Deltas in arid environments
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Keywordsalinization; climate change; Colorado river; Tigris-Euphrates river; Nile river; Indus river
Due to increasing water use, diversion and salinization, along with subsidence and sea-level rise, deltas in arid regions are shrinking worldwide. Some of the most ecologically important arid deltas include the Colorado, Indus, Nile, and Tigris-Euphrates. The primary stressors vary globally, but these deltas are threatened by increased salinization, water storage and diversion, eutrophication, and wetland loss. In order to make these deltas sustainable over time, some water flow, including seasonal flooding, needs to be re-established. Positive impacts have been seen in the Colorado River delta after flows to the delta were increased. In addition to increasing freshwater flow, collaboration among stakeholders and active management are necessary. For the Nile River, cooperation among different nations in the Nile drainage basin is important. River flow into the Tigris-Euphrates River delta has been affected by politics and civil strife in the Middle East, but some flow has been re-allocated to the delta. Studies commissioned for the Indus River delta recommended re-establishment of some monthly water flow to maintain the river channel and to fight saltwater intrusion. However, accelerating climate impacts, socio-political conflicts, and growing populations suggest a dire future for arid deltas.
© The Author(s), 2021. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License. The definitive version was published in Day, J., Goodman, R., Chen, Z., Hunter, R., Giosan, L., & Wang, Y. Deltas in arid environments. Water, 13(12), (2021): 1677, https://doi.org/10.3390/w13121677.
Suggested CitationDay, J., Goodman, R., Chen, Z., Hunter, R., Giosan, L., & Wang, Y. (2021). Deltas in arid environments. Water, 13(12), 1677.
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