How will the melting of Himalayan glaciers have a far-reaching impact on the water resources of India? (150 words) [2020]

The melting of Himalayan glaciers has far-reaching consequences on India’s water resources. The Himalayas are known as the “Water Towers of Asia,” supplying water to millions of people in the region.

Impact on water resources:

  • Decreased river flow: Melting glaciers contribute to river flow, including the Ganges, Brahmaputra, and Indus. Reduced glacier mass leads to decreased river flow, impacting water availability for agriculture, drinking, and industry in India.
  • Increased flooding and landslides: Glacial lake outburst floods (GLOFs) occur when glacial lake dams fail, causing widespread destruction, loss of life, and infrastructure damage downstream.
  • Impact on agriculture: India’s agriculture relies heavily on Himalayan river water. Glacier melt reduces water availability, affecting agricultural productivity and farmers’ livelihoods.
  • Hydropower generation: India depends on hydropower for electricity. Glacier melt reduces river flow, affecting hydropower plant capacity and causing power shortages.
  • Groundwater depletion: Reduced surface water increases pressure on groundwater, leading to over-extraction and aquifer depletion.
  • Water conflicts: Melting glaciers worsen water conflicts among states and countries sharing river basins due to increased water scarcity.

In conclusion, melting Himalayan glaciers threaten India’s water resources, impacting agriculture, power generation, and the well-being of millions. Policymakers and stakeholders must collaborate on addressing this challenge and developing sustainable water management strategies.

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