Ayesha Afzal, Dipl 6031
Climate Change Impact on Water Security, An analysis of water crises in Pakistan.
Water is Life, it is essential for all living creatures. However, this essential compound is available in limited quantities and our resources are fixed. Even though our planet is 71% covered with water only 2% of it is fresh drinkable water. Without enough and constant supply of fresh water, life on earth cannot exist. Climate change is affecting the availability of fresh water and has already started causing problems. By 2025, 1.8 billion people are expected to be living in the countries or regions with absolute water scarcity, and two-third of the world’s population could be under water stress conditions.
Scarcity of fresh water is more complex than other climate change issues. It is hard to predict as the effects are different in different regions. As per IPCC, despite increase in global rainfall, some regions such as Sub-Saharan Africa and Mediterranean will still suffer dryness. It becomes even more difficult to predict the availability of fresh water as not enough data exists on the current underground water supplies and its uses. Water scarcity will be dramatically exaggerated as more urbanization takes place. Climate change only intensifies the pressure on the available water resources. “Nearly half the global population are already living in potential water scarce areas at least one month per year and this could increase to some 4.8–5.7 billion in 2050. About 73% of the affected people live in Asia (69% by 2050)”.
Global warming is causing intensification of the water cycle in places like Pakistan causing droughts and floods. The water crisis in Pakistan threatens the very fabric of society. Floods kill dozens of people every year and right now water shortage is a bigger threat to Pakistan’s security than terrorism. In this paper I will analyze the effects of climate change on water scarcity and the problems faced by Pakistan.
Burek P, Satoh Y, Fischer G, Kahil MT, Scherzer A, Tramberend S, Nava LF, Wada Y, et al. (2016). Water Futures and Solution – Fast Track Initiative (Final Report). IIASA Working Paper. IIASA, Laxenburg, Austria: WP-16-006
The Water Futures and Solutions Initiative (WFaS) is a cross-sector, collaborative global water project. Its objective is to apply systems analysis, develop scientific evidence and identify water-related policies and management practices, working together consistently across scales and sectors to improve human well-being through water security. This report aims at assessing the global current and future water situation.
UNESCO (WWAP), Managing Water under Uncertainty and Risk— THE UNITED NATIONS WORLD WATER DEVELOPMENT REPORT 4
The fourth edition of the World Water Development Report (WWDR4), ‘Managing Water under Uncertainty and Risk’ is a comprehensive review of the world’s freshwater resources and seeks to demonstrate, among other messages, that water underpins all aspects of development, and that a coordinated approach to managing and allocating water is critical. The Report underlines that in order to meet multiple goals water needs to be an intrinsic element in decision-making across the whole development spectrum. It was launched at the 6th World Water Forum in Marseille by Irina Bokova, UNESCO Director General, and Michel Jarraud, UN-Water Chair.
WMO ; UNEP, INTERGOVERNMENTAL PANEL ON CLIMATE CHANGE, Climate Change and Water
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the international body for assessing the science related to climate change. The IPCC was set up in 1988 by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to provide policymakers with regular assessments. IPCC assessments are written by hundreds of leading scientists who volunteer their time and expertise as Coordinating Lead Authors and Lead Authors of the reports. They enlist hundreds of other experts as Contributing Authors to provide complementary expertise in specific areas of the scientific basis of climate change, its impacts and future risks, and options for adaptation and mitigation.