FIGURE 2.1 Distribution of large dams by region. China and Australasia (Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, and Fiji) were treated separately from the rest of Asia, and Central America including Mexico was separated from North America (United States and Canada). Large dams are >15 m in height or, if between 5 and 15 m in height, have a reservoir capacity >3 x 106 m3 (Reproduced from Tharme 2003, adapted from WCD 2000.)

some aquifers will become exhausted, and climate change introduces further uncertainty into water availability. A recent projection of water demand through 2025 indicated that ensuring a sustainable water supply will become increasingly challenging for large areas of the globe (Vorosmarty et al. 2000). To understand how water appropriation and flow modifications will influence fluvial ecosystems in the future, the analysis of streamflow is of central importance.

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