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NEWS: 40 Percent Of SE Asia and China Without Drinking Water In 50 Years

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posted on Sep, 5 2005 @ 03:16 AM
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 excessive pumping.

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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.

posted on Sep, 5 2005 @ 03:23 AM
Too many nuclear tests.

Too much polluting industry.

Population is growing too fast.

Not enough advancements in technology.

Too much burning of fossil fuels.

posted on Sep, 5 2005 @ 03:32 AM
I posted a article last year about both India and China facing a severe water shortage. The rampant pollution that has come with Chinas massive surge in economy is rapidly becoming a huge issue and many of thier major cities already have contaminated water.

posted on Sep, 5 2005 @ 05:41 AM
They'll just have to set up nuclear desalination plants.

posted on Sep, 5 2005 @ 11:15 AM
Lake Baikal located in southeastern Siberia near the Chinese border is the deepest fresh water lake in the world containing 1 fifth of the worlds fresh water, more then the 5 Great lakes combined and able to solely supply the worlds population with fresh drinking water for 40 years. As the need for fresh drinking water grows I can see the privatization of such sources taking effect. Maybe one day fresh water will be as sought over and profitable as oil.


posted on Sep, 5 2005 @ 01:08 PM
Hmm, I can't help but think about the Aral Sea ...

I know that the root of that was primarily the diversion of river water for irrigation of cotton crop, not for drinking water, but if pressure builds, especially in light of the growth of China and India then Baikal may be next.

Raven, I rather fear you will be right, water is going to factor in some serious regional disputes in the coming years.

Useful sources on the Aral Sea

The BBC have a feature on what it describes as the World Water Crisis:

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