• Recently, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) released the State of Climate Services report 2021. It focuses on Terrestrial Water Storage.
  • Earlier, on water day(22nd March), in a report released by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), one in five children worldwide reside in areas of high or extremely high water vulnerability.

Important points:

  • 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.
  • Water is a key prerequisite for human development. But only 0.5% of water on Earth is usable and available as freshwater.
  • Water resources across the world are under tremendous pressure due to human and naturally-induced stressors.
  • These include population growth, urbanisation and decreasing availability of freshwater.
  • Extreme weather events too have been responsible for the pressure on water resources realised across sectors and regions.

Global Scenario:

  • TWS dropped at a rate of 1 cm per year in 20 years (2002-2021).
  • The biggest losses have occurred in Antarctica and Greenland. But many highly populated, lower latitude locations have also experienced TWS losses.

Indian Scenario:

  • 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.
  • India is the ‘topmost hotspot of TWS loss’. The northern part of India has experienced the maximum loss within the country.
  • Water and Climate Coalition is a platform for its members to partner on joint activities and implement solutions that address the gaps of operational water and climate challenges with a focus on data and information.


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