Document / Publication
Earth Institute, the
This document asserts that potential water risk of businesses may be often underestimated due to climate variations. In most places, even if the resource is not overappropriated on average, persistent shortage induced by climate conditions can lead to stress. A clear understanding of shortages induced by droughts, in terms of the magnitude, duration and recurrence frequency will better inform the water businesses and water related sectors. To properly diagnose water risk, authors recommend to examine both existing demand and variations in renewable water supply at an appropriate spatial resolution and unit. A metric that can inform the potential severity of a shortage is the accumulated deficit between demand and supply at a location. The document offers ways to estimate this risk and map it for the USA at a county level. The measures of water risk are estimated using over sixty years of precipitation and the current water use pattern for each county.