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Glossary of terms

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Exploitable water resources

Also known as 'manageable water resources' or 'water development potential':
  • water resources available for development under specific economic and environmental conditions;
  • may be subdivided in three subcomponents:
    • 'regular surface water': annual average quantity of surface water that is available with an occurrence of 90% of the time,
    • 'irregular surface water': variable component of water resources (e.g. floods); it is the flow that needs to be regulated,
    • 'regular groundwater': annual average quantity of groundwater that is available with an occurrence of 90 % of the time.
 
The estimation of exploitable water resources takes into account such variables as:
  • dependability of the flow (e.g. the economic and environmental feasibility of storing floodwater behind dams),
  • extractable groundwater (e.g. the economic and environmental feasibility of extracting groundwater),
  • minimum flow required for non consumptive use (e.g. the minimum flow requirements for navigation, environmental services, aquatic life, etc.).
 
(FAO Food and Agriculture Organization)