Comenius:2009.01: Obtención del agua

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Preguntas iniciales, tareas, algunas referencias

¿Cómo obtiene cada país el agua dulce disponible para el consumo humano?, dependiendo de los recursos que le proporciona la naturaleza geográfica de su entorno; ríos, lagos, acuíferos, reservas de hielo y nieve, etc. Analizar al mismo tiempo cuáles son las infraestructuras; presas, pantanos, acequias, aljibes, etc. que tienen que desarrollar estos países para hacer viable el consumo del agua que se obtienen de estos mismos ríos, lagos, acuíferos, etc.

Analizar El III Informe de las Naciones Unidas sobre el desarrollo de los recursos hídricos en el mundo, publicado el 16 de marzo de 2009. Comparativa de recursos hídricos por países/continentes, teniendo en cuenta, además el nivel de potabilidad. Analizar los países más representativos de cada continente. Comparativa de los sectores que dependen directamente de estos recursos de agua; agricultura, industria, turismo, energía, etc.

Estudiantes Lope de Vega

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E.S.O. 4B: Patricia, Fernando, Alba, Lea

1st Newsletter Oct 2009 LdV

We are preparing the topic of Water Catchment. It's about how each country obtains fresh water for human consumption, depending on the resources according to the geographical nature of their environment: rivers, lakes, aquifers, ice reservoirs, snow, etc... Analyse at the same time which are infrastructures for water capture and storage: dams, swamps, ditches, cisterns, etc... They have to develop by these countries to make viable the use of water obtained from these rivers, lakes, aquifers.

2nd Newsletter. Nov.2009 LdV

During these weeks we have learnt the differences of getting water in countries of different continents, which made us aware of related problems. In our group we have realized that water consumption is highest in Asia, where also most of the water reserves can be found. See also graph of water management in Asia. On the other hand, Africa is the continent that consumes less water, and they also have neither means nor resources to obtain more water. We have done some summaries for every continent and compiled some graphics, which we are going to show in our final presentation.

3rd Newsletter. Dec.2009 LdV

During this investigation, we have discovered that Africa that is the continent that has more problems with regard to the obtaining of the water and Australia is the driest continent of the world. His problems are the lack of infrastructures, the dispersion of the resources, the deficient management of the waste water and the utilization of underground waters. The problem of obtaining of the water of the developed countries is the pollution favored by the scanty corrective capacity of administracines places, the lack of purification of the waste water and the overexploitation of the resources. The principal consequences are the future wars that will exist between the countries and continents for the water, because the richest countries takes to themselves what will provoke that the poorest countries fight to obtain a basic supply, since it is the water. The lack of clean water is responsible for serious problems in the health of the population.

Getting water

06 Nov 2009: Presentación del grupo 01 - Obtención del agua


The problems of water management are particularly acute in Africa. The lack of clean water is responsible for serious health problems in the general population. The lack of infrastructure and resource dispersal extreme difficulty of forming the solution to the problem of lack of drinking water. The poor management of sewage and the use of low quality groundwater are added difficulties. Political conflicts are cause and consequence of the above.

Some 300 million Africans lack access to potable water and at least fourteen countries of the continent suffer from a permanent water shortage.

While some countries have a relatively stable water supply, others, like the desert coast of Namibia and the Horn of Africa, are heavily in deficit. Most countries, however, fall between these two extremes and their main problem is lack of resources for infrastructure development to face periodic droughts and distribute water to all nuclei in a population which is largely rural and scattered.

A direct consequence of poor infrastructure, surface water retention is that three of every four Africans use groundwater as a primary source drinking water although it is not more than 15% of the total exploitable water resources.

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In the first photo we can see a group of children who have a tap for drinking while in the second photo we can find some kids in a different area taking non-potable water with a bucket that is most common in Africa



The Republic of Namibia is a country of the Southwest of Africa that occupies the territory of what was known up to the decade of 1960 as Africa of the Southwest, bordering in the northern part on Angola, to the North-East on Zambia, in the western part on the Atlantic Ocean, in the eastern part on Botswana, and to the southeast and in the southern part on South Africa. Namibia is a desert zone, and the water resources are strongly deficit. The principal problem is the lack of resources for the development of infrastructures.


SudAfrica's Republic is a country located in the southern end of Africa. It borders on the countries of Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Suazilandia. South Africa is a developed country, for what it is possible to obtain better the water since it has the necessary resources. His principal problems are: the pollution by industrial residues like pesticides or fertilizers; and the lack of purification of the urban waste water.

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In the first picture we can see South Africa, a developed country and with enough water, though the problem is the lack of purification of the urban waste water. In the second photo, we can see Namibia, a desert poor country in water.


The Central Asian region was characterized by its role as supplier of raw materials. The extension of the monoculture of cotton required the construction of hydraulic infrastructures conditional on that single goal, creating a structure highly dependent on the Aral Sea basin and its tributaries. Asia hasn't enjoyed a surplus in water for some time. The indiscriminate drinking water led to the desiccation of the Aral Sea, one of the essential elements to maintain and regulate the natural balance and climate of the region.

