001 - Conflicts at the local or national scale

Syllabus Point

Examine (A03) the competing demands for water in a specific river basin. 
Evaluate (AO3) the strategies that have been adopted to meet these demands.

<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/9713691@N05/14706579403/">Michael-Wilson</a> via <a href="http://compfight.com">Compfight</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">cc</a>

Key Terminology

Define the terms below using your 'IB Geography. Course Book' by Cooke and Nagle, the command term posters in the classroom and the links below.

  • Examine
  • Evaluate
  • Strategies
  • Water Stress
  • Physical water scarcity
  • Economic water scarcity

Useful Link




Activity One - Mapping

  1. Using the map below describe where the most water stressed river basins are located in the world.
  2. Why do you think these areas may be water stressed?
Image One - A Map to Show where the World Rivers which are Water Stressed are.




Activity Two - Review

You have already looked at the concept of water scarcity in the 'Core' module of the IB DP Course but what is physical and economic water scarcity? You will be able to use the ideas and language learnt in the 'Patterns in environmental quality and sustainability' throughout this final sub-topic.

  1. On one side of an A4 white board write a definition of physical water scarcity.
  2. On the other side of the A4 white board draw a picture to describe what economic water scarcity is.
  • ONLY click on the reminder if you really have forgotten!!  - Reminder



Activity Three - Where has all the water gone?


Image Two - Colorado River
Taken From: http://public.media.smithsonianmag.com/legacy_blog/CO-River2.jpg

The Colorado is a major artery river in the West of the United States. Minor tributaries stretch as far North as Wyoming, with the main source of the river beginning in the Rocky Mountains. The Colorado River exits in the Gulf of California by passing the American border in to Mexico. The Colorado River supplies water to over 40 million people but has been in drought for the last 14 years. In fact the World Resources Institute class the Colorado River as one of the most water stressed river basins in the world.

Colorado River - America's Most Endangered River


Image Three - Infographic on Competing Demands for Water in the Colorado River Basin
Taken From: http://westernresourceadvocates.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/1075_infographic_actions-to-meet-water-needs.jpg


  1. Your task is to develop a case study for the Colorado River to examine what the competing demands for water are and how effective the management strategies have been.

Things to include

        • Map of the drainage basin - marking on where the different demands for water are on it.
        • The different competing demands; domestic, agricultural, industrial and tertiary (service industries such hospitality) use, as well as environmental.
        • Impact of the demands on the social, economic, environmental and political environments.
        • Management strategies - remember to evaluate.

How to Collate the Information - Mindmeister

  • To collate this information - use MindMeister as you did during the floods section. 


Useful Resources

To help you with this case study have a look at the links below. It is not an exhaustive list and you can always use your own initiative to find more information!

Colorado Water Supply

The Colorado River - A National Disaster

The Colorado River - No Longer A Wildlife Habitat Resource


Evaluate the strategies that have been adopted to meet the competing demands for water in a specific river basin. (10 marks)

Use the essay grid to help you to plan your response to the question.


Key Resource


How to write an essay graphic organizer.doc