De Graaf et al. (2019) suggest that groundwater pumping will bring 42--79\% of worldwide watersheds close to environmental exhaustion by 2050. We are skeptical of these figures due to several non-unique assumptions behind the calculation of irrigation water demands and the perfunctory exploration of the model's uncertainty space. Their sensitivity analysis reveals a widespread lack of elementary concepts of design of experiments among modellers, and can not be taken as a proof that their conclusions are robust.
- Pub Date:
- December 2019
- Physics - Atmospheric and Oceanic Physics;
- Statistics - Applications
- Comment on the paper by De Graaf et al. 2019. Environmental flow limits to global groundwater pumping. Nature 574 (7776), 90-94