• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Describe and explain the physical and human reasons for the water stresses in the Southwest of the USA.

Extracts from this document...


´╗┐Dan Grist Describe and explain the physical and human reasons for the water stresses in the Southwest of the USA. South West USA is made up of 4 states which have a combined population of 48.5 million with the majority of people concentrated along a strip between San Francisco and San Diego in California. This area is the world?s 7th largest economy with a combined GDP of $2,300 billion in 2008; however it is still an area suffering from major water stress (see map.) The best way to describe the area?s water supply is that it is low and uncertain; these issues are caused due to both physical and human factors. The physical geography of the area is a major contributor to why it has water problems ? annual precipitation levels in the region are typically below 750mm with extensive desert areas having an average below 250mm per year. ...read more.


The effects of this mountain barrier are felt not only in the west but throughout the State, with some areas left completely parched. The low precipitation levels have resulted in prolonged droughts e.g. in 1987-1992 and 2005-2008; these could possibly become more frequent and severe in the future as a result of climate change. Changes in global temperatures would also lead to less and more irregular precipitation levels. There are many human factors behind the water crisis; these factors result in an increase of the demand of water and reduction in the supply of water. The main reason why demand for water has increased is due to the exponential growth of the population ? California?s population has grown from only 2 million in 1900, to 10 million by 1950, and 37.7 million by 2007. ...read more.


an increase in population have both resulted in massive water problems for the South West of the USA. Describe the ways in which these stresses have traditionally been managed and explain why these responses are unsustainable. California depends on 3 major water supply lines in order to supply its growing industry and population. The State Water Project (SWP) and Central Valley Project (CVP) provide water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta for southern and central California. The map shows the SWP lines in red and the CVP lines in blue. Both these projects combined contain 42 major dams and reservoirs and they irrigate 1.5 million hectares of farmland. These schemes also provide drinking water for around 22 million Californians. The river Colorado is also a massive source of water. The river rises in the Rocky mountains and flows 2,300km south into the Gulf of California. What other future solutions are there to the water shortages in the Southwest of the USA? ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Environmental Management section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Environmental Management essays

  1. Contemporary Issues and Physical Environments - Biodiversity.

    Ozone Formed from nitrogen oxides and hydrocarbons in sunny conditions. These chemicals are released by motor vehicles and industry. Ozone attacks the tissue of the throat and lungs and irritates the eyes. Lead Exhaust gases from motor vehicles that use leaded petrol, smelters.

  2. A report concerning new business development in the local area, which is the Paddington ...

    Developers As this is their development, the developers do not have major objections or particular wishes to change the development. They are proud of the new benefits the project will bring, such as new businesses that would boost the economy, increase in wealth and profits, leisure, entertainments.

  1. Thailand Highways Management Project

    Highway Rehabilitation and Maintenance $72.42 million 1.1. Periodic maintenance of about 700 km of priority national highways 1.1.1 Overlays 1.1.2 Minor rehabilitation 1.1.3 Concrete pavement repairs 1.1.4 Others 1.2. Three long term (5 years) pilot contracts for performance-based maintenance of about 900 km of national highway 1.2.1 Three lots of about 300 km each in the Central,

  2. This investigation focuses on an area of the west bank of the medina estuary ...

    Presented with title locating the site shown and annotations. Key question two-what are the current land uses and how have they changed? What Data is required and why? How is data collected? Sampling method? Limitations and how they are resolved.

  1. Pollution Project.

    One of these huge currents is called the Gulf Stream in the North Atlantic Ocean. This keeps countries in Northern Europe warm even though they are nearer the North Pole than the equator. Another huge current -- this time a cold current -- affects Chile and Peru in South America.

  2. Management of woodland area.

    in the environment feeding upon dead/rotting wood recycling it for reuse in the environment. Measuring the trees Identifying and measuring the trees is going to be a lot of fun as they are very easy both to identify and measure.

  1. Our Ponderous Population

    are also very impressive, as congestion during the morning rush hours will decrease by 47%. Congestion within the Inner Ring Loop will also decrease by 46%, while congestion on the primary highway network (used for goods movement) will decrease by 40%.


    However, Florida?s most prominent pull factors for coastalisation are its physical features. Again as Fig.2 highlights, the wide sandy beaches are very picturesque, a clear pull factor for migration, as 85% of residents reside on the coast. The weather has no extremes, varying very slightly making it more lucrative for

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work