NASA recently launched a twin set of spacecrafts that will observe the ever-changing water cycle, ice sheets and crusts. The space agency’s decision to observe water source adds to the emerging importance of studying water resources that is being felt at a global scale. With mounting pressures on finite water resources, cities such as Cape Town have already started rationing water for daily use. South Asia may very well be facing its own water crisis in the coming future, with a burgeoning population, and rising demands on its various sectors, one of them being agriculture.
Due to the nature of agricultural production in South Asia being heavily dependent on rainfall, the coming future also holds variability in rainfall distribution across the region. This is likely to have impacts on the “breadbaskets” in the South Asian region, states with a significant contribution to a country’s GDP in terms of agricultural produce.
Looking at this scenario of vulnerability, at a recent webinar hosted by LEAD Pakistan, Hester Biemans spoke on emerging HI-AWARE research that focuses on the effect of water availability on downstream food production in South Asia. The session titled, “Mountain water crucial for downstream food production in South Asia”, was part of LEAD’s ‘LEADING Perspectives’ series that focuses on issues emerging in shared river basins. A paper on rainfall variability and crop production can be accessed at this link.