climate change and its impact on water resources pdf

Climate Change And Its Impact On Water Resources Pdf

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While climate change repercussions are predicted to be varied and ubiquitous, it is the fate of water that deserves highest consideration, as the prosperity of communities —and countries — hangs in the balance. Today, the forecasted and observed long-term climate change is becoming the most critical international problem of the 21st century.

Climate Change and its Effects on Water Resources

While climate change repercussions are predicted to be varied and ubiquitous, it is the fate of water that deserves highest consideration, as the prosperity of communities —and countries — hangs in the balance. Today, the forecasted and observed long-term climate change is becoming the most critical international problem of the 21st century.

Among the inevitable consequences of climate change, the most important is its impact on water resources — the basis of environmental well-being, economic growth, and global security 2. The main effect of climate change on the water resources of the entire planet is the disruption of the hydrological cycle.

The impacts of climate change on water resources, in turn, affect all major sectors of the economy. Thermal expansion of the upper ocean due to climate change leads to a rise in sea level and the subsequent invasion of saltwater into freshwater horizons, reducing the quantity and quality of their reserves.

The movement of saltwater up the mouths of the rivers damages fisheries, negatively affects the work of water intakes, and also threatens agriculture, causing soil salinization. Small islands are particularly vulnerable to rising sea levels: It will exacerbate events like flooding, erosion, and other hazards in the coastal zone, threatening vital infrastructure and settlements.

Melting of glaciers and snow cover as a result of rising temperatures leads to a decrease in water supplies, thereby reducing water availability during warm and dry periods in regions supplied with meltwater from mountain ranges. Over the past decade, the volume of the Himalayan glaciers has decreased by two-thirds, while the glaciers in the Andes have almost disappeared 4. Thawing of permafrost leads to an increase in landslides and thereby poses a threat to infrastructure in permafrost regions.

Changes in precipitation patterns due to climatic factors also affect soil moisture. Insufficient replenishment and increased evaporation in the long-term absence of precipitation cause the prolonged droughts that threaten water and food security. By mid-century, rising temperatures and the associated decrease in soil moisture in the Eastern Amazon are expected to gradually replace the rainforest, which plays an important water-regulating role with savanna 4. According to forecasts, as a result of climate change by , annual average river runoff and water availability will increase at high latitudes and in wet tropical regions.

In mid-latitudes and dry tropical regions, on the contrary, these indicators will decrease, causing a reduction in the amount of available water resources. According to studies, the total volume of water in the largest basins of the Niger, Senegal, and Lake Chad has already been reduced by 40 to 60 percent 4 , and by about million Africans will experience water shortages due to climate change.

As the intensity of precipitation decreases and temperatures increase, agricultural areas and crop vegetation periods will shorten, and drainage and irrigation systems will be disrupted. As a result, in some African countries yields from rain-fed agriculture can be reduced up to 50 percent by 6.

The decline in water availability will also have a negative impact on the production capacity of the hydropower industry: by , hydropower potential in Eastern and Southern Africa may decrease by 20 percent 7.

Figure 1. Drought and water scarcity in the upper latitudes, compounded by climate change, lead to a competition for natural resources and an urge by local residents to leave the region. It is estimated that the temperature increase of 1 degree celsius in the country with an agrarian economy correlates with an increase in emigration by 5 percent 8. According to the fragile states index 9 , the countries of the Horn of Africa — Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, Sudan, and South Sudan — are the most vulnerable due to prolonged periods of drought.

More intensive precipitation in the middle and high latitudes sets higher costs for the modernization of current and construction of new flood-protection facilities and for the strengthening of road and sewer infrastructure. However, for regions with moderate climate, increased rainfall and longer growing seasons will have a positive effect on crop yields, which is already observed in the U.

Figure 2. Thus, climate change affects spatial and temporal variability in water availability, creating new and exacerbating current water security problems in all regions of the world.

In the absence of effective water management, water scarcity caused by climate change can cost some regions up to 6 percent of their GDP Reducing water resources can be a major challenge even for waterrich countries because of their dependence on imports of water-intensive products.

Thereby, the water supply of other regions significantly affects the supply of agricultural products to the European Union: Up to 38 percent of water used to grow imported agricultural products comes to the EU from exporting countries The negative effects of climate change and the associated decline in GDP growth can be neutralized by properly allocating water resources, providing incentives to improve their efficiency, and attracting investment in the construction of water supply infrastructure.

