Water Scarcity Project
Mitchell Rabideau Environmental Science B 3/21/2012
ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE: Water Scarcity Project 1
Week One: 1. What does the word, â€œscarcityâ€? mean? Give two examples of times when you have experienced scarcity. Scarcity has to do with not having a sufficient amount of something. It when humans have unlimited wants and needs, but there is a limited supply. I think one example would be scarcity of jobs. My mom got laid off and there are less jobs in her field than those applying for them. Another one would be that I cannot get fresh strawberries whenever I want because there is a limited supply for a bunch of months of the year due to the growing season.
2. Have you ever experienced a drought? If yes, what was it like? What did you have to do to conserve water? If no, what do you think it would be like to experience a drought? What you and your family have to stop doing or limit doing to conserve water? I have never experience a drought so do not have any idea personally, what it was like. I was watching some videos from the organization that I am going to volunteer for my senior iLearning project and did see the impact of a drought on people in Somalia, in the horn of Africa. The effect of the drought on the people was just horrible. It says it was the worst drought in 60 years. The drought made it even tougher for the people since there was already a food shortage there. It said that 12 million people need food aid and half were malnurished. The people would walk to get help and die on the way. Parents had to bury their children on the way. When the people got to the site, the volunteers were told that these were the people that were the best off, but they all were in rough shape. The pictures of the people were really sad. They were really thin and looked weak and sickly. For my family to conserve water, here are some things we could do. I think washing dishes by hand and not using the dishwasher would use less water. We could limit how long we take showers. We could stop watering our lawn. Our town actually has a plan to conserve water. People can only water their lawn between certain hours of the day and on certain days. Even house numbers can water on the even days of the month and the opposite is for odd house numbers. March, 2012
ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE: Water Scarcity Project 2
Week Two: 1. In some places around the world, water scarcity is a way of life. Why? In many parts of the world, there is a shortage of water to begin because the availability and demand doesn’t match. Many of the arid regions are affected by droughts and changes in climate which makes water scarce. Scarcity of water increase because of the overpopulation causes a greater need for it. Plus the contaminated groundwater and poor surface water quality limits clean, fresh water. Another key reason is that the wars and conflicts interferes with access to water.
2. Even in places where water scarcity isn’t a problem today, it might become a problem in the future. What might happen if a country’s human population increased? Describe two ways in which water availability may change for all organisms in that country. Water scarcity could become a problem for different reasons in areas where it is not currently a problem. If human population increases, the demand for water will increase. However, the water supply will not be increasing at the same rate so water scarcity could become a problem. If overpopulation became an issue in a country, there would not be enough drinking water for everyone. This may cause people to drink water that is not sanitary leading to illness and death in people. There would not be enough water for sanitation and waste disposal so that could lead to disease. People may start overusing groundwater which would limit agricultural products and may cause food shortages too. There may be wars over water.
ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE: Water Scarcity Project 3
Week 3: Deafening Data 1. By how much is the total world population predicted to change between 1950 and 2050? 7.5 billion
2. By how much is the average world per capita (per capita means for each person) water availability predicted to change between 1950 and 2050? 11000 m^3
3. What is the relationship between population and per capita water availability? In other words, as population increases, what happens to water availability? Decreases
4. Why do you think this is the case? Why do we see this relationship between population and water availability? With more people, more people are needing water so the water supply goes down.
5. If the predictions for world population growth and per capita water availability come true, in what ways might the world be different in 2050 than it is today? There would be less water so I would hope people would be making smarter choices to conserve and water wisely. If they donâ€™t, there would be many March, 2012
ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE: Water Scarcity Project 4 droughts, food shortages, and dying people. There may be even wars over water like we have over oil.
6. Which parts of the world do you think might face the most serious water shortages? Why? Places that are already short on water now would be one area that would face serious water shortages. Also areas that are more arid and prone to droughts would be other areas that would face problems.
7. Are you aware of any water scarcity problems in your region or community? If so, what is being done about these concerns? If not, do you think you might see water scarcity in your region in the future? Why or why not? Our community of Woodbury is really earth friendly. There are issues with water here so there is an ordinance that states when we can and cannot run water in our yards. If you donâ€™t comply, you must pay fines.
ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE: Water Scarcity Project 5
Week 4: Graphic Graphs (10 points) Paste your graph showing the comparison between US Population and Water Available here:
Paste your 1950 Pie Chart here:
ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE: Water Scarcity Project 6 Paste your 1995 Pie Chart here:
Paste your 2025 Pie Chart here:
ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE: Water Scarcity Project 7 Paste your 2050 Pie Chart here:
Questions: 1. What trends in population, water available and water scarcity do you see in the data graphs from 1950 to 2050? (10 points) As the population increases, the available water decreases. However, there was a sharper decrease in available water from 1950 to 1995. The projections for 2025 and 2050 show that the available water remains more stable than in the earlier years despite the increasing population.
2. Look back at your assignment from last week. Will the United States see the same kinds of issues that could happen globally? Why or why not? (5 points) Since all four pie charts show that there is sufficiency in water, it appears that the United States may not see the same kind of issues that could happen globally. The projections of water availability in the U.S. doesnâ€™t show a sharp decrease, but rather a more stable rate of decline. March, 2012
ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE: Water Scarcity Project 8 3. What kinds of things can be done to solve the problem of water scarcity? Describe at least two ideas. (5 points) Here are two things that can be done to solve the problem of water scarcity. First, citizens can not waste water. They can try turning off the faucet between rinsing dishes or not use the dishwasher. People could stop watering their lawns. When brushing your teeth, donâ€™t leave the water running. Take less showers or donâ€™t shower as long. Second, towns can pass ordinances to prevent people from watering their lawns as much. They can set rules on when it can be done and for how long. This would force people to not waste water on their lawns. Both of these ideas will help solve the problem of water scarcity.
ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE: Water Scarcity Project 9
Week 5: Water Fight There are seven different countries you can choose from for this part of the project: Namibia, Turkey, Syria, Iraq, Ethiopia, Egypt, or Sudan. These countries all face water shortages and are involved in conflicts over how to use or where to obtain their water. 1. Which country will you be researching? Turkey
Graphs/Charts (10 points) 2. Using the information on pages 14-19 at this site, create a bar graph showing your country’s population compared to water availability – remember you can use the short videos I did in last week’s assignment to help you make your graph in Excel. Paste your graph here.
ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE: Water Scarcity Project 10 3. Using the information from the same site and the last week’s assignment, would you say your country was in a situation of sufficient, stress, or scarcity of water in 1950? Since the available water was 9280 cubic meters in 1950, the country was in a situation of sufficiency since sufficiency is defined as > 1700 cubic meters of available water.
4. Using the information from the same site and the last week’s assignment, would you say your country was in a situation of sufficient, stress, or scarcity of water in 1995? Since the available water was 3174 cubic meters in 1995, the country was in a situation of sufficiency since sufficiency is defined as > 1700 cubic meters of available water.
5. Using the information from the same site and the last week’s assignment, would you say your country will be in a situation of sufficient, stress, or scarcity of water in 2025? Since the available water was 2251 cubic meters in 2025, the country was in a situation of sufficiency since sufficiency is defined as > 1700 cubic meters of available water.
6. Using the information from the same site and the last week’s assignment, would you say your country will be in a situation of sufficient, stress, or scarcity of water in 2050? Since the available water was 1972 cubic meters in 2050, the country was in a situation of sufficiency since sufficiency is defined as > 1700 cubic meters of available water. March, 2012
ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE: Water Scarcity Project 11 Questions: 4. What trends in population, water available and water scarcity do you see in the data graphs from 1950 to 2050? (10 points) The trend I saw was unexpected. When the population was at the lowest the amount of water available decreased drastically, but when the population was projected to have increased drastically, the amount of water available did not change significantly. There is only a slight decrease in the amount of water available over the projected years. Although the trend shows sufficiency in water (not below 1700 cubic meters), it is nearing that threshold in 2050 with 1972 cubic meters of water available. There is a threat of being in a situation of stress if the projections are inaccurate or circumstances change in that country.
5. Look back at your assignment from week three. Will your country see the same kinds of issues that could happen globally? Why or why not? (5 points) I do not see the same trends as I did in that analysis. In project 3, as the population increased the amount of water available decreased. However, anytime population grows that puts a strain on the water supply available and the water supply is close to being at a level of stress, there is a risk that the country could face issues that could happen globally. The country could benefit in regulating the population growth, as well as efforts to conserve the water supply that is available.
ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE: Water Scarcity Project 12 Week 6: Of Biomes and Men You will notice that for several of the questions on this assignment, I am asking you to include the URL for where you found the information you are including in your answers. It IS okay to have the same URL for more than one of your answers and to copy exactly that URL where I have asked for it. It is NOT okay to have copied word for word any other information off of any website – be sure you put all your answers in your own words on all your assignments.
1. Which country are you researching? The country I am researching is Turkey.
2. What is/are the common biome(s) in your country? (3 points) The biome of Turkey is temperate grassland/desert.
3. Paste the URL of the website you used to find the country’s biomes (Sites like Google, Yahoo, or Ask are NOT acceptable – those are search engines that help you find the website where the information you need is actually found. If you are unclear on what to include for your URL, click here). (2 points) I used Google maps to figure out where Turkey was located. Then I used the map given on biomes in the course to figure out which biomes were in Turkey.
4. 5. March, 2012
ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE: Water Scarcity Project 13 6. Describe the most common biome that is in your country. Include how much rainfall the area gets each year, common plant types, and the temperature range. (3 points) Although the entire country is the temperate grassland/desert biome, the land forms of the country make the weather and climate vary throughout each part of the country. Turkey receives about 2,200 millimeters of rain a year. The temperature is very different in each part of Turkey. In some parts it can drop below zero degrees. And in the warmest part is can get to over 29 degrees C.
7. Paste the URL of the website you used to answer question number 3. (2 points) I found useful information at this site.
8. What type of government does your country have? Is it democratic, communist, socialist, or something else (if you choose something else, you must tell what specifically it is)? Describe the type of government briefly in one or two sentences. (3 points) Turkey is a Republic government. They became independent in October of 1923. They have a president, Council of ministers and a prime minister that help run the government.
9. Paste the URL of the website you used to answer question number 3. (2 points) I found information for this question at the U.S. Department of State website.
ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE: Water Scarcity Project 14 10. Who is the current leader of your country? (2 points) The current president of Turkey is Abdullah Gul.
11. Thinking about the countryâ€™s biome and government, describe one major obstacle that would be need to be overcome to begin putting any solutions in place to overcome the water scarcity issues. (8 points) I think the biggest obstacle has to do with the different regions that make up Turkey. It will be hard to set restrictions on a country because the climate and weather is so different throughout the country, despite that the country is all within the same biome. Although a republic government could be open to solutions, the solution would not be able to be equally applied to all citizens or areas of the country do to the differing circumstances within each section of the country.
ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE: Water Scarcity Project 15 Week 7: Lights, Camera, Action! 1. What country are you researching? I researched Turkey. I used the following resources: Resource 1: Turkey faces risk of water shortage on Water Day Resource 2: Midwest water crisis brings misery, uncertainty Resource 3: Tide of Arab-Turk tension rises amid water scarcity
2. Does the country have a high or a low population growth rate compared with those of the rest of the world? How might its growth rate affect water availability? (5 points) Turkey has a slower population growth compared to the rest of the world. Growth in population strains the available water supply. Turkey is not a water rich country and does suffer from chronic water scarcity. However, there is concern that the country will run out without efforts to conserve it.
3. What are this countryâ€™s main concerns regarding water availability? What are the most serious water problems this country faces? (5 points) Turkey has enough water for its people, unlike other countries in the region. Turkey is not a water rich country and does suffer from chronic water scarcity. There is concern that the country will run out without efforts to conserve it. Statistics show that 75% of water goes to agriculture, 10% to domestic use, and 15% to industry. In addition, the lack of rain in the Middle East has impacted many of the countries, but only southeast Turkey. The warming of the climate in the Fertile Crescent is partially responsible for the water shortage in these areas and could impact Turkey if the drought continues. Lastly, the surrounding countries want March, 2012
ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE: Water Scarcity Project 16 the available water in Turkey without working on conservation efforts in their own countries.
