Future projections of water use in Europe – Findings from an ensemble analysis:
Freshwater resources are not only influenced by climate change but also by changing water withdrawals (water use). The assessment of future developments in water use are extremely important as they provide information on whether „enough water for all“ will be available or where water could give rise to conflicts. Scenario analysis is a common method to analyse and evaluate possible future events by considering alternative outcomes.
This paper presents a review of the results of four different scenarios studies that were developed in the last 10 years. A single model (WaterGAP) was used for computing all scenarios, and therefore differences in scenario results within a study reflect the different assumptions about future driving forces. Future water uses were simulated for the domestic, industry and agriculture sectors in Europe.
The results are impacted by the scenario drivers and assumptions but also by model improvements. Here it becomes obvious that the range of variation is significantly characterized by the drivers and their assumptions, while the level is also influenced by the model improvements.