Water Rights: Importance, Difficulties, and New Approaches to Data Collection and Analysis
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Water is becoming increasingly scarce in many parts of the world. In most such areas, definition and enforcement of water rights have yet to be put in place, while experience shows that these steps are fundamentally important to ensure productive and efficient use of water. often, as competition intensifies, the data required to assess appropriate allocations and rules become more contentious and difficult to access. New technologies are available, primarily based on remotely sensed satellite data used in conjunction with a minimum set of ground measurements, to generate hydrological data. Such data can readily be correlated with streamflow measurements and also can be used for "what if" analyses of specific climate situations or changes in ground cover. The satellite data are freely available over the Internet, as are other data required.
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