The notion of water security has been interpreted in a variety of ways through engineering, socioeconomic, geophysical, and integrated modeling approaches. The social disciplines emphasize on human welfare and security, while the natural sciences focus more on hydrological balance and natural hazards. In all cases, water security is perceived as a very complex concept where both hydrological and social components interacting with each other, which makes the definition of security notion challenging.

Various indicators were developed at different scales for global or national assessment and with different thematic focus, but all of them were criticized for being biased concerning certain aspects, not well-founded with data, or oversimplifying complex water-society interrelations. The suggested approaches often represent water security in a fragmented manner, while the relevant indicators cannot fully attribute security status at a country or regional level. This can result in misinterpretation of the water security situation in policy dialogues, also affecting bilateral and multilateral relations among countries.

Often, water security is perceived through the water-for-food governance framework to sustainably manage locally scarce water resources. This requires performance indicators that somehow reflect spatiotemporal variations, different interests and perspectives. Examples of such indicators include water footprints of food consumers, crop water productivities, basin-level water accounts and irrigation efficiency. Insights from agricultural water management, water resources management, socio-hydrology and other fields can be used to develop and interpret performance indicators to better inform actors in water-for-food governance, all the way from the field to the fridge.

In this session, we invite contributions of different approaches and indicators toward water security assessment and its reflection on policy making aspects. We are interested on original and review studies focusing on inter-disciplinary conceptualization of water security by including different dimensions like hydrological, socio-economic, environmental parameters among others. We also welcome studies on the interpretation of water security into risk management assessments, governance aspects, and development of early warning and forecasting systems

Convener: Stefanos Xenarios | Co-conveners: Björn Klöve, Eduardo Araral, Paolo Perona, Pieter van Oel, Jürgen Mahlknecht, Saket Pande
| Attendance Wed, 06 May, 08:30–10:15 (CEST)

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Chat time: Wednesday, 6 May 2020, 08:30–10:15

Chairperson: Stefanos Xenarios, Pieter van Oel, Björn Klöve
D206 |
| Highlight
Lorenzo Rosa, Davide Danilo Chiarelli, Maria Cristina Rulli, Jampel Dell'Angelo, and Paolo D'Odorico

With continuing growth in food demand and limited potential for cropland expansion, sustainable irrigation becomes an increasingly important strategy to ensure a reliable and resilient global supply of food in a changing climate. We here define and introduce the original concept of ‘agricultural economic water scarcity’ as the condition whereby croplands exposed to green water scarcity are not irrigated even though a sufficient amount of renewable blue water resources for irrigation is locally available. These conditions occur for instance as a result of a variety of socio-economic and political factors that impede irrigation. To date, little attention has been given to the analysis of this phenomenon and its role in the global geography of water scarcity. Here, we develop and apply a monthly agro-hydrological model to quantify and map croplands affected by agricultural green, blue, and economic water scarcity. By doing so we firstly provide a comprehensive, spatially explicit, global mapping of agricultural economic water scarcity across the global croplands. We then assess the water and food security implications of increased food production from irrigation expansion over economically water scarce croplands. Our results show that up to 25% of global croplands face agricultural economic water scarcity. Two thirds of economically water scarce lands are located in Sub-Saharan Africa, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia. Here, a sustainable irrigation expansion could increase food production and feed an additional 850 million people, while preventing further aggravation of blue water scarcity. The application of the concept of agricultural economic water scarcity has the potential to identify target areas for sustainable water and food security policies at global, regional, national, and local scales.

How to cite: Rosa, L., Chiarelli, D. D., Rulli, M. C., Dell'Angelo, J., and D'Odorico, P.: Mapping global agricultural economic water scarcity to identify target areas for sustainable irrigation expansion, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-2916, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-2916, 2020

D207 |
La Zhuo, Yilin Liu, Hong Yang, Arjen Y Hoekstra, Wenfeng Liu, Xinchun Cao, Mengru Wang, and Pute Wu

Trade in commodities implies trade in virtual water (VW), which refers to the water that was used to produce the traded goods. Various studies have quantified international or inter-provincial virtual water (VW) flows related to the trade in crops and animal products. Until date, however, no effort has been undertaken to understand how the water embodied in traded feed crops (trade stage TS1) will be transferred further because of trade in animal products (trade stage TS2). This is the first study showing this mechanism, in a case study in China for maize (the major pig feed) and pork (the dominant meat), considering the period 2000-2013. We estimate the annual green and blue water footprints in maize production and then quantify the inter-provincial VW flows related to trade in maize (TS1) and trade in maize embodied in pork (TS2). Results show that in TS1, maize-related VW flowed from the water-scarce North to the water-rich South, with an increase of 40% over the study period (from 43 to 61 billion m3 y-1). In TS2, about 10% of the water embodied in maize exports from North to South China returns in the form of pork, with an increase in the absolute amount of 25% (from 4.8 to 6.1 billion m3 y-1). Considering blue VW flows specifically, we find that North-to-South blue VW flows decreased by 5% in TS1, while South-to-North blue VW flows increased by 23% in TS2.



