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Sustainability 2018, 10(10), 3795;

Sustainable Development of Water Resources: Spatio-Temporal Analysis of Water Stress in South Korea

Department of Civil Engineering, Inha University, Incheon 22212, Korea
Civil Engineering Department, The City College of New York, New York, NY 10031, USA
Department of Earth and Environmental Engineering, Columbia University, New York, NY 10027, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 30 September 2018 / Revised: 13 October 2018 / Accepted: 17 October 2018 / Published: 20 October 2018
PDF [7045 KB, uploaded 20 October 2018]


The development of South Korean water resources has been heavily concentrated in a few areas, corresponding to regions that have experienced economic growth. The resulting competition for the resource is leading to calls for more equitable water distribution. The objective of this study is to evaluate water stress areas for sustainable water resources management. For this, a spatially distributed water stress index that accounts for climate variability at intra- and inter-annual time scales is developed and applied to South Korea to better understand the water allocations, and the subsequent water stress. Water demand (household water, industrial water, agricultural water, and livestock water) and water supply (precipitation use, reservoir use, stream use, and underground water use) estimates based on the period 1973–2009 were used to compute the normalized deficit index (NDI) and normalized deficit cumulative (NDC) for each hydrologic basin. Water stress was assessed for each of the four decades (1973–1982; 1983–1991; 1992–2000; 2001–2009). The overall water stress has decreased in 2000–2009 compared to 1973–1982 because of water infrastructure development. However, while the risk of water stress was low in the Han River basin, the Nakdong River was found to be very vulnerable to water stress. It was possible to investigate where water management strategies are needed for the sustainable development of South Korean water resources. View Full-Text
Keywords: water sustainability; water stress; water balance; water stress index water sustainability; water stress; water balance; water stress index

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Kim, S.; Devineni, N.; Lall, U.; Kim, H.S. Sustainable Development of Water Resources: Spatio-Temporal Analysis of Water Stress in South Korea. Sustainability 2018, 10, 3795.

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