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Friesen, Jan; Rodriguez Sinobas, Leonor; Foglia, Laura; Ludwig, Ralf (2017): Environmental and socio-economic methodologies and solutions towards integrated water resources management. In: Science of the Total Environment, Vol. 581: pp. 906-908
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Semi-arid regions are facing the challenge of managing water resources under conditions of increasing scarcity and drought. These are recently pressured by the impact of climate change favoring the shifting from using surface water to groundwater without taking sustainability issues into account Likewise, water scarcity raises the competition for water among users, increasing the risk of social conflicts, as the availability of fresh water in sufficient quality and quantity is already one of the major factors limiting socio-economic development. In terms of hydrology, semi-arid regions are characterized by very complex hydro-and hydrogeological systems. The complexity of the water cycle contrasts strongly with the poor data availability, (1) which limits the number of analysis techniques and methods available to researchers, (2) limits the accuracy of models and predictions, and (3) consequently challenges the capabilities to develop appropriate management measures to mitigate or adapt the environment to scarcity and drought conditions. Integrated water resources management is a holistic approach to focus on both environmental as well as on socio-economic factors influencing water availability and supply. The management approaches and solutions adopted, e.g. in form of decision support for specific water resources systems, are often highly specific for individual case studies.