WATER

euro-geosciencesunion-blogs.egu.eu    5/3/2021   Did you know that glacier mass loss affects water resources?  Larissa van der Laan 


…” Humans and Water Towers – Historically, people living downstream from glaciers have used the water from glaciers for agriculture irrigation, drinking water, hydropower and to fulfill any other freshwater needs. About 22% of the global population, over 1.6 billion people, live in or downstream from the mountainous areas housing snow and glaciers. We call these areas the water towers of the world: providing storage and water supply through glaciers and snow.

Glacier Changes and their Hydrological Effects – So what is currently happening for these 22% of the population? As has been widely known for some time, glaciers worldwide are losing mass: between 2002 and 2016, a mass loss of 8 mm sea level rise equivalent was observed by the GRACE satellite mission. As this shrinkage progresses, this affects the timing, amount and frequency of water being released downstream, ranging from too much to too little water for the communities. Sometimes, both is the case, as for the yurt camp community in Altyn-Arashan (Figure 1). They are forced to change locations based on floods from too much water coming from glacier melt on the one hand, and they have to find new easy-access meltwater streams when their usual ones dry up mid-season on the other hand. Let’s see these two effects (flooding and drought) in more details.” …


france24.com/en/  3/2021  Half of the global population will face water shortages by 2050

Estimates suggest that more than half of the world’s population will face challenges in accessing water by 2050. Monday is World Water Day, a global event that advocates for the sustainable management of water resources so that demand will not outstrip supply. UNICEF estimates that by 2040 one in four of children – some 600 million people under the age of 18 worldwide – will live in areas of extreme water stress.  Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) say 52 percent of the world’s projected 9.7 billion people will live in water-stressed regions by 2050.