The Regional Water Balance Statement: a new tool for water resources planning

The Regional Water Balance Statement: a new tool for water resources planning

It is widely accepted that the effective planning of water resources becomes more urgent with each passing year. Some would argue that this need is driven by the increasing size and density of human populations at the catchment and urban scale. Others point out that exponential growth in economic output and consumption produces ever higher volumes of waste water. It is also asserted that global climate change will require every society to develop strategies capable of dealing withregional shifts in the mean and variance of hydrological variables. Such planning should take place within a framework determined by the quest for a sustainable society and strategy for the water sector should be balanced by programmes on both the supply- and the demand-side. Moreover, whilst our developing under- standing of the hydrological cycle provides the vital natural science input to strategy, it must be the hydrosocial cycle which sources the language of supply and demand programmes. At this level, the key intellectual inputs come from politics, law, civil engineering, human geography, environmental studies and political economy. The objective of this paper is ambitious. Derived from the hydrosocial cycle perspective on supply and demand, the paper seeks to develop a quantitative tool for water resource planning which within a decade could be used across the globe for strategy development in respect of abstracted water for outstream uses. This tool is the regional water balance statement and it provides an encapsulating planning framework for a wide variety of measures aimed at making better use of water resources. [author]

The Excel spreadsheets with associated data are also available at http://www.soas.ac.uk/Geography/WaterIssues/OccasionalPapers/home.html

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