Edexcel Paper 1 Case Studies - Summary

Brief summary of some of the most important case studies that are relevant for:

  • Tectonic Processes and Hazards
  • Coastal Landscapes and Change
  • The Water Cycle and Water Insecurity
  • The Carbon Cycle and Energy Security
  • Created by: Taz_28
  • Created on: 31-05-18 17:36

Tectonics - Nepal Earthquake (2015)

  • Nepal is a mutliple hazard zone with a steep mountain landscape -> exposed to landslides, debris and floods as well as earthquakes
  • It's landlocked and sits on the boundary of the Indo-Australian and Asian plate
  • 7.8 magnitude with 9000 deaths and 22,000+ injured
  • Approximately 30 million people live in poorly built houses
  • More than 1/2 million homes destroyed or are pre-cautiously habitable = 2.5 million internally displaced
  • More than 3500 schools destroyed
  • Poor and socially excluded groups are less able to absorb shocks than well-positioned and better-off households
  • There was some seismic activity in the Jumla district before the main shock BUT they are not foreshocks to the main shock - as of 7th June 2015, over 304 aftershocks have occurred 
1 of 29

Tectonics - Haiti Earthquake (2010)

  • Small island located int he Carribean, Southeast of the USA and east of Cuba
  • GDP per capita - $345.89; HDI - 0.456
  • 7.0 magnitude
  • Caused by North American plate sliding past the Carribean plagte at a conservative plate margin - both plates move in the smae direction BUT one moved faster than the other -> pressure built up due to friction released = earthquake
  • Between 5-6 million people live in rural areas -> about 85% of the rural population practice some agriculture = about 26% of Haiti's economy
  • Over 188,383 houses were badly damaged and 105,000 were destroyed by the quake (293,383 in total)
  • 4000 schools were damaged/destroyed
  • 250,000 homes and 300,000 other buildings (including the President's Palace and 60% of the government's buildings) were badly damages/destoryed
  • $100 million in aid given by the USA and $330 million by the European Union -> 810,000 people placed in aid camps, 115,000 tents and 1,000,000+ tarpaulin shelters provided
2 of 29

Tectonics - Eyjafjallajökull Eruption (2010)

  • Eyjafjallajökull, Iceland lies on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge (constructive plate margin - where the Eurasian plate moves away (east) form the North American plate (west) - as plates move apart magma rises to surface = several active volcanoes as layers build up
  • Seemingly caused by the meeting of one body of magma (msotly made up of common volcanic rock basalt) with another type of magma withing the volcano (consisting of largely silica-rich trachyandesite)
  • VEI of 4 but no deaths
  • 5000 farmers and their families had to be evacuated from the areas and around the volcano; many roads surrounding the volcano were shut down
  • Local population evacuated safely because of respiratory threats due to the ash build-up 
  • Airspace closed across Europe, with at least 17,000 flights a day being cancelled, with 6 flightless days -> cost airlines more than $200 million a day and was estimated $2bn lost overall
  • (Estimated that) London lost £102 million of tourist income due to flight cancellations (wider scope of impact)
  • Wrold Bank estimated (in total) African countries lost $65 milllion due to the effect of the airspace shutdown on perishable exports
3 of 29

Tectonics - Christchurch Earthquake (2011)

  • Caused by a hidden fault - sudden motion/trembling int he crust caused by abrupt release of accumulated stress along a fault (a break in the Earth's crust) -> New Zealand located on two of the major tectonic plates (Pacific plate and Australian plate = Pacific plate slid past the Australian plate in the opposite direction)
  • 6.3 magnitude - epicentre was 6 miles from the Southeast of Christchurch
  • 1/5 lost their jobs because many buildings were destroyed - 6000 companies and instituitions with over 50,000 employees in the CBD BUT 45% ofthem are likely to retain their jobs in another location
  • $40bn worth of damage need to repair infrastructure
  • Liquefaction caused as a result of ground shaken -> buildings/roads/cars/trees/etc. sunk into the ground (sand boils - where sand and water come out onto the ground surface - was the common type of liquefaction)
  • International visiitors were down 40% in the 2011-12 period
4 of 29

