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A spatial evaluation of global wildlife-water risks to human and natural systems

Date: April 17, 2018

Researchers evaluate hydrogeomorphic effects on water security on a global scale. This project is the first global evaluation of wildfire risks to water security


Background

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.

Research

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.

Key Findings

  • Our work highlights the importance of addressing wildfire-induced risks in the development of water security policies.
  • The geographic differences in the components of the overall risk could help adapting those policies to different regional contexts. 
  • Severe wildfires may endanger the water supply of human and natural communities. 
  • Beyond post-fire hazards, potential impacts and resilience capacities drive the global wildfire-water risk.
  •  Wildfire risk to water security can occur globally but may be particularly acute in water-insecure countries.

                

 

Global index to assess wildfire risks to water security
Global index to assess wildfire risks to water security

 

 

Featured Publications

Robinne, Francois-Nicolas ; Bladon, Kevin D. ; Miller, Carol L. ; Parisien, Marc-Andre ; Mathieu, Jerome ; Flannigan, Mike D. , 2017


National Strategic Program Areas: 
Wildland Fire and Fuels
RMRS Science Program Areas: 
Fire, Fuel and Smoke
RMRS Strategic Priorities: 
Fire Sciences; Water & Watersheds
Geography: 
International
Principal Investigators: 
External Partners: 
Francois N. Robinne: Western Partnership for Wildland Fire Science, Department of Renewable Resources

Kevin D. Bladon: Department of Forestry Engineering, Resources and Management

Marc-Andre Parisien: Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Forest Service

Jerome Mathieu: Sorbonne Universities, UPMC

Mike D. Flannigan: Western Partnership for Wildland Fire Science, Department of Renewable Resources