Climate and hydrological seasonal effects on household water insecurity: A systematic review

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7 Scopus citations

Abstract

Household water insecurity (HWI) can have far-reaching consequences for human health and well-being, yet little is known about how environmental seasonality contributes to HWI variation. Using a systematic literature review, we examined the following questions: (1) How does environmental seasonality affect HWI? and (2) How do the effects vary over time? We also highlighted strategic areas for future research. We conducted the search using Scopus, Web of Science, PubMed, ProQuest, and EBSCO Academic Search Complete, with an end search date of February 3, 2021; only English-language studies were included. Articles were included in the review if analysis studied seasonal temperature, precipitation, or freshwater variation and individual or household experiences with household water adequacy, water reliability, water affordability, or water safety. Bias was evaluated via hand assessment, and articles of poor quality were excluded. Studies that focused on extreme weather events or water insecurity at community or watershed levels were omitted. We identified 67 articles, the majority of which were cross-sectional (n = 46, 68.7%). Among longitudinal studies (n = 21, 31.3%), only one used a quantitative HWI scale, while the rest relied on proxies (n = 20, 95.2%). Our review also revealed literature gaps related to unequal coverage of freshwater ecosystem habitat types and forms of environmental seasonality. There is a need for more attention to extreme climate events, such as a prolonged multiyear drought. With changing climate expected to exacerbate weather patterns with serious implications, especially for vulnerable populations, understanding seasonality in HWI is important for crafting sustainable engineering and policy responses to water insecurity. This article is categorized under: Water and Life > Nature of Freshwater Ecosystems Science of Water > Water and Environmental Change Engineering Water > Sustainable Engineering of Water.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere1593
JournalWiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Water
Volume9
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oceanography
  • Ecology
  • Aquatic Science
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Ocean Engineering
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

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