Tectonics - Mount Pinatubo (1991)

  • Second largest volcanic eruption of the 20th Century affecting a densely populated are in the Phillipines with a VEI of 6
  • Erptipon produced high-speed avalanches of hot ash and gas, giant mudflows (lahars) and a cloud of volcanic ash = $700 million damages
  • Ejected more than 1 cubic mile (5 cubic kms) of material -. CATAOLYSMIC ERUPTION
  • Ash cloud rose 22 miles (35 km) into the air -> caused widespread destruction and loss of human life (more than 350 died during the eruption and an overall account of 722 deaths)
  • 75,000 people evacuated and 200,000 homeless
  • 800km³ agriculutral land destroyed and 80,000 livestock/poultry jilled costing 1.5bn pesos
  • Led to acid rain due to 22 million tonnes of SO2 erupted
  • Full economic recovery cost £10bn
  • Consequently 5bn pesos spent to build dykes for lahars (later washed away by lahars)
5 of 29

Tectonics - Southeast Asian Tsunami (2004)

  • Subduction of Indio-Australian (oceanic) plate under Eurasian (continetal) plate = magnitude 9 earthquake = seafloor uplifted/ displaced seawater above
  • Killed 250,000+ people in 14 different countries
  • 80,000+ houses destroyed
  • Over $7bn was provided by US governments and NGOs in aid
  • Indonesian government decided to relocate the poeple from the refugee camps to straight into new homes
  • Highest deagth toll in Indonesian Island of Sumatra where 130,000 people were killed and 30,000+ were missing
  • Led to cholera and dysentery spread due to lack of clean water and salination in the refugee camps, killing an estimated 150,000 people
6 of 29

Tectonics - Japanese Tohoku Tsunami (2011)

  • 9 magnitude earthquake uplifted 80 miles off the coast of Sendai where the Pacific tectonic plate subducted underneath the Okhotsk plate (convergent margin)
  • 15,853 deaths; 6023 injured; 3282 missing
  • 300,000 buildings destroyed and future 1 million destroyed
  • Damages cost $235bn - earthquake alone ranged from $14.5-$34.6bn
  • Tsunami hit the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant and disabled the power supply -> affected cooling of three reactors causing high radioactive releases - contaminated water leaked from the plant into the Pacific Ocean and into fishing grounds
  • Over 340,000 displaced people in the region needed food, water and shelter
  • Japanese Red Cross reporting $1bn in donations
  • Subsequently, Nissan's full year profits dropped 15% as a result fo shortages and production disruptions emanating form the disaster
7 of 29

Coasts - Holderness Coastline

  • Lowland region of Enland that lies between the Chalk Hills of the Wolds and the North Sea - a part of East Riding of Yorkshire
  • Fastest eroding coastline - average annual rates around 2m/annum - becuase the bedrock is made up of till (deposited around 12,000 years ago)
  • Sources: where sediment is eroded from cliffs (Flamborough Head's chalk, Hornsea's boudler clay) or snad dunes; sources can be offshore bars; River Humber is also important as a source
  • Transfer Zones: places wherre sediment is moving along the coast by longshore drift and offshore currents; beaches, parts of dunes and salt marshes (Humber Estuary) perform this function
  • Sinks: locations where the dominant process is deposition and depostional landforms are created including spits (Spurn Head) and offshore bars
  • Some coastal features may operate as both sinks and sources depending on whether the domiant process is eriodion or deposition at a givern time
  • Coast here is made up of soft boulder clay (tills) left after the retreat of the Devensian ice sheets about 12,000 years ago
    • massive groynes stops the flow of sand down the coast = less sand available for the rest of the coastline = rapid erosion elsewhere
    • effective for Mappleton BUT not for the other areas south which have experienced mass erosion
    • rip-rap stops erosion by dissipitating the wave energy
    • very effective at Withernsea -> led to an increase in tourism due to larger beach
    • various groynes and gabions to stop sand moving down the coastline which in turn slows down longshore drift
    • Spurn Point is growing slowly and groynes are helping to trap more sand and less impacts of longshore drifts
  • Some SSSIs are threatened e.g. The Lagoons near Easington which has a colony of over 1% of the British breeding population of litttle terns
8 of 29

