UN publishes flagship report on climate change impacting water resources| 5 points
Extreme droughts and floods are visible consequences of climate change, felt through waters. The report highlights several places that reported either too little or too much rainfall which have severely impacted Earth's ecosystems.
A United Nations report called ‘State of Global Water Resources 2021’ - a first of its kind launched Tuesday has underlined concerns about the effects of climate change on Earth’s already stressed water resources. The report published by the UN body - the World Meteorological Organisation, is expected to shed light on better monitoring and management of water resources. The flagship report is an overview of the status of water resources in each basin compared to the 30-year hydrological average of that basin.
5 points on the first annual ‘State of Global Water Resources’ report:
1)Extreme droughts and floods are visible consequences of climate change, felt through waters. The report highlights several places that reported either too little or too much rainfall including neighbouring country Pakistan which recorded the worst floods in a decade.
“The impacts of climate change are often felt through water – more intense and frequent droughts, more extreme flooding, more erratic seasonal rainfall and accelerated melting of glaciers – with cascading effects on economies, ecosystems and all aspects of our daily lives. And yet, there is insufficient understanding of changes in the distribution, quantity, and quality of freshwater resources,” said WMO Secretary-General Prof. Petteri Taalas.
2) India also faced extreme events in 2021, mostly due to heavy rainfall. The report says a total of 762 casualties were reported in India, with Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, and Uttarakhand states being the most affected states due to extreme weather events.
3) Constrained by growing demands and limited supplies, the current pace of managing water resources has left 3.5 billion with inadequate water access for at least one month per year. The UN states in its report that this number is expected to increase to 5 billion by 2050.
3) The report cites data by UN-Water which said between 2001 and 2018, 74% of all-natural disasters were water-related, a concerning revelation that stresses the need to integrate water into adaptation efforts.
5) The report estimates that about 1.9 billion people live in areas where the cryosphere - glaciers and ice caps, etc are available sources of freshwater. Melting glaciers, tropical cyclones, super typhoons, regional prolonged droughts, and hurricanes are occurring with increased intensity. Disturbance in hydrological cycles has left global food security management in a vulnerable state, the report warns.