Climate change adaptation includes both risk prevention measures and measures to increase the climate resilience of territories. Risk prevention measures are aimed at preventing the negative effects of climate change on the water sector. These include reducing urban development in flood-prone areas, developing and implementing water-saving technologies in agriculture and industry, restoring and protecting wetlands, and planting forests. Measures to increase sustainability are aimed at reducing the negative effects of climate change by increasing the resilience of selected areas: replacement of crops with less moisture-loving and salt-resistant ones, construction of dams and reservoirs, and transforming floodplains for agriculture Building climate-resilient infrastructure requires private and public investment.

Alexander Yuryev is CEO of Quard Alliance, an international community- based organization that aims at mitigating the effects of the global water crisis. He founded a promising EdTech startup in China and then engaged in water-related issues.

Alexander serves as a strategic advisor in Quard Alliance and is leading strategic planning, besides raising venture capital for project development. Alexander holds a PhD in Chinese law and a M. Get the best of Water Online delivered straight to your Inbox! Sign in or Sign-up. Guest Column May 1, By Alexander Yuryev While climate change repercussions are predicted to be varied and ubiquitous, it is the fate of water that deserves highest consideration, as the prosperity of communities —and countries — hangs in the balance.

Moving Target Thermal expansion of the upper ocean due to climate change leads to a rise in sea level and the subsequent invasion of saltwater into freshwater horizons, reducing the quantity and quality of their reserves. Feast Or Famine According to studies, the total volume of water in the largest basins of the Niger, Senegal, and Lake Chad has already been reduced by 40 to 60 percent 4 , and by about million Africans will experience water shortages due to climate change.

Risk And Resilience Climate change adaptation includes both risk prevention measures and measures to increase the climate resilience of territories. About The Author Alexander Yuryev is CEO of Quard Alliance, an international community- based organization that aims at mitigating the effects of the global water crisis. Newsletter Signup. I agree to the Terms and Privacy Statement.

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Impact Of Climate Change On Water Resources

National and global security can be assessed in many ways but one underlying factor for all humanity is access to reliable sources of water for drinking, sanitation, food production and manufacturing industry. In many parts of the world, population growth and an escalating demand for water already threaten the sustainable management of available water supplies. Pro-active resource management decisions are required, but such efforts would be futile unless reliable predictions can be made about the impact of the changing global conditions on the water cycle and the quality and availability of critical water reserves. Addressing this wide spectrum of issues, a team of expert authors discusses here the impacts of climate change on the global water resources, the long-term resource management goals at global and local scales, the data requirements and the scientific and technical advances necessary to mitigate the associated impacts. Skip to main content Skip to table of contents. Advertisement Hide. This service is more advanced with JavaScript available.


All these will likely have adverse effects on water resources. This article briefly discusses climate change and its causes and impacts on water.


Climate change impacts on water resources in the Mediterranean

More than ever, there is a need to understand and predict the trajectory of the environment and human societies in the prism of climate and its evolution in one of the most history- and biodiversity-rich regions. Indeed, global warming is occurring at a greater pace in the Mediterranean region than in other parts of the world, inducing marked changes in temperatures and precipitation but also other climate variables Lionello and Scarascia There is a strong need to assess the potential impacts of this climate change in different sectors such as agriculture, energy production, or water resources but also their possible societal repercussions.

The relationship between water, energy, agriculture and climate is as important as it is complex. Climate change has the potential to tip out of balance the relatively stable climate in which civilization has been built and jeopardize the security of water, food and energy systems. Over time, the effects of global warming due to the human-generated buildup of greenhouse gases GHGs in the atmosphere have become more evident. In , major GHGs, like carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide hit record levels. The top 20 warmest years on record have come since

The issue of economic development is intrinsically connected with global warming. The temperature of the planet rises because of indiscriminate exploitation of its resources and destruction of the environment. The effect of global warming further intensifies temporal and spatial variations in precipitation, melting of snow and water availability.

Climate Change and its Effects on Water Resources

Availability of an adequate, safe water supply is critical to the health, economy, and environment of any nation and its people. The United States, on average, is well-endowed with water. Further, the growing conflicts over environmental and developmental water uses are an indication that water is becoming increasingly scarce. Climate-induced changes in the water cycle likely will affect the magnitude, frequency, and costs of extreme weather events as well as the availability of water to meet growing demand.

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