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Land, Water, and Wind Watershed Cycle: a strategic use of water, land and wind for climate change adaptation

Abstract

The increase in population and the improvement of life standards are stretching the boundaries between water-energy-land management, and demanding innovative and holistic solutions. This article proposes an approach for increasing the water availability of two or more water basins taking into consideration land use and wind patterns, and was named Land, Water, and Wind Watershed Cycle (L3WC). This approach can be applied to one watershed or a combination of watersheds. In the first case, if wind patterns blow mainly in the opposite direction of the main river flow, plantations with high water demand should be focused on the lowest part of the basin. The transpired moisture would then return to the basin with the wind and possibly increase the water availability of the basin. Applying this method to a series of basins, water is transposed from one basin to another, used for irrigated agriculture, returned to the atmosphere with evapotranspiration and pushed back to the basin where the water was extracted by the wind. Case studies of this methodology are presented in the São Francisco basin and between the Tocantins, Amazonas, and Paraná basins and the São Francisco basin in Brazil. The São Francisco basin was selected because it is located in a dry region, its flow has considerably reduced in the past decade and because the trade winds blow constantly from the ocean into the continent all year around. L3WC is a strategy to plan the allocation of water consumption in a watershed, taking into account wind patterns to support the sustainable development of a region. It has the potential of increasing water availability and creating a climate change adaptation mechanism to control the climate and reduce vulnerability to climatic variations.

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Correspondence to Walter Leal Filho.

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Hunt, J.D., Leal Filho, W. Land, Water, and Wind Watershed Cycle: a strategic use of water, land and wind for climate change adaptation. Climatic Change 147, 427–439 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10584-018-2164-8

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