IBDP Geography Section A Chapter 1 Notes

water management features


Approaching the topic:

  • Topics covered in the chapter:
    • Defining concepts
    • Differentiating certain concepts

4.1 Costs and benefits of a dam as a multi-purpose water scheme

4.1.1. The impacts of the Aswan Dam (a mega dam) on the River Nile:

⮚ Advantages of this mega dam:

  •  Flood and drought control: the dam allows good crops in dry years, in Egypt in 1972 and 1973.
  • Irrigation: 60% of water of this dam is used for irrigation and around 3.4 million hectares of deserts are also irrigated.
  • Hydroelectric power: this dam produces around 7,000 million kilowatt hours/year.
  • It has improved navigation.
  • It also helps in recreation and increasing tourism.

⮚ Numerous costs of the Aswan High Dam:

  • This dam provides less than half the amount of water expected
  • the crop production has decreased as because of the salinization due to the dam water
  • seepage has increased groundwater levels causing secondary salinization
  • Around 1,000 native people has been removed from their original shelters
  • Drowning of important archaeological sites like the tomb of Rameses II and Nefertari.
  • Causing earthquakes
  • Deposition in the lakes at a rate of 100 million tons/year
  • Erosion of the Nile Dealt
  • Decrease in fish catching etc.

4.2. Integrated drainage basin management:

Integrative river basin management (IRBM) emphasises cross-disciplinary coordination of water, land, and related resources in a river basin, watershed, or catchment in order to achieve long-term sustainability. The importance of ecosystem function over the long term and the necessity of integrating costs, policies, and decisions across numerous industries are emphasised in IRBM. A few examples include poverty reduction, sustainable development, energy access, healthy ecosystems, gender equality, and flourishing livelihoods that can come from effective river basin planning and management. The goal of integrated river basin management is to break down these barriers and create a comprehensive framework for coordination that brings together a variety of planning, policy, and regulatory elements.

4.3. America’s Great Watershed Initiative (AGWI):

It is a project to increase water availability, improve its quality and safeguard its use for future generations. It involves government, academics, business, and civil societies to help and find the solution of the challenges faced by the Mississippi drainage basin. The AGWI Report Card measures (Figure 4.2) the SIX areas of concern.

  • The Report Card reveals challenges ahead: The Report Card shows challenges in managing the watershed for the six broad goals of America’s Watershed Initiative. Pressures on these goals will likely increase in coming decades, as demands for water increase, infrastructure ages and our climate changes.
  • The region faces interconnected challenges: Changes in the region as a result of economic expansion, land development, and weather changes will put additional stress on natural resources and infrastructure that are already under strain. Clean water for habitat, water supplies and recreation impacted by pollution will continue to be under pressure due to increased demands on the watershed from population growth, agriculture, transportation and land development
  • Connected goals require coordinated management: The six goals identified by America’s Watershed Initiative are as highly interconnected as the challenges facing the watershed. Decisions affecting one goal will impact the others, but we don’t need to advance one goal at the expense of others. The executives of the Mississippi Stream Watershed to address its difficulties requires a mentality of chance and a planned methodology that incorporates various partner needs, rather than a methodology that backers for single targets freely.

4.4. Wetlands:

A wetland is a location where the land is covered in water—fresh, salty, or a combination of the two. Wetlands include ponds and marshes, the shore of a lake or ocean, the delta at the river’s mouth, and low-lying areas that frequently flood.

4.5. The Ramsar Convention:

The unique distinction of being the first modern treaty between nations aimed at conserving natural resources belongs to the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance. In 1971, the Convention on Wetlands was signed in the tiny Iranian town of Ramsar. The Ramsar Convention has been the name of the Convention on Wetlands ever since. The Ramsar Convention’s overarching goals are to preserve the remaining wetlands and stop the global loss of wetlands through responsible use and management This necessitates policy making, capacity building, technology transfer, and international cooperation. Through this agreement, member countries positively commit to: –

  • Wise use of all their wetlands
  • Designating sites for the Ramsar List of “Wetlands of International Importance” (Ramsar Sites) and their conservation
  • Cooperating on transboundary wetlands and other shared interests
  • Ramsar Convention: trying to stop, stop, and stop the loss of wetlands and their degradation: The goals of the Ramsar Convention are: By collaborating with private sector players like DanoneEvian and Star Alliance, the Contracting Parties, Partners, and International Organization Partners (IOPs) ensure significant investment in raising awareness. To reverse the alarming loss and degradation, forge alliances that bring together actors from both the public and private sectors. Find sources of funding for the preservation and management of wetlands.
  • Encourage land use planning and policies that take into account wetlands. Inform the general public about the benefits and services provided by wetlands.

Why should I care about Wetlands?

