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Journal Articles Science of the Total Environment Year : 2018

A spatial evaluation of global wildfire-water risks to human and natural systems

Abstract

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. Crown
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hal-02623792 , version 1 (26-05-2020)

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Francois -Nicolas Robinne, Kevin D. Bladon, Carol Miller, Marc-André Parisien, Jérôme Mathieu, et al.. A spatial evaluation of global wildfire-water risks to human and natural systems. Science of the Total Environment, 2018, 610, pp.1193-1206. ⟨10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.08.112⟩. ⟨hal-02623792⟩
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