Introduction to special section on Impacts of Land Use Change on Water Resources
Article first published online: 17 JUN 2009
Copyright 2009 by the American Geophysical Union.
Water Resources Research
Volume 45, Issue 7, July 2009
How to Cite
2009), Introduction to special section on Impacts of Land Use Change on Water Resources, Water Resour. Res., 45, W00A00, doi:10.1029/2009WR007937., , and (
- Issue published online: 17 JUN 2009
- Article first published online: 17 JUN 2009
- Manuscript Accepted: 1 APR 2009
- Manuscript Received: 3 MAR 2009
- land use;
- land cover;
- water resources;
- human impacts
 Changes in land use have potentially large impacts on water resources, yet quantifying these impacts remains among the more challenging problems in hydrology. Water, food, energy, and climate are linked through complex webs of direct and indirect effects and feedbacks. Land use is undergoing major changes due not only to pressures for more efficient food, feed, and fiber production to support growing populations but also due to policy shifts that are creating markets for biofuel and agricultural carbon sequestration. Hydrologic systems embody flows of water, solutes, sediments, and energy that vary even in the absence of human activity. Understanding land use impacts thus necessitates integrated scientific approaches. Field measurements, remote sensing, and modeling studies are shedding new light on the modes and mechanisms by which land use changes impact water resources. Such studies can help deconflate the interconnected influences of human actions and natural variations on the quantity and quality of soil water, surface water, and groundwater, past, present, and future.