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Using named examples, assess the contribution of large scale water management projects in increasing water security.

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Introduction

Using named examples, assess the contribution of large scale water management projects in increasing water security. Water security means having access to sufficient, safe (clean) and affordable water. Typically the world’s poorest countries are the most water insecure. One way of tackling water insecurity is through large scale water projects e.g. the Three Gorges dam in China or the Aswan dam in Egypt. However there is much controversy over whether these projects are truly sustainable and therefore beneficial in the long run. The Three Gorges dam project in China blocks the Yangtze River; it cost £17 billion to build and was completed and fully functional on the 4th of July 2012. The dam drains an area of 1.8 million km2 and will supply Shanghai (population of 13 million) and Chongqing (population of 3 million) with sufficient supplies of water. It not only has provided a lot of people with water it is also the worlds largest HEP scheme (generating 18,000 mega watts) ...read more.

Middle

Work started on this dam in 1960 and by 1968 the reservoir, Lake Nasser, was full. It has created a reliable source of water for virtually all Egyptians (60 million). This secure water supply has also had a positive impact on agriculture in the area as it has extended the amount of irrigated land along much of the desert margin of the valley and delta. It has increased crop yields and provided locals with more cash crops to be exported. Although this project isn?t at the same gigantic scale of the three gorges, its negative impacts are very similar, suggesting it hasn?t increased water security. The water quality has declined because of pollution by fertilizers. There has had to be a lot of resettlement ? formerly the area was inhabited by 120,000 people who were forced to leave and seek a new home and lifestyle. It has also reduced the amount of silt that is being deposited which creates a loss of soil nutrients. ...read more.

Conclusion

Domestically, water savings and water harvesting are beginning to move from a DIY basis to a more commercial footing. In some areas in California they are saving storm water to make supply more efficient; concrete channel storm drains which prevent flooding by directing the storm water into the sea, could instead be directed to urban parks. In California there would be 30% savings if leaks were repaired, supplies were metered and all the appliances were more efficient. There would also be 50% savings by planting California-friendly, drought resistant plants and using smart sprinkler systems. More small scale water projects have been carried out by Water Aid ? an international charity with a mission to overcome poverty by enabling the world?s poorest people to gain access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene education. For example, Water Aid has set out to improve water security in Ethiopia, using techniques that are appropriate to local conditions, affordable and easy to maintain. In conclusion, I believe that large scale water projects do not create a large contribution to increasing water security and therefore smaller projects that are carried out at a local level are more effective. ...read more.

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