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Staff profile

Johan Rockström is the Executive Director of Stockholm Resilience Centre. He is a Professor in Environmental Science with emphasis on water resources and global Sustainability at Stockholm University


Contact coordinator to Johan Rockström

Rockström is an internationally recognized scientist on global sustainability issues, where he, e.g., led the recent development of the new Planetary Boundaries framework for human development in the current era of rapid global change.

He is a leading scientist on global water resources, and strategies to build resilience in water scarce regions of the world, with more than 15 years experience from applied water research in tropical regions, and more than 100 research publications in fields ranging from applied land and water management to global sustainability.

He serves on several scientific committees and boards, e.g., as the vice-chair of the science advisory board of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact research (PIK) and he was also co-chairing the visioning process on global environmental change of ICSU, the International Council for Science.

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Publications by Rockström, Johan

Assessing the implications of water harvesting intensification on upstream-downstream ecosystem services: A case study in the Lake Tana basin

Dile, Y.T., L. Karlberg, P. Daggupati, R. Srinivasan, D. Wiberg, J. Rockström

2015 - Journal / article

Water harvesting systems have improved productivity in various regions in sub-Saharan Africa. Similarly, they can help retain water in landscapes, build resilience against droughts and dry spells, and thereby contribute to sustainable agricultural intensification. However, there is no strong empirical evidence that shows the effects of intensification of water harvesting on upstream–downstream social–ecological systems at a landscape scale. In this paper we develop a decision support system (DSS) for locating and sizing water harvesting ponds in a hydrological model, which enables assessments of water harvesting intensification on upstream–downstream ecosystem services in meso-scale watersheds. The DSS was used with the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) for a case-study area located in the Lake Tana basin, Ethiopia. We found that supplementary irrigation in combination with nutrient application increased simulated teff ( Eragrostis tef , staple crop in Ethiopia) production up to three times, compared to the current practice. Moreover, after supplemental irrigation of teff, the excess water was used for dry season onion production of 7.66 t/ha (median). Water harvesting, therefore, can play an important role in increasing local- to regional-scale food security through increased and more stable food production and generation of extra income from the sale of cash crops. The annual total irrigation water consumption was ~ 4%–30% of the annual water yield from the entire watershed. In general, water harvesting resulted in a reduction in peak flows and an increase in low flows. Water harvesting substantially reduced sediment yield leaving the watershed. The beneficiaries of water harvesting ponds may benefit from increases in agricultural production. The downstream social–ecological systems may benefit from reduced food prices, reduced flooding damages, and reduced sediment influxes, as well as enhancements in low flows and water quality. The benefits of water harvesting warrant economic feasibility studies and detailed analyses of its ecological impacts.

Rockström, Johan

Stockholm Resilience Centre is a collaboration between Stockholm University and the Beijer Institute of Ecological Economics at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences

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