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Hydrology and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2017-248
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Review article
04 May 2017
Review status
This discussion paper is under review for the journal Hydrology and Earth System Sciences (HESS).
Human-water interface in hydrological modeling: Current status and future directions
Yoshihide Wada1,2, Marc F. P. Bierkens2, Ad de Roo2,3, Paul A. Dirmeyer4, James S. Famiglietti5, Naota Hanasaki6, Megan Konar7, Junguo Liu1,8, Hannes Müller Schmied9,10, Taikan Oki11,12, Yadu Pokhrel13, Murugesu Sivapalan7,14, Tara J. Troy15, Albert I. J. M. van Dijk16, Tim van Emmerik17, Marjolein H.J. Van Huijgevoort18, Henny A. J. Van Lanen19, Charles J. Vörösmarty20,21, Niko Wanders2,22, and Howard Wheater23 1International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Schlossplatz 1, A-2361 Laxenburg, Austria
2Department of Physical Geography, Utrecht University, Heidelberglaan 2, 3584 CS Utrecht, the Netherlands
3Joint Research Center, European Commission, Via Enrico Fermi 2749, I - 21027 Ispra, Italy
4Center for Ocean–Land–Atmosphere Studies, George Mason University, 4400 University Dr, Fairfax, VA 22030 USA
5NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, 4800 Oak Grove Dr, Pasadena, CA 91109, USA
6National Institute for Environmental Studies, 16-2 Onogawa, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-0053, Japan
7Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 205 N Mathews Ave, Urbana, IL 61801, USA
8School of Environmental Science and Engineering, South University of Science and Technology of China, No.1008, Xueyuan Blvd, Nanshan, Shenzhen, 518055, China
9Institute of Physical Geography, Goethe-University, Altenhoeferallee 1, D-60438 Frankfurt am Main, Germany
10Senckenberg Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre (BiK-F), Senckenberganlage 25, D-60325 Frankfurt am Main, Germany
11Institute of Industrial Science, The University of Tokyo, 4−6−1 Komaba, Meguro, Tokyo 153-8505, Japan
12United Nations University, 5 Chome-53-70 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo 150-8925, Japan
13Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA
14Department of Geography and Geographic Information Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Springfield Avenue, Champaign, IL 61801, USA
15Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Lehigh University, 1 West Packer Avenue, Bethlehem, PA 180153001, USA
16Fenner School of Environment & Society, The Australian National University, Linnaeus Way, Canberra, ACT 2601, Australia
17Water Resources Section, Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences, Delft University of Technology, Stevinweg 1, 2628 CN Delft, the Netherlands
18Program in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, Princeton University, 300 Forrestal Rd, Princeton, NJ 08544, USA
19Hydrology and Quantitative Water Management Group, Wageningen University, Droevendaalsesteeg 4, 6708 BP Wageningen, the Netherlands
20Environmental Sciences Initiative, CUNY Advanced Science Research Center, 85 St Nicholas Terrace, New York, NY 10031, USA
21Civil Engineering Department, The City College of New York, 160 Convent Avenue New York, NY 10031, USA
22Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Princeton University, 59 Olden St, Princeton, NJ 08540, USA
23Global Institute for Water Security, University of Saskatchewan, 11 Innovation Blvd, Saskatoon, SK S7N 3H5, Canada
Abstract. Over the last decades, the global population has been rapidly increasing and human activities have altered terrestrial water fluxes at an unprecedented scale. The phenomenal growth of the human footprint has significantly modified hydrological processes in various ways (e.g., irrigation, artificial dams, and water diversion) and at various scales (from a watershed to the globe). During the early 1990s, awareness of the potential water scarcity led to the first detailed global water resource assessments. Shortly thereafter, in order to analyse the human perturbation on terrestrial water resources, the first generation of large-scale hydrological models (LHMs) was produced. However, at this early stage few models considered the interaction between terrestrial water fluxes and human activities, including water use and reservoir regulation, and even fewer models distinguished water use from surface water and groundwater resources. Since the early 2000s, a growing number of LHMs are incorporating human impacts on hydrological cycle, yet human representations in hydrological models remain challenging. In this paper we provide a synthesis of progress in the development and application of human impact modeling in LHMs. We highlight a number of key challenges and discuss possible improvements in order to better represent the human-water interface in hydrological models.

Citation: Wada, Y., Bierkens, M. F. P., de Roo, A., Dirmeyer, P. A., Famiglietti, J. S., Hanasaki, N., Konar, M., Liu, J., Müller Schmied, H., Oki, T., Pokhrel, Y., Sivapalan, M., Troy, T. J., van Dijk, A. I. J. M., van Emmerik, T., Van Huijgevoort, M. H. J., Van Lanen, H. A. J., Vörösmarty, C. J., Wanders, N., and Wheater, H.: Human-water interface in hydrological modeling: Current status and future directions, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci. Discuss., https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2017-248, in review, 2017.
Yoshihide Wada et al.
Yoshihide Wada et al.
Yoshihide Wada et al.

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Short summary
Rapidly increasing population and human activities have altered terrestrial water fluxes at an unprecedented scale. Awareness of potential water scarcity led to first global water resource assessments, however, few hydrological models considered the interaction between terrestrial water fluxes and human activities. Our contribution highlights the importance of human activities transforming the Earth's water cycle, and how hydrological models can include such influences in an integrated manner.
Rapidly increasing population and human activities have altered terrestrial water fluxes at an...
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