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applications. A methodological framework for comprehensive environmental risk and impact assessment also needs to be developed to assess environmental vulnerability and resilience.

5.5 Water Resource Management under Climate Change

The ongoing debate about climate change has raised questions about possible effects of such a change on the hydrologic environment. According to the Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change ( IPCC, 1996), the planet warming will affect precipitation patterns, evapotranspiration rates, the timing and magnitude of runoff, the frequency and intensity of storms and, therefore, both the quality and quantity of surface and groundwater resources. In addition temperature and precipitation changes will affect the water demands for agricultural, municipal and industrial purposes. Although climate change is expected to have significant impacts on water resource systems, the degree of uncertainty remains significant, and the adequacy of existing water planning principles and evaluation criteria in the light of these potential changes is unclear. So, research needs to be encouraged to improve the scientific knowledge about the relationships between climate patterns, land use and the hydrologic systems for different climatic settings. This, in turn, will help water planners and managers to reassess operational principles currently being applied.

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