Wetlands are essential to humanity for a number of reasons, despite being traditionally thought of as barren land or a breeding ground for disease:

  • Wetlands provide fresh water: We get our water for drinking, cooking, washing, and irrigation from freshwater wetlands.
  • Wetlands feed humanity: Nearly three billion people rely on rice, which is grown in wetland paddies and makes up 20% of the world’s food.
  • Wetlands are nature’s shock absorbers: Rainfall is absorbed by the wetlands in river basins like natural sponges, reducing the impact of floods and contributing to drought prevention.
  • Mangroves and coral reefs reduce the speed and height of storm surges, as well as the impact of hurricanes and tsunamis.
  • Wetlands are critical for biodiversity: More than 100,000 known freshwater species are found in wetlands, and this number is
    constantly rising. Numerous amphibians and birds rely on wetlands for breeding and migration.
  • Sustainable goods and livelihoods are produced in wetlands: More than 660 million people earn their living through aquaculture and fishing. Additionally, wetlands supply building timber, vegetable oil, medicinal plants, raw materials for weaving, and animal fodder.

4.5.1. Total Economic Value (TEV) of Wetlands:

  • Direct use values of products such as fish and fuelwood, and services such as transport
  • Indirect use values such as flood control and storm protection provided by mangroves
  • Option values, which are discovered in future
  • Intrinsic value, the value of the wetland “of its own right” with its attributes.

4.6. Community-level responses of water management

4.6.1. Water Saving:
Saving water is becoming an increasing concern for not only farmers, but for everyone around the world. Whether you’re a grower or not, there are several changes you can make to your everyday life that will make a big difference when it comes to saving water. Here are five things you can start doing today to save water-

  • Turn off water while brushing your teeth.
  • Don’t run water when hand-washing dishes.
  • Shut off your sprinkler system when it’s raining.
  • Turn off water when shampooing your hair.
  • Only run the washing machine and dishwasher when full.

4.6.2. Customer pricing:
Water pricing is a method for carrying out a public policy regarding water. The steady rise in water prices over the past few years has been caused by the high demand as well as the deteriorating water quality that necessitates additional processing before it can be sold to consumers.The Water Service Regulation Authority of the United Kingdom made the announcement in 2014 that it would be altering the rules and regulations that govern the pricing of water in England and Wales. They believed that by allowing customers to select their own water providers, new suppliers would be able to enter the market, which would result in price reductions, innovation, and increased market competition.

4.6.3. New technologies:

  • Nanotechnology in filtration: The technology uses composite nanoparticles that emit silver ions that kill contaminants to remove microbes, bacteria, and other matter from water.
  • Membrane chemistry: Films, through which water passes to be separated and cleaned, are fundamental to present day water treatment handling. The chemistry of the membrane plays a significant role in the development of novel methods for treating water, such as changing salt water into drinkable water.
  • Seawater desalination: Reverse osmosis technology is extremely expensive and uses a lot of energy: around 4 kilowatt long periods of energy for each cubic meter of water.
  • Smart monitoring: Companies are able to maintain the integrity of their extensive water supply networks thanks to new monitoring technologies. Companies will be able to quickly identify leaks thanks to electronic instruments like pressure and acoustic sensors that can be wirelessly connected in real time to centralised and cloud-based monitoring systems.
  • Intelligent irrigation:The agricultural sector uses about 70% of the world’s freshwater. Farmers in developed nations are already beginning to benefit from adopting a more intelligent approach to water management by implementing precision irrigation systems, computer algorithms, and modelling.
  • Wastewater processing: Wastewater could soon be used as a source of drinking water and an energy source thanks to new technologies. For instance, modular hybrid activated sludge digesters are currently removing nutrients that can be utilised as fertilisers, thereby reducing the amount of energy that is required by half.
  • Mobile recycling facilities: Requirement for highly mobile water treatment facilities has emerged as an unexpected byproduct of the global hydraulic fracturing industry’s explosion. Companies will be able to treat large volumes of water and extract gas, which can then be injected into the subsurface, thanks to the investment being directed toward reverse osmosis units.

4.6.4. Zoning:
All communities must guide development so that public water supply is protected and replenished. This can be done through revision of local planning and zoning ordinances to encourage the use of low impact development (LID). It may be necessary to first update the local comprehensive plan to set a goal for open space and conservation planning and design. LID design integrates storm water management and erosion and sedimentation control into natural systems that keep rainwater on site. This is not the same as traditional development, which uses ponds, storm sewers, pipes, and drains to quickly move water away from the site and into streams, rivers, and lakes.

4.6.5. Water Purification:
Water purification is the process of getting rid of harmful chemicals, biological contaminants, suspended solids, and gases from water. Making water suitable for particular applications is the goal. The vast majority of water is disinfected and purified for human consumption (drinking water). There are a variety of approaches to water purification, some of which are:Chemical processes like flocculation, chlorination, and the use of ultraviolet light Physical processes like filtration, sedimentation, or distillation Biological processes like sand filters and active carbon