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Water scarcity indices vs. water balance: the Scheldt river basin
Pereira, F.; Michielsen, S.; De Sutter, R. (2015). Water scarcity indices vs. water balance: the Scheldt river basin, in: E-proceedings of the 36th IAHR World Congress 28 June – 3 July, 2015, The Hague, the Netherlands. pp. [1-4]
In: (2015). E-proceedings of the 36th IAHR World Congress 28 June – 3 July, 2015, The Hague, the Netherlands. IAHR: [s.l.]. , more

Available in Authors 
Document type: Conference paper

Keywords
Author keywords
    Water scarcity; Water allocation modelling

Authors  Top 
  • Pereira, F., more
  • Michielsen, S.
  • De Sutter, R., more

Abstract
    An indicators is a criterion that has an indicating function, it provides insights in problems and possible solutions for these problems. However an indicator is still a simplification of the reality and it gives only general information for a certain space and time scale. This is also true for drought and water scarcity indices. This study aims to evaluate traditional drought and water scarcity indices with the water balance approach that is more and more used to express drought related problems. Four relevant indicators are considered: (1) the Standard Precipitation Index (SPI); (2) the Standardised Streamflow Index (SSI); (3) the Specific Water Availability Index (SWAI) and (4) the Water Exploitation Index (WEI). The result of the indices are compared with each and with the outcomes of a water balance model. This analysis demonstrated that (1) both drought indicators SPI and SSI follow the meteorological conditions as expected, but don’t express any additional information on water availability; (2) the SWAI is not suitable as an indicator in regions with high human activities; (3) the WEI is the most realistic indicator to express water availability in a specific region; (4) water balance modelling give similar results as the WEI, but it presents more additional information. Water balances allow for a better identification of the problem and thus for a more effective approach to deal with it.

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