In an article in Water Policy (Merrett, Water Policy 7(2), 2005), the author presented a general theory on the likelihood of catchments moving from surplus to deficit in terms of their precipitation's adequacy to meet social, economic and environmental flows. The paper called for networked, international research to test the general theory and its causal hypotheses. The paper presented below applies the theory to the Kafue Basin in Zambia and suggests that understanding river basin surpluses and deficits requires the analysis of various measures of catchment density.

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