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Climate Change Effects On Water Resources Environmental Sciences Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Environmental Sciences
Wordcount: 2395 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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The last two decades climate change is increasing due to the change of human activity such as cars, planes, factorys and other sources we use that adds greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. Because of these human causes the earth is heating up. One effect that climate change has is the effect the change will have upon human water freshwater resources.

I believe that climate change will have an effect on human water resources because of the close connections with the hydrological cycle, the raising temperature will increase in floods and droughts that will lead to the demand on more freshwater resources.

Climate change has close connections with the hydrological cycle. The hydrological cycle is located in the earths hydrosphere this is the area in around earth which holds all the water. The water is moved around the earths hydrosphere in a cycle. The hydrological cycle is moved in five different steps – evaporation, precipitation, condensation, runoff, collection and infiltration. The as you can see in Figure 1 the hydrologival cycle all starts of with evaporation this is the change of liquid water to water vapour. The next step is condensation this is the process of changing water vapour, from a liquid and then to form clouds as you can see from the clouds in figure 1. This process can be notice for example when you look out for dew on the ground in the morning. As the clouds you see in the sky move around earth spreading the water vapour from place to place. The clouds become over loaded with moisture so they have to release the overloaded moisture. They release the moisture by a process called by precipitation which is usually rain, hail or snow. Infiltration occurs they when all the precipitations lay on the ground. If there is to much precipitation on the ground this becomes runoff. Runoff stays on the earth ground and runs into streams, rivers, lakes and oceans. So when the precipitation run into the these streams, rivers, lakes and oceans this process is called collection. As infiltration, runoff and collection are being processed, the sun is causing a the cycle to return back to the begaining of the cycle to the process called evaporation.Sunlight heats up the liquid in streams, rivers, lakes and oceans. The warm air rises upwards into the atmosphere and becomes the vapour involved in condensation. Without this process life on earth would be impossible.

Freshwater that we use in or day to day lifes usually comes from Aquifer, Streams, Rivers, Lakes.

Aquifer are constructed when rocks of the upper part of the earth’s crust contain holes or pores. Theses holes are big or joined together so that water can flow through them easily. This is a part of rock that is easy for water to pass through known as permeable. Streams usually get most of its water from runoff, rain and melting snow. A stream is formed when the rain and melting snow met at the same place and get into a line of channel. Streams usely flows into lakes, rivers, aquifer and seas. Rivers are a natural stream of freshwater resource. Water within the river is generally collected from precipitation through surface runoff, groundwater recharge, springs and the release of stored water in ice and melting glaciers. Lakes are usually filled with deep freshwater or salt water. Lakes are inland usly on mountains areas and are not part of the Ocean. They are filled by rivers or streams that connect to them. Some Lakes can be man made and are constructed for industrial or agricultural use and even for hydro- electric power or domestic water supply.

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Water is one of the most importent inputs the human body needs for us humans to cope with everyday life . We need it for so many things e.g. health, growing food, irrigation, industry. Despite the importance of Freshwater Resources decreasing, we are beginning to take the freshwater resources for granted. Most of the freshwater we use is wasted and polluted.

Because the hydrological cycle temperature is rising it will lead to a change in the horological cycle, This will have an impact on the weather. The dry seasons will become alot more dryer and the wet seasons will become alot more wetter. Leaving us with more floods and droughts. This change will therefore will impart the availability and quality of water. Some of the countries on this earth already have a hard enouch time getting water because of increaseing industrial pollution and population growth. Climate change just adds to the problem to the quality of water, which in some parts of the world the reduce rainfall and rising temperatures decrease the freshwater. By the year 2025 most of humans living in countries with poor water quality levels will increase from approximately 34 percent (in 1995) to 63 percent.R K Pachauri (2005)

The change in accessing water stressed areas will have a potential conflict. As there will be a pressured demand on freshwater because of household, agricultural and industrial uses. These conflicts will occur in water stressed areas fighting against areas of natural springs and rivers as well as this it will lead to conflict on boundary areas for example the region of Northern Kenya and the Samburu is having to cope with the changing patterns of rainfall and dry periods which with other pressures on the natural resources are leading to increasing conflict among tribal groups over access to scarce water.Smith (2006)

2 Discussion

Most of the earth has 70% of ocean. While just 30% of the earth is land. Around 84% of the worlds population is living on dry land. Humans are trying to fix this by reconstruction the hydrological cycle system by building dams and creating waste water treatment plants etc. These elements will provide water for agriculture, household, Industrial, environmental and other uses. But these changes will also lead to some defects in years to come.

India is one of the most effected by climate change. The snow ice caps of the Himalayas is experienceing less snow because of snow melt. The glaciers is melting and there is signs of increase flooding. The increasing rising temperatures is starting to dry up the rivers.

The Himalayas holds the largest amount ice on the earth. Researchers have figure out that there is a strong combination between snow and the temperature. In recent years the Himalayas have experienced warm periods in the years between 1960- 1990, causing a reduction in snow fall.

Glaciers has been watched by researchers in the the past years. The United Nations climate report predicts by 2035 some Himalayan glaciers will disappear with the rising temperatures. Because of the glaciers melting the melting ice will run off into rivers such as the Indus, Ganges and Brahmaputra rivers and some tributaries coming from the Himalayan ice field. This will cause flooding to riverside cites e.g. Varanasi, Kanpur and Patna. These city’s have a population of millions and have already experience floods during high monsoon season and it will be ongoing. Flooding will also cause interruption for the farming areas in northern parts of India and cause damage to the roads and rail way line. The dams such as the dams in Kosi ans Sutlej could over flow causing more destruction to cornfields and settlements.

