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  • 1.
    Destouni, Georgia
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography.
    Asokan, Shilpa M.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography.
    Augustsson, Anna
    Balfors, Berit
    Bring, Arvid
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography.
    Jaramillo, Fernando
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography.
    Jarsjö, Jerker
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography.
    Johansson, Emma
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography. Swedish Nuclear Fuel and Waste Management Co, Sweden.
    Juston, John
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography.
    Levi, Lea
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography. The Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden; University of Split, Croatia.
    Olofsson, Bo
    Prieto, Carmen
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography.
    Quin, Andrew
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography.
    Åström, Mats
    Cvetkovic, Vladimir
    Needs and means to advance science, policy and management understanding of the freshwater system – A synthesis report2015Report (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Fragmented and inconsistent understanding of the freshwater system limits our ability to achieve water security and sustainability under the human-driven changes occurring in the Anthropocene. To advance system-level understanding of freshwater, gaps and inconsistencies in knowledge, data, representations and links of processes and subsystems need to be identified and bridged under consideration of the freshwater system as a continuous whole. 

    Based on such identification, a freshwater system conceptualization is developed in this report, which emphasizes four essential, yet often neglected system aspects:

    i) Distinction of coastal divergent catchments.

    ii) Four main zones (surface, subsurface, coastal, observation) of different types of freshwater change.

    iii) Water pathways as system-coupling agents that link and partition water change among the four change zones.

    iv) Direct interactions with the anthroposphere as integral system pathways across the change zones.

    We explain and exemplify some key implications of these aspects, identifying in the process also distinct patterns of human-driven changes in large-scale water fluxes and nutrient loads.

    The present conceptualization provides a basis for common inter- and trans-disciplinary understanding and systematic characterization of the freshwater system function and its changes, and of approaches to their modeling and monitoring. This can be viewed and used as a unifying checklist that can advance science, policy and management of freshwater and related environmental changes across various scales and world regions.

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