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Transcript of Water Scarcity
By Jacob Payet 7B
Water Scarcity - what is it?
Australia is a very dry continent. Rainfall is a vital factor for this country.
Australia is facing a water crisis due to irregular and inconstant rainfall.
This climate change could be a result of global warming from greenhouse gas
emissions. Water is also lost through deforestation, in the production of crops,
and in our manufacturing and mining industries. Poor water management, population growth and human activities also put pressure on Australia’s water supply.
Rainfall affects run-off and groundwater supplies and in Australia this can vary depending on the time of year and location. Many people believe our droughts are linked to the growing hole in the Earth’s ozone layer. In a study conducted by the Australian National University, it was found that Antarctica was actually “stealing” rain from Australia. The Southern Ocean winds, which normally provide rain for South Australia, were being strengthened and pushed closer to Antarctica by the rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. This is terrible for Australia, resulting in fewer storms for the country.
Deforestation for agriculture and housing development destroys the lands ability to retain water, and damages plants and affects animals that rely on water for survival.
Our households, agriculture, manufacturing and mining industries use surface water and groundwater. More and more water is being used and pumped at rates, which are not sustainable. As a result, many river systems are either polluted or are dying and becoming excessively high in salt.
Water also plays a large part in recreational hobbies and tourism. Without rivers and waterways, activities such as fishing, swimming, and skiing would not be possible, limiting our enjoyment and economy.
Many Australian’s take water for granted and water scarcity will impact our current
way of life. From the clean water we drink, the abundance of fresh produce, the production of hydro-electricity, and to the local swimming pool.
To put it simply, we need to be water-wise now for our future wellbeing.
Water is life. It is precious and essential to the well-being of all known forms of life on earth. Water is used in agriculture and farming, manufacturing and construction, cleaning and sanitation, and in the removal of waste. We can't live without this invaluable natural resource. Unfortunately, approximately 1 billion people do not have access to safe, clean water.
Water covers more than 70% of the earth's surface, however it is a not equally distributed worldwide. Water scarcity is the result of an imbalance between water availability and water demand and/or usage. Water scarcity is either the lack of enough water or lack of access to safe water. Water stress is the byproduct of water scarcity. It is the negative impact on people and environments.
Africa is a dry continent, and water scarcity has always been a problem.
Ethiopia is Africa's fourth largest country and is located in Africa's Horn where drought, poverty and politics are leading causes of water shortage.
Over the past twenty years severe droughts have affected parts
of the country where ponds, wells, streams and lakes have dried
up. Nearly half of Ethiopia's 83 million people don't have access
to safe water and sanitation practices are not a priority.
Politics is another major concern. Hundreds of years ago, the Nile River was split up between the nations surrounding it. Unfortunately, because of the way the river was divided, some Ethiopian farmers are now unable to access irrigation water, relying on rainfall. Without this water, crops are failing and farmers lose their livelihood.
In times of drought, fields dry up, lifestock struggle to survive, a family's income is in crisis
and famine increases. Many people walk for kilometres to collect water from the nearest
water source which is often contaminated with human and animal waste. Often there
is not enough water to bathe regularly and hand-washing before eating is rarely practiced.
Water born illnesses such as colera and diarrhoea are the main cause of death in
young children. In addition to illness, education also suffers - students miss school
to fetch water or to care for sick family members. Without a proper education,
improving one's future is limited, which sets up a cycle of poverty.
Solution 1. Sand dams.
1.1 Stores water underground by being built under a riverbed.
1.2 The water is of good quality for consumtion due to the sand filtering the water supply.
1.1 The cost to most local communities is high because of the labor and equipment required to build the dam.
1.2 The sand dam is only as good as the water source provided from upstream as harmful polluants cannot be filtered by the sand.
2. Spring Tanks
2.1 Ease of construction and maintenance, as a high level of technical knowledge is not required.
2.2 A potential to up - grade the system by collection the water in the tank and pumping it up to a storage tank for ease of distribution.
2.1 Poor accessibility if the spring is located at the bottom of a hill and most households are located on the hilltop.
2.2 Interference with the animal and plant life downstream if the storage facility is used in a low flowing stream.
3.1 Easy access by bucket and rope means that there is no problem of pump breakdowns preventing access to water.
3.2 Relatively cheap to construct and look after.
3.1 Low water quality as easily contaminated from surrounding area caused by surface runoff.
3.2 Danger of people falling in.
India has the second largest population in the world - 1.2 billion citizens creates intense strain on the country's water supply. The lack of government planning to provide proper infrastructure for basic sanitation and quality drinking water as well as economic growth and expanding agriculture have all contributed to India's water crisis.
