The Water Cycle, Climate Change, and (Some of) Their Interactions

Case Solution

Peter Debaere, Paolo D’Odorico
Darden School of Business ()

This grade is given in the Dardens elective “Global Water Economics.” There is more than enough fresh water to meet the world’s needs. However, the main concern is the geographic discrepancy between water needs and the availability of water for the communities that need it. Therefore, a great challenge for the 21st century is to better manage this discrepancy. In this note, we focus on a specific factor, climate change, and how it can contribute to a future drain of water resources. We present the fundamentals of climate change and the water cycle, revealing some of the intricate links between the two. This memorandum does not contain general policy recommendations to combat global warming beyond the general statement that the rational response to the risk and uncertainty of higher global temperatures and associated environmental changes is to take measures that mitigate the potentially adverse effects.

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