Pieter van Oel

Pieter van Oel
Wageningen University & Research | WUR · Water Resources Management group

PhD

About

81
Publications
35,244
Reads
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1,916
Citations
Introduction
Pieter focuses on understanding sociohydrological systems for informing actors in managing water and drought. He emphasizes that water crises involve much more than water alone. They are societal problems with people suffering, but sometimes also making things worse. This means that solutions are in our own hands as well. Therefore scientists, engineers, and others need to join forces. Together we can learn from studying peoples complex relationship with water and drought worldwide.
Additional affiliations
September 2013 - April 2020
Wageningen University & Research
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
April 2010 - April 2014
University of Twente
Position
  • PostDoc Position
Description
  • WOTRO-IP Lake Naivasha basin, Kenya
January 2008 - January 2012
University of Twente
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
Education
November 2003 - May 2009
University of Twente
Field of study
  • Civil Engineering
September 1997 - November 2002
University of Twente
Field of study
  • Civil Engineering

Publications

Publications (81)
Article
Full-text available
Human activities both aggravate and alleviate streamflow drought. Here we show that aggravation is dominant in contrasting cases around the world analysed with a consistent methodology. Our 28 cases included different combinations of human-water interactions. We found that water abstraction aggravated all drought characteristics, with increases of...
Article
Full-text available
Water funds are task-specific organisations that conserve and restore watersheds. The funds provide sustained finance and a collaborative space for actors at different levels to improve the water regulation functions of upstream ecosystems, safeguard water quality, and establish ecological connectivity with the aim of ensuring downstream water quan...
Article
Full-text available
Building on different bodies of the governance literature, we propose a conceptual framework specifying nine scale-sensitive governance arrangements that aim to (1) create cross-scale fit between the governance and ecological scales, and/or (2) foster cross-level alignment between different governance levels. To understand how scale-sensitive gover...
Article
Full-text available
Drought monitoring and early warning systems (DEWSs) are seen as helpful tools to tackle drought at an early stage and reduce the possibility of harm or loss. They usually include indices attributed to meteorological, agricultural and/or hydrological drought: physically based drought drivers. These indices are used to determine the onset, end and s...
Article
Full-text available
Drought management is currently informed by a variety of approaches, mostly responding to drought crisis when it happens. Toward more effective and integrated drought management, we introduce a conceptual drought diagnosis framework inspired by diagnostic concepts from the field of medicine. This framework comprises five steps: 1. Initial diagnosti...
Article
Full-text available
Metrics of hydrological mimicry ('mimetrics') reflect similarity in ecological structure and/or functions between managed and natural ecosystems. Only the land-surface parts of hydrological cycles are directly visible and represented in local knowledge and water-related legislation. Human impacts on water cycles (HIWC) can, beyond climate change, a...
Article
Full-text available
Urban surface waters are used in many different ways. With increasing demand for human use functions, improved insight is required into the functional quality of these waters. A method to assess this functional quality in a systematic way and for a wide variety of use functions is not available. We propose to use suitability indices (SIs) for asses...
Preprint
The São Francisco River (SFR) flow has been partially transferred to dryland catchments in Northeastern Brazil (NEB), to help deal with recurrent regional water shortages. However, the influence of this water transfer on overexploited aquifer systems had not been investigated. Our goal was to assess the groundwater recharge and the potential of the...
Article
Full-text available
In a recent editorial in the journal Nature Sustainability , the editors raised the concern that journal submissions on water studies appear too similar. The gist of the editorial: “too many publications and not enough ideas.” In this response, we contest this notion, and point to the numerous new ideas that result from taking a broader view of the...
Article
Full-text available
Different methods have been proposed in population dynamics to estimate carrying capacity (K). This study estimates K for Iran, using three novel methods by integrating land and water limits into assessments based on Human Appropriated Net Primary Production (HANPP). The first method uses land suitability as the limiting resource. It gives theoreti...
