Mountains: the world's water towers

Tajikistan: A farming family works their field in the Valley of Garm in the Alay mountain range
FAO/20656/E. Yeves


More than half of humanity relies on mountains for fresh water. Research indicates that mountains in humid areas provide 30 to 60 percent of downstream fresh water, while this figure rises to 70 to 95 percent in semi-arid to arid environments.

As the demand for water increases, the potential for conflict over the use of mountain waters grows. Careful management of water resources in mountains must become a global priority.

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