Zhuo, L. et al. (2019) Water for maize for pigs for pork: An analysis of inter-provincial trade in China. Water Research 166, 115074, doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.watres.2019.115074.


How to cite: Zhuo, L., Liu, Y., Yang, H., Hoekstra, A. Y., Liu, W., Cao, X., Wang, M., and Wu, P.: Water for maize for pigs for pork: an analysis of inter-provincial trade in China, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-3203, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-3203, 2020

D208 |
Dedi Liu

The increasing magnitude and frequency of undesirable events, driven by climate and anthropogenic changes, have given rise to various approaches for quantifying the resilience of regional water resource systems. However, the deficiencies of these approaches in describing linkages among subsystems and disturbance-dependent resilience have hindered the assessment and prediction of resilience in water resource management. The nexus approach enables the propagation of a disturbance to be simulated (a process called surrogate disturbance generation). An approach analogous to a unit hydrograph is developed, and resilience routing (strain flow routing), which is a novel framework and model of the dynamic resilience process, is proposed for the evaluation of a regional water resource system. The proposed framework and model are applied to the Jinghong regional water resource system. Taking a pollution event as a disturbance, the responses of the water supply, fishery and electricity subsystems are simulated to test the validity of the proposed methods. The linkages among subsystems are determined according to the sink-source dynamic using the nexus approach, and the levels of surrogate disturbance transformed from the disturbance event can be quantified by the processes of dynamic resilience evaluation. The shape of the dynamic resilience process is quantified by the parameters of unit resilience routing with disturbance independence and reflects the characteristics of the system responding to the disturbance. The proposed method helps to assess the adaptive capacity of a water system to alleviate and regulate disturbances. Furthermore, after the calibration and validation of the assumptions of linearity inherent in the method, it can also be used to predict the dynamic resilience processes of every subsystem in response to any disturbance event affecting a regional water resource system.

How to cite: Liu, D.: Evaluating the dynamic resilience process of a regional water resource system through the nexus approach and resilience routing analysis, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-3898, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-3898, 2020

D209 |
Giulia Roder, Saroj Kumar Chapagain, Paul Hudson, Geetha Mohan, and Kensuke Fukushi

The notion of sustainable development in the current policy environment is inescapable from the concept of human wellbeing, as linked to the civic, political, economic, and natural environments people live in. However, the latter has been quite often overlooked in the scientific discussion, whereas nature’s ability to support and expand human capabilities and activities is essential for sustainable development. In this context, water is a crucial resource and has an immeasurable value in both economic and non-economic roles, with a deep spiritual significance in many cultures as well. However, access to clean water to meet basic needs is precluded in many countries in the world. This inaccessibility puts entire communities in jeopardy, thus impacting their happiness and sustainable living and development. A large proportion of the Nepalese society is bereft of access to adequate and safe drinking water, challenging the availability of this scares resource and its management in the future.

For this reason, we are undertaking 650 face-to-face interviews to understand peoples’ subjective wellbeing related to water in Pokhara metropolitans city, the second-largest city of Nepal. Preliminary results from the pre-test (n=50) demonstrated a modest sense of place and happiness overall but was impacted by the perceived unsatisfactory water quality. People strongly expressed a desire for new political commitment towards the creation of new regulatory approaches concerning water quality standards and management strategies. The pre-test respondents validated their support for increasing the quality of the water environment in the local water supply system by offering to pay an extra surcharge (in taxes or water bills), which is up to the double of their current expenses. These partial results suggest that the good quality of water is essential for the future urban planning in the form of increase people health and secure a sustainable development for future generations to come.

How to cite: Roder, G., Chapagain, S. K., Hudson, P., Mohan, G., and Fukushi, K.: Water security for subjective wellbeing: new perspectives for sustainable development, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-12180, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-12180, 2020

D210 |
| Highlight
Christopher Conrad, Muhammad Usman, Lucia Morper-Busch, and Sarah Schönbrodt-Stitt

Extensive over-exploitation of land and water resources is characterizing irrigated agriculture in the Aral Sea Basin (ASB). Over decades, inefficient and excessive water use had remarkable negative impacts on the groundwater and soil quality, hence on crop production. The countries sharing to the ASB look for opportunities to increase the sustainability in the water intensive agricultural sector that is of utmost importance for the densely populated oases as well as for the ecosystems along the river systems. This is also of urgent pressure as there is high evidence that climate change will deplete natural storages such as glaciers. One major bottleneck for spatially targeted decision and policy-making is the absence of scientific information and tools that would allow for informed decisions, e.g. on the implementation of water saving technologies, alternative land use options or water allocation. A review on scientific literature published in the period 2008-2019 underpins the potentials of remote sensing technology in combination with climate data and further geospatial information to close this gap. However, the key question is how to increase the sustainability of irrigated agriculture and water security using this technology in reality? This contribution aims to outline requirements and challenges to bring knowledge from remote sensing into practice. This will be done using the example of the online-tool Water Use Efficiency Monitor for Central Asia (WUEMoCA, http://wuemoca.net/) developed within the German Water Initiative in Central Asia (https://www.cawa-project.net/).

