AQA Geography: Section C: Resource Management

Section C: The Challenge of Resource Management



Resource Management

Food, water and energy are fundamental to human development.

HICs have plentiful supplies and high standard of living.

LICs lack resources so have a low quality of life.

Rescource: The stock of supply of something that has a value or purpose

Consumption: The action of using up a resource

Finite: limit on the size or extent of something

Importing/Exporting: Bringing/sending a good or service from/to another area

Water Scarcity: Lack of sufficient available water resources to meet the demands of water usage

Undernourished: A poorly balanced diet lacking in vitamins and minerals, resulting in a range of illnesses and disease

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Global Distribution


  • WHO suggests we need 2000-24000 Kcal a day to be healthy-
    • >1 billion people fall below this level


  • Population growth = water shortage
  • North/South divide in water scarcity
    • variations in climate and raingall
    • as GNP decreases, water scarcity increases (economic) 
    • urbanisation= more people in an area with less water


  • Requred for economic development
    • powers factories and machinery
  • Consumption is increasing
    • world becoming more developed
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Provision of Food

Population increase = increase in demand

Why does the UK import so much food?

  • Demand for seasonal produce all year and more exotic foods
  • Food is cheaper from abroad (supermarkets compete for low prices)
  • UK climate is unsuitable for production of some foods (cocoa, tea, bananas)

Impacts on LICs                                                                Alternatives?

  • Jobs + income for locals                                               Organic Farming - no chemicals
    • wages = taxes for government                                 aims to protect environment
  • Less land for locals
  • Requires huge amounts of water                                   Agribusiness- intensive farming to
    • crops grown where water is unreliable                      maximise food production (chemicals) 

Carbon Footprint increases                                                 eg. Lynford House Farm

  • Transport adds >19million tonnes of CO2                                      
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Provision of Water

Demand is increasing due to:                           

  • growing population                                          Water Surplus: supply>demand
  • more houses being built                                  Water Deficit:demand>supply and water stress
  • and increase in water-intensive appliances      (mainly due to low rain and high population)

Water Transfer:

  • Government proposed a water grid (takes water from areas of surplus to defecit) 
    • Small scale- water transferred via Tyne, Derwent, Wear, Tees to as far as Yorkshire
  • Opposition
    • the effect of river wildlife/ habitats (eutrophication)
    • high cost
    • greenhouse gases produced from pumping water long distances

Managing Water Quality:

  • Monitoring, Filtering, Purifying, Resiticting, Regulations on water
  • Groundwater sources lostdue to pollution (leaching from mines, discharge from industrial sites, runoff from chemical fertilisers)
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Provision of Energy

Increasing demand but falling consumptionI(decline of industry and improved energy conservation)

The UK's energy mix changed from 3/4 non-renewable in 1990 to increasing renewable energy.


  • no longer self sufficient in energy (gas and oil reseves exhausted) 
    • energy security is affected as it becomes dependent on imported energy
  • 2/3 gas reserves remain in less accessible areas
    • eg. Mariner oilfield
  • decline in coal due to concerns about greenhouse gas emissions

Fossil fuels will remain important:                            Fracking:

  • remaining reserves will provide for decades           Extracting gas using high pressure liquids
  • coal imports are cheap                                            to fracture shale and release gas.
  • existing power stations use fossil fuels                   Concerns:
  • shale gas deposits exploited (fracking)                  Earthquakes, Pollution of water, High Costs
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Impacts of Energy Exploitation

Economic: Nuclear and Wind Farms

  • Expensive to build
  • High costs to produce electricity
  • Decomissioning old nuclear plants is ££
  • Provides jobs and boosts economy
  • High construction costs
  • Reduce visitor numbers
    • but could become tourist attractions
  • Locals could benefit from lower energy bills
    • eg. Delabole wind farm in Cornwall


  • toxic radioactive waste and radioactive leaks
  • waste water harms ecosystems (warm)
  • visual impact (eg. Lake District plans rejected)
  • avoid greenhouse gases and reduce carbon footprint
  • noisy wind turbines
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