Globally, India recorded the highest loss in terrestrial water storage

What is the News?

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has released a report titled 2021 State of Climate Services Report.

What are the key findings of the 2021 State of Climate Services Report?

Terrestrial Water Storage (TWS)

Terrestrial Water Storage(TWS) has dropped at a rate of 1 cm per year in 20 years (2002-2021).

Note: TWS is the sum of all water on the land surface and in the subsurface, i.e. surface water, soil moisture, snow and ice and groundwater. 

The biggest losses have occurred in Antarctica and Greenland. But many highly populated, lower latitude locations have also experienced TWS losses.

Findings related to India

The TWS has been lost at a rate of at least 3 cm per year. In some regions, the loss has been over 4 cm per year too.

India has recorded the highest loss in terrestrial water storage if the loss of water storage in Antarctica and Greenland is excluded. The northern part of India has experienced the maximum loss within the country.

India’s Per Capita Water Availability

In India, per capita, water availability is reducing due to an increase in population.

The average annual per capita water availability has reduced to 1,545 cubic metres in 2011, from 1,816 cubic metres in 2001. It is projected to further decrease to 1,367 cubic metres in 2031.

Water Scarce River Basins

According to the Falkenmark Water Stress Indicator, Five of the 21 river basins in India are ‘absolute water scarce’ (per capita water availability below 500 cubic metres).

Five are ‘water scarce’ (per capita water availability below 1,000 cubic metres) and three are ‘water stressed’ (per capita water availability below 1,700 cubic metres).

By 2050, six will become absolute water-scarce, six will become water-scarce and four will become water-stressed.

Note: The Falkenmark indicator is one of the most widely used indicators for assessing the stress on water. It relates the total freshwater resources with the total population in a country and indicates the pressure that population puts on water resources, including the need for natural ecosystems 

Source:  This article is based onGlobally, India recorded the highest loss in terrestrial water storagepublished in Down To Earth s on 9th October

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