Coasts - Happisburgh, Norfolk

  • Happisburgh is a small village with a pub and tea shop surrounded by farmland and old coastal defences (damaged revetments and rock amour that has reduced its effectiveness)
  • Loss of farmland (income) - government doesn't much tax = reduced revenue
  • Cost to repair revetments is £4.6 million -> too expensive compared to the land it will protect
  • Loss of community due to lack of jobs and increases homelessness
  • By 2055, a further 35 homes could be lost with 250 miles of land
  • By 2105, the shoreline may recede by 200m, with loss of 50 homes, caravan site, with property damage totalling £6 million
  • £1.4 million set aside for 'purchase and lease-back'
9 of 29

Coasts - Lyme Regis, Dorset

  • Protection sheme started by West Dorset District Council in the early 1990s:
    • Phrase 1 - new sea wall and promenade east of the mouth of he river - finished in 1995
    • Phrase 2 - protest the foreshore and stabilise the land immediately behind it - started in 2005 and will cost £17 million
  • Benefits of the scheme includes:
    • long-term protection against destructive coastal erosion and landslips
    • more sand/shingle
    • calmer conditions for boats to harbour
    • better access to public gardens (including ramps for people using wheelchairs and prams)
    • re-landscaped public gardens with more walks
    • improvement to roads
    • more secure future for the town's people and business
    • etc.
10 of 29

Coasts - Great Barrier Reef, Australia

  • Largest coral reef system in the world - over 23000km long and is made up of 2900 reefs and 940 islands and cays
  • Barrier Reef became a marine park in 1975 and was designated at a World Heritage Site in 1981
  • Zoning has been positive on Queensland's economy and more widely, Australia as a whole
  • In 2004, reef industries continued approximately $5.8bn to the economy and employed 63,000 people
  • Natural threats:
    • bleaching -> algae can't survive in warmer watersa so is killed off and coral loses its colorations, larger species lose primary food source and decline
    • crown of thorns -> feed off the coral reef and increases as alge incresed due to agricultural runoff
    • el nino and climate change -> every 7 years (increase in water temperatures) therefore more coral bleaching
  • Human activity:
    • shipping -> huge numbers of tourst and commerical traffic which can leave foreign objects and ship wreck
    • oil spills -> oil containers can scar reeds and can damage wild life on reefs
    • overfishing -> one of the problems with overfishing is trawling (large net dragged accros ocean floor - destructs natural cycle)
  • Expenditure of beach nourishment could increase by as much as $39 million per year
  • Tourism industry which contributed $30bn to Australia's GDP in 2013 and employed 8% of the workforce could increase by as much as $39 million per year
11 of 29

Coasts - Maldives

  • Comprises of around 1200 islands - average height of just 1.3m above sea level
  • Depends heavily on tourism, fishing and agriculture
  • Home to 350,00 people and 1100 fish species, 5 species of sea turtles, 21 species fo whales/dolphins, 187 corals, 400 species of molluscs and 83 species of echinoderms
  • As of 2010, fisheries contributed to over 15% of the country's GDP and engaged about  30% of the countrys workforce; tourism accounts for 28% of the GDP
  • Male (capital) is surrounded by a 3m high wall which took 14 years to constuct at a cost of $63 million with the aid form Japan (paid for 99% of the cost - not self suficient)
  • After the Indian Ocean tsunami (2004) the government started to move poeple from its lowest 200 islands to the few higher ones
  • The organisation Mangroves for the Future (MFF) is working with Maldivian communities to educate them on the importance of maintaining coastal mangrove swamps as a natural defence against coastal erosion and flooding
  • The Global Environment Facility (GEF) has provided small grants to islanders to help them develop sustainable and organic farming as an alternative food and income to coral reed fish (threatened by overfishing and global warming)
  • Maldives government is looking at the possibility of buying land elsewhere to moe to and is in negotiation with Australia, India and Saudi Arabia
12 of 29

