The 2018 Arne Richter Award for Outstanding Early Career Scientists is awarded to Yoshihide Wada for his pioneering research on estimating global water use and water availability, and for capturing the effects of the human footprint on the global hydrological cycle.
Increasing population and economic development are drivers for an increasing demand for water worldwide and terrestrial water fluxes have been affected by people at an unprecedented scale in the recent past. To quantify this human fingerprint, Yoshihide Wada developed a global hydrological model at a finer scale than previous studies, to more precisely depict regional variability in water availability and use, including simulation of groundwater heads and lateral groundwater flows. He also proposed a new global water demand model, quantifying water use for livestock, irrigation, industry and household use. Such models were then coupled to quantify and distinguish human and climate impacts on surface freshwater and groundwater resources, proposing a novel method of separating human impacts from natural climate variability through hydrological model simulations.
His work also includes water security, estimating and projecting global water scarcity, and assessing the sustainability of global groundwater resources and his recent research focuses on global assessment of the sustainability of future food production under socioeconomic and climate change, and water scarcity conditions.
The outstanding impact on the scientific community of the work by Wada and his group is demonstrated by a large number of very highly-cited publications. His pioneering research makes him a worthy recipient of the Arne Richter Award for Outstanding Early Career Scientists.