Safeguarding water availability for food and ecosystems under global change: modelling and assessment of the role of environmental flows

Amandine V. Pastor

Research output: Thesisinternal PhD, WU

Abstract

In a context of future population increase and intensification of water cycle by climate change, water demand for irrigation is projected to double. However, freshwater resources have been degraded the last decades especially in rivers via fragmentation, dam contraction and pollution. Flow alteration and degradation lead to 80% of freshwater ecosystem species loss. In this thesis, a robust and reliable Environmental Flow (EF) method was developed for global scale: the Variable Monthly Flow (VMF) method. This method allowed estimating EF deficit at global scale including its origin, timing, frequency and magnitude. By setting EFRs as priority user in a global vegetation and hydrological model (LPJmL), irrigation loss due to EFRs implementation were assessed at 30% leading to 5% global calorie loss. To maintain water allocation to humans and ecosystems under global change, food imports would require to increase by 15% especially from Latin America to South of Asia.

Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Wageningen University
Supervisors/Advisors
  • Kabat, Pavel, Promotor
  • Ludwig, Fulco, Co-promotor
  • Biemans, Hester, Co-promotor
Award date30 May 2017
Place of PublicationWageningen
Publisher
Print ISBNs9789463431767
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Keywords

  • water availability
  • water management
  • flow
  • water deficit
  • food security
  • food production
  • global warming
  • aquatic ecosystems

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