PROBLEM E: Are we heading towards a thirsty planet?
Will the world run out of clean water? According to the United Nations, 1.6 billion people (one quarter of the world's population) experience water scarcity. Water use has been growing at twice the rate of population over the last century. Humans require water resources for industrial, agricultural, and residential purposes. There are two primary causes for water scarcity: physical scarcity and economic scarcity. Physical scarcity is where there is inadequate water in a region to meet demand. Economic scarcity is where water exists but poor management and lack of infrastructure limits the availability of clean water. Many scientists see this water scarcity problem becoming exacerbated with climate change and population increase. The fact that water use is increasing at twice the rate of population suggests that there is another cause of scarcity – is it increasing rates of personal consumption, or increasing rates of industrial consumption, or increasing pollution which depletes the supply of fresh water, or what? **
Is it possible to provide clean fresh water to all? The supply of water must take into account the physical availability of water (e.g., natural water source, technological advances such as desalination plants or rainwater harvesting techniques). Understanding water availability is an inherently interdisciplinary problem. One must not only understand the environmental constraints on water supply, but also how social factors influence availability and distribution of clean water. For example, lack of adequate sanitation can cause a decrease in water quality. Human population increase also places increased burden on the water supply within a region. When analyzing issues of water scarcity, the following types of questions must be considered. How have humans historically exacerbated or alleviated water scarcity? What are the geological, topographical, and ecological reasons for water scarcity, and how can we accurately predict future water availability? What is the potential for new or alternate sources of water (for example, desalinization plants, water harvesting techniques or undiscovered aquifers)? What are the demographic and health related problems tied to water scarcity?
The International Clean water Movement (ICM) wants your team to help them solve the world’s water problems. Can you help improve access to clean, fresh water?
Task 1: Develop a model that provides a measure of the ability of a region to provide clean water to meet the needs of its population. You may need to consider the dynamic nature of the factors that affect both supply and demand in your modeling process.
Task 2: Using the UN water scarcity map (http://www.unep.org/dewa/vitalwater/jpg/0222-waterstress-overuse-EN.jpg) pick one country or region where water is either heavily or moderately overloaded. Explain why and how water is scarce in that region. Make sure to explain both the social and environmental drivers by addressing physical and/or economic scarcity.
Task 3: In your chosen region from Task 2, use your model from Task 1 to show what the water situation will be in 15 years. How does this situation impact the lives of citizens of this region? Be sure to incorporate the environmental drivers’ effects on the model components.
Task 4: For your chosen region, design an intervention plan taking all the drivers of water scarcity into account. Any intervention plan will inevitably impact the surrounding areas, as well
as the entire water ecosystem. Discuss this impact and the overall strengths and weaknesses of the plan in this larger context. How does your plan mitigate water scarcity?
Task 5: Use the intervention you designed in Task 4 and your model to project water availability into the future. Can your chosen region become less susceptible to water scarcity? Will water become a critical issue in the future? If so, when will this scarcity occur?
Task 6: Write a 20-page report (the one-page summary sheet does not count in the 20 pages) that explains your model, water scarcity in your region with no intervention, your intervention, and the effect of your intervention on your region’s and the surrounding area’s water availability. Be sure to detail the strengths and weaknesses of your model. The ICM will use your report to help with its mission to produce plans to provide access to clean water for all citizens of the world. Good luck in your modeling work!
An Overview of the State of the World’s Fresh and Marine Waters. 2nd Edition, 2008. (http://www.unep.org/dewa/vitalwater/index.html).
The World’s Water: Information on the World’s Freshwater Resources. (http://worldwater.org).
AQUASTAT. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. FAO Water Resources. (http://www.fao.org/nr/water/aquastat/water_res/index.stm).
The State of the World's Land and Water Resources for food and agriculture. 2011. (http://www.fao.org/docrep/017/i1688e/i1688e00.htm).
GrowingBlue: Water. Economics. Life. (http://growingblue.com).
World Resources Institute. www.wri.org.
**Note that the 2013 Mathematical Competition in Modeling (Problem B) and the 2009 High School Modeling Competition in Modeling (Problem A) were related to modeling different aspects of water scarcity.
Your ICM submission should consist of a 1 page Summary Sheet and your solution cannot exceed 20 pages for a maximum of 21 pages. Note: The appendix and references do not count toward the 20 page limit.
E: 将世界上跑出干净的水？根据联合国，1.6十亿人（四分之一世界人口的）经验的水资源短缺。用水一直在增长，在人口上个世纪增长率的两倍。人类需要水的资源用于工业，农业和住宅用途。有两个主要的原因水资源短缺：物理稀缺性和经济匮乏。物理稀缺性是有水的地方不足的区域，以满足需求。经济稀缺性就是存在水，但管理不善和缺乏基础设施限制了清洁水的供应。许多科学家看到这样的水资源短缺问题变得更加恶化与气候变化和人口增长。水的使用越来越多，在人口增长率的两倍，这一事实表明，有稀缺性的另一个原因 - 它是增加个人消费率，或增加工业消费率，或增加污染，消耗新鲜水，或者是供应？ **