Water Stress Map

The heat waves were very intense during this summer of 2022. This has had catastrophic environmental effects, increased fires, storms, and unprecedented drought. That’s why we decided to elaborate this “water stress map” with two Copernicus Global Drought Observatory indexes. This map has three themes in total.

The Soil Moisture Anomaly Index (SMA)

The Soil Moisture Anomaly (SMA) indicator that is implemented in the Copernicus European Drought Observatory (EDO) is used for determining the start and duration of agricultural drought conditions, which arise when soil moisture availability to plants drops to such a level that it adversely affects crop yield, and hence, agricultural production. This theme will show global data collected in March and September from the last ten years. You can use the CartoVista tools to study a specific area and even create a time series that will allow you to see the evolution over a decade.

The Total Water Storage Anomaly Index (TWS)

The Total Water Storage (TWS) Anomaly indicator implemented in the Copernicus Global Drought Observatory (GDO) is used to determine long-term hydrological drought conditions, which arise when the TWS reaches values lower than usual. This quantity is often used as a proxy of groundwater drought. The published data was collected over ten years, and in the same way as the previous theme, you can use the tools CartoVista provides to create spatial or temporal analyses.

Freshwater withdrawals and water stress

The last theme analyzes the running water consumption per country and inhabitants worldwide. This gives a global view of the current and future risks. One theme also looks at water stress per country. This is the percentage of water withdrawals in relation to the total resources of a nation. When the number is high, the level of water stress becomes very important (e.g. 80% is considered extremely high).


Copernicus Global Drought Observatory
Our World in Data