Global water cycle 'spinning out of balance': UN meteorological agency

The report showed that over 50% of global catchment areas experienced deviations from normal river discharge conditions

Published - October 12, 2023 02:32 pm IST

The World Meteorological Organization said that the hydrological cycle was increasingly out of balance due to climate change and made a call for a fundamental policy shift towards better monitoring.

The World Meteorological Organization said that the hydrological cycle was increasingly out of balance due to climate change and made a call for a fundamental policy shift towards better monitoring. | Photo Credit: AP

The World Meteorological Organization said on Thursday that the hydrological cycle was increasingly out of balance due to climate change and made a call for a fundamental policy shift towards better monitoring.

"We are seeing much heavier precipitation episodes and flooding. And at the opposite extreme, more evaporation, dry soils and more intense droughts," said WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas in a statement as the U.N. agency released its State of Global Water Resources report for 2022.

It showed that over 50% of global catchment areas experienced deviations from normal river discharge conditions, with most of them drier than normal, citing China's Yangtze River as an example.

Also Read | The climate blindspot in India’s river interlinking projects

On the other extreme, it cited floods in Pakistan that killed more than 1,700 people last year.

"...Far too little is known about the true state of the world's freshwater resources. We cannot manage what we do not measure," the WMO said in a statement.

The water report is only the second such analysis done by the WMO and includes data from large river basins, including river discharge, groundwater, evaporation, soil moisture and reservoir inflow.

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