Sunday, February 1, 2015

Impact of Climate Change on Water Resources

The technical paper of IPCC on climate change and water clearly shows that water resources especially fresh water resources are vulnerable and have the potential to be strongly impacted by climate change. The observational records and climate projects indicate that the impact will have wide-ranging consequences for human societies and ecosystems. The impacts such as increased in intensity and variability of precipitation is projected to aggravate the risks for flooding and drought in many areas, which in turn is likely to affect water quality and exacerbate many forms of water pollution.

The impacts of climate change will affect the livelihood of people globally. It will induce risks and vulnerabilities in the water using and influencing sectors. It will distress the sectors like health, agriculture and food security, energy, transport, water supply and sanitation, industry, mining, etc. Global environment changes observed throughout the previous decade can be credited to anthropogenically boosted climate change and the changes related to water include: sea level rise; melting of snow and ice; changes in the frequency and/or intensity of extreme weather events; changes to ecosystems and biodiversity patterns. Changes due to climate change are expected to further aggravate water-related hazards and water scarcity, increasing the vulnerability of socio-ecological systems.

The impact of climate change on water resources will be high and substantial in under-developed and developing countries of Africa and Asia compared to developed countries. Most of the people of Africa and Asia are engaged in agriculture and livestock and impact on water availability and quality will have significant impact in these sectors. This will reduce production significantly and aggravate the food insufficiency on the people residing in these areas. These regions will be incapable to adapt climate change due to very limited resources compared to wealthier nations who can import water if required. A rise of one degree Celsius would threaten water supplies for 50 million people in these areas and a rise of five degrees Celsius could cause in the disappearance of large glaciers in the Himalayas which would affect one quarter of China’s population and millions of India population.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Water in Millennium Development Goals (MGDs)

Millennium Development Goals
In 2000, the United Nation Millennium Summit established an eight common international goals in its 189 country members (193 currently) following the adoption of the United Nation Millennium Declaration. The goals was established in the area of poverty and hunger; universal primary education; gender equality; child mortality; maternal health; HIV/ AIDS, malaria and other diseases; environmental sustainability and global partner for development. These eight different goals are called Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The summit developed targets and dates for achieving those targets. The member countries and at least 23 international organizations committed to help achieve the above mentioned millennium development goals by 2015.

Drinking Water in Millennium Development Goals
In goal seven (c) of Millennium Development Goals, there is a target which states that the proportion of the population without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation will be reduced halve by 2015. After the declaration, the World Health Organization and UNICEF has started joint monitoring program to assess the achievement/improvement in water supply and sanitation program. These organizations defined the criteria of improved drinking water sources to allow for international comparability for monitoring the Millennium Development Goals (MGDs). The World Health Organization and UNICEF joint monitoring program defines "improved" drinking water sources as follows: