Climate change is predicted to have a major impact on water resources, with more frequent surface-water droughts and intense rainfall events, and adaptation to avoid future water-supply crises will require better use of water storage. With this in mind, we have released a new paper in our Stategic Overview Series (IAH-SOS).
Accelerated global warming, resulting primarily from over-dependence on ‘fossil fuels’, has rightly become the predominant environmental concern of our times. Even if this can be rapidly curtailed, climate-change is widely predicted to have a major impact on water resources, causing more frequent surface-water droughts, higher evaporation from lakes, reservoirs and wetlands, and more intense rainfall events with land flooding and ‘flashy’ streamflow. The geographical distribution of these impacts is still subject to considerable uncertainty, but they are likely to be more severe in the semi-arid climatic zones.
Whilst acting to reduce ‘net carbon emissions’ greatly, we also need to focus on climate-change adaptation. This will widely require making better use of (and developing more) water storage in one form or another.
Groundwater has always displayed excellent drought resilience, and the presence of aquifers (with their large volumes of stored water) provides a ‘natural solution’ for deployment in climate-change adaptation.
Drafting of this further paper has been led by former IAH President Stephen Foster and a team that includes Peter Dillon (Australia), Tibor Stigter (Netherlands), Richard Taylor (UK), Bridget Scanlon (USA), Bartolome Andreo (Spain), Seifu Kebede (Ethiopia), Oscar Escolero (Mexico), Makoto Taniguchi (Japan) & Franziska Wende (Germany) and Gillian Tyson (UK).
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