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The effects of land-use change on river flows have usually been explained by changes within a river basin. However, land-atmosphere feedback such as moisture recycling can link local land-use change to modifications of remote precipitation, with further knock-on effects on distant river flows. Here, we look at river flow changes caused by both land-use change and water use within the basin, as well as modifications of imported and exported atmospheric moisture. We show that in some of the world's largest basins, precipitation was influenced stronger by land-use change occurring outside than inside the basin. Moreover, river flows in several non-transboundary basins was considerably regulated by land-use changes in foreign countries. We conclude that regional patterns of land-use change and moisture recycling are important to consider in explaining runoff change, integrating land and water management, and informing water governance.
Research news | 2018-09-18
Why the concept of stewardship offers a platform for collaboration and dialogue between actors, even with differing perspectives
Research news | 2018-09-14
The world needs a much more ambitious work plan to halt species loss and restore biodiversity. Here are three steps to get there
Research news | 2018-09-13
Digital revolution and market forces poised to drive economic transformation away from fossil fuels, but not without the right policy mix and bold climate leadership
Research news | 2018-09-12
Centre launches new online platform for resilience assessments, representing a major innovation in resilience practice
Research news | 2018-09-06
Water and land governance need to consider effects of distant land-use change, because local land-use decisions are not as local as we have always assumed
General news | 2018-09-06
Ten of the world’s largest seafood companies announce they will increase their efforts to strengthen sustainable practices in the seafood industry