Influence of Groundwater Extraction Costs and Resource Depletion Limits on Simulated Global Nonrenewable Water Withdrawals Over the Twenty‐First Century

TitleInfluence of Groundwater Extraction Costs and Resource Depletion Limits on Simulated Global Nonrenewable Water Withdrawals Over the Twenty‐First Century
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsTurner, Sean W. D., Hejazi Mohamad, Yonkofski Catherine, Kim Son H., and Kyle Page
JournalEarth's Future
Volume7
Number2
Pages123-135
Date Published01/2019
Abstract / Summary

Future rates of global groundwater depletion will depend on the economic and environmental viability of extracting water from increasingly stressed aquifers. Here we analyze global groundwater depletion by considering these factors explicitly. Global gridded groundwater availability and extraction cost data are aggregated to produce nonrenewable resource supply curves for 235 major river basins and geopolitical regions. These resources are then exposed to dynamically generated demands for water in a fully coupled, multisectoral, global simulation. As groundwater head levels drop, imposing greater capital and operating costs to bring water to the surface, modeled water use sectors are able to deploy a range of supply‐ and demand‐driven adaptive responses. Results demonstrate large sensitivity in global groundwater depletion rates to adjustments in resource exploitability. Extraction costs moderate demands for nonrenewable water substantially, resulting in the onset of a decline in global groundwater depletion rates within the twenty‐first century. New groundwater depletion hot spots may emerge as crop producers abandon overexploited basins and expand croplands in regions with cheaper, more plentiful water resources.

URLhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1029/2018ef001105
DOI10.1029/2018ef001105
Funding Program: 
Journal: Earth's Future
Year of Publication: 2019
Volume: 7
Number: 2
Pages: 123-135
Date Published: 01/2019

Future rates of global groundwater depletion will depend on the economic and environmental viability of extracting water from increasingly stressed aquifers. Here we analyze global groundwater depletion by considering these factors explicitly. Global gridded groundwater availability and extraction cost data are aggregated to produce nonrenewable resource supply curves for 235 major river basins and geopolitical regions. These resources are then exposed to dynamically generated demands for water in a fully coupled, multisectoral, global simulation. As groundwater head levels drop, imposing greater capital and operating costs to bring water to the surface, modeled water use sectors are able to deploy a range of supply‐ and demand‐driven adaptive responses. Results demonstrate large sensitivity in global groundwater depletion rates to adjustments in resource exploitability. Extraction costs moderate demands for nonrenewable water substantially, resulting in the onset of a decline in global groundwater depletion rates within the twenty‐first century. New groundwater depletion hot spots may emerge as crop producers abandon overexploited basins and expand croplands in regions with cheaper, more plentiful water resources.

DOI: 10.1029/2018ef001105
Citation:
Turner, SW, M Hejazi, C Yonkofski, SH Kim, and P Kyle.  2019.  "Influence of Groundwater Extraction Costs and Resource Depletion Limits on Simulated Global Nonrenewable Water Withdrawals Over the Twenty‐First Century."  Earth's Future 7(2): 123-135.  https://doi.org/10.1029/2018ef001105.