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UNEP1.pdf

UNEP1.pdf

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Published by Persefoni Ririka
Drounght: an eye into the future. Water shortage resulting in conflicts

The study guide made for UCLMUN 2012.
Drounght: an eye into the future. Water shortage resulting in conflicts

The study guide made for UCLMUN 2012.

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Published by: Persefoni Ririka on Nov 05, 2013
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11/05/2013

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 Committee Guide
Topic A
Drought: An eye into the future. Water shortage resulting in conflicts
 
 Table of Contents
1.
 
Introduction
2.
 
Drought
3.
 
Causes and stages of drought
4.
 
Impact of Droughts
5.
 
Drought Mitigation and Monitoring
6.
 
Water Scarcity
7.
 
Conclusion
8.
 
Questions to be thought about
9.
 
Maps
10.
 
Bibliography
11.
 
Further Reading
 
1.
 
Introduction 
 During the last decades the world has faced many challenges in all everyday life aspects. Apart from dealing with wars, economic crisis and political and social problems it has also affronted the severe consequences of climate change and environmental issues. The causes and the effects of environmental problems are various and numerous and countries in different regions all over the world, non-governmental organisations and international organisations have been searching for a solution to these issues. One of the most significant issues caused by climate change, human actions and natural causes is water shortage. Recognising that access and use of water is a fundamental Human Right and that its lack can  provoke severe problems on health and safety of people United Nations have been trying to find a solution to this issue and has achieved a lot. However, a great number of people, rising up to almost a billion, along the world still have no access to it and much discussion has to be made so that provision of water is guaranteed. Two of the most basic and crucial causes of drought are climate change and global warming. Climate change is when the climate is altered over time for a long time as a result of human or natural influences while
global warming is the increase of the Earth’s surface median temperature over time. Indications show that
drought will become a more commonly faced issue while the duration of these droughts is also going to be increased. This issue of water shortage is further worsened by the pollution of the existing drinkable and usable water.
2.
 
Drought
Definition: “Drought is a sustained and reg
ionally extensive occurrence of below average natural water availability. Drought can be characterized as a deviation from normal conditions in the physical system (climate and hydrology), which is reflected in variables such as precipitation, soil water, groundwater
and stream flow. ”
1
According to the European Drought Centre drought should not be mixed with water
scarcity or aridity as the first “implies a long
-
term imbalance of available water resources and demands” and the second “ is a permanent feature of a dry climate”.
 Although it may be considered that areas with extremely high temperatures are affected by drought it should  be underlined that areas with extreme low temperatures can also suffer from long periods of drought.
2
 Therefore it can be assumed that drought is a worldwide phenomenon which can occur in areas with
different characteristics and it also varies itself from one region to another. “Drought has wide ranging
social, environmental and economic impact. The most severe social consequences of drought are, however, found in arid or semi-
arid regions where the availability of water is already low under normal conditions.”
3
Drought can be divided in two categories; climatic drought, meteorological and hydrological, and agricultural drought. While referring to the first one it is essential for the government to know which areas are classified as arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas, as these areas are considered more subjected to desertification. The maps of these areas can be easily created using the EWBMS (Energy and Water Balance Monitoring System) system whose data products are related to the United Nations Convention to combat
desertification (UNCCD). On the other hand “agricultural drought is often expressed in terms of soil
moisture
, e.g. “Plant Available Water”...
 
Here satellite data can be of use. Relative evapotranspiration is closely related to soil moisture.
4
1
University of Oslo: Department of Geosciences; Droughts and Climate Change; http://www.geo.uio.no/edc/downloads/droughts_and_climate_change_2007.pdf  
2”
 It is mainly caused by low precipitation and high evaporation rates, but in regions with a cold climate, temperatures below zero can
also give rise to a winter drought.”
 
University of Oslo: Department of Geosciences; Droughts and Climate Change; http://www.geo.uio.no/edc/downloads/droughts_and_climate_change_2007.pdf  
3
European Drought Centre, What is drought?; http://www.geo.uio.no/edc/ 
4
EARS: Drought Monitoring; http://www.ears.nl/co2_emissions.php 

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