Climate change to keep affecting water quality: Report
Both climate and water management require mechanisms for oversight, coordination, suggests UN
March 23, 2020
Water storage measures from Turkey's DSI for climate change
Photograph: Ömer Yasin Ergin
A UN report has warned that climate change-related results will continue to affect the earth's water resources and quality.
In an initial assessment report of climate change impact on water, the UN-Water and UNESCO said: "Water quality will be adversely affected as a result of higher water temperatures, reduced dissolved oxygen and thus a reduced self-purifying capacity of freshwater bodies."
The report was published on March 22 on the occasion of World Water Day.
Reiterating that small islands and developing countries were the regions most vulnerable to climate change and environmental disasters, the report said they could see increasing water stress.
"Across the planet, drylands are expected to expand significantly. Accelerated melting of glaciers is expected to have a negative effect on the water resources of mountain regions and their adjacent lowlands," the report said.
It added that water-related extremes exacerbated by climate change increase risks to water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) infrastructure such as damaged sanitation systems or flooding of sewer pumping stations.
The UN report, however, indicated that water scarcity was mostly a seasonal issue rather than a chronic one, and water availability that depends on seasonal periods, will be changed in various places.
"Both climate and water management require mechanisms for oversight and coordination," it said, adding that bureaucratic competition may pose serious difficulties for integration.
Meanwhile in a separate statement, making various statements to draw attention to the importance of water for human life, and particularly against the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the UN warned people against wasting water.
"Take the #SafeHands Challenge by sharing your hand-washing video on social media channels. Please don't forget to turn off the tap," the UN-Water said in a statement.
It highlighted that approximately three billion people worldwide lack hand washing facilities in their homes, whereas two out of five health care units were also deprived of the means.
Celebrated annually, World Water Day 2020 is about water and climate change -- and how the two are inextricably linked.