Article
Full-text available
Drought‐affected regions often contain high densities of small reservoirs, usually informally built, as drought‐coping mechanism. These structures influence socio‐hydrological dynamics and have the potential to alter hydrological processes relevant to drought emergence and development. This study aimed to analyze the influence of a high concentrati...
Article
Full-text available
East African forested mountain regions are vital in generating and supplying water resources to adjacent arid and semi-arid lowlands. However, these ecosystems are under pressure from both climate and land use changes. This study aimed to analyze the effects of climate and land use changes on water yield using the Budyko framework as a first-order...
Preprint
Full-text available
Drought events and their impacts vary spatially and temporally due to diverse pedo-climatic and hydrologic conditions, as well as variations in exposure and vulnerability, such as demographics and response actions. While hazardous severity and frequency of past drought events have been studied in detail, little is known about the effect of drought...
Article
Full-text available
Study region The catchment above Bengbu in the Huaihe River Basin, China Study focus In the Anthropocene, hydrological drought is significantly affected by human activities, and the degree of different human activities affecting droughts may vary in different physiographic and anthropogenic contexts. This study aims to quantify the relative contri...
Article
Full-text available
Reservoirs of hydropower plants (HPP) can amend water, energy, and food security in semi-arid regions. However, during severe droughts, the priority of energy demand leads to critical conditions of water availability. To reduce water use for energy, one possible measure is the adoption of solar power, an abundant energy source in semi-arid regions....
Article
Full-text available
Building reservoirs is a response to cope with drought in drylands. However, this human modification to the landscape may trigger both positive and negative effects. Here, we investigate how a network of reservoirs influences the propagation of meteorological drought (MD) into hydrological drought (HD) in a large semi-arid catchment in Brazil. We a...
Preprint
Full-text available
Drought monitoring and Early Warning Systems (DEWS) are seen as helpful tools to tackle drought at an early stage and reduce the possibility of harm or loss. They usually include indices attributed to meteorological, agricultural and/or hydrological drought: physically based drought drivers. These indices are used to determine the onset, end and se...
Preprint
Full-text available
East-African forested mountain regions are vital in generating and supplying water resources to adjacent arid and semi-arid lowlands. However, these ecosystems are under pressure from both climate and land-use changes. This study aimed to analyze the effects of climate and land-use changes on water yield using the Budyko conceptual framework. For 9...
Article
Full-text available
Scientific literature currently lacks comprehensive understanding of urban surface water use functions. This hampers sound analysis of the demand and potential supply of these functions. This study provides a comprehensive overview of potential use functions, by integrating knowledge from ecosystem services and integrated urban water management fie...
Article
Full-text available
Increases in water demand often result in unsustainable water use, leaving insufficient amounts of water for the environment. Therefore, water-saving strategies have been introduced to the environmental policy agenda in many (semi)-arid regions. As many such interventions failed to reach their objectives, a comprehensive tool is needed to assess th...
Article
Full-text available
Location-specific forms of agroforestry management can reduce problems in the forest–water–people nexus, by balancing upstream and downstream interests, but social and ecological finetuning is needed. New ways of achieving shared understanding of the underlying ecological and social-ecological relations is needed to adapt and contextualize generic...
Article
Full-text available
The forest and landscape restoration (FLR) targets set as part of the Bonn Challenge draw attention to the governance arrangements required to translate national FLR targets into local action. To achieve the targets, actors at multiple levels of the governance scale aim to influence relevant processes on the ecological scale. In this article, we fo...
Article
Full-text available
Most rice farmers in Nepal’s Terai region do not fully utilize irrigation during breaks in monsoon rainfall. This leads to yield losses despite abundant groundwater resources and ongoing expansion of diesel pumps and tubewell infrastructure. We investigate this puzzle by characterizing delay factors governing tubewell irrigation across wealth and p...
