Academic Commons

Articles

Water scarcity assessments in the past, present, and future

Liu, Junguo; Yang, Hong; Gosling, Simon N.; Kummu, Matti; Flörke, Martina; Pfister, Stephan; Hanasaki, Naota; Wada, Yoshihide; Zhang, Xinxin; Zheng, Chunmiao; Alcamo, Joseph; Oki, Taikan

Water scarcity has become a major constraint to socio‐economic development and a threat to livelihood in increasing parts of the world. Since the late 1980s, water scarcity research has attracted much political and public attention. We here review a variety of indicators that have been developed to capture different characteristics of water scarcity. Population, water availability, and water use are the key elements of these indicators. Most of the progress made in the last few decades has been on the quantification of water availability and use by applying spatially explicit models. However, challenges remain on appropriate incorporation of green water (soil moisture), water quality, environmental flow requirements, globalization, and virtual water trade in water scarcity assessment. Meanwhile, inter‐ and intra‐annual variability of water availability and use also calls for assessing the temporal dimension of water scarcity. It requires concerted efforts of hydrologists, economists, social scientists, and environmental scientists to develop integrated approaches to capture the multi‐faceted nature of water scarcity.

Files

  • thumnail for Liu_et_al-2017-Earth's_Future.pdf Liu_et_al-2017-Earth's_Future.pdf application/pdf 15 MB Download File

Also Published In

Title
Earth's Future
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1002/2016EF000518

More About This Work

Academic Units
Center for Climate Systems Research
Published Here
January 24, 2019
Academic Commons provides global access to research and scholarship produced at Columbia University, Barnard College, Teachers College, Union Theological Seminary and Jewish Theological Seminary. Academic Commons is managed by the Columbia University Libraries.