Safeguarding water use for human activities and ecosystems is required for sustainable development; however, no global assessment of wildfire risks 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 socioeconomic status. However, in developing countries, a critical component of the risk is the lack of socio-economic capability to respond to disasters.