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The Aral sea before and after the desiccation

As a result, there has been an imbalance in the rivers Amu Darya and Syr Darya. Where it was found the loss of 25% of the reserves of the glaciers. Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kazakhstan share the Syr Darya River basin, while Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, as well as Afghanistan and the Islamic Republic of Iran, share the Amu Darya River basin.

The main risk consists on the conflict of interests between the countries downstream and upstream on the use of water resources and allocations of the flows. Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, located downstream, have substantial oil and gas reserves, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, are deficient in water resources. By contrast, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, upstream states are deficient in gas and oil, but have significant reserves of water and a high capacity for hydropower production. There are factors that have a clear relevance for determining the priority use of water, such as population growth, impoverishment of rural areas and migration caused by the desiccation of the Aral Sea. Also important is the conditioning of resource availability in different seasons. In practice, the downstream States are not satisfied his need for water for irrigation during the summer months, while during the winter, often suffer from floods and other adverse effects from the release of large quantities of water from the reservoirs in upstream states, which require them to meet high energy demand.

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Here there are the rivers Amu Darya and Syr Darya

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Available water resources in West Asia. Water stress index: West Asia



According to hydrologists, government officials and industry leaders, water and waste are the most serious problems facing China. Some elements that have influenced the water crisis in the country are poorly designed dams, poor management of rivers, crops in the drier parts of the country and low water prices. In most parts of China, the water will buy about 40 percent cheaper than the real cost. With these prices the country can not pay for clean and inexhaustible supply of water. The reduced flow of major rivers in China has led to the decline of energy production in hydroelectric plants. Drought is another factor that has contributed to the water crisis, and the frequency and duration have increased. China has been affected by this phenomenon during the last decade, and the drought that was almost exclusively in the north has become common in the south. Pollution is another problem that has contributed to the crisis


Tajikistan, although have the great fortune of being the country with the largest water resources in Central Asia, will have to use large part of their potential and meet its own management problems water resources as its population grows.

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With this pictures we can see the water scarcity in China and the great river in Tayikistan


European water resources:

In Europe, water and population are unevenly distributed. As well, overexploitation of water has meant that natural areas in western and southern Europe have dried.The three main users of water are agriculture, industry and the domestic sector. (like the households.) Water availbility: The total renewable freshwater resource of a country is the groundwater recharge generated annually by precipitation in the country, plus the total volume of actual flow of rivers coming from neighbouring territories. This resource is supplemented by water stored in lakes, reservoirs, icecaps and fossil groundwater. The total renewable freshwater resource in Europe is around 3 500 km3/year. The Mediterranean islands of Malta and Cyprus and the densely populated European countries (Germany, Poland, Spain and England and Wales) have the least available water per capita. Water absraction: Overall, the regions have a small portion of its total renewable water resources each year. Total water abstraction in the region is about 350 km3/year: approximately 10 % of Europe’s total freshwater resource is abstracted annually.

Water use by sectors: All economic sectors need water. The agriculture, the industry and most forms of energy production are not possible without water. On average, 44 % of total water abstraction in Europe is used for agriculture, 40 % for industry and energy production, and 15 % for public water supply. The main water consumption sectors are irrigation, urban, and manufacturing industry. Southern European countries use the largest percentages of abstracted water for agriculture. Irrigation is the most significant use of water in the agriculture sector in these countries.


Poland is one of the country who as the least avaible water per habitants , but also countries like Germany, Spain,England and Wales. But Spain is able to store more than 40% of water ressources, so has difficulties to obtain water but this country has a good way to store. To compare, Sweden is one of the countries of europe that has the less problems to obtain potable water. To conclude, west of Europe have more difficulties to obtain potable water than est of Europe. So in Europe, countries, population and water are evenly disrtributed. I think that obtaining water is a problem that we can find in every countries of the world, and there isn't problem to obtain water just in poor countries. Water is a valuable ressource that humanity has used without thinking about the future, and now we know that water is going to be more and more difficult to find.

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In the first photo, water consumption in Spain exceeds the available resources in the watersheds. Some resources are increasingly reduced due to climate change and warming. This situation has gone so far that, in the last two decades, the Spanish river flow has been reduced to 5% on average.

In the second photo, to compare with Spain, Sweden doesn't have any problems to obtain water, because it's one of the countries that has the best possibilities to obtain potable water.


