Hydrology in the anthropocene

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Abstract

The effects of the Anthropocene on hydrologic processes are seen through a range of obvious biophysical changes, with pervasive second-order impacts. Especially important is the availability of water, which is likely to become scarcer overall and less uniformly distributed. The emerging field of ecohydrology, linking ecosystem and hydrologic sciences, is forming an effective way to understand the effects of the Anthropocene on hydrologic systems. An often overlooked factor is that human cultural actions and attitudes are also affecting how the global human population views and uses water. Anthropocene-induced changes to hydrologic systems have immediate knock-on effects on ecosystems and thus the delivery of ecosystem services. Careless pollution of hydrologic systems, especially by organic pollutants, is a major rising challenge. While the Anthropocene will produce a distinct waterscape, that waterscape is still amenable to careful, thoughtful management that will ensure functional hydrologic systems into the future.

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Bridgewater, P., Guarino, E., & Thompson, R. M. (2017). Hydrology in the anthropocene. In Encyclopedia of the Anthropocene (Vol. 1–5, pp. 87–92). Elsevier. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-809665-9.09916-X

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