Today, more than four billion people live in regions that are threatened by water scarcity related to supply variability. Changes in the amount and timing of precipitation, combined with dynamic patterns of human water use and allocation, influence socio-environmental systems worldwide. Competing demands on water resources drive decisions about water allocation, including groundwater withdrawals, privatization, land-use and landscape changes, and water infrastructure management. At the same time, human interactions with coastal and marine systems are becoming more complex. Populations centered in and moving to coastal areas face a myriad of challenges including evolving shorelines, impacts of major storms and the availability of natural resources.
This Theme is specifically focused on the integration of data and the development of models (e.g., simulation, theoretical) to enhance our understanding of the relationships between the spatial and temporal variability of freshwater, coastal and marine systems, ecological systems, and human welfare or behavior and their implications for policy and practice.