Coasts - Bangladesh

  • 7/9 worst storm surges in the 20th C. affected Bangladesh
  • Ganges Delta experiences a lot of storm surges - may exceed 4m and accompanying storm surge can add a further 4m to wave height
  • 1970 - over 300,000 people killed in a surge; 1989 - 225,000 people killed; 1991 - 140,000 people killed
  • Subsequent diseases/famine killed many more millions; other made homeless and vast numbers of cattle died
  • A 1m rise in sea level would flood 11% of the country and a 3m rise would flood 29% of the country
  • Increased atmospheric energy could make tropical cyclones more frequent and/or intense
  • Estimated that 40% of Bangaldesh's farmland may be lost to the sea if there is a 65cm rise
  • Around 20 million people have their water affected by salty water
  • Valuable coastal systems fo the Sundarbans (mangroves) would also be lost, reducing protection from coastal floods
13 of 29

Coasts - Netherlands

  • 1953 storm surge = 1836 deaths (compared with 307 deaths in the UK)
  • Vulnerable because 20% of the country is below sea level and 50% is less than 1m above sea level
14 of 29

Carbon - The Arctic

  • Arctic region is warming 2x as fast as the global average (ARCTIC AMPLIFICATION) • Melting permafrost releases CO2 and CH4, increasing the concentration of greenhouse gases and leading to global temperature rise/further ice melts
  • Climate change is altering the Arctic tundra ecosystem • Rapid warming contributes to extensive melting of sea ice in summer as well as greatly reducing snow cover and permafrost
  • Shrubs and trees, previously unable to survive in tundra, have started to establish themselves; likewise, animals in Alaska (the red fox) has spread northwards and now competes with the Arctic fox for food and territory BUT not all scientists agree melting permafrost = release stored carbon as CO2 and CH4
  • Some studies show as permafrost thaws, the stored carbon remains in the soil and is used by new vegetation
  • Warmer temperatures accelerate decomposition, releasing carbon and nutrients • Nutrients encourage plant growth and the removal of carbon from the atmosphere through photosynthesis (decreasing levels of greenhouse gases in atmosphere)
  • Ice sheet lost an average of 30Gt per annum during 1991 to 2001, however this flux of loss rapidly increased during 2002 to 2011 where 147Gt of ice was lost
  • Amount of carbon stored is at 1330-1380bn tons of carbon (almost 2x as in the atmosphere) - of this amount 800-1000bn tons is perceivingly frozen, with the remainder contained in seasonally travelled soils
15 of 29

Carbon - The South Pacific Island States

  • Terrestrial and ocean sequestration has taken about 55% of the extra carbon people have put into the atmosphere while about 45% have stayed in the atmosphere
  • Excess carbon helps warm up the planet and helps plants on land grow more BUT excess carbon in oceans makes the water more acidic, putting marine life at danger
  • Suggested DPSEEA framework for climate change and health suggests pathwyas for health impacts and climate change
16 of 29

Carbon - Tropical Peatlands

  • One of the largest organic stores of caron on Earth - covers 5.3 million sqkm
  • Sequesters 17% of all terrestrial carbon (more than any other land-based biome)
  • 1% of Amazons 16,000 tree species stores 50% of its carbon
  • Westlands that contain peat (an organic sediment) are important carbon stores 
  • Many peatlands formed during th Holocene have been a store for thousands of years, with climate change and overuse, however they are becoming net carbon store
17 of 29

