Simon Damkjaer's research on water scarcity featured on the cover of Ambio
12 September 2017
The cover of this month’s leading Journal of the Human Environment, Ambio, features a new paper led by UCL ISR's Simon Damkjaer
Co-authored with Professor Richard Taylor, UCL Geography the paper argues that current metrics of water scarcity misrepresent freshwater resources and demand, particularly in low-income countries of Sub-Saharan Africa.
It highlights the critical role of groundwater storage in addressing seasonal or perennial water shortages, even though it is entirely disregarded by current metrics. These are based on mean annual river runoff, masking hydrological variability and subjectively quantifying the socio-economic conditions influencing adaptive capacity. There has been little research evaluating whether such metrics are meaningful.
The need to develop improved hydrological indicators is important if they are to inform progress towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including SDG 6.4: substantially reduce the number of people suffering from water scarcity by 2030.
The cover of the issue, taken by Willy Burgess (UCL Earth Sciences), demonstrates the role of groundwater in sustaining dry-season irrigation of boro rice in the Barind area of Bangladesh.
Ground water irrigation in dry season Bangladesh