Water Scarcity, a pronounced imbalance between water demand and supply, is a growing global problem and is not limited to arid and semi-arid regions. Recent estimates suggest that about one third of the global population is currently affected by insufficient access to save water resources. Climate change is likely going to further exacerbate the problem. Hence the development of measures and strategies to mitigate the problem is a pressing challenge for future water management.
Water scarcity can be defined in different terms, e.g. as physical water scarcity, where the physical availability of water is limiting, or as economic water scarcity, which may result from a lack of investment in water infrastructure or a general lack of human capacity to satisfy demand. Different definitions of water scarcity and their implications for water management will be discussed. Examples from different water scarce regions in the world are used to exemplify the problem and to define measures to address and possibly overcome the problem from a hydrologic point of view.
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