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Local flow regulation and irrigation raise global human water consumption and footprint
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography. University of Gothenburg, Sweden.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography.
Number of Authors: 2
2015 (English)In: Science, ISSN 0036-8075, E-ISSN 1095-9203, Vol. 350, no 6265, 1248-1251 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Flow regulation and irrigation alter local freshwater conditions, but their global effects are highly uncertain. We investigated these global effects from 1901 to 2008, using hydroclimatic observations in 100 large hydrological basins. Globally, we find consistent and dominant effects of increasing relative evapotranspiration from both activities, and decreasing temporal runoff variability from flow regulation. The evapotranspiration effect increases the long-term average human consumption of fresh water by 3563 +/- 979 km(3)/year from 1901-1954 to 1955-2008. This increase raises a recent estimate of the current global water footprint of humanity by around 18%, to 10,688 +/- 979 km(3)/year. The results highlight the global impact of local water-use activities and call for their relevant account in Earth system modeling.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 350, no 6265, 1248-1251 p.
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-125652DOI: 10.1126/science.aad1010ISI: 000365700500076OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-125652DiVA: diva2:895174
Available from: 2016-01-18 Created: 2016-01-15 Last updated: 2016-01-18Bibliographically approved

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Jaramillo, FernandoDestouni, Georgia
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