Water and Climate Change

22 March is globally celebrated as world water day. Undoubtedly, water is one of the most precious natural resources on earth. It is important for the survival of humans, animals, and the ecosystem. Even water is essential to produce energy, grow food, and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Thus, in brief, water is the backbone of any economy. Although, in school, the teacher told us that the earth is covered one-third of water. But, surprisingly, despite such a large volume of water, why Pakistan is among water-scarce countries? The prime reason is that the water is abundantly present, but all the water is not suitable for drinking and agriculture purposes. The 3% of the earth’s water is fresh, but only is 2.5 percent of it can be used for drinking, irrigation, and cooking. Because the remaining 2.5 percent is locked in glaciers. ( Bureau of Reclamation California, 2020) Therefore, to save the quantity and quality of water, we need to comprehend the inextricable nexus between climate change and water.

Climate change can badly affect the quantity, quality, and availability of water. As we know that Human health, urban and rural settlement, economic growth, energy production, industrial development, and ecosystem are all dependent on water. Similarly, all these factors are vulnerable to climate change. Therefore, if we take initiatives to mitigate climate change then the water crisis issue will be inevitably solved. According to the United Nation world water development report 2020, ‘much of the impacts of climate change will be manifested in the tropical zones where most of the developing world can be found. (United Nations, 2020)’ Thus, the state needs to take concrete initiatives to cope with climate change. Otherwise, climate change’s dreadful repercussion will inevitable.

There is a need to comprehend water-related consequences of climate change, such as its impact on the urban settlement, human health, business, and energy sector.

First, climate change can have dreadful water-related repercussions on human health. For example, it can trigger water-borne diseases like malaria. Besides, climate change can prompt food insecurity in a region, leading to undernutrition. Furthermore, there can be some extreme weather events due to climate change, these events can cause deaths and injuries.

Second, climate change makes the planning of urban space so difficult. As it can disrupt the delivery of water supply, leading to a contaminated water supply. The contaminated water supply will give rise to wator-borne diseases like leptospirosis. In urban areas, the increased use of water supply leads toward water shortage for domestic use. Therefore, the concerned authorities must put the domestic supply on top priority. Because it is not only the basic necessity, but it is also the basic human right defined by the united nation under sustainable development goals-6 (SDG-6).

Third, the water-related effects of climate change pose a serious threat to power generation and business. Moreover, water stress can halt to energy generation and manufacturing, besides disruption in supply change. Although, energy production and use is one of the main drivers of climate change. However, it is possible to mitigate Green House Gas (GHG) emissions and reduce water use simultaneously. For example, one method is to reduce the demand for energy and increase energy efficiency. Other methods include a shift toward renewable energy sources like solar energy and wind energy. More importantly, there is a need to incorporate modern technology for saving water. For example, smart irrigation concept and installation of scientific instruments for better monitoring and leak detection.

Lastly, climate change and water management are linked with good governance. Access to safe drinking water and sanitation is a basic human right. Which is one of the prime indicators for good governance, in addition to accountability and transparency. Thus, the government should make serious efforts in policymaking related to climate change and water management. In policy formulation, researchers and experts on these issues should be invited.

 

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