Recent Trends, Issues, and Challenges in Water Resource Development and Global Climate Change

Recent Trends, Issues, and Challenges in Water Resource Development and Global Climate Change

Prakash Rao (Symbiosis International University, India) and Yogesh Patil (Symbiosis International University, India)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-1046-8.ch001

Abstract

Climate change impacts are being felt in many parts of the world and have become an issue of major concern. Tropical countries particularly those in the Asian region are at greater risk and vulnerable to the impacts of climate change as indicated by the report of IPCC. With regard to India there are several impacts forecast which could have adverse consequences on the natural resources and ecosystems of the country making them vulnerable and reducing their capacity to cope with a changing climatic regime. This introductory chapter of the book provides an insight to the recent trends, issues and challenges in water resource development in context to the global climate change.
Chapter Preview
Top

Glaciers And Climate Change: Perspectives From The Himalayas

One of the most important and visible indicators of global climate change is the recession of glaciers in many parts of the world. About three-quarters of the Earth’s fresh water is held in ice sheets and mountain glaciers. Glaciers serve as a natural regulator of regional water supplies. The Himalaya mountain range is covered by 33,000 km2 area of glaciers which provides 8.6 x 106 m3 of freshwater to rivers draining from the mountains annually (Dyurgerov and Meier, 1997).

The Himalayan range of mountains stretching across an arc from Afghanistan in the West to Myanmar in the East is no exception. The youngest chain of mountain ranges is also home to some of the world’s loftiest mountain peaks which have for centuries been the cynosure of the adventurer and mountain lover. The Himalayan ecosystems are perhaps one of the most fragile ecosystems in the world with a wide and diverse range of habitats and floral and faunal values. According to projections by glaciologists and climatologists who have been studying the glacial systems of the Himalayas, the freshwater shortages projected for the future is likely to have long term implications for regional food security. Apart from this there are also potential implications for hydropower generation given the large capital investments being made in the sector.

Complete Chapter List

Search this Book:
Reset