Water use is crucial for food production, industrial processes and other human needs. At the same time can a lack of water damage natural aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems.
The impact model for impacts of a loss of wetland habitat area is addressing the impacts of a lack of water that leads to a change in available water volumes and hence habitat areas. The definition of wetlands used is the definition of the Ramsar Convention, which defines wetlands as waterbodies that are “areas of marsh, fen, peatland, or water, whether natural or artificial, permanent or temporary, with water that is static or flowing, fresh, brackish, or salt, including areas of marine water the depth of which at low tide does not exceed six metres” (Ramsar Convention 1994), however, we excluded the marine wetlands.
The impact model for terrestrial vascular plant species outside wetlands takes into account that it needs a certain land area to generate a volume of freshwater from precipitation for maintaining vegetation. A lack of this land will thus lead to a damage on the vascular plant species.
Both impact pathways are only relevant for the Area of protection ‘Ecosystem Quality’ caused by water consumption.
Cause-effect chain for modelling the potential loss of species due to water consumption in aquatic and riparian habitat.
Cause-effect chain for modelling the potential loss of species due to water consumption in terrestrial habitat.
Only marginal CFs are available for both model pathways. The approach based on wetland biodiversity takes animal species into account, who are then harmonized to one final factor, as described in the framework chapter. We take vulnerability scores of the species into account, highlighting the fact that not all species show the same resilience towards anthropogenic impacts.