WATER RESOURCES Office hours: TBA GEOG 574, Spring 2015

GEOG 574, Spring 2015
Instructor: Dr Trent Biggs
MWF 12-1250pm
Office hours: TBA
Office: 308B Storm Hall
[email protected]
Course Description:
Water is vital to the functioning of both regional economies and ecosystems. Population
growth, climate change, pollution, and persistent poverty all present challenges for the
management of water resources. What are the major problems facing water resources in
different regions of the Earth? What are the consequences for human health, food
production, and ecosystems? What should be the roles of different management
strategies such as dams, groundwater development, adaptive management, and integrated
basin management? This course will include multiple ways of viewing water as a
resource, including hydrology, ecology, socioeconomics, health, and politics. We will
cover water resources modeling in urban and agricultural environments, climate change
impacts on water resources, water in international economic development, and water
The main questions of the course: What is a water crisis? Where do they occur?
What causes them? How might they be solved? The overall goal of the course is to
begin to construct a theory of water resources problems. Elements of this theory include
hydrology, aquatic ecosystems and management paradigms that allow for learning in
uncertain environmental systems.
By the end of the course, students should be able to:
1. Define a water crisis, where they occur on Earth, and identify different discourses of
water-human relationships.
2. Describe the major physical and sociopolitical processes regulating the distribution
and management of water.
3. Perform calculations and quantitative analyses relevant to water resources evaluation
and policy, including water balances, and critically assess mathematical models of water
4. Critically assess statements about water resources problems.
ASSIGNMENTS: See topics for schedule
Three homework/papers (30%)
- Homework is due by 5 pm on the due date.
- Late homework will be deducted 5% per day overdue (including weekends).
- No HW will be accepted more than one week after the due date.
Participation and discussion leader (15%)
- Half of this grade will be from participation throughout the semester, and half from
being discussion leader.
- Each student will be responsible for leading two class discussions about a reading.
Students will be evaluated on their preparation to lead the discussion. In some cases two
students will co-lead.
Responses to readings (15%)
- The responses to readings are short (1 paragraph) typed summaries of and responses to
readings that identify 1) the main question posed, 2) the methods used to answer that
question, 3) the main answer to the question and 4) the student’s response to the reading.
They are designed to focus reading and prepare students for the in-class discussions.
- There are a total of 13 weeks of reading. The student may miss three for a total of 10
responses required for full credit.
- Several weeks have more than one reading. The student chooses one reading for their
response for the week.
- ** Responses are due on the day of the presentation of the material. **
Research project (40%) includes 4 separate assignments:
Topic description—one page with minimum 3 references (5%)
Final Draft submitted first to a peer, then to professor after revision (20%)
Evaluation of another student’s paper (5%)
Revision to final paper based on Prof’s comments (10%)
The research project is designed for the student to go into greater depth on a topic of their
choice. The student is encouraged to meet with the Professor to discuss project ideas.
The paper must articulate a clear research question and address that question with
evidence from peer-reviewed academic literature.
Length: 12-15 pages, double spaced, including figures, tables, and <= 10 references.
GRADING will be the standard 93.0-100 A; 90.0-92.9 A-, 88.0-89.9 B+, 83.0-87.9 B;
80.0-82.9 B-, 78.0-79.9 C+, 73.0-77.9 C, 70.0-72.9 C-, 68.0-69.9 D+, etc., 0-59.5 F
Week 1
Jan 21-23
Week 2
Jan 26-30
Week 3
Feb 2-6
Week 4
Feb 9-13
Introduction to water resources problems
What is a water crisis? What causes them?
Hydrology basics, water supply and demand
Week 5
Feb 16-20
Water Scarcity
Week 6
Feb 23-27
Week 7
Mar 2-6
Week 8
Mar 9-13
Climate Change
Week 9
Ecosystem impacts
Week 10
Residential water supply
Week 11
Crops and drops: Water productivity in
Week 12
Economics and water resources
Week 13
Water wars?
Water supply and demand continued
Climate Change, Colorado River Basin
Hard and soft technology
Week 14
Class presentations
Week 15
Class presentations
Anisfeld Ch1
Gleick 2003
Anisfeld Ch 2, Ch 3
Pearce Ch 3
Hoekstra 2012
Gleick 2003; Molle 2008
Anisfeld Ch 4
Pierce Ch 31
Brouwer 2007
Anisfeld Ch 5
Rijsberman 2004
Alcamo 2008
HW #1 DUE 2/20
Anisfeld Ch 6; Milly 2005
Alcamo 2007
Barnett 2008
Barsugli 2009
Anisfeld Ch 7
Pearce, Ch 15
World Comm. on Dams
Anisfeld ch 8; Poff 2010
HW #2 DUE 3/20
Anisfeld Ch 9
Gleick 2003 waste not
Swyngedouw 1997; HDR
Anisfeld Ch 10
Ward and Pulido,
CAWMA 2007 Summary
Anisfeld Ch 12
Glennon 2004
Jenkins, Draper
Hanak 2005
Anisfeld Ch 13; Wolf 2007
HW # 3 DUE 5/6
Anisfeld, Water Resources (2010), Island Press. Available in SDSU Bookstore
Sandra Postel, Brian Richter, and The Nature Conservancy (2003), Rivers for Life: Managing
Water For People And Nature, Island Press. Available in SDSU Bookstore.