Carbon - Biofuels in Brazil

  • 1970s - Brazil invested in alternative energy sources such as hydroelectricity and more recently biofuels
  • bio-ethanol production is cheaper than petrol and was used as vehicle fuel and since this Brazil has become the world's leading bio-ethanol producer and a leader in cutting carbon emissions
  • Today, 4% from renewable sources and 90% of vehicles in Brazil contain flex-fuel engines that work using any combination of petrol sugarcane ethanol - significant reduction in the country's carbon dioxide emissions
  • Brazil's the largest producer of sugar cane, reading exporter of sugar and ethanol BUT this can lead to displacement of agriculture (particularly cattle pasture) = tropical rainforest has been cleared for said cattle pasture -> cancels out carbon emission 
  • Biofuel is renewable = lower emisiions, is biodegradable and easily crwon without needing specialist machiner; BUT it takes land from production, needs pesticides and fertilisers which uses fossil fuels in their production, requires large volumes of water, clearing forest to grow this crop = loss of a carbon sink and increased emissions from the deforestation (30-60% higher than savings from using biofuels) again throwing doubt on the crop's 'carbon neutrality'
  • Since 2003, Brazil's use of bio-ethanol has reduced the country's CO2 emissions by mroe than 350 million tons BUT some biofuels cannot be regarded as 'carbon neutral'
  • Biomass requires a fuel to 'kick start' burning i.e. coal is needed to 'fire up' the biomass and some biomass fuels can therefore produce between 150% and 400% more CO2 than coal
  • Social unrest occured -> farm workers lost land to grow sugar canes and cannot grow food for themselves = many farmers move to cities; foos shortages = higher food prices
18 of 29

Carbon - UK's Energy Mix

  • use of coal decreased significantly BUT the relaince on oil and gas seems to hsve settled at a higher level, providing 80% of the UK's primary energy
  • 2015 - low-carbon generation (renewables and nuclear energy) supplied 47% of the UK's  electricity; wind and solar farms, HEP and biomass between them supplied 24% compared to coal's 22%
  • UK's use of fossil fuels is falling and there are plans to close all tradiition coal-fired power stations by 2025
  • Today we consume less energy than we did in 1970, despite a population increase of nearly 7 million people 
  • According to Friends of the Earth, wind energy could provide 25% of the UK's electricity needs by 2020; solar power is also growing rapidly - up to 86% between 2014 and 2015 HOEVER each energy source has only expanded through government subsidies
  • The UK is more efficient at producing and using energy with households using 12% less energy whilst industry uses 60% less
  • Although UK has 150 years' worth of coal reserves, ti is energy insecure: 60% of its energy is imported
  • October 2016, Hinkley Point C - the UK's newest nuclear power station given approval with the UK government believing that lowcarbon energy supplies are the most effective way to fill a looming energy generation gap and is funded by the Chinese
19 of 29

Carbon - Canadian Tar Sands

  • Started in 1967 and focused on the pronvince of Alberta
  • Canada has the 3rd largest oil reserve in the world after Saudi Arabia and Venezuela
  • Climate pollution per barrel has increased 21% in the last few years
  • Climate pollution by tar sands is projected to hit 104Mt CO2 by 2020 -> 2x current emissions from Norway to Bangladesh (and exceeds the combined emissions from 85 nations)
  • Switiching 10% of the EU's soil to tar sands oil would increase the climate impact by 41Mt CO2 per year (equivalent to adding 21 million new cars to EU roads)
  • Burning tar sands currently produces 2x more climate pollution than burning Canadian coal - this is set to quadruple by 2020
  • Only viable when the price of curde oil exceeds $40 a barrel -> it costs $10-20 a barrel to extract bitumen from tar sands, compared with $2 for conventional oil (2015 prices)
  • Very energy intensive process -> it takes 1 barrel of conventional oil to produce 3 barrels of oil from tar sands
  • It takes 2-5 barrels of water to produce every barrel fo oil
  • About 1.8 million tonnes of toxic wastewater is produced every day
  • Produces huge quanitities of waster - takes 2 tonnes of mined tar sands to produce 1 tonne of oil
  • 470km2 of Alberta's woodlands taiga forest has been removed
20 of 29

Carbon - US Shale Gas

  • 2000 - shale gas provided 1% of the USA's supply compared to 15% in 2015 (due to growing use of hydraulic fracturing/fracking to release oil and gas from underground formations)
  • Most important shale gas fields - West Virginia, New York and Texas
  • Environmental concerns associated with fracking include contamination of groundwater by the chemicals in the pumping fluid and surface subsidence
  • Fracking is known to produce airborne pollutants such as methane, benzene and sulphur dioxide; there are also reports of 'fraccidents' such as mysterious animal deaths and industrial operation
21 of 29

