Saharan Africa  greater percentage of world population with no access to sanitation o 40% of world population has no basic access to sanitation  sanitation is means to dispose of bodily waste in a safe manner which does not contaminate water supply  3.6 million people die each year from water-borne diseases o 90% of these deaths are children under the age of 5 - Global change  1 in 10 rivers now run dry part of the year (e.g. Colorado river – used to run into Mexico but most parts of the year does not do so)  within next century or so, possible that supply from melting of glaciers will run dry in Himalayas (*** I THINK FIND THIS OUT!!**) - Unsustainable Water Use  agriculture big component of this  10 countries use more than 40% of their water resources for irrigation  many countries are commercializing their drinking water – selling it, trading it etc. from surface water o often sometimes use their groundwater which in inefficient and unsustainable  really only regions with limited supplies IS ACCESS TO WATER A BASIC RIGHT? - if it is…governments have responsibility of securing and subsidizing supplies  the World Bank – arm of UN – believe it is a basic human right o against idea that resources can be commercialized o settled in 2009 at the world summit – governments responsible for providing 25L/day per person  exclusively to meet demands for drinking and sanitation (hygiene)  above this, consumers can be charged for their water used daily  this opened door for water training ICLICKER QUESTION 1: - which of the following key issue do you consider to be the most important, today? o Population pressures o Global climate chang
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