The water cycle plays an essential role in the functioning of ecosystems by integrating the complex physical, chemical, and biological processes that sustain life. Water is a key factor in determining the productivity of ecosystems, species composition, and biodiversity. Water is also essential for human well-being: Human activities such as agriculture, fisheries, industries, and hydroelectric power depend on water supplies. An adequate water supply is vital to support households and businesses in urban and metropolitan regions.


Land Cover Stream Flow Urban Development Hydrological Process Landscape Pattern 
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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

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