Skip to main content

Impact of climate change on vulnerability of freshwater resources: a case study of Mauritius


Freshwater resource availability in SIDS, including Mauritius, is on the verge of becoming a major constraint to socio-economic development. A freshwater vulnerability assessment was undertaken for the period of 2000–2015 to understand the present vulnerability of the water systems in Mauritius and a future vulnerability estimation. Currently, the freshwater sector has been classified as a moderately vulnerable sector with a Freshwater Vulnerability Index (FVI) of 0.36–0.38 derived from a resource availability of 1091–1184 m3/capita, a coefficient of rainfall variation of 0.206–0.220, a water exploitation rate of 72–76% and ecological degradation of 30–39% for the period of 2000–2015. For the period of 2020–2050 under a business as usual scenario, the freshwater sector remained in a moderate-vulnerability region whereby the water exploitation rate was found to be the most affected vulnerability parameter with an increase to 95% exploitation by 2050. Under the effects of climate change, the FVI increased to a range of 0.38–0.44 indicating a shift from moderate- to high-vulnerability region and the findings also indicate that the country is likely to enter into a water scarcity region (water availability of < 1000 m3/capita) by 2030 and face overexploitation of water resources (water exploitation rate > 100%) by 2040. For all three scenarios, the resource stress category showed the highest contribution on the calculated FVI with a share of contribution of 33–38% to the current FVI, 34–38% to the predicted FVI for a business as usual scenario and 40–43% to the predicted FVI under the effects of climate change.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6
Fig. 7
Fig. 8
Fig. 9
Fig. 10


  1. A long-term mean of 20 years was opted so as to smoothen the effect of rainfall variability and to match the methodology adopted by MAGICC/SCENGEN software which uses 20-year-long mean data to generate precipitation data. This will ease comparison between the current and the predicted freshwater vulnerability index.


Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Dinesh Surroop.

Additional information

Publisher's Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Boojhawon, A., Surroop, D. Impact of climate change on vulnerability of freshwater resources: a case study of Mauritius. Environ Dev Sustain 23, 195–223 (2021).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


  • Freshwater Vulnerability Index (FVI)
  • Climate change
  • Water
  • Mauritius