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Title: Compounding Impacts of Human-Induced Water Stress and Climate Change on Water Availability

Abstract

The terrestrial phase of the water cycle can be seriously impacted by water management and human water use behavior (e.g., reservoir operation, and irrigation withdrawals). Here we outline a method for assessing water availability in a changing climate, while explicitly considering anthropogenic water demand scenarios and water supply infrastructure designed to cope with climatic extremes. The framework brings a top-down and bottom-up approach to provide localized water assessment based on local water supply infrastructure and projected water demands. When our framework is applied to southeastern Australia we find that, for some combinations of climatic change and water demand, the region could experience water stress similar or worse than the epic Millennium Drought. We show considering only the influence of future climate on water supply, and neglecting future changes in water demand and water storage augmentation might lead to opposing perspectives on future water availability. While human water use can significantly exacerbate climate change impacts on water availability, if managed well, it allows societies to react and adapt to a changing climate. The methodology we present offers a unique avenue for linking climatic and hydrologic processes to water resource supply and demand management and other human interactions.

Authors:
 [1];  [1]; ORCiD logo [1];  [2]; ORCiD logo [2];  [3]; ORCiD logo [4];  [5]
  1. Univ. of California, Irvine, CA (United States). Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
  2. Univ. of Melbourne (Australia). Department of Infrastructure Engineering
  3. Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States). Program for Climate Model Diagnosis and Intercomparison
  4. NASA Goddard Inst. for Space Studies (GISS), New York, NY (United States); Columbia Univ., New York, NY (United States). Center for Climate Systems Research; Utrecht University (The Netherlands). Department of Physical Geography; International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Laxenburg (Austria)
  5. Melbourne Water, Docklands, Victoria (Australia)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1395482
Grant/Contract Number:
AC52-07NA27344
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Scientific Reports
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 7; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 2045-2322
Publisher:
Nature Publishing Group
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; Climate-change policy; Hydrology

Citation Formats

Mehran, Ali, AghaKouchak, Amir, Nakhjiri, Navid, Stewardson, Michael J., Peel, Murray C., Phillips, Thomas J., Wada, Yoshihide, and Ravalico, Jakin K. Compounding Impacts of Human-Induced Water Stress and Climate Change on Water Availability. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.1038/s41598-017-06765-0.
Mehran, Ali, AghaKouchak, Amir, Nakhjiri, Navid, Stewardson, Michael J., Peel, Murray C., Phillips, Thomas J., Wada, Yoshihide, & Ravalico, Jakin K. Compounding Impacts of Human-Induced Water Stress and Climate Change on Water Availability. United States. doi:10.1038/s41598-017-06765-0.
Mehran, Ali, AghaKouchak, Amir, Nakhjiri, Navid, Stewardson, Michael J., Peel, Murray C., Phillips, Thomas J., Wada, Yoshihide, and Ravalico, Jakin K. 2017. "Compounding Impacts of Human-Induced Water Stress and Climate Change on Water Availability". United States. doi:10.1038/s41598-017-06765-0. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1395482.
@article{osti_1395482,
title = {Compounding Impacts of Human-Induced Water Stress and Climate Change on Water Availability},
author = {Mehran, Ali and AghaKouchak, Amir and Nakhjiri, Navid and Stewardson, Michael J. and Peel, Murray C. and Phillips, Thomas J. and Wada, Yoshihide and Ravalico, Jakin K.},
abstractNote = {The terrestrial phase of the water cycle can be seriously impacted by water management and human water use behavior (e.g., reservoir operation, and irrigation withdrawals). Here we outline a method for assessing water availability in a changing climate, while explicitly considering anthropogenic water demand scenarios and water supply infrastructure designed to cope with climatic extremes. The framework brings a top-down and bottom-up approach to provide localized water assessment based on local water supply infrastructure and projected water demands. When our framework is applied to southeastern Australia we find that, for some combinations of climatic change and water demand, the region could experience water stress similar or worse than the epic Millennium Drought. We show considering only the influence of future climate on water supply, and neglecting future changes in water demand and water storage augmentation might lead to opposing perspectives on future water availability. While human water use can significantly exacerbate climate change impacts on water availability, if managed well, it allows societies to react and adapt to a changing climate. The methodology we present offers a unique avenue for linking climatic and hydrologic processes to water resource supply and demand management and other human interactions.},
doi = {10.1038/s41598-017-06765-0},
journal = {Scientific Reports},
number = 1,
volume = 7,
place = {United States},
year = 2017,
month = 7
}

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