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Type: Journal Article
Author(s): François-Nicolas Robinne; Kevin D. Bladon; Carol L. Miller; Marc-André Parisien; Jérôme Mathieu; Michael D. Flannigan
Publication Date: 2018

The large mediatic coverage of recent massive wildfires across the world has emphasized the vulnerability of freshwater resources. The extensive hydrogeomorphic effects from a wildfire can impair the ability of watersheds to provide safe drinking water to downstream communities and high-quality water to maintain riverine ecosystem health. Safeguarding water use for human activities and ecosystems is required for sustainable development; however, no global assessment of wildfire impacts on water supply is currently available. Here, we provide the first global evaluation of wildfire risks to water security, in the form of a spatially explicit index. We adapted the Driving forces-Pressure-State-Impact-Response risk analysis framework to select a comprehensive set of indicators of fire activity and water availability, which we then aggregated to a single index of wildfire-water risk using a simple additive weighted model. Our results show that water security in many regions of the world is potentially vulnerable, regardless of socio-economic status. However, in developing countries, a critical component of the risk is the lack of socio-economic capability to respond to disasters. Our work highlights the importance of addressing wildfire-induced risks in the development of water security policies; the geographic differences in the components of the overall risk could help adapting those policies to different regional contexts.

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Citation: Robinne, François-Nicolas; Bladon, Kevin D.; Miller, Carol L.; Parisien, Marc-André; Mathieu, Jérôme; Flannigan, Michael D. 2018. A spatial evaluation of global wildfire-water risks to human and natural systems. Science of The Total Environment 610-611:1193-1206.

Cataloging Information

Topics:
Regions:
Alaska    California    Eastern    Great Basin    Hawaii    Northern Rockies    Northwest    Rocky Mountain    Southern    Southwest    International    National
Keywords:
  • DPSIR - Driving forces-Pressure-State-Impact-Response
  • fire activity
  • natural disaster
  • water security
Record Last Modified:
Record Maintained By: FRAMES Staff (https://www.frames.gov/contact)
FRAMES Record Number: 24725