Water DIversion Answers 2012

Revanth Rameshkumar
Ronald Shanderson
The Salton Sea is located in California and is the largest lake in the state. It is part of the
desert ecosystem.
It has no outlets
Inflow comes from Whitewater, Alamo, and sources branching off from Colorado River.
Has very high salt content
Borders wetlands
Is shrinking
In 1920 it is developed into a tourist attraction
Was formed in 1905
California Development Company dug irrigation canals from the Colorado River
Massive flooding from the Colorado River broke through an irrigation canal and went into
the Salton Basin for an estimated 18 months, making the Salton Sea
It has been maintained primarily by agricultural return flows and, by some amount, the
other water sources outlined in the previous slide.
It is currently a dead lake as it is a closed system and therefore, the current condition of
the lake is accelerated as it has no natural output as the water evaporates, what
previously washed into the lake remains.
The ecosystem of the Salton Sea is unstable as there is constant accumulation of runoff
from farm land and local businesses. It has also affected the environment around it has
steadily caused the wildlife of the area to die off.
Economic Reasons
Environmental Reasons
• Productive fishery
• Brown Pelican feeding area
• Agricultural irrigation
• Rich source of abundant life
• Tourism
• High nutrient consent for the fish
Remediation programs for the Salton sea started in the 1960’s and efforts are focused
towards maintaining its recreational, agricultural, and environmental value. Solutions
include diluting it with imported water, pumping the water to another location, and a
number of other options. Chances are low as most methods are expensive and would also
require the lowered use of water so the salinity wouldn’t continue to become
APES Water Diversion –
Questions 7-12
Khorizon Dunn and Madeline
Question 7
• Both are worsening (at a fast pace) due to
environmental as well as human-induced
• Lake Chad is getting smaller while the Salton
Sea is becoming more polluted
Question 8
• Located on the southern fringe of the Sahara
Desert in north-central Africa
• Importance as a center of trade and cultural
exchange between people living north of the
Sahara and people to the south
• Has dramatically decreased in size…
• …due to climate change and human demand
for water (1/20 of its original size)
Part 2 - Question 9
• Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan
Question 10
• the Amu Darya and Syr Darya Rivers
Question 11
• Soviet central government
Question 12
• For an irrigation system
• “to make the Soviet Union self-sufficient in
cotton and increase rice production”
• http://visearth.ucsd.edu/VisE_Int/aralseahtml/Sa
• www.ilec.or.jp/database/afr/afr-02.html
• www.worldlakes.org/lakedetails.asp?lakeid=835
• http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php
• http://visearth.ucsd.edu/VisE_Int/aralsea/index.
• http://orexca.com/aral_sea.shtml
• In the 1960s Soviet
planners built a
network of irrigation
canals to divert their
waters into cotton fields
in Uzbekistan and
Turkmenistan (reuters)
• Mismanagement of land
and water resources has
caused degradation
extending to the entire
Aral Sea basin, damaging
fish production and
causing high salinity and
pollution as well as
violent sand storms. Fresh
water supplies have
diminished and human
health problems have
risen (reuters)
• decline of fishing
industry, decreased use
of the Sea as a
transportation medium,
loss of irrigation for
crops in the area
around the Sea
• The Aral Sea has lost
three-fourths of its
former volume and
two-thirds of its former
surface area. The Salton
Sea alternates between
a fresh water lake and a
dry desert basin. The
Salton Sea is closed and
the Aral Sea is open to
two inflow rivers.
• The region around the Aral sea shallow, arid,
flat desert basin, and shrinking.
• 1) The pollution of the drinking
water has put the people at high
risk of disease
2) The collapse of the healthcare
system due to the economic
collapse when the sea became
too toxic for the life of fish the
economy relied on caused
mortality rates from illnesses to
3) Maternal and infant mortality
rates have increased
4) Other reproductive
pathologies have increased
5) Brain damage and malfunction
in livers and other major organs
has increased due to the high
rate of pesticides in the drinking
• www.jcu.edu.au/jrtph/vol/v01whish.pdf
• http://www.grida.no/graphicslib/detail/shrinki
• http://www.reuters.com/article/2008/06/24/i
• http://visearth.ucsd.edu/VisE_teach/lessons/
19. How can the Aral Sea be
realistically rehabilitated?
• Stabilizing and improving the environment of the
Aral Sea Basin
• Rehabilitating the disaster zones
• Improving water resource management
• Increasing the capacity of local and state
institutions for planning and implementing
• Collect funding from major outside countries
(France, Japan, Kuwait, Great Britain)
Taylor Puch and Christina Paulk
20. Compare the situation in Mono
Lake in California with that of the Aral
• Both have experienced ecosystem destruction
due to the over use of water
• Both have water taken from them via dams on
the rivers that feed them
• Both water resources are drying up
• Water from Mono Lake is being used to supply
Los Angeles
• Water from Aral Sea is being used for
21. How did the Mono Lake problem
• The Los Angeles Department of Water Supply
needed another source of water to supply the
California Owens Valley region because their
previous source of water, Owens Lake, dried
up. They turned to Mono Lake to supply the
22. Describe three ways the problems
of Mono Lake are similar to those of
the Aral Sea
• They both have ecosystem destruction
• They both have significant overuse of water
• Both resources of water are drying up
23. Discuss three ways the problems of
Mono Lake are different from those of
the Aral Sea.
