Climate change could make the need for Asia’s access to clean water worse.
That’s according to a new report by the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
It states: “Many countries are already experiencing an increasing scarcity of water, particularly in dry seasons and climate change will exacerbate this situation.”
It adds providing more food, energy, clean drinking water and access to sanitation without compromising the environment will be more challenging because of climate change impacts.
Vijay Padmanabhan, Technical Advisor for the Water Sector Group at ADB said: “Unless we manage the issue now, water insecurity will continue to pose a serious threat to Asia’s growth and prosperity.”
The report states in some areas, there will be longer periods between rainfall, requiring increased storage, both at local and regional levels, for surface water as well as groundwater.
It adds for megacities with vast populations, large reserves of accessible freshwater must be held in readiness for periods of drought or other natural disasters. Energy production which relies on the steady availability of water will also be jeopardised.
It went on to say crop yields on rain-fed land are likely to decrease and more resilient crop varieties may need to be developed and introduced.
Mr Padmanabhan added: “Planners can no longer rely on past climate data to accurately predict water needs. We will instead see more instances of extreme weather.”