Zee Media Bureau
Kathmandu: A new study has revealed that water supply in rivers like Ganga, Brahmaputra and Indus will increase in the coming decades.
The study, which was carried out jointly by research organization FutureWater, Netherlands` Utrecht University and the Kathmandu-based International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) said that despite retreating of glaciers in the Himalayas, the river flow will increase at least till 2050.
“Our results show that the river flow will increase at least until 2050, despite retreating glaciers,” said Arthur Lutz, a researcher at FutureWater, in a statement on Monday.
The researchers said that glaciers feeding Indus river, although retreating, will generate increasing amounts of melt-water in the coming decades due to higher temperatures. For the other rivers, the increase in river flow will be mainly caused by increasing precipitation.
Glacier and snowmelt contribute water to ten important river basins originating from the Himalayas and in the Tibetan plateau serving over 1.3 billion people.
For the study, the group of scientists assessed the importance of meltwater for Indus, Ganga, Brahmaputra, Salween and Mekong rivers and discovered how climate change will alter river flow in the coming decades.
The findings of the study will be important in shaping climate change adaptation policy in the 12 riparian countries surrounding these river basins.
“These results confirm on a larger scale what we already discovered last year for two small watersheds in the Indus and Ganga basins”, said co-researcher Walter Immerzeel.
However, the scientists emphasize that their projections are only until 2050, and scenarios for the distant future, or until the end of the century, remain uncertain, in particular for Indus river where melt-water is most important.
With Agency Inputs