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4.2.2.      Future evolutions of droughts and water scarcity

Future of evolutions of droughts are described in (EEA (report under preparation) 2012b). River flow droughts are projected to increase in frequency and severity in southern and south-eastern Europe, the United Kingdom, France, Benelux, southern Scandinavia and western parts of Germany over the coming decades (Feyen and Dankers 2009).

Climate change will affect not only water supply but also water demand. Socio-economic factors such as population growth, increased consumption, and land use have a huge impact on water scarcity with climate change exacerbating the problem. Water resources are expected to decrease in Europe as a result of increasing imbalance between water demand and water availability. Water scarcity, mainly due to the increased projections for irrigation, is projected to increase in many regions in Europe. How water demand can evolve and how this can impact water scarcity figures is described in EEA (2012b). Initial research suggests that climate change may also have some effect on household water demand (Keirle and Hayes 2007). The challenges for cities are described in EEA (2012c, section 2.3).Many cities in southern and eastern Europe, as well as some in western Europe are already experiencing water stress during the summer. Future projections see an aggravation and also northwards extension of the problem. When cities want to overcome regional water scarcity through imported water they become more dependent on other regions with implications for water pricing.

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  • mohauvol (Volker Mohaupt) 23 Aug 2012 21:08:15

    Please describe the basic principles of these study more in detail, because for Germany mainly for the western parts of Germany we don´t expect an extreme increase in frequency and severity of low river flows. In our opinion the eastern part of Germany will be more affected.

  • (invited by Wouter Vanneuville) 24 Aug 2012 09:29:05

    In Flanders, beyond physical water stress, a situation of water scarcity can also emerge from acute water quality issues (e.g. diffuse or point source pollutions) which lead to reduced drink water availability with implication for water pricing

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