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Hydrology and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 19, 4581-4608, 2015
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-19-4581-2015
© Author(s) 2015. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Review article
18 Nov 2015
Review and classification of indicators of green water availability and scarcity
J. F. Schyns, A. Y. Hoekstra, and M. J. Booij Twente Water Centre, University of Twente, Enschede, the Netherlands
Abstract. Research on water scarcity has mainly focussed on blue water (ground- and surface water), but green water (soil moisture returning to the atmosphere through evaporation) is also scarce, because its availability is limited and there are competing demands for green water. Crop production, grazing lands, forestry and terrestrial ecosystems are all sustained by green water. The implicit distribution or explicit allocation of limited green water resources over competitive demands determines which economic and environmental goods and services will be produced and may affect food security and nature conservation. We need to better understand green water scarcity to be able to measure, model, predict and handle it. This paper reviews and classifies around 80 indicators of green water availability and scarcity, and discusses the way forward to develop operational green water scarcity indicators that can broaden the scope of water scarcity assessments.
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Citation: Schyns, J. F., Hoekstra, A. Y., and Booij, M. J.: Review and classification of indicators of green water availability and scarcity, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 19, 4581-4608, https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-19-4581-2015, 2015.
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Short summary
The paper draws attention to the fact that green water (soil moisture returning to the atmosphere through evaporation) is a scarce resource, because its availability is limited and there are competing demands for green water. Around 80 indicators of green water availability and scarcity are reviewed and classified based on their scope and purpose of measurement. This is useful in order to properly include limitations in green water availability in water scarcity assessments.
The paper draws attention to the fact that green water (soil moisture returning to the...
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