It was observed that remote sensing-based results remain isolated as long as they are not integrated into accessible databases, thus are unlinked from regional knowledge and information platforms, e.g., providing commonly applied approaches to water distribution. The tool WUEMoCA combines the remote sensing knowledge with climate data and socio-economic information and serves as an online database with hydrological and land-use indicators requested by regional decision-makers. To increase the ownership of the WUEMoCA tool by potential users (water management authorities and governments) and to account for the sensitivity of data in transnational water management, a toolbox is integrated allowing for user-specific own calculations and development of local databases. By doing so, users can decide by themselves to share information with others or not. So far, user feedback from the water distribution sector and governmental departments in Uzbekistan, but also from other countries assessed WUEMoCA as an important regional data source and database, but also a calculation tool for supporting informed decisions-making, highlight the tool’s relevance for increasing water security in the ASB.

Technically, the next steps may include the development of early warning systems, e.g. for droughts. Yet, it must be clear to the responsible users from the region that long-running tools from research projects can never take over important national tasks. Long-term cooperation is required. In addition, for a sustainable development of such tools, national scientific institutions require a strengthening of the capacity in the application of geoinformation technology. The latter is indicated by the fact that almost all of the published articles were submitted under affiliations from abroad.

How to cite: Conrad, C., Usman, M., Morper-Busch, L., and Schönbrodt-Stitt, S.: Geoinformation technology for increasing the sustainability of agricultural production and water security in the Aral Sea Basin, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-21570, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-21570, 2020

D211 |
Joost Buurman, Stefanos Xenarios, Eduardo Araral, and Corinne Ong

The urbanization trend is an undeniable fact worldwide in large and small cities.  This trend demands the allocation of vast amount of water resources in cities for drinking and sanitation purposes to ensure a sustainable living.  The sufficient and good water quality as well as the provision of adequate wastewater services is a core element for the sustenance of urban centers independently of its scale.

Many of the water supply and wastewater authorities (WWS) are currently facing major challenges on the continuous and uninterrupted provision of services.  Rapid urbanization, aged infrastructure, water scarcity, poor water quality and network loses are some of the challenges to be currently met.

The response to many of the above issues demands the increase of operational and maintenance costs that have to be born mostly or entirely by the users. A big debate on the affordability of the urban dwellers to cover the water supply and waste expenditures is currently ongoing.

The current study will assess the affordability of water users in urban centers to cover the basic consumption and secure a minimum amount of water.  Also, the study will investigate water affordability indicators among different cities for the sustainable operation of the WWS in 21st century.

We will assess 5 different type of urban types to better capture the water affordability trends at large. Namely, the following types will be assessed a) New cities with rapid urbanization b) Old cities with existent aged network c) Water scarce cities with difficulty to access water sources d) Hazard prone cities with high vulnerability on water-risk problems e) Water sufficient cities, which however take measures on securitization of water resources. Examples from developing and developed countries will be drawn to examine the affordability issue in context specific and case-specific studies.

How to cite: Buurman, J., Xenarios, S., Araral, E., and Ong, C.: Challenging Drinking Water Affordability and Wastewater Services in Urban Environments , EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-6529, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-6529, 2020

D212 |
Raj Deva Singh, Kumar Ghimire, and Ashish Pandey

Nepal is an agrarian country and almost one-third of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is dependent on agricultural sector. Koshi river basin is the largest basin in the country and serves large share on agricultural production. Like another country, Nepalese agriculture holds largest water use in agriculture. In this context, it is necessary to reduce water use pressure. In this study, water footprint of different crop (rice, maize, wheat, millet, sugarcane, potato and barley) have been estimated for the year 2005 -2014 to get the average water footprint of crop production during study period. CROPWAT model, developed by Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO 2010b).

For the computation of the green and blue water footprints, estimated values of ET (the output of CROPWAT model) and yield (derived from statistical data) are utilised. Blue and green water footprint are computed for different districts (16 districts within KRB) / for KRB in different years (10 years from 2005 to 2014) and crops (considered 7 local crops). The water footprint of crops production for any district or basin represents the average of WF production of seven crops in the respective district or basin.

The study provides a picture of green and blue water use in crop production in the field and reduction in the water footprint of crop production by selecting suitable crops at different places in the field. The Crop, that has lower water footprint, can be intensified at that location and the crops, having higher water footprint, can be discontinued for production or measure for water saving technique needs to be implemented reducing evapotranspiration. The water footprint of agriculture crop production can be reduced by increasing the yield of the crops. Some measures like use of an improved variety of seed, fertilizer, mechanized farming and soil moisture conservation technology may also be used to increase the crop yields.

