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Water Woes. Mississippi River, USA. Colorado River Basin, USA. Aral Sea, Soviet Union. Three Gorges Dam, China. Wolf Creek Dam, USA. Great Flood of 1993. In 1993 the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers brazenly displayed the power of Mother Nature The Great Flood lasted from April to October

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PowerPoint Slideshow about 'Water Woes' - Sharon_Dale


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Water Woes

Mississippi River, USA

Colorado River Basin, USA

Aral Sea, Soviet Union

Three Gorges Dam, China

Wolf Creek Dam, USA


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Great Flood of 1993

In 1993 the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers brazenly displayed the power of Mother Nature

The Great Flood lasted from April to October

6 months of rain!

6 months of flooding!


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Great Flood of 1993

80% of the levees failed

They simply were not design to hold back 6 months of nearly constant rain


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Great Flood of 1993

An area covering an astounding 20,000,000 acres was flooded off and on for half of a year

The areas in the purple hues mark where flooding occurred

The darker the hue, the longer the area was flooded


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Great Flood of 1993

The flood was among the most costly, and devastating to have occurred in the U.S.A.

$15-20 billion in damages

50 deaths

At least 75 towns were completely inundated

50,000 homes were destroyed or damaged

54,000 people had to be evacuated from flooded areas at some time during the flood



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Water Woes

Mississippi River, USA

Colorado River Basin, USA

Aral Sea, Soviet Union

Three Gorges Dam, China

Wolf Creek Dam, USA


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Colorado River Basin

The few permanent rivers that cross desert regions, such as the Colorado River in the western U.S. and the Nile River in Africa, originate outside the desert, often in well-watered mountains

The Colorado River starts in the Rocky Mountains


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Colorado River Basin

The Colorado River is a river in the southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico

This major river is approximately 1,450 miles (2,330 kilometers) long and drains 242,900 square miles (629,100 square kilometers) of the arid regions on the western slope of the Rocky Mountains and the Colorado Plateau

The natural course of the river flows into the ocean at the Sea of Cortez (Gulf of California) in Mexico


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Colorado River Basin

The Colorado River drainage basin drains portions of seven U.S. states:

Wyoming Utah Colorado New Mexico Nevada Arizona California


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Colorado River Basin

The Colorado River basin area is famous for many national parks and deep canyons


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Colorado River Basin

It is also the subject of a bitter water disputes between Mexico and the U.S., between California and Arizona, and other states


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Colorado River Basin

In 1922, the Colorado River Compact was adopted, which apportioned 7.5 million acre-feet of water per year each to the Upper Basin (Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming) and the Lower Basin

No provisions were made for Mexico, into which the river ultimately flows

One acre-foot is the amount of water required to cover one acre to a depth of one foot, or about 300,000 gallons


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Colorado River Basin

In 1944 Mexico and the U.S. signed a treaty that gave Mexico 1.5 million acre-feet of water per year from the Colorado River

There were no stipulations concerning water quality


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Colorado River Basin

During the 1950s, heavy water use in the U.S. had led to a reduction in both water flow and water quality

By 1961, the Colorado River water reaching Mexico contained up to 2700 ppm TDS

The water was so salty, that partial crop failure resulted

In 1974, the U.S. government agreed to build a desalination plant to reduce the salinity of Mexico’s small share


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Colorado River Basin

At times no water reaches Mexico

The once-wet delta is now cracked mud


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Colorado River Basin

It has now been shown that the stream flow measurements made on the Colorado River for the 1922 Colorado River Compact, were grossly inaccurate and were made during an unusually wet period

There is normally not enough water to meet the current needs of the seven U.S. states and Mexico

Worse, the region is now in a drought


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Colorado River Basin

The greatest ecological disasters to befall the Colorado River was the completion of the Glen Canyon Dam in 1963, which created the Lake Powell Reservoir

The same faulty water data used in 1922 was used to promoted the dam

Guess what!


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Colorado River Basin

The reservoir is drying up!


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Colorado River Basin

Two-thirds of the water in the reservoir is gone


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Water Woes

Mississippi River, USA

Colorado River Basin, USA

Aral Sea, Soviet Union

Three Gorges Dam, China

Wolf Creek Dam, USA


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Aral Sea

The Aral Sea lies on the border of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan in the former Soviet Union


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Aral Sea

The Aral Sea was the fourth largest lake in the world, with a surface of over 66,100 square kilometers (161,000 square miles)

It is a landlocked “sea” that does not drain into the oceans


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Aral Sea

The Aral Sea was an oasis of life in an arid climate

The lake was teaming with fish and the local fishing industry was very productive


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Aral Sea

The Soviet Union decided in 1918 that the two rivers that fed the Aral Sea, the Amu Darya in the south and the Syr Darya in the northeast, would be diverted to try to irrigate the desert, in order to grow rice, melons, cereal and cotton

Between the 1930s and the 1960s, a series of irrigation canal were built that literally diverted all of the water that normally flowed into the Aral Sea for irrigation


