Human water withdrawal is shown to alter the global water cycle, yet our understanding of its driving forces and patterns is limited primarily to water withdrawal estimates available at annual and country scales.
Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory reconstructed a global monthly, gridded (0.5 degree), sectoral water withdrawal data set for the period 1971-2010, that distinguishes six water use sectors: irrigation, domestic, electricity generation (cooling of thermal power plants), livestock, mining, and manufacturing. The gridded data set constitutes the first reconstructed global water withdrawal data product at seasonal and regional resolution that is derived from different models and data sources.
The reconstructed gridded water withdrawal data set is open access, and can be used to compare water withdrawal estimates from global hydrologic models and also to supplement water withdrawal estimates in Earth system models, where domestic and industrial water withdrawal representations are often lacking. The data set is also important for investigating water use-related issues and patterns at fine spatial, temporal, and sectoral scales, which is critical for developing sound water management strategies.
Reference: Z. Huang, M. Hejazi, X. Li, Q. Tang, C. Vernon, G. Leng, Y. Liu, P. Döll, S. Eisner, D. Gerten, N. Hanasaki, Y. Wada, "Reconstruction of Global Gridded Monthly Sectoral Water Withdrawals for 1971-2010 and Analysis of Their Spatiotemporal Patterns." Hydrology and Earth System Sciences 22, 2117-2133 (2018). [DOI: 10.5194/hess-22-2117-2018]
Published: July 25, 2018