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State of Global Water Resources Report 2021

Dec 03, 2022

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Our today's edition of daily Current Affairs is here and it's on State of Global Water Resources Report 2021. Read to upgrade your UPSC CSE preparation. The topic's relevance to the IAS syllabus is mentioned below.

For Prelims: General issues on Environmental Ecology, Biodiversity, and Climate Change. Water resources, drought, flood, surface water, Global water resources report.

For Mains: GS-III, Biodiversity, and Environment. Water resources, drought, flood, surface water, Global water resources report.

Context

The WMO's (World Meteorological Organization) first-ever State of Global Water Resources Report 2021 was recently published.

Probable Question

Do you think that the State of Global Water Resources Report reflects the on-ground impact of climate change? Discuss.

About the Global Water Resource Report

  • In a time of rising demand and constrained supplies, this yearly report aims to monitor and manage the world's water resources.
  • The three main topics covered in the report are:
    • Streamflow: The amount of water flowing through a river channel at any particular time is called the streamflow.
    • Terrestrial water storage (TWS): All water present on the surface and below the ground is referred to as terrestrial water storage (TWS).
    • A cryosphere (frozen water).

Key Findings of the Report

  • According to a survey by UN-Water, 74% of all natural catastrophes between 2001 and 2018 have a water component.
  • It was the first time that water was mentioned in a COP joint declaration in acknowledgment of its crucial relevance at the most recent UN climate change conference, COP27, which took place in Egypt.
  • More than five billion people are anticipated to lack appropriate access to water by 2050, up from the current 3.6 billion people.
  • In 2021, a year in which climate change and a La Nia event affected precipitation patterns, many regions of the world had drier-than-average conditions.
  • In comparison to the 30-year hydrological average, the region with below-average streamflow was around two times greater than the region with above-average streamflow.

Also Read: Centre and State Powers over Water Resources

  • Region-wise Streamflow:
    • Drought: The Rio de la Plata region of South America, where a protracted drought has impacted the region since 2019, was one of the areas that were abnormally dry.
    • Below normal stream flow: In 2021, the water flow in Africa's principal rivers—the Niger, Volta, Nile, and Congo—was below average. In certain rivers in West Siberia, Central Asia, and areas of Russia, a similar pattern was seen.
    • Above normal stream flow: Several North American basins, the North Amazon, South Africa, the Amur River basin in China, and northern India had above-normal river flows.
  • Terrestrial Cover:
    • Below Normal: Apart from changes in river flows, the total amount of terrestrial water storage was deemed to be below normal along the west coast of the United States, in central South America and Patagonia, in North Africa and Madagascar, Central Asia, and the Middle East, Pakistan, and North India.
    • Above Normal: In Central Africa, northern South America, notably the Amazon Basin, and northern China, it was above average.
  • Cryosphere:
    • Mountains are frequently referred to be "natural water towers" since they are the origin of rivers and freshwater supplies for an estimated 1.9 billion people.
    • Food security, human health, ecosystem integrity, and maintenance, as well as economic and social growth are all severely impacted by changes to cryosphere water resources.

Also Read: Fundamental Rights in Indian Constitution

State of Water Resources in India

  • There is growing proof that the Indo-Gangetic Plain (IGP), which spans eastern Pakistan, northern India, southern Nepal, and the entirety of Bangladesh, is being negatively impacted by global warming.
  • Even while the total amount of water stored in the Ganga-Brahmaputra and Indus basins decreased in 2021, more water was flowing through the river courses as a result of melting glaciers.
  • Given that the IGP provides assistance to almost 500 million individuals in four nations, this will be very concerning news.

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Key suggestions

  • A short summary of the water availability in various regions of the world is required in order to close the information gap regarding changes in the distribution, quantity, and quality of freshwater resources.
  • The creation of comprehensive early warning systems for drought and flooding is necessary.
  • Long-term adaptation options should heavily rely on forecasts of glacial run-off and the time of peak water.
  • Hydrological data, such as information on transboundary river basins and river discharge, has to be made more readily available and shared.
Additional Information:
WMO (World Meteorological Organization)
• Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland.
• Members: 193 Member States and Territories.
• India is a WMO member.
• It originated from the International Meteorological Organization (IMO) which was founded following the Vienna International Meteorological Congress in 1873.
• On March 23, 1950, the WMO Convention was ratified, establishing WMO as the UN's specialized organization for meteorology (weather and climate), operational hydrology, and associated geophysical sciences.

Source: WMO

https://public.wmo.int/en/media/press-release/state-of-global-water-resources-report-informs-rivers-land-water-storage-and

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