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Water and Water Pollution. Chapter 11. Core Case Study: Water Conflicts. Water shortages in the Middle East Nile River Jordan Basin Tigris and Euphrates Rivers Peacefully solving the problems. Three Major River Basins in the Middle East. Fig. 11-1, p. 227. 11-1 Will We Have Enough Water?.

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Core case study water conflicts l.jpg
Core Case Study: Water Conflicts

  • Water shortages in the Middle East

  • Nile River

  • Jordan Basin

  • Tigris and Euphrates Rivers

  • Peacefully solving the problems

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Three Major River Basinsin the Middle East

Fig. 11-1, p. 227

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11-1 Will We Have Enough Water?

  • Concept 11-1A We are using available freshwater unsustainably by wasting it, polluting it, and charging too little for this irreplaceable natural resource.

  • Concept 11-1B One of every six people do not have sufficient access to clean water, and this situation will almost certainly get worse.

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Importance and Availability of Water

  • Why is water so important?

  • Earth as a watery world – 71%

  • Freshwater availability – 0.024%

  • Poorly managed resource

  • Hydrologic cycle

  • Water pollution

Groundwater l.jpg

  • Zone of saturation

  • Water table

  • Aquifers

  • Natural recharge

  • Lateral recharge

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Unconfined Aquifer Recharge Area

Evaporation and transpiration








artesian well

Recharge Unconfined Aquifer




a pump






Unconfined aquifer


permeable material such as clay

Confined aquifer

Confining impermeable rock layer

Fig. 11-2, p. 229

Surface water l.jpg
Surface Water

  • Surface runoff

  • Watershed (drainage) basin

  • Reliable runoff – 1/3 of total

  • Runoff use

    • Domestic – 10%

    • Agriculture – 70%

    • Industrial use – 20%

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Case Study: Freshwater Resources in the United States

  • Uneven distribution

  • Contamination

  • Eastern U.S.

  • Western U.S.

  • Groundwater withdrawal – 50%

  • Water hot spots

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Annual Precipitation and Water-deficit Regions of the Continental U.S.

Fig. 11-3, p. 230

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Average annual precipitation (centimeters) Continental U.S.


More than 122

Less than 41


Acute shortage


Adequate supply

Metropolitan regions with population greater than 1 million

Stepped Art

Fig. 11-3, p. 230

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Water Hot Spots in Western States Continental U.S.

Fig. 11-4, p. 231

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Freshwater Shortages Continental U.S.

  • Causes of water scarcity

    • Dry climate

    • Too many people

  • 1 of 6 people – no regular access to clean water

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Stress on World’s River Basins Continental U.S.

Fig. 11-5, p. 231

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Future Trends Continental U.S.

  • United Nations Report

    • 2-7 billion people will face water shortages by 2050

  • Effect of global warming?

  • Interconnections

    • Food

    • Economics

    • Social

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11-2 How Can We Increase Water Supplies? Continental U.S.

  • Concept 11-2A Groundwater used to supply cities and grow food is being pumped from aquifers in some areas faster than it is renewed by precipitation.

  • Concept 11-2B Using dams, reservoirs, and transport systems to transfer water to arid regions has increased water supplies in those areas, but has disrupted ecosystems and displaced people.

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11-2 How Can We Increase Water Supplies? Continental U.S.

  • Concept 11-2C We can convert salty ocean water to freshwater, but the cost is high, and the resulting salty brine must be disposed of without harming aquatic or terrestrial ecosystems.

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Increasing Freshwater Supplies Continental U.S.

  • Withdrawing groundwater

  • Dams and reservoirs

  • Transporting surface water

  • Desalination

  • Water conservation

  • Better use of natural hydrologic cycle

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Trade-offs: Withdrawing Groundwater Continental U.S.

Fig. 11-6, p. 233

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Degradation of a Nonrenewable Aquifer in Saudi Arabia Continental U.S.

Fig. 11-7, p. 233

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Saltwater Intrusion into StatesCoastal Water Wells

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Major States



Well contaminated

with saltwater



Sea level












Fig. 11-9, p. 234

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Groundwater Depletion States

Fig. 11-10, p. 234

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Provides States

irrigation water

above and

below dam

Flooded land

destroys forests

or cropland and

displaces people

Large losses of

water through


Provides water

for drinking



cropland and

estuaries of

nutrient-rich silt

Reservoir useful

for recreation

and fishing

Risk of failure

and devastating



Can produce

cheap electricity






migration and

spawning of

some fish

Fig. 11-11a, p. 235

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Powerlines States






Fig. 11-11b, p. 235

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Ecological Services of Rivers States

Fig. 11-12, p. 236

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Aral Sea Disaster (1) States

  • Large-scale water transfers in dry central Asia

  • Salinity

  • Wetland destruction and wildlife

  • Fish extinctions and fishing

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Aral Sea Disaster (2) States

  • Wind-blown salt

  • Water pollution

  • Climatic changes

  • Restoration efforts

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Shrinking Aral Sea States

Fig. 11-14, p. 237

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Removing Salt from Seawater States

  • Desalination

  • Distillation

  • Reverse osmosis

  • 15,000 plants in 125 countries

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Major Problems with Desalination States

  • High cost

  • Death of marine organisms

  • Large quantity of brine wastes

  • Future economics

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11-3 How Can We Use Water More Sustainably? States

  • Concept 11-3 We can use water more sustainably by cutting water waste, raising water prices, slowing population growth, and protecting aquifers, forests, and other ecosystems that store and release water.

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Reducing Water Waste (1) States

  • Benefits of water conservation

  • Worldwide – 65-70% loss

    • Evaporation, leaks

  • Water prices, government subsides, waste

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Reducing Water Waste (2) States

  • Improve irrigation efficiency

  • Improve collection efficiency

  • Use less in homes and businesses

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Center pivot States

(efficiency 80% with low-pressure

sprinkler and 90–95% with LEPA sprinkler)

Drip irrigation

(efficiency 90–95%)

Gravity flow

(efficiency 60% and 80% with surge valves)

Water usually pumped from underground and sprayed from mobile

boom with sprinklers.

Above- or below-ground pipes or tubes deliver water to individual plant roots.

Water usually comes from an aqueduct system or a nearby river.

Fig. 11-15, p. 240

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Reducing Irrigation Water Waste States

Fig. 11-16, p. 241

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Reducing Water Waste States

Fig. 11-17, p. 241

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Sustainable Water Use States

Fig. 11-18, p. 242

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What Can You Do? States

Fig. 11-19, p. 242

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11-4 How Can We Reduce the Threat of Flooding? States

  • Concept 11-4 We can improve flood control by protecting more wetlands and natural vegetation in watersheds and by not building in areas subject to frequent flooding.

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Benefits of Floodplains (1) States

  • Highly productive wetlands

  • Provide natural flood and erosion control

  • Maintain high water quality

  • Recharge groundwater

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Benefits of Floodplains (2) States

  • Fertile soils

  • Nearby rivers for use and recreation

  • Flatlands for urbanization and farming

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Dangers of Floodplains and Floods States

  • Deadly and destructive

  • Human activities worsen floods

  • Failing dams and water diversion

  • Hurricane Katrina and the Gulf Coast

    • Removal of coastal wetlands

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Before and During a Flood in StatesSt. Louis, Missouri

Fig. 11-20, p. 243

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Case Study: Floodplains of Bangladesh States

  • Dense population

  • Located on coastal floodplain

  • Moderate floods maintain fertile soil

  • Increase frequency of large floods

  • Development in the Himalayan foothills

  • Destruction of coastal wetlands

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Oxygen States

released by






Trees reduce soil

erosion from heavy

rain and wind



Tree roots stabilize soil

Vegetation releases water

slowly and reduces flooding

Forested Hillside

Fig. 11-21a, p. 244

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Tree plantation States

Evapotranspiration decreases




Overgrazing accelerates soil

erosion by water and wind

Winds remove

fragile topsoil

Agricultural land

is flooded and

silted up

Gullies and


Heavy rain erodes topsoil

Silt from erosion fills rivers and reservoirs

Rapid runoff

causes flooding

After Deforestation

Fig. 11-21b, p. 244

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Reducing Flood Damage States

Fig. 11-22, p. 245

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11-5 How Can We Best Deal with Water Pollution? (1) States

  • Concept 11-5A Streams can cleanse themselves of many pollutants if we do not overload them.

  • Concept 11-5B Preventing water pollution usually works better and costs less than trying to clean it up.