India's climate is not particularly dry, however with minimal catchment programs in place, this water is lost instead of being collected and stored, and leaking pipes in many cities cause nearly 30% water wastage. India's crumbling infrastructure can't keep up with the rapid population growth. Providing toilets, for example, can encourage girls to attend school and can also help reduce many deaths from diarrhoea.
India relys heavily on the Ganges river. One third of its population use its water for washing, drinking and cooking. Spritually, the Ganges plays an important role. The Hindus believe the water is holy and has the power to wash away ones sins. Unfortunately, the river is heavily poluted with chemical and human waste and it's water is not fit for human consumption due to contamination and inadequate water-treatment facilities. The Ganges is responsible for illnesses such as, dysentery, typhoid and cholera.
Surface water and groundwater are India's main water supply. Industrial manufacturers and farmers are steadily over-using these sources. This excess water consumption drains the whole water table faster than nature can replenish it.
1. Water restrictions.
1.1 Forces people to think about their water usage.
1.2 Reduce water bills as you consume less.
1.1 Difficult to moniter and ensure that everyone is following the restriction guidelines.
1.2 Can become quite expensivefor property owers to re - develop their gardens to suit drought tolerant plants.
2.1 Manufacturers have improved their technologies in the production of household white - goods, which are able to recycle/reuse water for multiple washes. e.g Bosch dishwasher.
2.2 Many new housing estates have recycled water available for the use of garden maintainence, which reduces the amount of mains water used.
2.1 Can be expensive to setup the infrastructure of water treatment facilities.
2.2 Convincing the public that recycled drinking water is safe to consume can be difficult.
3.1 As the Earth is covered by approximately 70% sea water, there is an abundant supply available.
3.2 Provides high quality drinking water for domestic and public use.
3.1 Desalination plants are extremely expensive to build and operate and consume tremendous amounts of electricity.
3.2 Greenhouse gas emissions are enormous due to the high energy usage and the marine environment is damaged through the dumping of brine back into the sea.
1. Better sanitation
1.1 Constructing communial toilets, is a low cost solution to people using public spaces. e.g. Ganges River.
1.2 Education campaigns in schools, teaching students the critical importance of basic sanitation to prevent the spread of disease.
1.1 Building materials/tools and land space is not always available.
1.2 Not all children have the opportunity to attend school, as they are sent out to work or to collect their family's daily water supply and will therefore miss out on these vital life lessons.
2. The Ganga Action Plan (1985+2010)
2.1 Indian government has set up this plan to clean up the Ganges River by building waste treatment facilities.
2.2 In 2010 a further $1.5 billion was added to this fund through World Bank to continue the plan to control industrial pollution and improve the sewage system.
2.1 The Ganga Action Plan is an extremely expensive plan to setup and maintain.
2.2 Unfortunately, poor management saw electricity bills go unpaid, which the meant the sewage treatment plans were forced to shut down.
3.1 Groundwater is an accessible source of water wells which do not need expensive pipes or pumps. In rural towns, for example, groundwater can be collected using human - powered treadle pumps.
3.2 The quality of groundwater is quite high as the water is naturally filtered through sand and stones. In rural India, 80% of drinking water is groundwater.
3.1 If groundwater is contaminated, it is difficult for the water to recover.
3.2 Care needs to be taken not to overuse groundwater. If groundwater is used faster than it can be replenished, salt can rise up and taint the water.
5 point plan to reduce my "water footprint"
1. Reduce time spent in the shower. I currently take 20 minutes in the shower which equates to approximately 140 litres of water. I plan to cut this back to 8 minute showers which will save about 84 litres of water per day.
2. I will shower with a 10 litre bucket at me feet. The water run - off will fill the bucket and this can be used in the garden, or to wash the car.
3. Instead of flushing the toilet with the full flush, I will use the 1/2 flush option. This way I can aim to save 3 litres of water per flush, because a full flush uses twice the amount.
4. We have a 4.5 star rated front loader clothes washing machine. According to the "water rated" sticker, each wash consumes 86 litres of water. If I am careful with my clothes and only put truely dirty laundry in the washing basket, then my mum can cut back on loads per week - this will also save electricity.
5. When stacking the dishwasher, I will make sure it is a full load and use the "conserve" cycle all the time. A dishwasher can use up to 18 litres of water per wash.
This mother walked five hours to reach this water source.
Ethiopia's dry landscape.
Holy man praying in the Ganges River.
Indian's collecting groundwater.
Outback Queensland Graziers paddock
Toxic waste in the Georges River
New South Wales
The impact of deforestation to Australia's
Murray - Darling Basin in 2007
Water restriction guildelines
Victorian Desalination plant