Article
Full-text available
Adequate tools for evaluating sustainable intensification (SI) of crop production for agro-hydrological system are not readily available. Building on existing concepts, we propose a framework for evaluating SI at the field and river basin levels. The framework serves as a means to assess and visualise SI indicator values, including yield, water-use...
Article
Virtual water flows, incorporated in global food trade has increased the last decade. The drivers and consequences are complex. These complex relations between humans and water resources are studied from different perspectives. In this article, an overview of four such perspectives on water in global food production and trade is provided. These fou...
Article
As global demand for food increases and impacts of climate- related extremes become more severe new governance mechanisms have become relevant. Individual and collective effortsbyactors inwater-for food governance couldallcontribute to sustainably managing the locally scarce water resources that are mobilized to meet the world’s demand for food. Th...
Article
With increasing water shortages partly due to increasing demands, water has become a globally relevant issue especially in arid and semi-arid regions. Water-saving irrigation technologies provide new ways for improving the efficiency of water use for agricultural production. Although efficient irrigation management could lead to water savings and i...
Article
Full-text available
The regional effects of local water storage are largely unknown. This study identifies, categorizes and discusses the challenges in assessing the potential of local water storage. These are illustrated using a structured method applied to a Dutch case. We conclude that the focus must shift from storage 'potential' (the quantity of water that can be...
Article
Full-text available
Regional long-term water management plans depend increasingly on investments by local water users such as farmers. However, local circumstances and individual situations vary and investment decisions are made under uncertainty. Water users may therefore perceive the costs and benefits very differently, leading to non-uniform investment decisions. T...
Article
Full-text available
This paper is the outcome of a community initiative to identify major unsolved scientific problems in hydrology motivated by a need for stronger harmonisation of research efforts. The procedure involved a public consultation through on-line media, followed by two workshops through which a large number of potential science questions were collated, p...
Article
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We introduce ten studies in the field of water footprint assessment (WFA) that are representative of the type of papers currently being published in this broad interdisciplinary field. WFA is the study of freshwater use, scarcity, and pollution in relation to consumption, production, and trade patterns. The reliable availability of sufficient and c...
Article
The Lake Naivasha Basin in Kenya has experienced significant land use cover changes (LUCC) that has been hypothesized to have altered the hydrological regime in recent decades. While it is generally recognized that LUCC will impact evapotranspiration (ET), the precise nature of such impact is not very well understood. This paper describes how land...
Article
Full-text available
Social influence affects individual decision-making on soil conservation. Understanding the emergent diffusion of collective conservation effort is relevant to natural resource management at the river basin level. This study focuses on the effect of subjective norms and collective action on the diffusion of Soil Conservation Effort (SCE) in the Lak...
Article
The expansion of reservoirs to cope with droughts and water shortages is hotly debated in many places around the world. We argue that there are two counterintuitive dynamics that should be considered in this debate: supply–demand cycles and reservoir effects. Supply–demand cycles describe instances where increasing water supply enables higher water...
Article
Ecosystem‐based fisheries management (EBFM) is an important complement to existing fisheries management approaches to maintain ecosystem health and function; to translate goals and aspirations for sustainability into operational objectives, the preferences of the fishing communities should be considered for successful implementation of EBFM. This s...
Article
Full-text available
To effectively manage hydrological drought, there is an urgent need to better understand and evaluate its human drivers. Using the ‘downstreamness’ concept, we assess the role of a reservoir network in the emergence and evolution of droughts in a river basin in Brazil. In our case study, the downstreamness concept shows the effect of a network of r...
Article
Full-text available
Regional long-term water management plans increasingly depend on investments by local water users such as farmers. However, local circumstances and individual situations vary and investment decisions are made under uncertainty. Therefore, the perceived values of costs and benefits may also vary considerably among water users, leading to non-uniform...