Journal articles will be posted on blackboard for each week of class.
Week 1: Introduction
Anisfeld Ch 1
Gleick, P.H. 2003. Global Freshwater Resources: Soft-Path Solutions for the 21st Century.
Science 302, 1524–1528. doi:10.1126/science.1089967.
Week 2: Hydrology Basics, water supply
Pearce, Chapter 3: Riding the water cycle
Selby, J., 2003. Water, power and politics in the Middle East. I.B. Tauris, London, Chapter 1.
Anisfeld Ch 2, 3
Week 3: Water demand
Anisfeld Ch 3 continued
Gleick, P.H. 2003. Water use. Annual review of environment and resources 28, 275–314.
Molle, F.O., 2008. Why Enough Is Never Enough: The Societal Determinants of River Basin
Closure. International Journal of Water Resources Development, 24(2): 217-226.
Hoekstra, A.Y. & Mekonnen, M.M. 2012. The water footprint of humanity. Proceedings of the
National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 109, 3232–7.
Week 4: Floods
Anisfeld Ch 4
Pearce Ch 31
Brouwer, R., Akter, S., Brander, L. & Haque, E. 2007. Socioeconomic vulnerability and
adaptation to environmental risk: a case study of climate change and flooding in Bangladesh.
Risk Analysis 27, 313–326.
Week 5: Water Scarcity
Anisfeld Ch 5
Rijsberman, F.R. 2006. Water scarcity: fact or fiction? Agricultural water management 80, 5–22.
Week 6: Climate change
Anisfeld Ch 6
Milly, P.C.D., Betancourt, J., Falkenmark, M., Hirsch, R.M., Kundzewicz, Z.W., Lettenmaier,
D.P. & Stouffer, R.J. 2008. Stationarity Is Dead: Whither Water Management? Science 319,
573–574. doi:10.1126/science.1151915.
Alcamo, J., Flörke, M. & Märker, M. 2007. Future long-term changes in global water resources
driven by socio-economic and climatic changes. Hydrological Sciences Journal 52, 247–
Week 7: Climate Change, Colorado River Basin
Barnett, T.P. & Pierce, D.W. 2008. When will Lake Mead go dry? Water Resources Research 44.
Barsugli, J.J., Nowak, K., Rajagopalan, B., Prairie, J.R. & Harding, B. 2009. Comment on “When
will Lake Mead go dry?” by T. P. Barnett and D. W. Pierce. Water Resources Research 45,
1–6. doi:10.1029/2008WR007627.
Barnett, T.P. & Pierce, D.W. 2009. Reply to comment by J. J. Barsugli et al. on “When will Lake
Mead go dry”. Water Resources Research 45. doi:10.1029/2009wr008219.
Week 8: Hard and soft technology
Anisfeld Ch 7
World Commission on Dams. Executive Summary.
Week 9: Ecosystem impacts
Anisfeld Ch 8
Postel, Rivers for Life, Ch xx
Pearce Ch 9, 10
Poff, N.L., Richter, B.D., Arthington, A.H., Bunn, S.E., Naiman, R.J., Kendy, E., Acreman, M.,
Apse, C., Bledsoe, B.P. & Freeman, M.C. 2010. The ecological limits of hydrologic
alteration (ELOHA): a new framework for developing regional environmental flow
standards. Freshwater Biology 55, 147–170.
Medellín-Azuara, J., J. R. Lund, and R. E. Howitt (2007), Water Supply Analysis for
Restoring the Colorado River Delta, Mexico, Journal of Water Resources
Planning and Management, ASCE, 133(5), 462-471.
Week 10: Residential water supply
Anisfeld Ch 9
Gleick, P.H., Wolff, G.H. & Cushing, K.K. 2003. Waste not, want not: The potential for urban
water conservation in California. Pacific Institute for Studies in Development, Environment,
and Security Oakland, CA.
Swyngedouw, E. 1997. Power, nature, and the city. The conquest of water and the political
ecology of urbanization in Guayaquil, Ecuador: 1880 - 1990. Environment and Planning
A 29 (2):311-332.
Human Development Report, p. 1-7
Human Development Report, p. 27-44
Week 11: Crops and drops: Water productivity
Anisfeld Ch 10
Ward, F.A. & Pulido-Velazquez, M. 2008. Water conservation in irrigation can increase water
use. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 105, 18215–18220.
CAWMA 2007, Summary and Ch 7
Week 12: Economics and water resources
Anisfeld Ch 12
Glennon, R. 2004. Water scarcity, marketing, and privatization. Tex L. Rev. 83, 1873.
Jenkins, M.W., Lund, J.R., Howitt, R.E., Draper, A.J., Msangi, S.M., Tanaka, S.K., Ritzema, R.S.
& Marques, G.F. 2004. Optimization of California’s water supply system: Results and
insights. Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management 130, 271–280.
Draper, A.J., Jenkins, M.W., Kirby, K.W., Lund, J.R. & Howitt, R.E. 2003. EconomicEngineering Optimization for California Water Management. Journal of Water Resources
Planning and Management 129, 155–164.
Week 13: Water Wars: Conflicts over water
Hanak, E. 2005. Stopping the Drain: Third-party Responses to California’s Water Market.
Contemporary Economic Policy 23, 59–77. doi:10.1093/cep/byi006.
Anisfeld Ch 13
Wolf 2007