As Global Warming melts Himalayan Glaciers, scientist warn that 40 percent of those living in South East Asia and China will be without drinking water
in less than 50 years. The glaciers are receeding by up to 75 percent over summer and one glacier The Gangotri, which is the sources of the Ganga, is
retreating by 23 metres per year. The Khumba Glacier, climbed by Sir Edmund Hillary on his way up Mt Everest in 1953 with Tenzing Norgay, has shrunk
by three miles since then.
“The cry in the mountains is that water has gone down and springs have dried up,” Jagdish Bahadur, an expert on Himalayan glaciers.
“Global climate change has had an effect, but water has also dried up because agriculture in the mountains has increased,” he said.
In Nepal, there are more than 3,000 glaciers that work as reservoirs for fresh water and another 2,000 glacial lakes.
“The glaciers are shrinking due to global warming posing a risk to water availability not only in Nepal but also in parts of South Asia,” said
Arun Bhakta Shrestha, an expert on Himalayan glaciers at the government Hydrology and Meteorology Department.
“But how soon or to what extent this problem will arise is difficult to say now.”
In the Indian Himalayas, there are already signs of water shortages in the summer: tourists in the rugged mountains of Ladakh and Himachal Pradesh
have to carry buckets of water while trekkers say temperatures are much warmer than a decade ago.
The effect can also be seen in the rest of the country.
During the summer, thousands of people in India’s villages trek for miles in search of water and even in cities water is a precious commodity,
sometimes leading to street fights.
The per capita availability of water in India has fallen to 1,869 cubic metres (6,602 cubic feet) from 4,000 cubic metres two decades ago, as farmers
increasingly tap into ground water. Millions of tube wells have been dug in India and in many areas ground water levels have plunged because of
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This is certainly an issue that should be on the top of the world wide agenda. Safeguards should be put in place and infrastructure built now to stop
the impact this is having on the local people affected. India is one of the most populous countries in the world and certainly needs a steady reliable
water source to keep the country going.