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11-5 How Can We Best Deal with Water Pollution? (2) States

  • Concept 11-5C Reducing water pollution requires preventing it, working with nature in treating sewage, cutting resource use and waste, reducing poverty, and slowing population growth.

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Water Pollution Sources States

  • Water pollution

  • Point sources

    • Discharge at specific locations

    • Easier to identify, monitor, regulate

  • Nonpoint sources

    • Runoff of chemicals and sediment

    • Agriculture

    • Control is difficult and expensive

Stream pollution l.jpg
Stream Pollution States

  • Natural recovery processes

  • Oxygen sag curve

  • Effect of regulations in the U.S.

  • Continuing problems

  • Problems in developing countries

Slide65 l.jpg

Normal clean water organisms(Trout, perch, bass,mayfly, stonefly)

Trash fish (carp, gar,


Fish absent, fungi, sludge


bacteria (anaerobic)

Trash fish (carp, gar,


Normal clean water organisms

(Trout, perch, bass,

mayfly, stonefly)

8 ppm

Types of organisms

8 ppm

Dissolved oxygen (ppm)

Clean Zone


oxygen demand

Recovery Zone

Septic Zone

Decomposition Zone

Clean Zone

Fig. 11-23, p. 247

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Lake Pollution (1) stonefly)

  • Dilution less effective than with streams

    • Stratification

    • Low flow

  • Lakes are more vulnerable than streams

  • Eutrophication – natural aging process

    • Oligotrophic

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Lake Pollution (2) stonefly)

  • Cultural eutrophication

    • Cause

    • Prevention

    • Cleanup

Groundwater pollution 1 l.jpg
Groundwater Pollution (1) stonefly)

  • Sources

  • Slow flow, dilution, dispersion

  • Low dissolved oxygen

  • Fewer bacteria

  • Cooler temperatures

Groundwater pollution 2 l.jpg
Groundwater Pollution (2) stonefly)

  • Longtime scale for natural cleansing

    • Degradable wastes – organic matter

    • Slowly degradable wastes – DDT

    • Nondegradable wastes – lead, arsenic, fluoride

Slide72 l.jpg

Polluted air stonefly)

Hazardous waste

injection well


and fertilizers


road salt

Coal strip

mine runoff

Buried gasoline

and solvent tanks


septic tank

Gasoline station




pumping well

Waste lagoon




from faulty







Unconfined freshwater aquifer



Confined freshwater aquifer

Fig. 11-25, p. 249

Extent of groundwater pollution l.jpg
Extent of Groundwater Pollution stonefly)

  • Global scale – not much known

  • Monitoring is very expensive

  • Underground fuel tank leakage

    • MTBE

  • Arsenic

  • Protecting groundwater – prevention is best!

Ocean pollution l.jpg
Ocean Pollution stonefly)

  • Coastal areas – highly productive ecosystems

    • Occupied by 40% of population

    • Twice that population by 2050

    • About 80% marine pollution originates on land

  • Deep ocean waters

    • Some capacity to dilute, disperse, degrade pollutants

    • Ocean dumping controversies

    • Assimilative capacity?

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Industry stonefly)

Nitrogen oxides

from autos and


toxic chemicals,

and heavy metals in

effluents flow into

bays and estuaries.


Toxic metals and

oil from streets and

parking lots pollute

waters; sewage

adds nitrogen and


Urban sprawl

Bacteria and viruses from

sewers and septic tanks

contaminate shellfish beds

and close beaches; runoff of

fertilizer from lawns adds

nitrogen and phosphorus.

Construction sites

Sediments are washed into

waterways, choking fish and plants,

clouding waters, and blocking sunlight.


Runoff of pesticides, manure, and

fertilizers adds toxins and excess

nitrogen and phosphorus.

Red tides

Excess nitrogen causes

explosive growth of toxic

microscopic algae,

poisoning fish and

marine mammals.


shellfish beds





Toxic sediments

Chemicals and toxic metals

contaminate shellfish beds,

kill spawning fish, and

accumulate in the tissues

of bottom feeders.

Oxygen-depleted zone

Sedimentation and algae

overgrowth reduce sunlight,

kill beneficial sea grasses, use

up oxygen, and degrade habitat.

Healthy zone

Clear, oxygen-rich

waters promote growth

of plankton and sea

grasses,and support fish.