Almost 200 million residents of North America depend on the underground water for the domestic use. Also he is vital for the sectors agricultural and industrial of the economy of the region and plays an essential role in the conservation of our rivers, aquatic currents, lakes, humedales and systems. Nevertheless, the resource is threatened: the contamination of the water-bearing ones occurs in all North America and the underground water is used with greater rapidity than with which the nature can replace it. Some incipientes factors, as the possibility of the international trade of the water, the quick growth of the population in zones of high demand of the liquid and the climatic change, will increase the pressures in the underground water. Decades of efforts have been dedicated in Canada, the United States and Mexico to protect and to recover superficial waters, but much less persistence has been put in the underground water. The result of this lack of institutional attention begins to be evident…. South America is a privileged region because counts on a supply of fresh water between most abundant of the planet, near 18.000 km3/a not (according to the FAO), which means an availability of about 50.000 ms3/per capita/year. Two of the five greater hydrographic river basins of the world are in South America: those of the rivers Amazon and Parana-The Silver. In addition numerous river basins throughout the Mountain range to the $andes, although not so voluminous views individually, constitute a formidable hydrographic system that it also sustains not only to the million Andean inhabitants but to those who down inhabit waters in the different slopes.

All the previous one represents clearly a comparative advantage for the countries of the region, because the water, like the energy, is fundamental factor for the human development and the growth of the economies. In fact, with so high availability of the vital liquid, it seemed that our countries must not have difficulties in guaranteeing a universal access of the population to potable water and basic cleaning.

South America has the hydric supply per capita more discharge of the world. Not , this positive situation is relativized by the heterogeneity of its space and temporary distribution. On scale of all the region the water is abundant, but its shortage is severe in some densely populated areas. About example, in the north of Chile (according to the Environmental Report GEO of PNUMA), some areas single reach about 300 ms3/per capita/year whereas to the south the supply is of up to 3.000.000 ms3 by person.

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Here we can see different landscapes in South and North America



Situation, extension and limits of Argentina:

Located in South America and therefore in the South hemisphere of the planet, Argentina has an extension of almost 3.8 million km ², of as 2.8 belong approximately to the continent - with a 54% of plains (prairies and savannahs), a 23% of plateaus and another 23% of mountain ranges and mountains and the rest to the Antarctic sector.

The Brown Skillful glacier is, along with the Cataracts of the Iguazú, one of the main natural beauties of Argentina

Located in the southwest of the province of Santa Cruz, the Brown Expert form leaves from the National Park Glaciers. This park includes a surface of 445,900 hectares, and in the zone also is an area of reserve of 154,100 hectares.


In agreement with the census of 2000 the city had a population of 465,634 inhabitants whereas in the year 2003 the population promoted 518,313 inhabitants. Recent studies base the population of the metropolitan area in winch to 1.950.000 people, according to data of 2005. One calculates that he is habitual that there is around the same number of tourists during season of vacations that of inhabitants: or by trips of Americans who are going to spend a weekend or by the world-wide tourism. The Fertile valleys have been the capital of the county of Clark from the birth of this in 1909.

Nevada, like other 6 states of the southwest of the U.S.A., drink of waters of Colorado river. River, on the other hand, that in spite of its enormous volume, practically ends dry to the Pacific. In the case of Vegas, city that has grown much and very fast in the last decades, the water of the Colorado represents 90% of the water that needs their two million inhabitants (and 40 million tourists to the year, who say express).

The case is that that water is transported by means of channels from the river basin of the river to lake Mead. Problem: a 10% of possibilities that exist this lake is dry for 1014, and nothing else and nothing less than a 50% of possibilities that that happens stops… 2021! That, to follow the tendency of water reserves and the maintained growth of the demand of the same one decreasing that occur at the present time.


Here we can see a picture a place rich in water. They use it for the landscape.

Las Vegas is a place poor in water and they waste the water to win money and for the leisure.

Durante esta investigación nos hemos dado cuenta de que África es el continente que más problemas tiene respecto a la obtención del agua y Australia es el continente más seco del mundo. Sus problemas son la falta de infraestructuras, la dispersión de los recursos, la deficiente gestión de las aguas residuales y la utilización de aguas subterráneas. El problema de obtención del agua de los países desarrollados es la contaminación favorecida por la escasa capacidad correctiva de administracines locales, la falta de depuración de las aguas residuales y la sobreexplotación de los recursos. Cada día hay más niños y familias enteras que como Amed tienen problemas para obtener agua potable o en buen estado. Hay que empezar a darse cuenta porque aunque no nos parezca en un futuro no muy lejano van a empezar serios problemas, habrán guerras entre los países y continentes por el agua que es un bien escaso. Debemos empezar a concienciarnos por nosotros y por futuras generaciones que no van a poder disfrutar de este bien. Hemos llegado a tiempo, pero o empezamos ya a dar soluciones o acabaremos con conflictos entre nosotros mismos.

Imágenes destacadas:

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Temas 2009/2010 en Lope de Vega

Temas 2009/2010 en Lope de Vega:

01. Obtención del agua | 02. Políticas de gestión del agua | 03. Aumento de la población | 04. Deforestación | 05. Desertificación | 06. Sequía | 07. Salud humana | 08. Efecto invernadero | 09. Lluvia ácida | 10. Derretimiento de los glaciares y polos | 11. Alteración del ciclo del agua | 12. El agua como el mayor conflicto geopolítico del siglo XXI