Report of Water Provision Methods Homework Help

Report of Water Provision Methods
Any region that is characterized buy severe lack of available water, such that this shortage prevents the growth and developments of plant and animal life could be referred as arid. Such areas lack vegetation and can be called deserts.
According to UN report on world waters day 1999, the increasing scarcity of water globally will be largely felt in arid areas. As it stands now, there is not enough water for everyone and this has caused a crisis across the world. Water crisis is looming danger which might even cause world wars and if nothing is done to reverse the situation, all living things human being included will go to extinction.
The crisis has spread to the other parts of the world which were considered as water sufficient and this is attributed to the rapid population growth. According to UN, the world population is expected to rise to 9 billion by 2050 (Gleick et al. 2008). This means more water will be required to produce food especially biofuels, more industries means more water, and urbanization will demand more water. As it stand now the demand for water already exceeds supply thus this rise in population will make the supply even scarcer.
Due to the water crisis in the world the UN has named the 21st century, the century for water. Through their campaign ‘Water for life’ they have named the 2005-2015 a decade for water (Gleick et al. 2008). They want everyone, concerned with the welfare of the future generation to take part in ensuring we conserve our scarce water resource. We should also ensure that we provide access to clean water to the population that does not have access to it and this would reduce the common water borne disease brought about by lack of clean water.
1.2 The situation in arid areas
Water is a major contributor to a nation’s development if it is managed well and wisely. If only a country adapted clear policies and strategies and committed itself to the implementation of sustainable water utilization, then would it be able to eradicate poverty. The poverty will be eradicated since water is needed for agriculture, fishing, industry and energy sectors. An estimated 38% of the population of sub-Saharan Africa lives in drought prone lands which are known as arid areas. These areas experience extreme fluctuation of availability of water meaning they don’t have enough water for domestic proposes and for other uses like agriculture.
Due to the fact that water is the major requirements on agriculture we will look at how the Aba’ala community employs different methods of rain harvesting to ensure the provision of enough and quality water for their crops and domestic purposes.
2.0 A case of Ethiopia
Flood water harvesting from the rain is known to make dry valleys and flood plains more productive. Farmers can modify the flood plain ecosystem by their selection of the crops to plant. This has been the case in Tunisia, china and other places (Rejj et al. 1991). My report will look at Ethiopia and how the Aba’ala community employs different methods in water conservation by collecting rain water. I will aim to compare the traditional methods they use and the modern methods of rain harvesting with an aim to establish whether one has an advantage over the other. Ethiopia is semi arid area as classified by UN. In 1983 to 1985 there was a persistent drought among the community and this encouraged them to grow crops since their livestock had died. Although the estimated rainfalls that this area gets is 300-500mm/year it is not enough to sustain the crop growth unless measures are taken to conserve the water when it is available.
2.1The techniques
i. River diversion for crop production
The rainfall situation in this area is very poor. Therefore the rain fed agriculture does little to help the growth of crops. This area receives floods from three rivers Abala, Shungula and Migua. The floods increase the width size of these rivers depending on their size. According to Morgan (1995) there are around 27 canals that farmers have used to divert the water from the rivers to their farms. These means whenever there are floods, farmers get water for their crops. This method has an advantage as it brings fertile soils from the highlands. However this could be a blessing in disuse as it causes soil erosion. Other disadvantage of using this method is the large amount of sand that is deposited in the crop fields. Incase of technical fault in the diversion the river could change its course permanently. Such canals can create gullies in the crop fields. These farmers since they lack the technology needed the area is unable to support pressurized water and may lead to flooding in the crop fields.
ii. Alternative solution
The catchment are under investigation is steeply and has sparse vegetation. It is also full of rock outcrops (Rallison 1980). This means the infiltrate rate is very slow because of the steepness. This low rate of infiltration means the water that goes down the slope is full of sediment and thus can fill up a dam if it was to be collected. This according to Morgan (1995) small reservoirs tend to fill up faster thus shortening their life span. But this steepness can also be an advantage and other alternative sources of storage can be used.
a. Storage tanks should be given priority because of their advantage in temporary water storage. They are known to minimize evaporation and percolation losses as compared to other structures. With these tanks, it is easy to control aquatic animal s and mosquitoes thus making the water safe for human consumption. To reduce the rate of silting, they can divert the concentrated run offs as this allows a gentler flow which carry minimum sediment. However, even if they fill up it is easy to remove the silt as compared to a big reservoir (Rallison 1980)
b. Check dams can also be used to harvest this rain water. Their main advantage is that they allow exploitation of pure water which collects underneath.
3.0 Conclusion
It is indisputable that water shortage is a crisis in this world and this shortage is more acute in arid areas like Ethiopia. Water is life for without water there will be are no food for human beings, the marine life is also threatened. Availability of water is not just in quantity but also in quality. Reports show that many people in the world today lack access to clean water. This can lead to rise of manifold water borne diseases which have claimed the lives of many. The problem affects the world population in general even those that live in areas that receive adequate supply of water. However, these problems could be addressed if the concerned governments used proper rain harvesting methods.
The traditional diversion method of conservation water is viable in the short run. But if communities are to have sustainable supply of water throughout the year, project assisted methods of rain water harvesting should be employed. The use of storage tanks could encourage the society on the importance of soil and water conservation. The check dams ensure quality water is harvested thus the traditional method though advantageous should be done away with.

List of References
Gleick, P.H. Cooley, H. , Morikawa, M. (2008) The World’s Water 2008-2009: The Biennial Report on Freshwater Resource, New York: Island Press.
Morgan, R.P.C. (1995) Possible ways of water provision in Arid areas, 2nd ed, London: Longman Group Limited.
Rallison, R.E (1980) Ways of water provision in Arid areas. New York: ASCE.
Reij, C., Mulder, P., and Begemann, L (1991) “Methods of water provision in Arid areas” World Bank Technical Paper No.91, Washington, D.C.

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