Indexing the Environmental Vulnerability of Mountain Streams in Azerbaijan uri icon

abstract

  • A simple environmental vulnerability assessment scheme is developed and illustrated using several streams in Azerbaijan as examples. Vulnerability of a river ecosystem is defined in terms of a combined impact of pressure factors such as water withdrawals, pollution, climate change impact on flow variability, and land use. These factors are used to measure the sensitivity of various elements/components of the system to impacts. The choice of these indicators may vary from area to area and depends on the nature of man-made and natural conditions. Each factor is characterized and quantified using a specific indicator and score. The total vulnerability score is estimated as a sum of the scores of all indicators. Most of the streams studied in Azerbaijan were found to be very vulnerable or extremely vulnerable, according to the developed scheme. The overall approach is straightforward and transparent. Conclusions are made about the vulnerability and/or resiliency of streams, to be taken into consideration when planning for water-sources development for the future.

publication date

  • 2012
  • 2012