3.6 Water resources

Valuable sources of information and reading for up-to-date fresh water issues published by the United Nations  http://www.unesco.org/new/en/natural-sciences/environment/water/

This year’s World Water Day (March 22nd, 2014) theme is Water and Energy.

“Water and energy are closely interlinked and interdependent. Energy generation and transmission requires utilization of water resources, particularly for hydroelectric, nuclear, and thermal energy sources. Recent interest in biofuels also creates an incremental demand on water resources; the latest World Water Development Report (2012) predicts that even a nominal increase in biofuel demand (say 5% of road transport by 2030, as predicted by International Energy Agency) could push up the water demand by as much as 20% of the water used for agriculture worldwide. Additionally, biofuel production is linked to increases in water pollution through increased used of fertilizers and agricultural chemicals…” – See more http://www.unwater.org

3.6.1 Describe the Earth’s water budget

Quick TASK: Can you summarise the diagram below in a few sentences to describe the Earth’s water budget?

Water Budget2013-12-03 11.31.54

In what ways are fresh water resources useful to our human population?

  • Think-Pair-Share

TASK:  In groups, identifying patterns, trends, draw conclusions, etc. from the diagrams below. The purpose is to gather information and content knowledge, and learn from the diagrams while practicing your analytical skills.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


TASK: Using the above maps and graphs, along with the conclusions you made with your group, individually complete the following:

  • Construct 3 short-answer exam-style questions
  • the questions must range between 3 and 4 marks
  • include the mark scheme (criteria for the answers, based on how you would allocate the marks)
  • Purpose: to understand how exam questions are structured which is helpful to know as it helps with structuring the response.
  • Next step: peer assess to improve the created questions


The Aral Sea Basin – Case Study Materials

img_csmap_wwdr3_uzbekistan_bigTASK: Using the Aral Sea as an example, discuss the environmental and socio-economic problems generally associated with fresh water resources. Evaluate its sustainability.

Write an ESS ‘essay’ [800 words typed] using the handout, two video clips (below) and  Rutherford, Jill. ESS Course Companion p.220-221

The Shrinking Aral Sea – Uzbekistan:

(13:24 min)

For 50 years Soviet leaders diverted the rivers which feed the sea to irrigate cotton. And when it became clear that the land wasn’t suited for the thirsty crop the planners simply increased the use of hazardous chemicals. “It is the world’s largest man- made environmental disaster”, says Ian Small for Medecins Sans Frontiers in Uzbekistan.

Aral Sea – Kazakhstan (rehabilitation):

(10:27 min)

For decades, the Aral Sea has been described as dying and beyond salvation. But now, the water is flowing back, bringing economic revival and hope for the future.