Is climate change a threat for water uses in the Mediterranean region? Results from a survey at local scale
Publikation aus Life
Zukunftsfähige Energiesysteme und Lebensstile
La Jeunesse I., Cirelli C., Aubin D., Larrue C., Sellami H., Afifi S., Benabdallah S., Bellin A., Bird D.N., Deidda R., Dettori M., Engin G., Herrmann F., Ludwig R., Mabrouk B., Majone B., Paniconi C., Soddu A.
Sci. Total Environ., 5/2015
Water scarcity and water security are linked, not only through the direct effects of water shortages on each water users' access to water, but also because of water conflicts generated. Climate change is predicted to raise temperatures in the Mediterranean region and reduce rainfall, leading to a reduction in water yield and possibly worsening the situation of water resource shortages that Mediterranean regions are already experiencing. In its dissemination strategy, the EU FP7 CLIMB project addressed water security threats through an analysis of water uses and water use rivalries within a few target catchments distributed over the Mediterranean region. The present work explores whether climate change is locally perceived by stakeholders (water users and managers) as a key issue for their water uses and water security. Individual interviews, meetings, and compilation of questionnaires were conducted at five sites located in the Mediterranean region. The methodology permitted an analysis of water use and its evolution in the water management context, an identification of the state of awareness of local stakeholders and of the pressures on water use and water use rivalries, and a prioritization of water uses. Currently, the main response to increasing water demand in the Mediterranean region, while not yet considering climate change as a driving force, is a progressive externalization of water resources, with limits represented by national borders and technological possibilities. Overall, 'climate change' was not mentioned by stakeholders during both interviews and in answers to the questionnaires. Even the prospect of decreasing precipitation was not considered a relevant or threatening issue in the coming 20years. This confirms the need to continue all efforts to disseminate the state of knowledge on climate change impacts in the Mediterranean region, such as water scarcity, especially to local water managers, as initiated by various research programs of the European Commission.
Keywords: Climate change; Mediterranean region; Rivalries; Stakeholders; Water uses