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Revista de Ingeniería

Print version ISSN 0121-4993


COSTA POSADA, Carlos; DOMINGUEZ CALLE, Efraín; RIVERA, Hebert Gonzalo  and  VANEGAS SARMIENTO, Raquel. The rate of water shortage. An indicator or a warning to guide the management of water resources?. [online]. 2005, n.22, pp.104-111. ISSN 0121-4993.

Monitoring sustainability of water use is key to direct public and private decision making towards sustainable development. To this aim IDEAM has calculated the shortage index (Scarcity Index) since 1998 for all municipalities in Colombia. Recently, the Andean Community (CAN), with the support of the International Hydrological Program of UNESCO, adopted IDEAM's proposal to use this index and its methodological approach to calculate it as a common indicator to direct decision making in the Andean Countries. This index corresponds to the relation between water Availability and water demand from all socio-economical activities. In the cases where water demand represents more than 20% of water Availability in a region, the index activates alert signals calling for action both to protect the water source and control demand and in extreme cases to integrate new water sources in order to reduce the risk of future unsatisfied demand (OMM, 1997). This article describes the index and analyzes its utility through its application in a particular case.

Keywords : Water scarcity Index; water supply and demand relationship; environmental Indicators.

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