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Current and future water balance for coupled human-natural systems – Insights from a glacierized catchment in Peru


Motschmann, Alina; Teutsch, Claudia; Huggel, Christian; Seidel, Jochen; León, Christian D; Muñoz, Randy; Sienel, Jessica; Drenkhan, Fabian; Weimer-Jehle, Wolfgang (2022). Current and future water balance for coupled human-natural systems – Insights from a glacierized catchment in Peru. Journal of Hydrology: Regional Studies, 41:101063.

Abstract

Study region

Santa River basin, Peru.
Study focus

In the Andes of Peru, climate change and socio-economic development are expected to jeopardize future water availability. However, little is known about the interplay of multiple climatic and non-climatic stressors and related processes driving water resource changes. We developed an integrated model that analyzes different trajectories of water availability including hydro-climatic (water supply) and socio-economic (water demand) variables with consistent multi-descriptor future scenarios until 2050.
New hydrological insights for the region

At the lower-basin outflow of Condorcerro, mean annual water availability is projected to increase by 10% ± 12% by 2050. This gain is mainly driven by an increase in annual precipitation amounts of about 14% (RCP2.6) and 18% (RCP8.5), respectively, which was computed using a global climate multi-model ensemble. In contrast, mean dry-season water availability is projected to substantially decrease by 33% and 36% ( ± 24%) by 2050, for RCP2.6 and RCP8.5, respectively. This decline is driven by a combination of diminishing glacier discharge and increasing water demand both of which adopt a major role in the absence of considerable precipitation inputs. These seasonal differences highlight the need to adequately consider spatiotemporal scales within multi-scenario water balance models to support local decision-making. Our results elucidate the need for improvements in water management and infrastructure to counteract diminishing dry-season water availability and to reduce future risks of water scarcity.

Abstract

Study region

Santa River basin, Peru.
Study focus

In the Andes of Peru, climate change and socio-economic development are expected to jeopardize future water availability. However, little is known about the interplay of multiple climatic and non-climatic stressors and related processes driving water resource changes. We developed an integrated model that analyzes different trajectories of water availability including hydro-climatic (water supply) and socio-economic (water demand) variables with consistent multi-descriptor future scenarios until 2050.
New hydrological insights for the region

At the lower-basin outflow of Condorcerro, mean annual water availability is projected to increase by 10% ± 12% by 2050. This gain is mainly driven by an increase in annual precipitation amounts of about 14% (RCP2.6) and 18% (RCP8.5), respectively, which was computed using a global climate multi-model ensemble. In contrast, mean dry-season water availability is projected to substantially decrease by 33% and 36% ( ± 24%) by 2050, for RCP2.6 and RCP8.5, respectively. This decline is driven by a combination of diminishing glacier discharge and increasing water demand both of which adopt a major role in the absence of considerable precipitation inputs. These seasonal differences highlight the need to adequately consider spatiotemporal scales within multi-scenario water balance models to support local decision-making. Our results elucidate the need for improvements in water management and infrastructure to counteract diminishing dry-season water availability and to reduce future risks of water scarcity.

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9 citations in Web of Science®
12 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
Dewey Decimal Classification:910 Geography & travel
Scopus Subject Areas:Physical Sciences > Water Science and Technology
Physical Sciences > Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
Uncontrolled Keywords:Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous), Water Science and Technology
Language:English
Date:1 June 2022
Deposited On:12 Jan 2023 13:57
Last Modified:28 Jun 2024 01:38
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:2214-5818
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejrh.2022.101063
  • Content: Published Version
  • Language: English
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)