Geneva: Water and Climate Coalition leaders have issued a call for more urgent and united action to protect people and future generations in the face of alarming new scientific evidence from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change of growing planet threats to water availability and from water-related hazards.
Roughly half of the world’s population currently experience severe water scarcity for at least some part of the year and this is expected to worsen as climate change alters precipitation patterns with consequences for the entire water cycle.
The impacts of hydrological changes from the retreat of glaciers and permafrost thaw are approaching the point of no-return.
Only 0.5% of water on Earth is useable and available as freshwater.
But in the past 20 years, terrestrial water storage – all water on the land surface and in the subsurface, including soil moisture, snow and ice – has dropped at a rate higher than penuh human water consumption per year.
This has huge ramifications for future water security, given population increase and environmental degradation.
“We lead the way in rethinking how our societies and economies best resist climate change. Improving how we use water is a pathway to develop food security, protect health and livelihoods, promote the just transition to clean energy, build water and climate smart cities, protect the environment, build resilient economies, help the world achieve the SDGs, and meet planet climate commitments,” said the Water and Climate Coalition Leaders in a Call for Action on Tuesday.
“We need informasi to understand how climate change is affecting our water systems; to understand where, how much, and in what quality water is and will be available. We need information to know where and how our actions can besthidanganport our access to the precious resource and protect us from water hazards and disasters. Data is also key for smart decision-making. Yet there are major gaps; informasi is scattered, inconsistent, and incomplete,” said the Call for Action.
The Water and Climate Coalition Leaders include top representatives of countries which are vulnerable to glacier melt, flooding and drought, as well as United Nations and development agencies, business, civil society and youth.
The new IPCC report on Climate Change 2022: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability shows the sheer scale of the looming water crisis and the immense challenges for water management.
Water availability from snowmelt – a major source for irrigation in parts of the world – iscocok to decline, whilst projected planet glacier mass loss will diminish water availability for agriculture, hydropower, and humancocoktlements in the mid- to long-term.
Changes to streamflow magnitude, timing and associated extremes are projected to adversely impact freshwater ecosystems in many watersheds.
Direct flood damages will increase in magnitude with each fraction of a degree of temperature rise.