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Aral Sea

Many of the irrigation canals were poorly built, letting from 30% to 70% of the water leak out or evaporate

By 1960, somewhere between 20 and 50 cubic kilometers of water were going each year to irrigation instead of the sea

Also, by 1960, the Aral Sea was obviously beginning to die, in what has been called the greatest man-caused ecological disaster in human history



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Aral Sea

80% of the water is gone

The salinity of the water is now 23%

The climate has become dryer and dust storms are frequent

High concentrations of salt from the bed of the former sea now blows through the air during the sandstorms

It gets into the drinking water, the soils and ultimately into the bodies of the people


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Aral Sea

The blowing salt is a health disaster

More than 90% of the local population have anemia caused by the salt, which prevents their bodies absorbing iron

Cancer rates are among the highest in the world, also because of the salt

Because of the anemia, deaths of mothers and babies in childbirth are endemic


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Aral Sea

The fishing industry was destroyed and thousands lost their jobs and livelihood


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Aral Sea

Virtually every species of fish and aquatic life unique to the Aral sea are now extinct


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North Aral Sea 2006

Work is being done to restore in part the North Aral Sea

Irrigation works have been repaired and improved to increase its water flow

By August 2005, a concrete dam was completed, separating the two halves of the Aral Sea

Since then the water level of the North Aral has risen over 25 feet (7-8 meters), and its salinity has decreased

Meanwhile, the South Aral Sea has been abandoned to it fate...



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Water Woes

Mississippi River, USA

Colorado River Basin, USA

Aral Sea, Soviet Union

Three Gorges Dam, China

Wolf Creek Dam, USA


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Three Gorges Dam

China, with a population exceeding 1 billion, has large power needs

The Yangtze River is the world’s third largest and has a tragic history of flooding

In the 20th century alone, over half a million people died in floods of the Yangtze

In 1992, the Chinese government announced it would dam the Yangtze River at the Three Gorges area to control flooding and generate hydroelectric power


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Three Gorges Dam

The Three Gorges Dam is now the largest hydroelectric dam in the world


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Three Gorges Dam

As a size comparison, it is 5 times larger than the Hoover Dam on the Colorado River


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Three Gorges Dam

The dam is 185 meters (600 feet) high and 2.3 kilometers (1.4 miles) wide

It has 26 hydroelectric power generators with a collective generating capacity of about 18,000 megawatts (the average nuclear power plant generates about 1000 megawatts)


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Three Gorges Dam

The Chinese began filling the reservoir in 2003

When filled to capacity, the reservoir will hold 22 cubic kilometers of water


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Three Gorges Dam

As with any engineering project of great magnitude, there are serious problems

The reservoir will eventually stretch over 600 kilometers (375 miles) in length

It will submerge 125,000 acres of prime farmland


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Three Gorges Dam

1,900,000 people were forced to relocate, many against their will

Entire cities have been abandoned

Over 1200 historic areas are being flooded


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Three Gorges Dam

Three spectacular river gorges, called Qutang, Wuxia, and Xiling, worthy of being national parks, are being flooded


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Three Gorges Dam

Officials report that the cost is within its US$25 billion budget and insisted early on that the project would pay for itself through electricity generation

However, the project is thought to have cost more than any other single construction project in modern China, with unofficial estimates of US$100 billion or more


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Three Gorges Dam

The Great Wall of China probably cost more


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Water Woes

Mississippi River, USA

Colorado River Basin, USA

Aral Sea, Soviet Union

Three Gorges Dam, China

Wolf Creek Dam, USA


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Wolf Creek Dam

The Wolf Creek Dam is on the Cumberland River in Kentucky

Construction of Wolf Creek Dam was authorized by the Flood Control Act of 1938 and the River Harbor Act of 1946 and it was completed in 1950


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Wolf Creek Dam

The primary purpose of the dam was to generate hydroelectricity and prevent flooding, but is better known for creating Lake Cumberland, which has become a popular tourist attraction and is the largest man-made lake east of the Mississippi River


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Wolf Creek Dam

In 1968, signs of seepage problems within Wolf Creek Dam's earthen embankments and foundation were discovered

The problem is that the dam is built on limestone and water dissolves limestone

A short-term solution of grouting the existing seepage channels was employed immediately

Grouting in the dam foundation ran from 1968 to 1970, and is credited with “saving the dam”


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Wolf Creek Dam

Continuous monitoring of the dam shows that seepage problems have continued and have become much worse

In late January 2007, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers placed the dam under a 'high risk' for failure designation

To temporarily reduce the current stresses on Wolf Creek Dam, and thus the risk, the Corps is lowering Lake Cumberland and plans to spend $314 million on repairs over the next 7 years


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Wolf Creek Dam

A wall built inside the earthen portion of the dam in the 1970's (black line) didn't stop the leaks

A new barrier (red line) will extend longer and deeper than the old one


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Wolf Creek Dam

If Wolf Creek Dam fails, the estimated loss of life is 100 individuals and 2.4 billion dollars in damage in Nashville


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