Entropy and reliability of water use via a statistical approach of scarcity

G. Karakatsanis, N. Mamassis, D. Koutsoyiannis, and A. Efstratiadis, Entropy and reliability of water use via a statistical approach of scarcity, Facets of Uncertainty: 5th EGU Leonardo Conference – Hydrofractals 2013 – STAHY 2013, Kos Island, Greece, doi:10.13140/RG.2.2.24450.68809, European Geosciences Union, International Association of Hydrological Sciences, International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics, 2013.



The paper examines economic reliability of water resource availability within a stochastic framework. Hoekstra and Mekonnen (2012) provide water use data for agricultural and industrial production. The current work utilizes these findings by coupling hydrological processes with reliability for economic use via a statistical approach of scarcity. Water extracted from the hydrological cycle is never bounded permanently, but only creates temporary scarcity via the competitive use of its limited economically useful attributes (such as its quality). The replenishment rate of freshwater reservoirs is limited and the return of water to its natural path requires energy inputs and time. Hence, what the economy is actually deprived of via the intensification of water use, the diversion of a water resource from its natural hydrological path and the eventual degradation after its use is its immediate availability, which is equivalent to increased uncertainty as the economy reaches closer to its natural water supply reliability limit. Georgescu-Roegen (1986) postulated a connection between increased dispersion and supply uncertainty of a resource to entropy, which in the case of water might be interpreted as increase of the probability of temporal unavailability.

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See also: http://dx.doi.org/10.13140/RG.2.2.24450.68809