Carbon - Brazilian Deepwater Oil

  • Deepwater oil (found 2006) was the biggest find ever -> in 2009 one scenic coast between Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo has been disfigured by refineries and the two bases that serve the oil and gas fields more than 200km ofshore
  • State oil company aims to produce 500,000 barrels of oil a day
  • Serious pollution of coastal waters and concerns about the risky nature of drilling so far offshore
22 of 29

Water - Deforestation in the Amazon

  • More than 20% of the forest has been destroyed due to a combination of cattle ranching, large-scale commercial agriculture for biofuels and soya beans, general development of settlements and legal/illegal logging
  • Amazon rainforest covers 60% of the world's rainforest
  • Only 25% of water is returned to the atmosphere by evapotranspiration when forests removed, compared to 75% when they are present
  • Creates a drier climate and the potential for a positive feedback loop
  • More water run off could lead to flooding mudslides, aquifer depletion and increase in soil erosion degradation as nutrients are washed away
  • Emissions from wildfires totalled more than 1bn tonnes of CO2 from 2003-2015
23 of 29

Water - Drought in Australia

  • Drought is a recurrent feature in Australia -> Australian Bureau of Meteorology recognises two main types of drought on rainfall critieria:
    • serious deficiency - rainfall totals within 10% of values for at least 3 months
    • severe deficiency - rainfall totals within the lowest 5% of values on record for at least 3 months 
  • Physical Causes:
    • low, highly variable rainfall
    • varying drought - some intense and short lives, some last years (Big Dry of 2006)
    • closely linked to El Nino events e.g. East Coast drough in 2002-3
    • shift in rainfall patterns in the east, where most live, becoming drier since the 1970s
  • Human Causes:
    • some scientist belive climate change is behind intensifying and prolonging the El Nino experience
    • evidence - it was the driest and warmest year (2002) in Australia has been collated
  • Big Dry
    • 1/1000 year event spread nationwide
    • affected more than half of farmlands, especially Murray-Darling Basin that provides 50% of agricultural outputs for the country
    • disasterous for wool, wheat and meat exports
    • reservoirs fell to 40% of their capacity
    • overextraction of water = vulnerable for Australia, future demands are likely to exceed supply -> radical plans and schemes must be created and put in place before Australia becomes too vulnerable
  • Australia is very drought-prone, with 30% od the country usually affected in any one year:
    • low, highly variable rainfall totals occur because the climate is dominated by the sub-tropic high-pressure belt of the southern hemisphere
    • since the 1970s there has been a shift in rainfall patterns with the eastern area, becoming drier compared to north-western areas
    • 'Bid Dry' is thought to have been associated with longer-term climate change, leading to a trend of a warmer, drier climate for south-eastern Australia
  • With widespread failure of agricultural systems, food shortages develop into famines that have severe social, economic and environmental impacts
24 of 29

Water - Sahel, Africa

  • Sahel has high variablility of rainfall at different scales: seasonally, annually and decadal
    • seasonally: African Sahel drought sensitive as it occupies a transitional climate zone and annual rainfall concentrated in the summer differs from 100mm on the edge of the Sahara to 800mm along its southern marhins
    • annually: from year to year there is huge vairiability, swarm sea surface temperatures in tropical seas will lead to strong convectional uplift, weakening the monsoons and leading to drought in the Sahel
    • decadal: anomalies are very clear
  • Human factors don't cause drought BUT there is a strong correlation acting as a posotive feedback loop
  • Drought impacts can increase by socio-economic conditions fromd egradation of the environmentm especially witht he 1999-2000 Ethiopian/Eritrean drought and famine crisi
  • Population densities are increasing and most regions are still dependent on rains, especially in agriculture
25 of 29

Water - 2007 Flooding in England/Wales

  • Over 3 months in 2007 summer -> 397mm of rain fell (double the average)
  • Northern areas badly hit by floods - West and South hit in July (wettest July on record - 129mm of rain in England and Wales)
  • Rainfall along River Sivern hti record levels, a powerful storm sent the river into flood
  • A dozen killed
  • Financial costs amounted to £6 million
  • River levels rose to 4.5m above normal
  • Flooding hit some villages 6x
  • Unpredictable flash floods occured e.g. Tenbury Wells
  • Greatest impacts felt in the lower Severn in Tewkesbury where the River Avon joins the Severn, and in Gloucester with its waterfront developments
  • Homes and businesses flooded, water supplies cut off, power supplies damaged
26 of 29

