Hydropedology 5: The contribution of hydropedological assessments

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The contribution of hydropedological assessments to the availability and sustainable management of water, for all (SDG#6)

Johan van Tol, Simon Lorentz, George van Zijl and Pieter le Roux

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“Sustainable water resources are vital to human health, food security and poverty eradication, yet more than 2 billion people are aff ected by water stress (United Nations 2017). The UN Sustainable Development Goal number 6 (SDG#6) strives to “Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all” by 2030. The SDG#6 defi nes six specifi c targets (Table 9-1), with measurable indicators of progress towards achievement. The targets include inter alia; improving water quality by reducing pollution and treating polluted water, increasing water use effi ciency of all sectors, protecting and restoring water-linked ecosystems and implementing Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) at all levels. Eff ective IWRM requires a comprehensive approach which considers the entire hydrological cycle and recognizes the intimate relationship between surface and groundwater at diff erent spatio-temporal scales (Savenije & van der Zaag 2008, Lorentz et al. 2003). In the highly variable water regimes of arid and semi-arid areas, IWRM necessitates the accurate analysis and characterization of hydrological processes. This should include identifi cation, defi nition and quantifi cation of the pathways, connectivities, thresholds and residence times of water at various spatio-temporal scales. Once these processes are accurately represented in hydrological models, they can assist in water resource prediction, and improve water use effi ciency. Furthermore, the influence of land-use change, water quality and quantity can be predicted, and low fl ow mechanisms as well as the impact of climate change.”


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