Jan 232017

The following is a pdf document with images of present and projected water stress (1 page). I can’t post this all here, it simply won’t fit.

There are a couple of things to keep in mind when looking at this. At first glance, it appears that the colors indicate less stress in 2025, however that is not true. The second map is how much worse water stress will be increased from the present stress levels, which is already bad for many parts of the United States.

High levels of water stress indicate that socioeconomic demand for freshwater approaches (or exceeds) the annual renewable supply.

For the United States and much of the crop producing regions of the world, water stress is already very bad (yellow, orange and red). It is also projected to significantly increase in severity and size (severely to extremely “more stressed”). Interestingly, mid-latitude locations are hardest hit.

It’s all inaccurate, because it is based upon the IPCC 4th Assessment Report (dated info). Water stress has already increased in some regions beyond this.

For large countries (e.g. China, India, Russia, United States, etc.) aggregation of stress at the nation-state level would mask the risk of social disruption at local levels.

What they’re telling us is the actual effects of water stress will be hidden in the images, but still there and still experienced, so large countries like the United States, China, Russia, Africa will still experience all kinds of social disruptions “at local levels” (regional and local effects from water stress).

So despite being dated information, it’s something that can be still used to project how blog readers might find their countries impacted. It reveals globally worsening conditions from an already bad situation for most of us.

Here’s what has been happening with insurance losses worldwide:

Source: Munich Re. (a) ‘Loss event’ refers to the risk that a single event, or series of events, leads to a significant deviation in actual claims from the total expected claims, usually over a short period of time (often 72 hours). (b) Earthquake, tsunami, volcanic activity. (c) Tropical storm, convective storm, local storm. (d) Flood, mass movement. (e) Extreme temperature, drought, forest fire.

Water (d, blue) shows extreme growth in insurance losses, as does storm activity (c, green).

Where you live and how “at risk” you are to water stress, excess water, too little water is clearly something to think about. We all are, actually, no matter where you live because water is essential for life and for food production. The above pdf link depicts future food shortages no doubt, the increasing water stress is right smack-dab where the world produces most of its food.

Los Angeles is reporting new records for daily rainfall (almost 4″ in a single day) in a region that is generally very dry, with associated damage, deaths and human suffering. Extreme weather is increasing, making planning for future human habitation problematic, but I can safely say this to help with anybody considering relocation – pick higher ground so that gravity works for you, not against you as these extreme water events accelerate.

I live on a small ridge, it would take a biblical flood to reach my house, but the roads would wash away, and quite a few people would lose their homes if we got 4″ of rain in one day.

I know it’s coming.

Update – from https://phys.org/news/2017-01-professors-issue-climate-trump-administration.html

“Also, among the countries most affected by this is the USA and the continent most affected is Asia, where many US multinationals have manufacturing. This makes climate change a huge US issue, especially economically.

My analysis of the impact of disasters can be summarised as the following:

  1. Analysing the period 1965-2015, nearly all of the cumulative property damage and the most number of people affected by natural disasters were caused by floods, droughts, storms and earthquakes. Of these, the first three (and some other disaster types such as extreme heat) are climate-related.
  2. If we look at the cumulative property damage for more recent years, 2000-2015, the country with the highest damage is the USA. While China, India and Bangladesh lead in the cumulative total of people affected by natural disasters, the USA is close behind these ‘leaders’. Furthermore, while Asia as a continent, is far ahead of other continents when it comes to the total number of people affected (2000-2015), North America is not far behind in property damage and will likely exceed other continents in the years to come based on trends.
  3. The trend of property damage (1965-2015) due to climate-related natural disasters, such as floods and storms, shows growth of about $25 billion per decade. In comparison, for non-climate-related disasters such as earthquakes, the figure is less than $10 billion per decade. The contrast is sharper for the total number of people affected globally: the growth is about 40 million more people per decade due to climate-related disasters compared to a negligible increase in the number of people affected by non-climate-related disasters. The trends are more pronounced for Asia and North America – the former for the number of people affected and the latter for property damage, so North America stands to be the ‘leader’ in property damage due to climate-related disasters in the coming years.

This analysis only ‘correlates’ the impact of climate-related disasters as well as non-climate ones but in recently published research, I have provided empirical evidence that disasters and the economy are related in a vicious cycle.

So if disasters are primarily becoming climate-related, the incoming US administration should take heed that the economy, especially that of the US will suffer greatly if climate change is not reversed or at least slowed.”

  3 Responses to “Projected Water Stress”


    My state, traditionally one of the wettest in the nation, published a paper on projected changes in water resources that has some telling quotes:

    “The impacts of climate change will intensify our current challenges in managing water resources
    in Washington. The state’s water resources are already under stress from:
    ▪ Excessive water withdrawals.
    ▪ Increasing conflicts among water users and demands on water resources.
    ▪ Increasing water quality degradation.
    ▪ More frequent and intense droughts and floods.
    ▪ Loss of species, habitats, and ecosystems.
    Climate change impacts will vary across different watersheds in Washington. More frequent and extreme precipitation events will likely strain our urban stormwater systems and increase the amount of polluted runoff flowing into Puget Sound. Flood risk will increase for some basins in the state, putting people and infrastructure in harm’s way.

    In the summer, average runoff is projected to decrease by:
    ▪ 16 to 19 percent by the 2020s.
    ▪ 22 to 29 percent by the 2040s.
    ▪ 33 to 43 percent by the 2080s.”

    Perusing the relocation threads on City Data for water-stressed states such as Arizona and California reminds me of Ripley’s question in “Aliens.” DID I.Q.’S DROP SHARPLY WHILE I WAS AWAY? It boggles the mind that the FIRST priority in relocating family to a long-term safe area is not the existence of present and future adequate water supplies for projected population growth.


      Snow is melting here (warm temps) and rain. Flooding will be expected if this continues.

      One of the first things I did was build a backup water system. It’s not a guarantee, just a buffer. I then built more water redundancy (another well) on top of that. But drought could happen anywhere (as far as I know) and this makes planning complicated. I know many people “insist” on surface water (a creek or good spring) for example, but I’ve never agreed that this is a actual requirement.

      Surface water is easily contaminated from pollutants (forest fires are a prime problem in forested regions), whereas ground water is much better protected. You do have to get it out of the ground, but that’s doable with a bit of planning and some effort. It’s also more reliable as a clean source of water in the end.

      I once helped a guy look at all kinds of properties (I’ve done this for a lot of people) and he kept discarding place after place after place because there was no surface water (despite his having the money to buy whatever he wanted). I finally threw my hands up and gave up trying to help him.