In the Aegean Islands, the continued availability of freshwater resources is of fundamental concern. This study analyzes the freshwater system for the Island of Lesvos by simultaneously conceptualizing various issues surrounding it using vulnerability assessment as a quantitative tool. The endpoint approach to vulnerability assessment was applied by developing a numerical expression based on a set of 25 quantitative and qualitative indicators; the indicators were identified as proxies to reflect the various conspicuous and inconspicuous issues surrounding water resources of the Island. In addition, concurrent visualization of the indicators was carried out by plotting radar charts. The assessment indicated that the Lesvian hydrogeological system has significant vulnerabilities emanating from both natural and anthropogenic pressures in addition to a poor adaptive capacity to counter perturbations; this was corroborated by the composite water vulnerability index which was calculated to be 0.69. Based on the analysis of the assessment results, the priority management targets and existing management optimization tools, the authors propose a quantitative framework that could aid the development of an effective methodology for addressing problems in water resource management; this approach couples adaptive water management with vulnerability assessment. The proposed methodology may represent a tool for identification of better solutions to water management–decision problems and/or provide important insights during decision making in similar environments.
Sustainable Water Resources Management – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 27, 2017
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