Global insights into water resources, climate change and governance

Quentin Grafton, Jamie Pittock, John Williams, Daniel Connell, Qiang Jiang, Tom Kompas, Richard Davis, Guobin Fu, Michele Warburton, Bradley Udall, Ronnie McKenzie, Xiubo Yu, Nhu Che, Amanda Lynch, Richard Norris, Hugh Possingham, John Quiggin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

250 Citations (Scopus)


The threats of climate change and the trade-offs between extractions and flows are examined for the Colorado, the Murray, the Orange and the Yellow Rivers. In all four basins, and over a long period of time, outflows have greatly reduced as a direct result of increased water extractions. Although climate change will aggravate hydrological impacts on river systems, currently high levels of water extractions remain the principal contributor to reduced system flows. Changes in governance, including sharing the variability between the environment and consumers, are urgently required if the health of these rivers is to be maintained.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)315-321
Number of pages7
JournalNature Climate Change
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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