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    Review of 'Assessing SDG indicator 6.4.2 “level of water stress” at major basins level'

    Assessing SDG indicator 6.4.2 “level of water stress” at major basins levelCrossref
    This is an important article bridging science, policy and practice in the implementation of SDG6.
    Average rating:
        Rated 4.5 of 5.
    Level of importance:
        Rated 4 of 5.
    Level of validity:
        Rated 5 of 5.
    Level of completeness:
        Rated 4 of 5.
    Level of comprehensibility:
        Rated 5 of 5.
    Competing interests:

    Reviewed article

    • Record: found
    • Abstract: found
    • Article: found
    Is Open Access

    Assessing SDG indicator 6.4.2 “level of water stress” at major basins level

    This paper describes a method to disaggregate the indicator 6.4.2 (level of water stress) by major river basin. The analysis was performed using the GlobWat soil water balance model and global geospatial data consistent with national statistics published in AQUASTAT, the FAO’s global information system on water and agriculture. When a river basin spans across more than one country, the water stress calculated by country can be very different from that calculated by river basin since the counting of the renewable freshwater resources from one country to another is highly dependent on the official agreement and treaties that regulate the flow of those resources between countries. This problem is hydrologically solved once the accounting of the water resources is done on the major river basin as a whole. The disaggregation by river basin allows the identification of hotspots where actions should be prioritized and reveals that the area affected by a high or critical water stress spans across all continents with the exception of Oceania. It offers also the possibility of an analysis of freshwater withdrawals by sector, which may become crucial for the definition of water management policies in the context of the economic development of a country.

      Review information

      This work has been published open access under Creative Commons Attribution License CC BY 4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Conditions, terms of use and publishing policy can be found at www.scienceopen.com.

      Sustainable development goals,Environmental Flows,Water stress,river basin,Water resources,disaggregation,GIS,Sustainability

      Review text

      The authors provide a realistic, implementable methodology to make the SDG6 water stress indicator at the river basin level, and use their methodology to demonstrate the state of the indicator using verified, globally applicable data sets that are maintained in FAO's AQUASTAT. I expect this paper to be extensively used by researchers, professionals and countries and to set a standard in the assessment and collaborative, holistic management of river basins.


      We thank the reviewer for his comments. A revised version of the paper has been posted in the system

      2021-07-30 08:22 UTC

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