Francois-Nicolas Robinne, Kevin D. Bladon, Carol Miller, Marc-Andre Parisien, Jerome Mathieu, Michael D. Flannigan
Year Published:

Cataloging Information

Fire Effects
Ecological - Second Order
Wildland Firefighter Health

NRFSN number: 17862
FRAMES RCS Number: 24725
Record updated: November 29, 2022

The large mediatic coverage of recent massive wildfires across the world has emphasized the vulnerability of freshwater resources. The extensive hydrogeomorphic effects from a wildfire can impair the ability of watersheds to provide safe drinking water to downstream communities and high-quality water to maintain riverine ecosystem health. Safeguarding water use for human activities and ecosystems is required for sustainable development; however, no global assessment of wildfire impacts on water supply is currently available. Here, we provide the first global evaluation of wildfire risks to water security, in the form of a spatially explicit index. We adapted the Driving forces-Pressure-State-Impact-Response risk analysis framework to select a comprehensive set of indicators of fire activity and water availability, which we then aggregated to a single index of wildfire-water risk using a simple additive weighted model. Our results show that water security in many regions of the world is potentially vulnerable, regardless of socio-economic status. However, in developing countries, a critical component of the risk is the lack of socio-economic capability to respond to disasters. Our work highlights the importance of addressing wildfire-induced risks in the development of water security policies; the geographic differences in the components of the overall risk could help adapting those policies to different regional contexts.


Robinne, François-Nicolas; Bladon, Kevin D.; Miller, Carol L.; Parisien, Marc-André; Mathieu, Jérôme; Flannigan, Michael D. 2018. A spatial evaluation of global wildfire-water risks to human and natural systems. Science of The Total Environment 610-611:1193-1206.

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