Day: May 20, 2007

More depressing water news from India

Climate change is a factor that will exacerbate water shortages. But the main culprits are over-exploitation, unplanned development, pollution and crazy dam building.

The Sunday Tribune – Spectrum

In the years to come the northern plains, heavily dependent on the Ganga, are likely to face severe water scarcity. Together with the onslaught of industrial and sewage pollutants, the river’s fate stands more or less sealed. “Among the categories dead, dying and threatened, I would put the Ganga in the dying category,” says WWF Programme Director Sejal Worah. The other heavyweight to join in the list from the Indian subcontinent is the mighty Indus. The Indus, too, has been the victim of climate change, water extraction and infrastructure development. “In all, poor planning and inadequate protection of natural means have ensured that the world population can no longer assume that water is going to flow forever,” WWF says, adding that the world’s water suppliers—rivers-on-every-continent are dying, threatening severe water shortage in the future.

I think I will go out and enjoy the rest of this beautiful day, enough bad news!

Jeffrey Sachs on climate change induced water shortages

Depressing reading for a Sunday morning. He does not offer too many solutions, but it will take a lot of local work to mitigate these disasters. Of course, I can’t see the US or Europe offering asylum to climate change refugees!

Climate Change Refugees: Scientific American

Human-induced climate and hydrological change is likely to make many parts of the world uninhabitable, or at least uneconomic. Over the course of a few decades, if not sooner, hundreds of millions of people may be compelled to relocate because of environmental pressures.

To a significant extent, water will be the most important determinant of these population movements. Dramatic alterations in the relation between water and society will be widespread, as emphasized in the new report from Working Group II of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. These shifts may include rising sea levels, stronger tropical cyclones, the loss of soil moisture under higher temperatures, more intense precipitation and flooding, more frequent droughts, the melting of glaciers and the changing seasonality of snowmelt.

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