Impact of Climate and Land-Use Changes on Water Quality
Years of unprecedented population growth; changing climate; rapid urbanization; and increased demand for food, irrigation water, and agricultural lands have put great pressure on both land and water resources. In developing economies, agricultural lands are expanding rapidly as people convert forestlands, wetlands, and other natural habitat. Forestry, agriculture, and climate change are closely linked together and pose a gargantuan challenge to humanity and to ecosystems. Agricultural intensification contributes to deforestation, and climate change increases the uncertainty associated with the future availability and variability of freshwater resources. Hence, controlling the geochemical evolution of groundwater and determining the link between climate change and human impacts on groundwater quality are essential to achieve sustainable integrated groundwater quality and land use management. Such elements are necessary to develop an effective groundwater protection policy. However, detecting and quantifying how these changes affect the quality of water resources is still a challenge for hydrologists since quantifying such changes need long-term hydrological data.