Water - The Aral Sea

  • Once the world's 4th largest inland sea (68,000km2)
  • Steadily sinking since 1960s after Soviet government diverted water from the two supplying rivers (Amu Darya and Syr Darya - which fed into the Aral sea) for irrigiation and agriculture
  • By 2007, the sea declined to just 10% of its original size and split into separate lakes -> level fallen to 40m (environmental catastrophe)
  • Since 2007, Kazakhstan secured masive World Bank loans to save the northern part of the Aral Sea - extremely ambitious project aimed at reversing one of the world's worst environemtnal disasters
  • Stakeholders:
    • former soviet government
    • fishing commmunity -> once employed 6000 people = widespread unemployment and economic hardship and ships lie useless on exposed seabed
    • local residents -> health problems due to windblown salt and dust from dried-out seabed; heavily polluted drinking water
    • uzbekistan government -> irrigattion shcemes allowed the country to with few resources to become one of the world's largest exporters of cotton and hopes to discover oil underneath the dry seabed
    • scientists -> only 160 of the 310 bird species, 32 of the 70 mammal species remain
    • kazhakstan farmers -> irrigation brought the water table to the surface, making drinking water and food crops salty and polluted
    • international economists -> infertile land = hard to obtain/produce food; up to 10 million people may be forced to migrate and become environmental regugees
    • water engineers -> inspection revealed irrigation canals built poorly, allowing water to leak/evaporate; the main Karakum Canal (largest in central Asia) allows perhaps 30-75% of its water to be wasted
27 of 29

Water - Conflict in the Nile

  • 6700km long (world's largest river) covering 10% of the African continent
  • 11 countries compete for Nile water, modest discharge of 84bn cubic metres a year BUT is susceptible to varying discharge form high evaporation rates and season changes in rainfall
  • 300 million live on the delta -> expected to double to 600 million by 2030
  • Egypt
    • relies on nile for 90% of its water supply
    • population was 79 million (2010) BUT is expected to rise to 122 million by 2050
    • nile's water used to irrigate farmland on either side of the river - allowing crops to be grown for domestic use and for export (to meet growing global demand)
  • Uganda
    • population expected to triple by 2050 to 97 million
    • govenment's main priority = build dams to produce electricity to restrict the flow of water to the downstream coutnries of Sudan and Egypt
  • Ethiopia
    • population was 85 million (2010) BUT high growth rate of 3.2% = popualtion to reach 150 million by 2050
    • government wants to build big dams to create HEP which can be exported to neighbouring countries to generate a much-needed income
  • Sudan
    • where blue nile and white nile meet
    • sothern sudan has swamps and rainforests BUT a large pargt of the north is in the Nubian Desert (faces desertification)
    • government wants to expand irrigation to increase food supply i.e. extract more water from nile
  • Growing demands and climate change = 7/11 potentially water-scarce by 2025 -> water scarcity will impact food security
28 of 29

Water - China's South-North Transfer Project

  • South of China is water rich with low population density WHEREAS north of China has high population density
  • South-North water project began in 2003, expecting to last 50 years and cost $100bn on the building of 3 canals spanning 1300km and connecting China's main 4 rivers: the Yangtze, the Yellow, the Huai and the Hai
  • Scale of engineering will transfer 44.8bn bn cubic metres of water per year
  • 60% of the scheme will be paid for by the central government, the rest made up local authorities that in turn charge for domestic and industrial usage
  • Water conservation, imporved irrigation, pollution treatment and environmental protection are being included in the plans
  • There's still scientific concerns on causing full-scale ecological disaster due to uncertainty and risks associated with the project
  • The Yangtze is severely polluted and the Yellow is undrinkable
29 of 29


No comments have yet been made

Similar Geography resources:

See all Geography resources »See all Case studies resources »