Water


Each day, one of every two people on the planet quenches his thirst with water that originates in mountains.
 And as the world population swells to an estimated 9.6 billion by 2050, the worldwide demand for freshwater will continue to soar.

Mountains provide between 60 and 80 percent of the world’s freshwater, essential for domestic consumption, irrigation, industry, food and energy production. The ten largest rivers originating in the Hindu Kush Himalayas alone supply water to over 1.35 billion people. Some of the world’s largest cities, including New York, Rio de Janeiro, Nairobi, Tokyo and Melbourne, are dependent on freshwater from mountains.

Climate change is already causing more than 600 glaciers to disappear, resulting in springs and rivers drying up. Greater frequency of extreme weather events, droughts and floods, including flash floods and glacial lake outburst floods (GLOFs), are also expected to increase in mountains, causing imbalance between current water supply and demand.

Given the importance of mountain water resources worldwide, the careful management of mountain water resources is a global priority.  Water management practices need to be adapted to different climatic zones, using locally adapted soil and water management techniques. Most importantly, watershed management must take into account the needs of all those who depend on mountain water, including those who have the greatest stake in preserving healthy mountain ecosystems – people who live in mountain areas themselves, who are often marginalized from the decision-making processes. 

Water issues in the Andes - CONDESAN radio broadcasts

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Five short radio broadcasts on water issues in the Andes are now on the website of Consorcio para el Desarollo Sostenible de la Ecorregión Andina (CONDESAN). The broadcasts have been developed by CONDESAN with the support of the Agencia Española de Cooperación Internacional para el Desarrollo (AECID) and of the...

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Glacier retreats in Teesta basin, India study says

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A study conducted by the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests (India) in association with the Ahmedabad-based Space Application Centre of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has revealed glacier retreats in the Teesta basin (part of the Brahmaputra basin. According to the study in 1990, 34 glaciers once covered...

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World Environment Day 2011 - Forests: Nature at Your Service - 5 June

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The World Environment Day (WED) has been launched by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) since 1972 and celebrated every year on 5 June. WED aims to stimulate public awareness on environmental issues and to urge politics to act in favour of these. This year’s theme is dedicated to: “Forests:...

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Sustainable Mountain Development Summit – 21-22 May, Nainital (Uttarakhand), India

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A Sustainable Mountain Development Summit organized by the Indian Mountain Initiative (IMI) was held on 21 and 22 May in Nainital (Uttarakhand), India. The summit covered issues related to hydropower, climate change adaptation, rural tourism and community forestry. Mrs. Margaret Alva, Governor of Uttarakhand State in India pointed out that...

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Seminar on Water Security and Climate Change: Challenges and Strategies (4-6 November 2011, Guru Nanak dev University, Amritsar)

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Ensuring fresh and pure water to every individual is a significant tool of empowerment for the poor and vulnerable society of the globe. However, inadequate knowledge of policy and regulatory framework and its poor implementation, combined with a non-transparent and non participatory water management process is proving to be the...

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International World Water Day 2011 - 22 March 2011

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22 March is the International World Water Day (WWD). Following a decision of the General Assembly in 1993, WWD is held annually on this day as a means of focusing attention on the importance of freshwater and advocating for the sustainable management of freshwater resources. The theme of this year...

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