In news- State of Climate Services report 2021 was recently released by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).
Highlights of the report-
- Terrestrial water storage (TWS) dropped at a rate of 1 cm per year in 20 years (2002-2021).
- TWS is the sum of all water on the land surface and in the subsurface, i.e. surface water, soil moisture, snow and ice and groundwater.
- The biggest losses have occurred in Antarctica and Greenland.
- Water-related hazards have increased in the past 20 years.
- Flood-related disasters have increased by 134 per cent since 2000.
- Number and duration of droughts have increased by 29 per cent during the same period.
- In Africa, about two billion people live in water-stressed countries.
- Most of the drought-related deaths occurred in Africa and most of the flood-related deaths & economic losses were witnessed in Asia.
- Increasing temperatures are resulting in global & regional precipitation changes which will also lead to shifts in rainfall patterns as well as agricultural seasons.
- India has recorded the highest loss in TWS excluding that in Antarctica and Greenland. (rate of at least 3 cm per year).
- India is, therefore, the ‘topmost hotspot of TWS loss’, and the northern part of India has experienced the maximum loss within the country.
- The average annual per capita water availability has been consistently decreasing in India, where it reduced to 1,545 cubic metres in 2011, from 1,816 cubic metres in 2001.
- Five of the 21 river basins in India are ‘absolute water scarce’ (per capita water availability below 500 cubic metres) and three are ‘water stressed’ (per capita water availability below 1,700 cubic metres).