Regarding water, climate change is increasing the variability of the hydrological cycle. This in turn promotes extreme weather events, reduces the availability of water resources, and affects water quality.
What are the major problems concerning water due to climate change?
- Flooding and sea level rise can contaminate land and water resources with salt water or fecal matter, and damage water supply and sanitation infrastructure.
- Glaciers, ice caps and snowfields are rapidly disappearing. Meltwater feeds many large river systems. The volatility of the cryosphere can affect the regulation of freshwater resources for many people in lowland areas.
- The growing demand for water increases the need for energy-intensive water pumping, transport and treatment. Water-intensive agriculture for food production, especially meat, and for growing crops used as biofuels, can further exacerbate water scarcity.
Concretely, the possible ways of improvement are :
- Protect natural buffers. Mangroves and coastal wetlands are effective and inexpensive natural barriers to flooding, extreme weather events, and erosion because the vegetation helps regulate water flow and binds the soil in floodplains, riverbanks, and coastlines.
- Rainwater harvesting: Rainwater harvesting is particularly useful in areas where rainfall distribution is uneven. This will ensure supply during dry periods.
- Adopt climate consistent agriculture: use conservation techniques to improve organic matter to increase soil moisture retention; drip irrigation and reduce post-harvest losses and food waste.
- Wastewater Reuse: Non-conventional water resources, such as regulated treated wastewater, can be used for irrigation, industrial and municipal purposes.
- Groundwater development: the exploration, protection and sustainable use of groundwater is essential to adapt to climate change and meet the needs of a growing population.