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

1
Finnish Environment Institute, Latokartanonkaari 11, 00790 Helsinki, Finland
2
Water & Development Research Group, Aalto University, 02015 Espoo, Finland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2019, 11(6), 1548; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11061548
Received: 5 February 2019 / Revised: 7 March 2019 / Accepted: 9 March 2019 / Published: 14 March 2019
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. View Full-Text
Keywords: water depletion index; global water models; consumptive water use; water stress; water security; water scarcity; Finland water depletion index; global water models; consumptive water use; water stress; water security; water scarcity; Finland
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Ahopelto, L.; Veijalainen, N.; Guillaume, J.H.A.; Keskinen, M.; Marttunen, M.; Varis, O. Can There be Water Scarcity with Abundance of Water? Analyzing Water Stress during a Severe Drought in Finland. Sustainability 2019, 11, 1548.

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