Is freshwater supply more dependent on good governance than geography?
Scientists have analyzed 19 different characteristics critical to water supply management in 119 low per capita income countries and found that vulnerability is pervasive and commonly arises from relatively weak institutional controls.
The study, conducted by researchers based at Washington State University (WSU), USA, and Stanford University, USA, sought to identify freshwater supply vulnerabilities using four broad categories; endowment (availability of source water), demand, infrastructure and institutions (e.g. government regulations).
The results are published today, 23rd October 2015, in the journal Environmental Research Letters. “We’ve spent years developing this framework that addresses water vulnerability beyond just endowment and demand” explains Julie Padowski, the lead author, now at WSU. “Our team’s expertise spanned hydrology, law, chemistry and economics, and this gave us a very interdisciplinary view of water supply issues.”