4. Is your country arguing with any other countries about water usage? If so, which other countries are involved and how are they involved? (5 points) The lack of rain in the Middle East has impacted many of the countries, but only southeast Turkey. The warming of the climate in the Fertile Crescent is responsible for the water shortage. The headwaters of the Tigris and Euphrates are in the Turkish mountains. They have built dozens of dams that limit the water to the people downstream. An informal agreement determines the flow downstream. Turkey controls the flow of water. In times of bad relationships, they reduce the flow. Turkey complains that Syria and Iraq waster their water share and experts do agree to some extent. Syria and Iraq blame Turkeyâ€™s network of dams on Tigris and Euphrates for reducing water supply in surrounding areas by 50%. Because of the long-lasting drought, the farm and grazing lands in the Middle East have suffered greatly impacting livelihoods of the people. This has also displaced many people in Syria and Iraq. This has cause resentment against the Turks. The devastation of land surrounding Turkey due to the drought has caused resentment toward the Turks. Arabs, Iraqis, and Syrians believe that Turkey is trying to assert itself and a regional superpower and it is using water to get that status. They have threatened to go to war over water. Further, tension created by statement made by then President Suleyman Demierl who claimed that Turkey had a right to anything they liked when the Ataturk Dam opened in 1992, which harnesses water for one of the biggest irrigation and electric power for the Southeastern Anatolia Project. He stated that neither Syria nor Iraq could lay claim to Turkeyâ€™s water. This heightens the resentment, especially in the tough times facing the countries due to the drought.
ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE: Water Scarcity Project 17 5. Brainstorm steps your country could take to help the water situation. List as many ideas as you can â€“ next week you will choose one of your ideas to develop further. (10 points) Here are some possible solutions for the water issues in the Middle East: 1. Modern Irrigation Techniques: To save water, the Turkey could employ more modern irrigation techniques to ease up on the 75% consumption in that area. More controls and good water management would also help. Without proper usage of this natural resource, it could lead to drought and desertification in Turkey as occurring in surrounding areas. 2. Reuse of Wastewater: They could reuse waste and wastewater for energy and irrigation. This is often not utilized; it is just discharged untreated because of lack of regulations and resources. With increasing populations, there is a need to find new sources for water. 3. Utilize total water potential: Turkey is not utilizing its total usable water potential; in fact, it is using only 36%. To help with this, it is recommended that Turkey build 730 dams to help with the irrigation of the terrain of Turkey. 4. Updated Farming Techniques: The surrounding countries of Turkey need to update farming techniques and poor water management decisions to better utilize the water available. Insisting Turkey give them more water is not the answer. 5. Regional Water Management: Turkey and the surrounding countries need to cooperate in managing the Tigris and Euphrates as one ecosystem.
ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE: Water Scarcity Project 18 Week 8: Action Planning Part of a good action plan is defining steps that will be taken and who is responsible for each step. You will very likely have to make some guesses on who could accomplish the steps in your project and that is okay – I will be looking most to see that you have thought about potential problems with implementing your idea and ways to overcome those problems. 1. Which country are you researching? Turkey
2. Choose one of the brainstorming ideas from last week’s assignment or a new idea you have thought of since then. In at least one paragraph, describe your idea – give a general overview of what you think your country should do to address the water scarcity issues it faces. (5 points) Modern Irrigation Techniques: To save water, Turkey could employ more modern irrigation techniques to ease up on the 75% consumption in that area. More controls and good water management would also help. Without proper usage of this natural resource, it could lead to drought and desertification in Turkey as occurring in surrounding areas.
3. List at least two groups of people that live in your country that could help with the solution you have described and explain how they could help. (5 points) One group that could help with this is The Global Environmental Facility’s Small Grants Programme (SGP). This group promotes drip irrigation. This is a way to save water by letting water drip though the roots of plants onto soil surface. It does this by dripping though pipes and tubing right to the base of the plant.
ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE: Water Scarcity Project 19 Another group is The Turkish Pump and Valve Manufactureresâ€™ Association (POMSAD). They try to increase the quality and efficiency of water for the people of the country. They enlighten people about the problems by holding meetings, conferences, and events, as well as work to make legislative changes.
4. What problems do you think the country would face when trying to put your plan into action? Describe one or two. (5 points) One problem they would have would be money. It would cost a bit on money to change their whole way of doing things. Although it costs more money at the start to change the way they do things, it will save them money in the long run. Another problem that might face is people seeing the need for the new irrigation techniques. People have the mind set of if something is working why change it. That way thinking could interfere with progress.
5. How long do you think it would take to implement your plan? Why? (5 points) If the people have the knowledge and the money to switch, it would not take a long time. However, if the county doesnâ€™t have enough money or not quite sure how it would go, it could take many years for this to happen.