The crop harvested areas include both rainfed as well as irrigated land. Agricultural land occupies 22% of the study area, out of which 94% areas are rainfed whereas remaining 6% areas are under irrigation. The study shows 98% of total water use in crop production is due to green water use (received from rainfall) and remaining 2 % is due to blue water use received from irrigation (surface and ground water as source). Potato has 22% blue water proportion and contributes 85% share to the total blue water use in the basin. Maize and rice together hold 77% share of total water use in crops production. The average annual water footprint of crop production in KRB is 1248 cubic meter/ton having the variation of 9% during the period of 2005-2014. Sunsari, Dhankuta districts have lower water footprint of crop production. The coefficient of variation of water footprint of millet crop production is lower as compared to those of other crops considered for study whereas sugarcane has a higher variation of water footprint for its production.

How to cite: Singh, R. D., Ghimire, K., and Pandey, A.: Assessment of Water Footprint for Koshi River Basin (KRB), Nepal, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-4395, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-4395, 2020

D213 |
Konstantinos Soulis, Emmanouil Psomiadis, and Paraskevi Londra

Agriculture is an essential driving force in the management of water and has a central role in the EU’s Rural Development Programme (RDP). A key role in safeguarding RDP efficiency has its evaluation based on specific Common Evaluation Questions (CEQ) and common impact indicators. The main indicator related to water, I.10 – “Water abstraction in agriculture”, refers to the total volume of water applied to soils for irrigation purposes. According to the EU guidelines, the most appropriate relevant data source is the Eurostat Survey on Agricultural Production Methods; however, these data are available only for 2010. Furthermore, the original data sources used in many countries are unclear given the lack of related monitoring infrastructure. Accordingly, the use of models estimating the volume of water used in agriculture on the basis of farm structure survey data, annual crop statistics and meteorological data, seems to be the most suitable methodology fulfilling the evaluation quality criteria, at least in countries facing data scarcity.

In this study, the solution developed for the case of Greece is being presented. Greece, as many other southern EU countries, is characterized by very small farms, very high spatial and temporal variability, and acute data scarcity. To address these challenges, a specifically developed modelling approach, which is directly relevant to agricultural water policies evaluation based on multisource data, was applied. The proposed methodology is using an entirely spatially distributed, continuous hydrological model to provide gridded output of the hydrological balance components, plants water deficit, and irrigation water needs in a daily time step for the entire country. The model operates as an extension of ESRI ArcGIS. A special algorithm linking each farm’s polygon (over 6,000,000 polygons) in the spatial database of the Integrated Administration and Control System (IACS) with the nearest grid cell of the model with the same crop and the same conditions was also developed. In this way, the developed approach provides very precise information at farm level to facilitate further analysis and the estimation of water abstractions in agriculture considering all the information included in the IACS database (e.g. irrigation system, water source, applied agri-environmental measures). Remote sensing data (Sentinel-Copernicus) and methods were also used for the validation of the crop patterns and of the irrigated fields in IACS database. The model was applied for 34 years reference period (1971-2004) using a different setup for each modelled scenario. In this way, the total water abstractions for each farm were estimated for the crop patterns and cultivation practices existing in the base year (2015) and in the evaluation year (2018) for the reference meteorological conditions. The model is calibrated and validated using data from local water distribution authorities in order to improve the reliability of the results. The obtained results were analyzed to estimate the values of the impact indicators and answer to the CEQ.

The applied methodology produced valuable information concerning agricultural policies evaluation, and may additionally assist the evaluation of land use or climate variation impacts and adaptation and mitigation strategies.

How to cite: Soulis, K., Psomiadis, E., and Londra, P.: A new modelling approach for the evaluation of the EU Rural Development Program’s contribution to the reduction of water abstractions in agriculture, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-1489, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-1489, 2019

D214 |
Meng Li, La Zhuo, and Pute Wu

Water scarcity is a significant risk for meeting increasing food demand around the world. The importance of identifying the driving forces behind water consumption in agriculture and relative virtual water (VW) flows has been widely reported in order to provide practical advice for sustainable agricultural water resource management. However, the regional differences in the driving forces behind either water consumption or VW flows were largely ignored. To fill the crucial gap, taking nine major crops grown in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei (BTH) region in China over 2000-2013 as the study case, we investigate the regional differences in socio-economic driving forces on both the estimated water footprint (WF) in crop production and relative inter-city VW flows for each crop per year. Results show that although there is little change in total WFs in crop production (~43.3 billion m3/y on annual average), the WF per unit mass of crop decreased and the crop structure in the total WFs changed greatly. The BTH region was a VW importer with net VW import of 11.7 billion m3/y by 2013. The per capita GDP was the main positive driver of both total WFs of crop production and relative VW flows. Whereas the economic productivity and consumption ability were inhibiting factors for the WFs and VW flows, respectively. The levels of total crop WFs in agricultural cities were more sensitive to the effects of the main driving factors. The intensity of driving factors behind the inter-regional crop-related VW flows was shown to be directly related to the regional role as an importer or exporter. The current analysis suggests to develop characteristic agriculture considering the local role and regional differences in terms of water consumption and relative inter-regional VW flows, aiming for a balance between water sustainability, food security and economic developments.