Fig. 11-27, p. 251

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Missouri River Mexico


River Basin

Ohio River

Mississippi River

Depleted oxygen

Stepped Art

Fig. 11-A, p. 252

Case study chesapeake bay l.jpg
Case Study: Chesapeake Bay Mexico

  • Largest estuary in the U.S.

  • Large drainage basin

    • Pollution sink

  • Cultural eutrophication

    • Oxygen depletion

  • Chesapeake Bay Program

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Oil Pollution in Oceans Mexico

  • Crude and refined petroleum

  • Tanker accidents – Exxon Valdez

  • Urban and industrial runoff

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Effects of Oil Pollution on Ocean Ecosystems Mexico

  • Volatile organic hydrocarbons

    • Kill larvae

    • Destroys natural insulation and buoyancy

  • Heavy oil

    • Sinks and kills bottom organisms

    • Coral reefs die

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Oil Cleanup Methods Mexico

  • Current methods recover no more than 15%

  • Prevention is most effective method

    • Control runoff

    • Double haul tankers

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Preventing Nonpoint Source Pollution (1) Mexico

  • Mostly agricultural waste

  • Use vegetation to reduce soil erosion

  • Reduce fertilizer use

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Preventing Nonpoint Source Pollution (2) Mexico

  • Use plant buffer zones around fields and animal feedlots

  • Keep feedlots away from slopes, surface water and flood zones

  • Integrated pest management

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Laws for Reducing Point Source Pollution Mexico

  • Clean Water Act

  • Water Quality Act

  • Discharge trading controversies

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Sewage Treatment Systems Mexico

  • Rural and suburban areas – septic tank

  • Urban areas – wastewater treatment plants

    • Primary treatment – physical process

    • Secondary treatment – biological process

    • Chlorination – bleaching and disinfection

Primary and secondary sewage treatment l.jpg
Primary and Secondary Sewage Treatment Mexico

Fig. 11-29, p. 255

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Primary Mexico



disinfection tank

Bar screen

Grit chamber

Settling tank

Aeration tank

Settling tank

To river, lake,

or ocean


Raw sewage

from sewers

(kills bacteria)

Activated sludge

Air pump

Disposed of in

landfill or ocean or applied to cropland,

pasture, or rangeland

Sludge digester

Sludge drying bed

Fig. 11-29, p. 255

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Improving Sewage Treatment Mexico

  • Systems that exclude hazardous waste

  • Nonhazardous waste substitutes

  • Composting toilet systems

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Science Focus: Ecological Wastewater Treatment Mexico

  • Working with nature to treat sewage

  • Living machines

  • Tanks with increasingly complex organisms

  • Artificially created wetlands

  • Scientific principles of sustainability

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Reducing Water Pollution from Point Sources in the U.S. Mexico

  • Impressive achievements

  • Bad news – 2006 survey

    • 45% of lakes and 40% of streams too polluted for fishing and swimming

    • Runoff polluting 7 of 10 rivers

    • Fish caught in 1/4 of waterways unsafe to eat

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Should the Clean Water Act be Strengthened? Mexico

  • Yes – environmentalists

  • No – farmers and developers

  • State and local officials want more discretion

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Drinking Water Quality Mexico

  • Purification of urban drinking water

  • Developed versus developing countries

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Is Bottled Water the Answer? Mexico

  • 120 to 7,500 times the cost of tap water

  • About 1/4 is ordinary tap water

  • About 40% of bottled water contaminated

  • Water testing

  • Water purifiers

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What Can We Do? Mexico

Fig. 11-31, p. 258

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Animation: Hydrologic Cycle Mexico



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Animation: Threats to the Aquifers Mexico



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Animation: Carbon Bonds Mexico



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Animation: Ocean Provinces Mexico



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Animation: Lake Zonation Mexico



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Animation: Lake Turnover Mexico



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Animation: Trophic Nature of Lakes Mexico



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Animation: Acid Deposition Mexico



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Animation: Stream Pollution Mexico



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Video: Ohio Flooding Mexico



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Video: Hurricane Hunters Mexico



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Video: 2006 Hurricane Season Mexico



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Video: MTBE Pollution Mexico



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Video: Beach Pollution Mexico



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Video: China Computer Waste Mexico