When the point of no ice is reached by 2035 the ice melting will have either stopped because of a solution to climate change or be dried up because of the continued temperature rising. If the ice does start to minimise the river will become weaker and dryer during the monsoon mouths and summer.

As the earths temperatures rises from about 14 degrees C based in 2000 to a estimated 19 degrees C in 2100 the following effects will be cause by the increase; Agricultural, Household, Industrial, Environmental and health sea levels will rise to an estimated 3.9 in to estimated 35 by 2100. Some parts of the coastal cites around India e.g. Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata and other parts of the world will be underwater. Even most of the island around India will be covered in water.

The island of Lohachara is the first island in the world to be covered in water due to climate change. The island is located on the southern edge of the Ganges delta in the bay of Bengal. Its 10,000 residents became the first refugees created because of climate change. There is a group of 27 island called Lakhadweep around the Arabian sea off the coast of south Indian state Kraal. They have a population of about 61,000 people living on them. The low lying islands are in huge danger of being covered in water as well.

India is one of the world biggest countrys that effects the greenhouse effect. With the increased temperatures they will create a increase in precipitation. Rising the process of evaporation resulting from warmer sea temperatures in the Indian ocean and Arabian Sea will increase that destroy process around the west Indian Rajasthan Desert

As well as the water resources being shorten because of climate change there is also another problem and that is that usually boundary countries sometime share the same water resource. There is some indentation that there has been conflict over freshwater shared by two or more countries. Freshwater is very important to all the worlds Humans activity, including the Agricultural, Household, Industrial and Environmental. But bad management and the impact of climate change can lead to tension’s between different countries.

For some years the counties such as India and Bangladesh have encountered conflict on river resources. It all started In 1993 when India and Bangladesh came under pressure when the Ganges River started to reach its record lows. Because the water level was low it affected Bangladesh agricultural and killed most of its crops.

In October 1995, The Prime Minister of Bangladesh addressed the United Nations(UN) .The prime minister called India¿½s share of river water resources ¿½a gross violation of human rights and justice.¿½ India¿½s establishment of the Farrakka Barrage which is a barrage built near the border of Bangladesh. The barrage was build was to separate water for the Calcutta port. But Bangladesh says that because of this separation it has resulted in falling water tables and greater water resources for Bangladesh.

India has a different view of the issue. Indian leaders says that Bangladesh was wrong in describing this issue.

Bangladesh has asked India for a ¿½minimum guarantee¿½ agreement which will give Bangladesh a minimum flow of water. In 1996 India and Bangladesh agreed in the agreement then the ¿½Treaty on the Sharing of the Waters of the Gang¿½ was signed. Some political leader were unhappy about the agreement. But it was accepted my most political leaders. Since the treaty Bangladesh continues to have a number of problems. Some of the agreements that was agreed in the treaty have not been met.

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How are we going to fix this problem is the question we need to ask ourselfs I can see from my research that some efforts are being made to improve management in freshwater resources. Different organiseions have been developed to help the mather of climate change for example, the United Nation(UN) have organised the first water conference to take place in 1977 and developed an action plan to take action on the improved management and development of water resources and the UN designated 2003 as the international year of freshwater resources. The mission of the organision is to increase awareness of the importance of freshwater use, management and protection, provide an opportunity to change the implementation of the principles of integrated water resources management, use the year as a platform for promoting existing activity and spearheading new initiatives in water resources at the international, regional and national levels, and Launch the world water development report at the third world water forum in Kyoto. The World Summit on Sustainable Development(WSSD) 2002 has emphasised on the development of an integrated water resources management and water efficiency plan.DEVELOPMENT (2003). Global Water Partnership(GWP) Is a network of agencies and intuitions to promote ¿½integrated water resource management¿½ in developing countries. It facilitates the exchange of knowledge, experience and practise related to water resources management.Partnership’s (2010). World Water Council(WWC) is an international think-tank for water issues. It objective is to ¿½increase advocacy for improved water resources management¿½. WWC has been organising the World Water Forum(WWF) bi-annually. The 3rd Forum was held in Japan in march 2003.Council (2010). European Water Association Act as a focal point for the exchange of information related to water and water activities.Association (2010)

3 Conclusion

I can conclude that because of climate change and the hydrological cycle it is having a slight long term effect on human water resources. I can see that it has close connections with the hydrological cycle. Because of this it will increases flooding, create dry lands and encounter conflict within countries. More acceleration to the hydrological cycle may result in more severe weather and extreme conditions.Anne E. Egger (2003)

If we don’t address this issue there will be further more problems in the future and lead to even more droughts and flooding. According to the Comprehensive Assessment Of Water Manage in Agriculture, one in three people are already facing water shortages(2007). Almost one-fifth of the world¿½s population, live in areas of physical scarcity.

Climate change has a close connection between hydrological cycle. Rising temperatures will increase the changing liquid to vapour and lead to the increases in rainfall and snowfall. Because of this the overall supply of freshwater resources will increase, Droughts and floods will happen more frequently and changes in snowfall and snow melt are expected in mountainous areas more frequently.

Reading about climate change has made me release that we take our freshwater for granted and don’t think about what will happen if we lose the freshwater. Will we have to introduce water charges maintain better water systems.


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