Exploring the Modifiable Areal Unit Problem in Spatial Water Assessments: A Case of Water Shortage in Monsoon Asia

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Exploring the Modifiable Areal Unit Problem in Spatial Water Assessments: A Case of Water Shortage in Monsoon Asia. / Salmivaara, Aura; Porkka, Miina; Kummu, Matti; Keskinen, Marko; Guillaume, Joseph H.A.; Varis, Olli.

In: WATER, Vol. 7, No. 3, 2015, p. 898-917.

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@article{d26670aa6a0844afbe530835a324f94d,
title = "Exploring the Modifiable Areal Unit Problem in Spatial Water Assessments: A Case of Water Shortage in Monsoon Asia",
abstract = "Water shortage (availability per capita) is a key indicator of vulnerability to water scarcity. Spatial datasets enable the assessment of water shortage on multiple scales. The use of river basins and subbasins as analysis and management units is currently commonplace. An important but less acknowledged fact is that spatial assessments are strongly influenced by the choice of the unit of analysis due to the Modifiable Areal Unit Problem (MAUP). Climate conditions, agricultural activities, and access to groundwater also influence water availability and demand. In this study, a total of 21 different criteria were used to define areal units of analysis, i.e., zonings, for which water shortage was calculated. Focusing on Monsoon Asia, where water scarcity is a pressing problem, we found that zoning had a considerable impact, resulting in up to three-fold differences in the population under high water shortage (<1000 m3/cap/year), ranging from 782 million to 2.11 billion. In most zonings, however, the Indus and Yellow River Basins and northwest parts of India and China are under high water shortage. The study indicates that a multizonal and multiscale analysis is needed to minimize skewed or even misleading information that might be produced when using only one zoning.",
keywords = "Asia, enviornmental assessments, MAUP, spatial analysis, transboundary river basins, water resources management, Water shortage, vulnerability assessments, Asia, enviornmental assessments, MAUP, spatial analysis, transboundary river basins, water resources management, Water shortage, vulnerability assessments, Asia, enviornmental assessments, MAUP, spatial analysis, transboundary river basins, water resources management, Water shortage, vulnerability assessments",
author = "Aura Salmivaara and Miina Porkka and Matti Kummu and Marko Keskinen and Guillaume, {Joseph H.A.} and Olli Varis",
note = "VK: T20702",
year = "2015",
doi = "10.3390/w7030898",
language = "English",
volume = "7",
pages = "898--917",
journal = "WATER",
issn = "2073-4441",
publisher = "Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute (MDPI)",
number = "3",

}

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TY - JOUR

T1 - Exploring the Modifiable Areal Unit Problem in Spatial Water Assessments: A Case of Water Shortage in Monsoon Asia

AU - Salmivaara, Aura

AU - Porkka, Miina

AU - Kummu, Matti

AU - Keskinen, Marko

AU - Guillaume, Joseph H.A.

AU - Varis, Olli

N1 - VK: T20702

PY - 2015

Y1 - 2015

N2 - Water shortage (availability per capita) is a key indicator of vulnerability to water scarcity. Spatial datasets enable the assessment of water shortage on multiple scales. The use of river basins and subbasins as analysis and management units is currently commonplace. An important but less acknowledged fact is that spatial assessments are strongly influenced by the choice of the unit of analysis due to the Modifiable Areal Unit Problem (MAUP). Climate conditions, agricultural activities, and access to groundwater also influence water availability and demand. In this study, a total of 21 different criteria were used to define areal units of analysis, i.e., zonings, for which water shortage was calculated. Focusing on Monsoon Asia, where water scarcity is a pressing problem, we found that zoning had a considerable impact, resulting in up to three-fold differences in the population under high water shortage (<1000 m3/cap/year), ranging from 782 million to 2.11 billion. In most zonings, however, the Indus and Yellow River Basins and northwest parts of India and China are under high water shortage. The study indicates that a multizonal and multiscale analysis is needed to minimize skewed or even misleading information that might be produced when using only one zoning.

AB - Water shortage (availability per capita) is a key indicator of vulnerability to water scarcity. Spatial datasets enable the assessment of water shortage on multiple scales. The use of river basins and subbasins as analysis and management units is currently commonplace. An important but less acknowledged fact is that spatial assessments are strongly influenced by the choice of the unit of analysis due to the Modifiable Areal Unit Problem (MAUP). Climate conditions, agricultural activities, and access to groundwater also influence water availability and demand. In this study, a total of 21 different criteria were used to define areal units of analysis, i.e., zonings, for which water shortage was calculated. Focusing on Monsoon Asia, where water scarcity is a pressing problem, we found that zoning had a considerable impact, resulting in up to three-fold differences in the population under high water shortage (<1000 m3/cap/year), ranging from 782 million to 2.11 billion. In most zonings, however, the Indus and Yellow River Basins and northwest parts of India and China are under high water shortage. The study indicates that a multizonal and multiscale analysis is needed to minimize skewed or even misleading information that might be produced when using only one zoning.

KW - Asia

KW - enviornmental assessments

KW - MAUP

KW - spatial analysis

KW - transboundary river basins

KW - water resources management

KW - Water shortage

KW - vulnerability assessments

KW - Asia

KW - enviornmental assessments

KW - MAUP

KW - spatial analysis

KW - transboundary river basins

KW - water resources management

KW - Water shortage

KW - vulnerability assessments

KW - Asia

KW - enviornmental assessments

KW - MAUP

KW - spatial analysis

KW - transboundary river basins

KW - water resources management

KW - Water shortage

KW - vulnerability assessments

U2 - 10.3390/w7030898

DO - 10.3390/w7030898

M3 - Article

VL - 7

SP - 898

EP - 917

JO - WATER

JF - WATER

SN - 2073-4441

IS - 3

ER -

ID: 2002338