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dc.contributor.authorBadiuzzaman, Pierre
dc.contributor.authorMcLaughlin, Eoin
dc.contributor.authorMcCauley, Darren
dc.identifier.citationBadiuzzaman , P , McLaughlin , E & McCauley , D 2017 , ' Substituting freshwater : can ocean desalination and water recycling capacities substitute for groundwater depletion in California? ' , Journal of Environmental Management , vol. 203 , no. Part 1 , pp. 123-135 .
dc.identifier.otherPURE: 250639465
dc.identifier.otherPURE UUID: 7f9b60dc-e4c5-4ec1-af3e-c745d2d8cbad
dc.identifier.otherScopus: 85026624227
dc.identifier.otherWOS: 000412251300014
dc.description.abstractWhile the sustainability of resource depletion is a longstanding environmental concern, wider attention has recently been given to growing water scarcity and groundwater depletion. This study seeks to test the substitutability assumption embedded in weak sustainability indicators using a case study of Californian water supply. The volume of groundwater depletion is used as a proxy for unsustainable water consumption, and defined by synthesising existing research estimates into low, medium and high depletion baselines. These are compared against projected water supply increases from ocean desalination and water recycling by 2035, to determine whether new, drought-proof water sources can substitute for currently unsustainable groundwater consumption. Results show that the maximum projected supply of new water, 2.47 million acre-feet per year (MAF/yr), is sufficient to meet low depletion estimates of 2.02 MAF/yr, but fails to come near the high depletion estimate of 3.44 MAF/yr. This does not necessarily indicate physical limitations of substitutability, but more so socio-economic limitations influenced by high comparative costs. By including capacities in demand-substitutability via urban water conservation, maximum predicted capacities reach 5.57 MAF/yr, indicating wide room for substitution. Based on these results, investment in social and institutional capital is an important factor to enhance demand-side substitutability of water and other natural resources, which has been somewhat neglected by the literature on the substitutability of natural resources.
dc.relation.ispartofJournal of Environmental Managementen
dc.rights© 2017 Elsevier Ltd. This work has been made available online in accordance with the publisher’s policies. This is the author created, accepted version manuscript following peer review and may differ slightly from the final published version. The final published version of this work is available at
dc.subjectWeak sustainabilityen
dc.subjectWater recyclingen
dc.subjectGE Environmental Sciencesen
dc.subjectHD28 Management. Industrial Managementen
dc.titleSubstituting freshwater : can ocean desalination and water recycling capacities substitute for groundwater depletion in California?en
dc.typeJournal articleen
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews.School of Geography & Sustainable Developmenten
dc.description.statusPeer revieweden

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