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HESS opinions: Beyond the long-term water balance: Evolving Budyko's supply–demand framework for the Anthropocene towards a global synthesis of land-surface fluxes under natural and human-altered watersheds

April 17, 2020

Global hydroclimatic conditions have been substantially altered over the past century by anthropogenic influences that arise from the warming global climate and from local/regional anthropogenic disturbances. Traditionally, studies have used coupling of multiple models to understand how land-surface water fluxes vary due to changes in global climatic patterns and local land-use changes. We argue that because the basis of the Budyko framework relies on the supply and demand concept, the framework could be effectively adapted and extended to quantify the role of drivers – both changing climate and local human disturbances – in altering the land-surface response across the globe. We review the Budyko framework, along with these potential extensions, with the intent of furthering the applicability of the framework to emerging hydrologic questions. Challenges in extending the Budyko framework over various spatio-temporal scales and the use of global datasets to evaluate the water balance at these various scales are also discussed.