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Proc. IAHS, 366, 86-92, 2015
https://doi.org/10.5194/piahs-366-86-2015
© Author(s) 2015. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
 
10 Apr 2015
What part of natural flow can be considered a "water resource"?
V. Andréassian1, J. Margat2, G. Thirel1, and P. Hubert3 1Irstea, Hydrosystems and Bioprocesses Research Unit (HBAN), Antony, France
2BRGM, Orléans, France
3Sorbonne Universités, UPMC Univ. Paris 06, UMR 7619 METIS, 75005, Paris, France
Abstract. In this paper, we discuss an unfortunate semantic shortcut – the use of the expression "water resources" as a synonym for "river/groundwater flow" – which causes great confusion in all Water Security-related discussions. We show that only a part of the flow can be considered a resource, and that the efficiency of the flow-to-resource conversion is a complex function of: (i) the hydrologic regime, (ii) environmental constraints (in-stream reserved flows), (iii) the type of water demand, and (iv) the existence of artificial reservoirs. Last, we illustrate how the flow-to-resource conversion can be affected by future climatic changes. Hydrologic data and climate change simulations for three French rivers (the rivers Vilaine, Durance and Garonne) are used to illustrate this discussion.

Citation: Andréassian, V., Margat, J., Thirel, G., and Hubert, P.: What part of natural flow can be considered a "water resource"?, Proc. IAHS, 366, 86-92, https://doi.org/10.5194/piahs-366-86-2015, 2015.
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