How to cite: Li, M., Zhuo, L., and Wu, P.: Non-negligible regional differences in the driving forces of crop-related water footprint and virtual water flows: a case study for the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-3208, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-3208, 2020

D215 |
Kombo Mpindou Gilver Odilon Mendel, Chorda Ramon Estela, and Garcia Ganzalez Eva

In developing countries, diseases related to lack of water or inadequate water quality cause the death of approximately 5 million people annually, of whom about 1.8 million die from diarrhoeal diseases, 90% of them being children under five, which is equivalent to 4,500 children per day (WHO, 2004; Rojas, 2006). The WHO reports that improvements in water quality alone reduce morbidity from diarrhoeal diseases by a third or more (WHO, 2007), and drinking water treatment plants  are currently the focus of Protozoan studies on water supply. Giardia and Crytosporidium are two of the protozoa that are currently of greatest interest due to their resistance to conventional disinfection processes (Johnson et al., 2003), and they can exist in the presence of high concentrations of free chlorine (Corbitt, 1999). A reality that confirms this fact is that 98% of the individuals affected by epidemic outbreaks in the United States were supplied by drinking water plants using a conventional treatment system.

The DWTP of the Dam that caters 859885 people, corresponds to a series of municipalities in the northern area of the metropolitan area of Valencia (Spain), and the central-north-western districts of the city of Valencia face this problem. In a study conducted from 2006 to 2010, in the water used for human consumption in the city of Valencia, some positive concentrations of networked oocysts were detected. In conclusion, it is possible that the protozoa entered the network, as the analyses indicate, and that the pathology exists in the environment although no outbreaks have been recorded to date. Given that it is present in raw water, it is very convenient and interesting to develop a tool capable of evaluating the water treatment process, from production to the consumer, a useful tool for operators as a support for decision-making. The campaign was carried out throughout the year, taking a weekly sample, the analyses were made with the EPA1623 method. A survey was also carried out in person on volunteers who indicate their age, sex, postal code o and number of glasses of tap water ingested. The purpose of this study was to show how an artificial neural network  can be useful to predict the consumption of pathogenic microorganisms. More specifically, the aim is to develop a backpropagation type neuronal network capable of discriminating between those who consume and those who do not, based on the answers given by the subjects to a questionnaire, with the main objective of demonstrating the usefulness of the methodology based on neuronal networks for risk stratification, applying it to the calculation of the probability of the annual risk of individual contamination of the population supplied

How to cite: Gilver Odilon Mendel, K. M., Estela, C. R., and Eva, G. G.: Development of artificial neural networks for the prediction of the consumption of pathogenic microorganisms in water and for the calculation of the risk of individual annual contamination, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-5524, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-5524, 2020

D216 |
Chen Sun and Xu Xu

Haihe plain is an important food production area in China, facing an increasing water shortage. The water used for agriculture accounts for about 70% of total water resources. Thus, it is critical to optimize the irrigation scheduling for saving water and increasing crop water productivity (CWP). This study firstly simulated crop yield and CWP for winter wheat in historical scenario during 1961-2005 for Haihe plain using previously well-established SWAT model. Then scenarios under historical irrigation (scenario 1) and sufficient irrigation (scenario 2) were respectively simulated both with sufficient fertilizer. The crop yield in scenario 2 was considered as the potential crop yield. The optimal irrigation scheduling with sufficient fertilizer (scenario 3) was explored by iteratively adjusting irrigation scheduling based on the scenario 1 and previous studies related to water stress on crop growth. Results showed that net irrigation amount was reduced 23.1% in scenario 3 for winter wheat when compared with scenario 1. The CWP was 12.1% higher with very slight change of crop yield. Using optimal irrigation scheduling could save 8.8×108 m3 irrigation water and reduce about 16.3% groundwater over-exploitation in winter wheat growth period. The corresponding yield was 18.5% less than potential yield for winter wheat but using less irrigation water. Therefore, it could be considered that the optimal irrigation was reasonable, which provided beneficial suggestions for increasing efficiency of agricultural water use with sustainable crop yield in Haihe plain.

How to cite: Sun, C. and Xu, X.: Assessing crop yield and crop water productivity and optimizing irrigation scheduling of winter wheat in the Haihe plain using hydrological model, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-6505, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-6505, 2020

D217 |
| Highlight
Eduardo Araral

Water scholars and practitioners generally agree that improving water governance is the key to addressing water insecurity in developing countries. We review the literature on water governance in the last decade and argue for a second-generation research agenda, which pays more attention to the study of incentive structures, is multi and inter-disciplinary in orientation and with clear policy implications. We then illustrate how theories drawn from public economics, new institutional economics, political economy and public administration can help diagnose the challenges of integrated water resources management, improving efficiency of water utilities, privatization of utilities and public-private partnerships, water pricing reforms, virtual waters / water trading, among others. We conclude that these tools can help advance the second-generation research agenda on water governance.

