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Can There be Water Scarcity with Abundance of Water? Analyzing Water Stress during a Severe Drought in Finland

Author

Listed:
  • Lauri Ahopelto

    () (Finnish Environment Institute, Latokartanonkaari 11, 00790 Helsinki, Finland
    Water & Development Research Group, Aalto University, 02015 Espoo, Finland)

  • Noora Veijalainen

    () (Finnish Environment Institute, Latokartanonkaari 11, 00790 Helsinki, Finland)

  • Joseph H. A. Guillaume

    () (Water & Development Research Group, Aalto University, 02015 Espoo, Finland)

  • Marko Keskinen

    () (Water & Development Research Group, Aalto University, 02015 Espoo, Finland)

  • Mika Marttunen

    () (Finnish Environment Institute, Latokartanonkaari 11, 00790 Helsinki, Finland)

  • Olli Varis

    () (Water & Development Research Group, Aalto University, 02015 Espoo, Finland)

Abstract

Severe droughts can affect water security even in countries with ample water resources. In addition, droughts are estimated to become more frequent in several regions due to changing climate. Drought affects many socio-economic sectors (e.g., agriculture, water supply, and industry), as it did in 2018 in Finland. Understanding the basin-wide picture is crucial in drought management planning. To identify vulnerable and water stressed areas in Finland, a water use-to-availability analysis was executed with a reference drought. Water stress was analyzed with the Water Depletion Index WDI. The analysis was executed using national water permits and databases. To represent a severe but realistic drought event, we modelled discharges and runoffs from the worst drought of the last century in Finland (1939–1942). The potential for performing similar analyses in data scarce contexts was also tested using estimates from global models as a screening tool. The results show that the South and Southwest of Finland would have problems with water availability during a severe drought. The most vulnerable areas would benefit from drought mitigation measures and management plans. These measures could be incorporated into the EU River Basin Management Plans.

Suggested Citation

  • Lauri Ahopelto & Noora Veijalainen & Joseph H. A. Guillaume & Marko Keskinen & Mika Marttunen & Olli Varis, 2019. "Can There be Water Scarcity with Abundance of Water? Analyzing Water Stress during a Severe Drought in Finland," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(6), pages 1-18, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:11:y:2019:i:6:p:1548-:d:213797
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Marko Keskinen & Suvi Sojamo & Olli Varis, 2019. "Enhancing Security, Sustainability and Resilience in Energy, Food and Water," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(24), pages 1-1, December.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    water depletion index; global water models; consumptive water use; water stress; water security; water scarcity; Finland;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics
    • Q0 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General
    • Q2 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q3 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q5 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products

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