This global water audit should not gather dust

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Source: The post is based on an article “This global water audit should not gather dust” published in Live Mint on 1st December 2022.

Syllabus: GS 3 – Environment

Relevance: findings of the World Meteorological Organization’s report

News: The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has released a water audit report that can guide global climate adaptation.

What are the findings of the report?

The report offers an overview of river-flow volumes, major floods and droughts, and identifies hotspots of change in freshwater storage with the vulnerability of the cryosphere. The findings of the reports are –

  1. A large part of the Earth in 2021 was dry due to the rising global warming.
  2. India may also face water scarcity in the future.
  3. 6 billion people have insufficient access to water for at least one month per year which is expected to exceed 5 billion by 2050. This means that more than three people would be short of water by 2050.
  4. African rivers, rives in some parts of Russia and Central Asia were all affected by weak stream flows last year while Chinese and North Indian rivers are becoming more prone to floods.
  5. There was a rainfall deficiency in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia last year.
  6. Even though India did not suffer much dryness, but monsoon coverage is increasingly becoming uneven which may pose a threat in the future.
  7. There has been severe groundwater depletion in North India and Pakistan and these regions are categorized as below average compared to their 2002-2020 average.
  8. The Gangetic and Indus systems also feature on the WMO’s ‘hotspot’ list of rapid deterioration.

The findings of the report highlight the future concerns. Even though India has its own water audit but WMO’s report should also be taken into consideration and actions should be adopted by the World including India accordingly.

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