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Modelling water scarcity across Europe in terms of water quantity and quality

By Egon Dumont, Richard Williams, Virginie Keller and Sonja Folwell


The need for integrated and sustainable water resources management has become an important driver behind large-scale gridded modelling. Such modelling has traditionally focused on water quantity. However, reduced water quality can also limit water resources, particularly for drinking water. The water availability model GWAVA has been further developed to include a water quality module. This module will initially focus on biochemical oxygen demand (BOD). The module considers drivers of BOD loading from land, such as agriculture and urban runoff, and transport and loss of BOD through sewage treatment and river networks. In an exploratory assessment, GWAVA was used to produce maps of water scarcity across Europe. The new module enhanced those maps with effects of BOD on water resources. This enhancement increased the modelled proportion of Europe experiencing water scarcity, which indicates that it is important to include both water quantity and quality in model estimates of water scarcity

Topics: Ecology and Environment, Hydrology
Publisher: International Association of Hydrological Sciences
Year: 2010
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