Water of poor quality can directly impact the budget of water available for key user groups. Despite this importance, methods for quantifying the impact of water quality on water availability remain elusive. Here, we develop a new framework for incorporating the impact of water quality on water supply by modifying the Water Supply Stress Index (WaSSI). We demonstrate the usefulness of the framework by investigating the impact of high salinity waters on the availability of irrigation water for agriculture in Louisiana. The WaSSI was deconstructed into sectoral components such that the total available water supply could be reduced for a particular demand sector (agricultural irrigation in this example) based on available water quality information. The results for Louisiana highlight substantial impacts on water supply stress for farmers attributable to the landward encroachment of saline surface water and groundwater near the coast. Areas of high salinity near the coast also increased the competition for freshwater resources among the industrial, municipal, and agricultural demand sectors in the vicinities of the municipal areas of Lake Charles, Lafayette, and Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The framework developed here is easily adaptable for other water quality concerns and for other demand sectors, and as such can serve as a useful tool for water managers.


Geosciences and Geological and Petroleum Engineering


National Science Foundation (U.S.)


This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under grant No. CBET-1360398 and grant No. DUE-1122898.

Borrok acknowledges his previous employer, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, and the Institute for Coastal and Water Research, where the work was performed.

Keywords and Phrases

Salinity; Water Supply; Sustainability; Irrigation; Stress; Index; Coastal; Quality

Geographic Coverage


International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)


Report Number


Document Type

Technical Report

Document Version

Final Version

File Type





© 2017 John Wiley & Sons, All rights reserved.

Creative Commons Licensing

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Publication Date

26 Oct 2017


Article Location