Increasing Water Security: Large Scale Water Management Projects

787 Words Feb 24th, 2014 4 Pages
Using named examples, assess the contribution of large scale water management projects in increasing water security. 15 Water security means having access to sufficient, safe, clean and affordable water. Theoretically, the world’s poorer countries are the most water insecure, suffering from both physical and economic water scarcity. One solution to tackle water insecurity is through large scale water projects for example the Three Gorges project in China, the South-North transfer project also in China and the restoration of the Aral Sea. However there is much controversy over whether these schemes are actually sustainable and therefore beneficial in the long run. The Three Gorges da project in China blocks the Yangtze River; it cost $50 …show more content…
Although the many benefits are significant in future water security, the question has to be asked whether the benefits outweigh the costs and whether the decision to invest the huge sums of money into projects like this is the right one. Similarly, a different project in China is experiencing similar opinions as again there benefits come with such a high cost. The South-North project is designed to transfer water from the water abundant south to the less water rich north. This gigantic diversion began in 2003 and is estimated to take approximately 50 years to complete, and cost $62 billion. The three canals which link the four major rivers in the country are predicted to transfer 44.8 billion m3 of water per year. Water conservation, improved irrigation, pollution treatment and environmental protection are included in the scheme however there are arguments saying there are uncertainties and risks accompanying the project. For example the Yangtze River is already at alarmingly high levels of pollution therefore the significant ecological and environmental impacts along the river is bound to improve the water quality. Also, the untreated industrial waste water is being mixed with agricultural run-off containing fertilisers, increasing the risk of eutrophication and as a result of this, decreasing the availability of clean fresh water and overall therefore going against the main intended plan which is to improve water security.

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