The Global Water System Project seeks to answer the fundamental and multi-faceted question:
How are humans changing the global water cycle, the associated biogeochemical cycles, and the biological components of the global water system, and what are the social feedbacks arising from these changes?
The agenda for the GWSP will incorporate impact studies on water governance, land cover change, major diversions, climate change and nutrient and sediment flows. Linkages at different scales and the legacy of past human impacts will also be included. For example, researchers will undertake a comprehensive study to compare the requirements of human society with that of aquatic ecosystems, as well as studying the ecosystem services provided by freshwater.
The GWSP will undertake key cross-cutting activities such as generating an information database on the global water system, facilitating a discourse on water between the social and natural sciences, and developing models to define scenarios for the global water system.
The project is led by a Scientific Steering Committee consisting of representatives from the four Global Environmental Change Programmes and the scientific community.
GWSP is funded by
DIVERSITAS, an international programme of biodiversity science.
The International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP)
The International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change (IHDP)