Standard Article

189 Land Use and Water Resources under a Changing Climate

Part 16. Land Use and Water Management

  1. Thomas W Giambelluca

Published Online: 15 APR 2006

DOI: 10.1002/0470848944.hsa197

Encyclopedia of Hydrological Sciences

Encyclopedia of Hydrological Sciences

How to Cite

Giambelluca, T. W. 2006. Land Use and Water Resources under a Changing Climate. Encyclopedia of Hydrological Sciences. 16:189.

Author Information

  1. University of Hawaii at Manoa, Geography Department, Honolulu, HI, US

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 APR 2006


Water resources are becoming increasingly scarce because of the mounting demand for water associated with population growth and economic development. The availability of and need for water resources are strongly influenced by land use. Land use and land cover change can alter the regional hydrologic cycle by changing evapotranspiration (ET), runoff, soil moisture, and perhaps even precipitation, resulting in changes in water supply and demand. In addition to changes associated with land use, climate warming may significantly influence the global hydrological cycle, leading to a variety of regional hydrological changes. Higher atmospheric CO2 levels and changing climate will influence land cover in various ways. Conversely, many types of land cover change disrupt the global carbon cycle, contributing to changes in atmospheric greenhouse gases. The drivers of climate and land cover change will be subject to complex feedbacks involving the hydrological cycle and water resources. Hence, it is important to consider the web of interacting factors affecting water resources in the context of climate and land use change. This article reviews the effects of land cover and land use change on water supply and demand, the predicted effects of global warming on water resources, the interaction between climate change and land cover change, and the combined effects of land use and climate change on water resources.


  • climate change;
  • land cover and land use change;
  • water demand;
  • water resources;
  • water supply