How to cite: Araral, E.: Water Governance 2.0: A Review and Second Generation Research Agenda, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-6730, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-6730, 2020

D218 |
Aliya Assubayeva

Water security in Central Asia has been studied by researchers and international organizations using hydrological, engineering, and modeling approaches. Attention has been paid on assessments about water security and insecurity perceptions in Central Asia. Various assessments have perceived water securitization concept through technical, socio-economic, and environmental dimensions. This paper attempts to identify the current trends of water security and insecurity perceptions in Central Asian as evaluated through different experts from the region. The experts originate from a diverse professional background like ministries, NGOs, research, and academic institutes.  The analysis is conducted through the Delphi approach, which has been widely used for the identification of experts' views by also attempting to reach a consensus on various subjects. In this study, the Delphi method will help in the elicitation of experts’ opinions about different dimensions and attributes of water security that have been suggested from the relevant literature.  An online questionnaire will be designed where the participating experts will be initially asked to express their views towards different security components (1st questionnaire round). The questionnaire results will be circulated among the experts in two more sequential rounds to query about their consent with the outcomes while the anonymity of respondents will be ensured.

How to cite: Assubayeva, A.: Towards Water Security in Central Asia: Evaluation of Experts’ Views through Delphi Approach, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-6969, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-6969, 2020

D219 |
Shikun Sun, Yali Yin, Pute Wu, and Yubao Wang

Agricultural production is accompanied by a large amount of water consumption, nonpoint source pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions. However, the comprehensive and quantitative analysis of associated impacts on regional water, the environment, and the economy caused by variations in agricultural distribution is insufficient. This paper evaluates the evolution of grain production distribution and its effects on water resources, the economy, and the environment in China by using virtual water theory. The results show that the grain production area located in northern China is characterized by scarce water resources and a less developed economy. Due to the imbalance between grain supply and demand, virtual water embedded in grain will transfer among regions. These flows have formed a pattern where virtual water transfers from the water‐scarce northern region to the water‐rich southern region. Evolution of grain production distribution changes the spatial pattern of grain production and consumption, and it exacerbates water resource pressure, the gray water footprint, and greenhouse gas emissions in the area that exports grain virtual water. The gray water footprint and carbon emissions in the grain export area increased by 10.66% and 31.06% during the study period, respectively. Meanwhile, the distribution of regional grain production influences the allocation of water resources in agriculture and other industries. Due to the difference between the economic benefits created by industry and agriculture, grain virtual water flow will have effects on the regional economic development.

How to cite: Sun, S., Yin, Y., Wu, P., and Wang, Y.: Geographical Evolution of Agricultural Production in China and Its Effects on Water Stress, Economy, and the Environment: The Virtual Water Perspective, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-7990, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-7990, 2020

D220 |
| Highlight
Lei Xie, Dong Liu, and Siamac Fazli

The term water security constantly evolves. In different contexts, water is valued differently and the perception of water security is closely affected by local history, culture as well as the political systems where the agents are located. In Asia, water politics has been explored from a range of perspectives, reflecting the complicated discourses, processes and narratives when the global South respond to water-related challenges. Lacking of a coherent conceptual tool of water security, the region suffers mistrust among nations, along with misinterpretation of the water security situation in policy dialogues.


Because of its sheer size, China’s commodities importation and especially food imports induced by water shortages can have a large impact on international markets. The Central government has constantly revised its water governance, with an intention to demonstrated that on a national scale, the overall volume of water supply from the country is sufficient to support its economic and industrial development. However, domestic water governance has shown its inefficiencies. Additionally, being the source of many international rivers, China’s policies toward international river basins have also significantly impacted inter-state negotiation and the peacefully resolution of tensions over shared international river basins.


In Central Asia, after the dissolution of the Soviet regime, divergent views and perceptions exist on water security. Apart from attention for water allocation issues in the entire region, there has been an effort to reconsider the dimensions of water use and control in CA in order to protect and utilize water resources on national level. Different measurable indicators and indexes have been introduced to assess the most vulnerable or else insecure aspects of water use among the five Central Asian countries. However, the suggested approaches often represent these frameworks in a fragmented manner, lacking of a holistic evaluation of the understanding of the vulnerability status at a country or regional level.


We adopt the evaluation framework proposed in the Asian Water Development Outlook (AWDO) as the main platform to conduct our assessment. Namely, the five key dimensions on household, economic, urban, and environmental and resilience to water-disasters are accounted as the major parameters to evaluate the degree of vulnerability of water resources in Central Asia and China. With regard to method, data is sourced from literature review published between 1991-2019. Consistent data screening method will be applied to the case of China and Central Asia to understand the evolution of national water interest. The analysis will be based on the identification and evaluation of different indicators and attributes through coding and data classification approaches.


We conduct an extensive literature review on the approaches and methods that directly or indirectly touch upon the above-mentioned dimensions. The findings will fill a major gap on the perception of water security in Asia, where both differences and mutual understanding of water risks exist between China and the Central Asian countries. This work has significant policy implications. It’ll contribute to a better understanding of water vulnerability in the region, which also contribute to policy dialogues.

