By Barton E. Worthington
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Additional info for Arid Land Irrigation in Developing Countries. Environmental Problems and Effects
The changes in the unstable ecosystem affect aquatic life at different levels, and particularly bacteria, plankton, algae and insects which have aquatic stages in their life cycle. Such insects may flourish under the new conditions and become a nuisance. The Wadi Haifa area which adjoins Lake Nubia was once so pestered by an explosive increase of Tanytarsus that an asthma camp was built in the desert and the removal of the town was given serious consideration. High sediment and silt content of inflowing waters raises the turbidity level.
Sleeping sickness. This may appear in a population relocated in a formerly inhabited tse-tse fly area, as near the Kariba reservoir in Zambia. Changes of floral composition, growth of trees along irrigation canals, increased air humidity, extensive introduction of cattle, may result in a tse-tse fly proliferation, as in Southern Sudan. Schistosomiasis. Schistosomiasis in its urinary and intestinal forms, as transmitted by aquatic or amphibious snails, represents a major danger to irrigation schemes in hot arid lands.
The biological components are altered in terms of species diversity, numbers of organ isms, and the stability of their inter-relationships. Aquatic organisms are most affected, namely, algae, vascular hydrophytes, aquatic invertebrates, insects with an aquatic stage in their life cycle, and fish. ) and in water (fisheries and aquacultures), irrigation promotes radical changes in human population. These com prise settlement of nomadic indigenous population, re-location of farming population from other territory, and other social interactions.