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Examination of Water Stress in Dryland Regions: Causalities, Risks, and Strategies

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Title: Examination of Water Stress in Dryland Regions: Causalities, Risks, and Strategies
Author: Chen, Zhang
Department: School of Engineering
Program: Engineering
Advisor: Edward, McBean
Abstract: Water scarcity is increasingly of concern over the past decades. This research focuses on analyzing water stress in various scenarios associated with changes in climate and human influences, providing a sequenced methodology in identifying strategies in response. Long-term changes in climate are projected using the output data from the General Circulation Models. The projections are utilized to estimate the impacts of climate change on crop water requirements and irrigation water needs. A virtual water methodology is developed to identify crops which would be more appropriate as imports rather than producing them locally. Cropping patterns are investigated through a fuzzy linear optimization model. The optimization aims to attain “acceptable levels” through adjustments in cropping patterns incorporating virtual water transfers. To prevent the trend towards desertification in dryland regions, an approach is established for assessing the potential risks of desertification base on soil erosion, using Gansu Province in China as a case study. The effects of climate change and population growth on water stress are compared using the Aridity Index and Falkenmark Water Stress Indicator for Zambezi River Basin in Southern Africa.
Date: 2015-08
Rights: Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 Canada
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Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 Canada Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 Canada