How to cite: Xie, L., Liu, D., and Fazli, S.: The framing of Water Security in Asia: a comparison of China and Central Asia, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-8099, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-8099, 2020

D221 |
Carla Sciarra, Guido Chiarotti, Luca Ridolfi, and Francesco Laio

The application of complex network theory to economics has given the chance to define the hidden capabilities (i.e., natural and human resources, investments, finances, etc.) of production of countries whose economic growth is determined. This application is known as economic complexity and it evaluates the hidden capabilities of production by exploiting the data on the international trade of goods. The outcomes of the economic complexity methodologies are a ranking of the countries, according to their economic growth potential, and a ranking of the products, according to the capabilities required for their production and export (more sophisticated products require more capabilities).

The idea lying beyond the economic complexity framework is replicable and it can be effectively used in other fields beyond economics. A first example is ecology, where the approach is used to rank the species interacting in an ecosystem. A second example is eco-hydrology, where the methodologies of economic complexity have been used to rank countries according to their virtual water consumption.

Here, we propose to exploit the approach of economic complexity to define a ranking of countries according to the sustainability of the water used in agriculture. For each country, we define the amount of blue water used for irrigation, categorized according to the sources of water withdrawal (i.e., groundwater or surface water discretized with different thresholds depending on the rechargeability of the sources). To structure the data as a bipartite network of countries-sources allows one to rank countries according to the impact of their agriculture on the global water resources, while ranking the sources of blue water for their sustainability. In this view, less valued water sources – in the sense of being more rechargeable – are found at the bottom of the ranking, while more valued water sources, as the fossil ones, are found at the top positions. Our results reveal the performance of countries in terms of their water management strategies. This approach could pave the way to a new class of indicators of water security and management that could help policy makers in the definition of new strategies for granting water security on a global scale.

How to cite: Sciarra, C., Chiarotti, G., Ridolfi, L., and Laio, F.: Applying economic complexity to agriculture: new indicators for water security, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-15196, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-15196, 2020

D222 |
Xingcai Liu

Water stress has increased in many regions of the world during the past decades. It would be likely to continue in the near future due to intensified human activities and changing climate. Better projection of future water stress will facilitate water resources management and planning. Based on the improved water stress index (), we assess the future changes in water stress at the country level under climatic change and socioeconomic dynamics (e.g., population growth, economic development, land-use change) across scenarios. The water deficit, the unmet water demands against local water resources, is estimated for each country. The spatiotemporal characteristics of the global water stress are demonstrated and the main driving force is identified for the exacerbated stress on humans. The monetary value of the water deficit is estimated based on the water price valued for different sources of water withdrawal (e.g., surface water, groundwater, desalination, etc.). The total costs to mitigate or eliminate future water stress are estimated for each country. Finally, the risks and vulnerability due to global change in the future are assessed for each country. This study could be a reference for adaptation to climate change and the potential costs to achieve the SDGs in 2030.

How to cite: Liu, X.: The impacts of global water stress and the costs of mitigation in the future, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-19215, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-19215, 2020

D223 |
Athina Angeli, Eleni Karkani, Angelos Alamanos, Stefanos Xenarios, and Nikitas Mylopoulos

Water security poses one of the biggest challenges of the century. It is a versatile problem, going beyond the traditional concepts of hydrology and water quality. It is difficult to give a single definition, since water security signifies a "safe operating subspace" within a multi-dimensional space that maps physical resource availability, water quality, demand, infrastructure and economic choices. The main idea of water security, as addressed in the present study, is the need to balance human and environmental water needs.

In arid and semi-arid areas, including Greece, intensification of agriculture accompanied with poor management is a common phenomenon. These attempts to meet economic and productive objectives, combined with the physical characteristics of these areas, has led to quantitative and qualitative water degradation, questioning the sustainability of water resources. In Greece, the Ministry of Environment Management Plans found that only 1 or 2 cases in the country are in “a good status”. This study aims to propose a way towards integrated and sustainable management, through hydro-economic tools: water balance, profits from agricultural activities, water value, and water quality. Water security is examined based on these terms in several Greek rural watersheds.

The methodology consists of the estimation of water availability, water demand, and thus water balance in surface and groundwater resources. The profits from the agricultural activities are estimated from a straightforward economic model, based on the gross profits and production costs. Water quality is based on measurements on concentrations of fertilizers, chemical parameters and pesticides, and its improvement is examined through the quantitative replenishment due to several strategies exploiting dilution processes in surface and groundwater. The analysis used data from the period 2005-2015, and a set of management scenarios were examined, suggesting technical measures (e.g. reducing losses, improving irrigation methods) and crop replacement scenarios, taking into account factors affecting these decisions, and also the Ministry’s recommendations. The water value was calculated using the “change of the net-income” method. All the above factors’ results indicate the degradation of the examined areas.