Article
Human interventions in response to drought can both alleviate and enhance drought. Developments of infrastructure for freshwater storage, groundwater abstraction and irrigation have proved to be effective in overcoming meteorological and agricultural drought in many locations worldwide. At the same time such developments may exacerbate hydrological...
Conference Paper
Human interventions in response to drought can both alleviate and enhance drought. Developments of infrastructure for freshwater storage, groundwater abstraction and irrigation have proved to be effective in overcoming meteorological and agricultural drought in many locations worldwide. At the same time such developments may exacerbate hydrological...
Article
Full-text available
This special issue is a collection of recent papers in the field of Water Footprint Assessment (WFA), an emerging area of research focused on the analysis of freshwater use, scarcity, and pollution in relation to consumption, production, and trade. As increasing freshwater scarcity forms a major risk to the global economy, sustainable management of...
Article
The main objective of this study was to estimate the different components of the water footprint for sugarcane production under the conditions of free (FD) and controlled drainage (as an on-farm strategy for agricultural water management, CD) in an arid and semi-arid region in the south-west of Iran (Khuzestan Province). The different components of...
Article
Stakeholder analysis and social network analysis were used to analyze stakeholders’ social and structural characteristics based on their interests, influence and interactions in Lake Naivasha basin, Kenya. Even though the Kenyan government and its agencies seem to command higher influence and interest in water resource management, the presence of i...
Article
Full-text available
Stakeholder analysis and social network analysis were used to analyze stakeholders’ social and structural characteristics based on their interests, influence and interactions in Lake Naivasha basin, Kenya. Even though the Kenyan government and its agencies seem to command higher influence and interest in water resource management, the presence of i...
Article
p>This special issue is a collection of recent papers in the field of Water Footprint Assessment (WFA), an emerging area of research focused on the analysis of freshwater use, scarcity, and pollution in relation to consumption, production, and trade. As increasing freshwater scarcity forms a major risk to the global economy, sustainable management...
Article
Urmia Lake, the world's second largest hypersaline lake, has decreased in size over recent decades primarily because inflow has diminished. This has caused serious socio-environmental consequences similar to those of the Aral Sea disaster. By using the variable infiltration capacity (VIC) model, this study estimates the relative contributions of cl...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Local water storages can contribute significantly to meet regional demands for water and offer governments a strategy for reducing or delaying investment in large-centralised water infrastructure. Local water storages include ponds, canals, drainage systems and subsurface aquifers. Augmentation of local water storages and determination of their reg...
Article
Full-text available
As aquaculture becomes more important for feeding the growing world population, so too do the required natural resources needed to produce aquaculture feed. While there is potential to replace fish meal and fish oil with terrestrial feed ingredients, it is important to understand both the positive and negative implications of such a development. Th...
Article
Full-text available
This study presents the state-of-the-art understanding of the data-scarce and hydrogeologically complex groundwater system of Lake Naivasha, Kenya, with the particular aim of exploring the influence groundwater abstractions have on Lake Naivasha's water level. We developed multiple alternative but plausible parameterizations for a MODFLOW groundwat...
Article
Full-text available
A valuation scenario was designed using a contingent-valuation approach and presented to decision makers in business firms in Kenya’s Lake Naivasha basin to test how applicable a water fund might be as a potential financing mechanism for a payment for water-related ecosystem services scheme. The findings indicate that measuring a firm’s willingness...
Article
Full-text available
Recent hydro-climatological trends and variability characteristics were investigated for the Lake Naivasha Basin with the aim of understanding the changes in water balance components and their evolution over the past 50 years. Using Bayesian change point analysis proposed by Barry and Hartigan (1993) and modified Mann-Kendall tests time series of a...
Article
This study describes the mismatch between required knowledge and efforts by scientists and stakeholders in the Lake Naivasha basin, Kenya. In the basin, integrated water resources management (IWRM) suffers from the absence of critically relevant knowledge. This study further presents a spatial integrated assessment framework for supporting IWRM in...