KATHMANDU, April 5: With the Himalayan freshwater facing increasing threats from climate change and global warming, scientists, academicians and the related government bodies have initiated a project to address the burning issue of possible water crisis, which might arise if not acted promptly.
“The glaciers and snowfields, that are the main source of water for millions of people living downstream in the Himalayan foothills of Nepal, India, Bhutan and Pakistan, are receding in the face of global warming. Its impacts have already been observed, as it has already threatened food and water security, and will get severe in the years to come,” said Dr Bishnu Pariyar, a professor at England's University of Leeds, which is one of the collaborating partners of the project - High-mountain Asia: building Resilience to Water Variability using Experiments, Surveys and accounts of Tradition (HARVEST).
With an objective to make the vulnerable communities prepare for the future crisis, HARVEST has taken the initiative to urge and support the communities to plan for change in natural water supplies, and develop simple but effective methods for harvesting and storing water during the rainy season for the use when the river discharge is low.
Practical Action Nepal and the University of Bristol are the other collaborating partners of the project, which is funded by Research Councils UK through Global Challenges Research Fund. Organizing a workshop in Kathmandu on Tuesday, they engaged scientists, academicians and government officials on discussions regarding how our water sources are being threatened by various hazards and how we can be prepared to face the challenges.