More specifically, the watersheds of Lake Karla, Almyros, Koronia, and Loudia were selected as the most representative cases. These watersheds seem to have limited water availability, intensified agriculture, poor water quality and management issues. The Lake Karla watershed is characterized from overexploited surface and groundwater resources, Loudia and Koronia watersheds face the same issues plus a strong qualitative degradation, Almyros watershed main issue is the salinization of its coastal aquifer. In conclusion, the first steps that are introduced in this study can be a starting point for more integrated water security management, helping local water managers understand and address the above issues.

Overall, it is a novel attempt to integrate all the above parameters in one framework, for a ten-year horizon, and comparing rural Greek case studies. Non-comparable factors also exist among different case studies, which are discussed, however the evidences support the finding of the general degradation and unsustainable management in the country.

KEYWORDS: Water Security, agricultural watersheds, Greece, Water Resources Management, Hydro-economic modeling, water quality, scenario analysis.

How to cite: Angeli, A., Karkani, E., Alamanos, A., Xenarios, S., and Mylopoulos, N.: Hydrological, socioeconomic, engineering and water quality modeling aspects for evaluating water security: experience from Greek rural watersheds., EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-22101, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-22101, 2020

D224 |
| Highlight
Jürgen Mahlknecht, Ramon Gonzalez, and Frank Loge

Understanding water-energy-food interrelatedness and interdependencies (WEF Nexus) over environmental resources can result in improved water, energy, and food security by integrating management and governance across sectors and scales, reducing tradeoffs, and building synergies, overall promoting sustainability and a transition to green economy. One of the most relevant research areas on the Nexus is the development of indexes to assess the performance of the three sectors and their interlinkages. These tools are essential to understanding the Nexus concept and to determine areas for improvement, especially in developing countries. To evaluate the WEF Nexus for a developing region, namely Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), two approaches are proposed to evaluate water, energy and food security at intra-country level. First, a composite diagram was developed for LAC countries and subregions that considers three key indicators per sector: availability, access, and sustainability of the sector’s resources. Second, an analysis was performed for selected countries using internal factors that represent the most important interrelationships that exist within the WEF Nexus. The results show that access to food in LAC is relatively low in comparison to other developing regions. Regarding renewable energy sources, with the exception of some countries, the region’s share (including hydroelectricity) in electricity production is low. Water resources represent the most vulnerable sector for food and energy development of the countries (water for food, and water for energy), as well as the need to implement green infrastructure for sustainable water production (food for water).

How to cite: Mahlknecht, J., Gonzalez, R., and Loge, F.: Development of performance indicators for Water-energy-food security and its application in Latin America and the Caribbean, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-6166, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-6166, 2020

D225 |
Clemens Strehl, Kristina Wencki, Frank-Andreas Weber, Rike Becker, and Tim aus der Beek

Pakistan is the world’s fourth-largest producer of cotton. A major share of textiles sold in Germany is produced in Pakistan. The irrigation of cotton plants as well as dyeing and finishing processes during textile production require tremendous amounts of water. In addition, rivers, soil and groundwater are lastingly polluted by salinization, intensive use of pesticides and fertilizers in cotton farming as well as discharge of untreated waste water by textile companies.

The main focus of the InoCottonGROW project, funded by German BMBF, is to address this complex, multidisciplinary water management problem in the region of Lower Chenab Canal in Punjab. Hydrologists, engineers, political scientists, ethnologists and economists on the scientific as well as on the stakeholder side, are working together towards identifying technically, economically and institutionally feasible ways of increasing the efficiency of water use along the cotton-textile value chain in Pakistan.

A more sustainable water resource management is aimed to be achieved by a suite of measures on a technical and organizational level. Some of the technical measures like alternative irrigation techniques are experienced in applied studies within the project. Project activities include:

  • application of the water footprint concept as a regional steering instrument for national decision makers, manufacturers, retailers, and consumers
  • analysis of the current state of water efficiency, water quality, and concurrent usages in Pakistan using a combination of satellite remote sensing, field-site studies, hydrologic and hydraulic modelling, company surveys and monitoring
  • demonstration of efficient technologies along the cotton-textile value chain, including efficient cotton irrigation, dyes and process chemicals, textile machinery, suitable wastewater treatment processes, and analytical instruments for water pollution monitoring

Results of the practical investigations of these different approaches on field level are finally evaluated with respect to their contribution to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The systematic approach to link regionally collected and modeled data with national water management indicators will be described following a stepwise approach:

  1. definition of management scenarios in order to indicate potential changes in future irrigation practices and waste water treatment
  2. qualitative assessment approach based on an established scheme by the International Council for science (ICSU, 2017) to analyze the impact on selected SDGs by these management scenarios
  3. quantitative assessment of the impact on selected SDG indicators (such as indicator 6.4.2: Level of water stress) starting with hydrological modelling of water availability and water demand on a local scale and up-scaling these simulation results


International Council for Science 2017 A Guide to SDG Interactions: from Science to Implementation. ICSU, Paris.

How to cite: Strehl, C., Wencki, K., Weber, F.-A., Becker, R., and aus der Beek, T.: Exploring improvements in water management for the cotton and textile industry – results from a case study in Punjab and its contribution to achieving UN-SDGs in Pakistan, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-19960, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-19960, 2020