Basins of 10 major rivers that flow from the Hindukush-Himalayan water towers are home to trillions and generate a whopping annual GDP, and climate change impacts are already posing threats that are grave, they said.
By: Shubham Ghosh
Climate-related problems in the Hindukush-Himalayan water system are threatening economic development and energy security in as many as 16 countries in Asia and concerted action is required to protect regional flows of water, researchers have said, according to Reuters.
According to China Water Risk think tank, the basins of 10 major rivers that flow from the Hindukush-Himalayan water towers are home to nearly two trillion people and generate a whopping $4.3 trillion in annual gross domestic product, and climate change impacts such as melting of glacier and extreme weather are already posing threats that are grave, the Reuters report added.
The researchers have cautioned that all rivers would face “escalating and compounding water risks” if the emissions are not controlled and that continuing construction of water-intensive energy infrastructure was making the problems worse.
The 10 rivers mentioned include the Ganges and Brahmaputra that run into India and Bangladesh, China’s Yangtze and Yellow and transboundary waterways such as Mekong and Salween. These support nearly three quarters of hydropower and 44 per cent of coal power in the 16 nations that include Afghanistan, Nepal and Southeast Asia, the Reuters report added.
As climate risks grow bigger, countries face more pressure to come up with policies for “dovetailing” energy and water security, the researchers said.