The Centre for Science and Environment stated Tuesday that the intense heatwave that gripped large parts India’s early summer is a sign that climate change is now and that it could have serious implications for water security.
Sunita Narain from CSE spoke on behalf of the CSE Director General. She stated that climate mitigation has to do with water and its management.
“What does the intense heat wave that hit large parts India this summer really mean?” It is a sign that we are living in the age of climate change, especially today, when we celebrate the World Water Day. It also means that our future actions with water will impact how we survive extreme climatic conditions.
“We all know climate change impacts will result in increased heat and scorching temperatures as well as variable and extreme rainfall. Both have a direct connection to the water cycle. According to Narain, climate mitigation must be about water and its management.
India is experiencing a repeat of 2021 conditions. Temperatures reached 40 degrees Celsius in February in some areas of the country as early as February, according to Avantika Goswami (CSE deputy programme manager, Climate Change).
“This was 2021, when the year of La Nia, the Pacific currents that bring down global temperatures, was declared. Goswami stated that Indian weather scientists have confirmed that global warming has canceled the cooling effect of La Nia.
CSE researchers highlighted that rising heat has serious implications for water security. It would, to begin with mean more evaporation from the water bodies. “It means we must not only store water in millions of structures but also plan to reduce losses due to evaporation. CSE stated that while evaporation has not been an issue in the past it is likely that the rate at which it occurs will increase with the rising temperatures.
Research shows that India’s irrigation planners as well as bureaucracies have heavily relied on canals and other surfaces water systems. However, it is important to remember that groundwater management is also an important part of the overall system.
The CSE stated that increased heat can also dry up soil moisture, and that it will make land dusty and increase irrigation. It will accelerate land degradation and dustbowl formations in a country like India, where most of the food is grown in rain-fed areas. It said that water management must be done in conjunction with vegetation planning in order to improve soil’s ability to hold water even during intense and prolonged heat.
The organisation warned that heat can increase water consumption, from drinking to irrigation to fighting fires in trees or buildings. We have seen destructive forest fires rage in many places around the world, including the forests of India. As temperatures rise, this will only get worse. According to the report, climate change will lead to an increase in water demand. Therefore, it is even more important that we don’t waste water or wastewater.
CSE also stated climate change is already being seen in the rising number of extreme rainfall events. “This means that rain can come as a flood, increasing the intensity of the cycle of droughts followed by floods. India already has fewer rainy day per year. According to some estimates, it rains on an average of 100 hours per year. It said that while the number of rainy day will continue to decrease, extreme rain days will increase.
“Water is the foundation of wealth and health. We needed to be obsessive yesterday about it and its management. We need to be more than obsessive. We need to be deliberate and determined. We need to be determined and deliberate on this World Water Day in an age of climate change.
(This story is not edited by Devdiscourse staff.