In some parts of southern India, the water situation has become critical: in Chennai, a city with five million inhabitants and the capital of Tamil Nadu state (and the country’s sixth largest city) there has been a water shortage for weeks.
According to the Indian NDTV news channel, the shortage is caused by all four of the city’s reservoirs having dried up in the dry season. There is now no water in the public water network, water is rationed to the population from tanker cars. In some towns in Tamil Nadu, people have taken to the streets to protest against the poor water supply.
In the meantime, the northern and eastern parts of India are suffering a heat wave, with temperatures occasionally rising above 50 degrees Celsius in the region. According to the India Meteorological Department, the late arrival of the monsoon has resulted in rainfall all around the country dropping 43 percent below the usual levels.
Up to 180 thousand people may be left without drinking water due to the severe drought.
Extreme drought is putting one of the world’s most important trade routes at risk.
The characteristic sand banks of the river have grown larger, some branches have dried out completely.
Zimbabwe’s capital city, Harare, shut down its main water works on 23 September citing shortages of foreign currency to import chemicals required for water treatment. The situation may not only lead to a severe water shortage for the population, but also increases the risks of diseases carried by contaminated water, such as cholera.
A comprehensive report by the European Environment Agency claims that over the next 30 years, agricultural yields could drop by up to 16 percent in Europe due to the phenomena accompanying climate change.
This year’s was the third hottest summer in Germany since the beginning of regular meteorological records in 1881, according to preliminary data from the Federal Meteorological Service.
In 2011, Laguna de Aculeo, one of the country’s favourite bathing resorts, still covered 12 square kilometres, and the lake was 6 metres deep – but since then, it has completely dried out.
The problem of the water shortages caused by global warming is much more complex than we have thought. In some parts of Africa, people not only need to face thirst but also the fact that the regions impacted by drought emit a quantity of carbon dioxide equivalent to the emissions of two hundred million cars each year.
According to a new report by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that focuses on the interaction between climate change, desertification and food security, if present land use habits are maintained, the planet’s capacity to produce food will drop drastically.
The EU is contributing a further 50 million euro to alleviate drought damage in a number of Eastern and Central African countries. According to estimates, more than 4 million children and about 3 million pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers are undernourished in the region.