CLIMATE CHANGE AND WATER RESOURCES

Increasing human activities have created a great pressure on water resources in terms of both quality and quantity. Another pressure is caused by changes in precipitation patterns as a result of the climate change. According to the scientific studies, climate change was also observed before the industrial revolution. However, that change was not as rapid as it has been today, and could be explained by natural causes such as volcanic eruptions, changes in solar energy and greenhouse gas (GHG) concentrations. Increasing human activities with the beginning of the Industrial Revolution as from the 1700s have accelerated the pace of climate change.

Water shortage and population negatively affected by the water shortage due to the new climate conditions is expected to increase. Today, while 1.3 billion people live in water-scarce regions, climate change will expose an additional 668 million people worldwide aggravated water scarcity in the next years. Water scarcity will considerably affect food production and water supply and demand will become a major problem in those regions. Especially transboundary water basins should be held under the microscope. The best solution in the transboundary basins is cooperation, which would make it possible for each riparian state to reach a win-win solution. Above all, it is required to provide a technical and political institutionalization that would also provide productive use of water resources by considering the new climate conditions during this cooperation process. Water demand of growing populations, ineffective use of water, and especially conventional irrigation techniques in agriculture lead to a substantial water loss. While water management structure should be reorganized for efficient use of water, especially users of water should be trained to use water economically. In addition to this, climate change would also change operation and functions of current water structures (e.g. hydropower, flood control, drainage and irrigation systems). Current water management is not efficient enough to overcome the impacts of climate change. Water management also affects energy, environment, health, nature preservation and food policies. Hence, it is required to put forward deficiencies caused by the climate change and to adjust water-related managements into new conditions.

WATER FACTS PUBLICATIONS INTERVIEWS NEWS