Stationarity Is Dead: Whither Water Management?

Short Description

 Stationarity is the idea that natural systems fluctuate within an unchanging envelope of variability, and water systems management in the develpoed world are designed under this assumption. However, this assumption has been compromised by human disturbances, changes in flood risk, water quality and supply, channel modifications and drainage works, and land-cover and land-usage change. Planners have tools to adjust their analyses for known disturbances, however a higher magnitude of hydroclimatic change is underway and stationarity is no longer an appropriate approach to water planning and assessment. This article explores how water planning got to this point and how a suitable successor plan might be modeled.

Suggested Citation

Milley, P.C.D.., Julio Betancourt, Marlin FalkenMark, Robert M. Hirsch, Zbigniew W. Kundzewicz, Dennis P. Lettenmaier, and Ronald J Stouffer. "Stationarity Is Dead: Whither Water Management?" Science. 319.5863 (1 February 2008): 573-574.