• Water is allowed to flow into Mono Lake for a
short time each year to allow it to partially
recover. No water flows into the Aral Sea, so it
cannot recover.
• The lack of fish in the Aral Sea is detrimental to
the residents around it as opposed to the lack of
fish in Mono Lake.
• Aral Sea is used for crop irrigation, which involves
people’s livelihoods whereas Mono Lake water
supplies water for daily usage.
24. Summarize the proposals and
actions to remediate Mono Lake.
• The L.A. Department of Water and Power is
responsible for implementing the Water Boardapproved restoration plan. Mono Basin restoration is
aimed at restoring natural processes and ecological
function. This means establishing peak flows on the
creeks that give the creeks enough energy to recreate
their former habitats without significant intervention
or continued maintenance. Other attempts include,
reopening side channels on the streams to raise water
tables and provide complex habitat, or planting native
vegetation to jump-start streambank recovery.
• http://www.africanwater.org/aral.htm
• http://www1.american.edu/ted/mono.htm
• http://www.pr-inside.com/the-aral-seaproblem-must-be-r565419.htm
• http://www.monolake.org/mlc/restoration
The river diversion in Russia has caused the Aral Sea to retreat by tens
if not hundreds of miles, destroying what once was a flourishing fishing
industry. Once the fourth largest inland body of water, now the Aral Sea
is the eighth largest inland body of water on account of large amounts
of water diverted for crop irrigation from the Amudarya and Syrdarya
rivers. Extreme shrinkage of the once abundant Sea has altered the
climate and the livelihood of millions of people. The Salton Sea is
undergoing a similar situation to the Aral Sea. Located in California’s
desert region, the water from the Sea is being diverted to the western
cities to supply the metropolitan area.
The Colorado does not flow into an inland sea, although the river does
have so much water diverted that it no longer reaches the ocean. The
metropolitan area of California takes so much water out of the
Colorado River that the river no longer supplies areas south of the
California metro area.
1. Water is taken out of the Colorado River for
metropolitan uses, whereas water from the Aral Sea
is used for irrigation and faming purposes.
2. Both the Salton and Aral Seas are large bodies of
water with tributaries that feed their water supplies.
The Colorado River does not end in large body of
water and therefore just trickles until it ends in a dry
river basin.
3. The Colorado River used to reach to the sea,
whereas the Salton and Aral Seas are inland bodies
of water and do not feed into the ocean.
Tributary: a stream that flows to a larger stream
or other body of water.
Start of the
Colorado River
Gunnison, Green, San Juan, and Little Colorado
are the main tributaries in the upper basin of the
Colorado. The Gila is the chief tributary of the
lower basin.
The most important origin of water in the
Colorado River is the runoff of the snow-pack on
the surrounding mountains.
Andrew Brasuk
Alex Johnson
 The seven states of the Colorado River basin collectively decide
how the water is allocated,...via the Colorado River Compact, an
agreement established in 1922.
• http://ag.arizona.edu/AZWATER/arroyo/101comm.html
 A watershed is the area of land where all of the water that is under
it or drains off of it goes into the same place.
• http://water.epa.gov/type/watersheds/whatis.cfm
 The Colorado River Compact divided the Colorado River Basin into
the Upper Basin and the Lower Basin. The division point is Lees Ferry, a
point in the Colorado River south of the Utah-Arizona boundary. The
"Upper Basin" includes the parts of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico,
Utah, and Wyoming where the river system lies above Lees Ferry. The
"Lower Basin" includes those parts of the states of Arizona, California,
Nevada, New Mexico, and Utah below Lees Ferry, and may benefit from
water diverted from the system below Lees Ferry.
• http://www.usbr.gov/lc/hooverdam/faqs/riverfaq.html
 The Upper Basin is divided as•
Colorado, 51.75 percent
New Mexico, 11.25 percent
Utah, 23 percent
Wyoming, 14 percent
 The Lower Basin is divided as• California, 58.75 percent
• Arizona, 37.3 percent
• Nevada, 4 percent
 The Colorado River Compact usually is referred to to resolve conflicts,
but it is sometimes deemed outdated.
 Today, some of the conflicts include Las Vegas’ need for more water,
along with Los Angeles and Southern California wanting more than their
allocation allows for.
 These are currently being worked on by the governments of the states
that border the river.
• http://ag.arizona.edu/AZWATER/arroyo/101comm.html
 The Colorado River Salinity Control Program and the Colorado
River Compact is a federally funded management plan to control the
use of public and private water in Colorado.
 This
problem exists because there is vast
agricultural development along the river,
therefore each country wants to claim
more of the river. In order to resolve this
dispute, a treaty should be made where
each part of the Colorado river is evenly
distributed between each country.
 This
problem is potentially greater than the
one that exists on the river, because it is
shared between more than one country,
therefore causing a social dispute
between these countries.
 As
a river increases in size, the problems
associated with diversion increase
exponentially. While we were able to
bore/drill two diversion tunnels through
solid rock, the extreme size of the Yangtze
requires tunnels at least 5 times larger or
more in number. (As you double the cross
sectional area of the tunnel, you should
be able to pass 4 X the volume).
 The
dam was built to create electricity and water
storage for a population that is migrating from a
sustainable existence to a more western urban
culture. As more Chinese give up farming they are
moving into urban cities.
 The
dam is much larger and more
expensive. The 3 gorges dam also has
locks on the side for shipping, since the
river it dams is a shipping channel. The
Colorado river is not used for commercial

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