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Unpredictable state of change: climate change

“Around 2035- 2050 B.S the flow of water in rivers was hefty. The ground water dragged up to corridor without using any mechanics to uplift. But since last 10 years community is facing extreme water scarcity”, expressed by a resident of Bhaktapur.

According to ICIMOD, it found that the existing strategies are insufficient to provide safe and adequate water in Kathmandu District. This is proved by the fact that more than five million people would be deprived of the minimum needed water by 2050 even under the current climate which would become worse under the driest scenario of climate change.

A research published in internal journal for water resources development shows a gradual slight decrease in annual average rainfall, by 0.9% of baseline in the 2020s, 1.4% in the 2055s and 3.0% in the 2080s. There is a clear increase in rainfall during the early winter months (120% of baseline for November and 102% for December by the 2080s), and a small increase in spring and early summer, but a decrease in late winter, mid-to-late summer, and autumn. These results indicate that farmers will need to adapt to changing rainfall patterns.

Cities like Kathmandu, Bhaktapur, Patan, are facing scarcity of water. These cities have grown from just few countable houses in pockets with enough space around them to conjusted settlement with no space between houses. The flaws in planning and implementation from both government and private sector are leading to multiple impacts due to climate change and least opportunity to adaptation. These places have stone spout and pond which is the source of water and recharge system in areas. But these are drying out.

These kind of cases can be seen in most of communities of Nepal at present and is multiplying. Nepal is well known in world for its water resources. But the gems are in threat of depletion.

Due to geographical and other climatic conditions, rugged and steep topography, extreme weather events and fragile geological conditions Nepal is considered as a disaster hotspot. As per the Nepal Disaster report 2013, the major disaster types in Nepal are landslide, flood, fire, avalanches, etc.  It has become increasingly clear that even serious efforts to mitigate climate change will be inadequate to prevent devastating climate change impacts that threaten to reverse many of the economic gains made in the developing world in recent decades.

Recently in July 2016, a flash flood in Bhotekhosi river in sindupalchowk district swept away 25 houses with severe damage to hydropower project. The river originates from Himalayan in the Tibet in China. It is said to be result of Glacier lake Outburst Flood.

The impact of less rainfall, increased temperature, and flood landslide and forest fire has caused very high and similar impacts on forest like loss of trees along with the loss of agricultural productivity and water resources. The problem of insects and pest is increasing different crops diseases. The vulnerability has been aggregated with the loss of crops production causing substantial economic loss. It has brought water scarcity making it difficult for agriculture production along with drinking water problem.

Therefore, individuals, communities, and policymakers must adapt to a new climate reality to increase resilience against future climate change, much of which remains highly uncertain. Climate Change and the resulting impacts are altering ecosystems in profound and irreversible ways. Erratic climatic pattern, rainfall, unprecedented fluctuations in annual temperature and pest outbreaks affects ecosystem and its ecology. These every existing evidence states the reason why temperature shall remain below 1.5 degree.

Sagarika Bhatta
environmentalist, blogger, researcher, activist, climate tracker, Vice president at Tourism Development Organization

Sagarika is an environmentalist, blogger, researcher, activist and climate tracker. She is the Vice president of Tourism Development Organization, working with one of the objective to engage in current issues in environment and development, since 2006. She is also the Program Manager of Power shift Nepal, a climate change campaign launched under 350.org and the Program Coordinator of "The Erasmus Plus" Program "You.com": youth in reuse and recycling

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