000027849 001__ 27849
000027849 041__ $$aEnglish
000027849 100__ $$aViviroli, D.
000027849 245__ $$aMountains of the World, Water Towers for Humanity: Typology, Mapping, and Global Significance
000027849 260__ $$c2007
000027849 300__ $$an/a-n/a
000027849 511__ $$aKoshi, Article
000027849 520__ $$aMountains are important sources of freshwater for the adjacent lowlands. In view of increasingly scarce freshwater resources, this contribution should be clarified. While earlier studies focused on selected river systems in different climate zones, we attempt here a first spatially explicit, global typology of the so-called “water towers” at the 0.5° × 0.5° resolution in order to identify critical regions where disproportionality of mountain runoff as compared to lowlands is maximum. Then, an Earth systems perspective is considered with incorporation of lowland climates, distinguishing four different types of water towers. We show that more than 50% of mountain areas have an essential or supportive role for downstream regions. Finally, the potential significance of water resources in mountains is illustrated by including the actual population in the adjacent lowlands and its water needs: 7% of global mountain area provides essential water resources, while another 37% delivers important supportive supply, especially in arid and semiarid regions where vulnerability for seasonal and regional water shortage is high.
000027849 700__ $$aDürr, H. H.
000027849 700__ $$aMesserli, B.
000027849 700__ $$aMeybeck, M.
000027849 700__ $$aWeingartner, R.
000027849 773__ $$pWater Resources Research
000027849 773__ $$v43 (7)
000027849 773__ $$a10.1029/2006WR005653
000027849 8564_ $$uhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1029/2006WR005653$$yWeb address
000027849 980__ $$aArticle