GENEVA / GLOBAL WATER RESOURCES

Preview Language:   Original
12-Oct-2023 00:03:08
According to the World Meteorological Organization, more early warnings are needed with the global hydrological cycle out of control. UNTV CH

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STORY: GENEVA / GLOBAL WATER RESOURCES
TRT: 03:08
SOURCE: UNTV CH
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 12 OCTOBER 2023 GENEVA, SWITZERLAND / FILE

SHOTLIST:

FILE - GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

1. Med shot, UN flag alley, UN Geneva

12 OCTOBER 2023 GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

2. Wide shot, speakers, briefing room
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Petteri Taalas, Secretary-General, World Meteorological Organization (WMO):
“The key message is that the global hydrological cycle is changing, and many of the impacts of climate change they are felt through water, flooding, drought, and also melting of glaciers. We have to invest in better understanding of the water cycle and monitor the resources to understand what kind of impacts of climate change we have been facing so far, but especially what we are going to face in the future.”
3. Med shot, photographers
4. SOUNDBITE (English) Petteri Taalas, Secretary-General, World Meteorological Organization (WMO):
“About half of the world has experienced an increase of flooding events, and about one-third of the planet has been facing an increase of drought events. We know that one degree of warming of the climate means that we have seven percent more humidity in the atmosphere, which means that it is enhancing the flooding potential.”
5. Wide shot, speakers, attendees, screens with speaker
6. SOUNDBITE (English) Petteri Taalas, Secretary-General, World Meteorological Organization (WMO): “The melting of glaciers is speeding up. In the report, we are showing that, for example, the Swiss mountain glaciers, especially the Alpine ones, they have lost about ten percent of their mass last year and this year, which is a record.”
7. Close up, journalist
8. SOUNDBITE (English) Petteri Taalas, Secretary-General, World Meteorological Organization (WMO):
“We will have challenges to get water for agriculture, for human beings, industry, and also for hydropower production. We also know that the warming of rivers and waters in general is causing problems for power production.”
9. Med shot, speakers
10. SOUNDBITE (English) Stefan Uhlenbrook, Director, Water and Cryosphere department, World Meteorological Organization (WMO):
“More than 70 percent of the water that is used by humans is used for agriculture. It is used to produce food – and therefore, it is absolutely critical for food and nutrition security. In some countries it is even more than 90 percent of all the water withdrawals from the systems, so the water supply is actually used for food production. Drinking water – as your question is very important – is globally roughly ten to twelve percent of the water that is used for the direct human consumption or domestic use.”
11. Close up, photographer
12. SOUNDBITE (English) Stefan Uhlenbrook, Director, Water and Cryosphere department, World Meteorological Organization (WMO):
“What is the solution? We need to manage the demand. Using 90 percent of the water withdrawals for agriculture in largely inefficient irrigation systems is not the way forward. We need to think about more efficient irrigation technology. We need to think about only irrigate where necessary, think about which crops are produced there. For instance, very thirsty, very water intensive crops to grow them in the middle of the desert is maybe economically still viable but environmentally not sustainable anymore.”
13. Various shots, press conference room, screens with speaker, attendees, photographers

STORYLINE:
According to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), more early warnings are needed with the global hydrological cycle out of control.

As a result of climate change and human activities, the hydrological cycle is spinning more and more out of balance, WMO said today (12 Oct) calling for increased early warnings and more coordinated water management policies.

“The key message is that the global hydrological cycle is changing and many of the impacts of climate change they are felt through water, flooding, drought, and also melting of glaciers,” said Petteri Taalas, WMO Secretary-General when presenting the report to journalists in Geneva.

“We have to invest in better understanding of the water cycle and monitor the resources to understand what kind of impacts of climate change we have been facing so far, but especially what we are going to face in the future.”

The WMO State of Global Water Resources Report 2022 builds on a pilot issued last year and contains more expanded information on important hydrological variables like groundwater, evaporation, streamflow, terrestrial water storage, soil moisture, cryosphere (frozen water), inflows to reservoirs, and hydrological disasters.

Information was gathered via field observations, satellite-based remote sensing data, and numerical modeling simulations to assess water resources at the global scale.

“About half of the world has experienced an increase of flooding events, and about one-third of the planet has been facing an increase of drought events,” said Taalas.

“We know that one degree of warming of the climate means that we have seven percent more humidity in the atmosphere, which means that it is enhancing the flooding potential.”

The overwhelming majority of disasters are water-related, so water management and monitoring lies at the heart, indicates the report.

In the summer of 2022, severe droughts impacted many parts of Europe, posing transportation challenges in rivers like the Danube and Rhine and disrupting nuclear electricity production in France due to the lack of cooling water.

In 2022, the snow cover in the Alps, crucial for feeding major rivers like the Rhine, Danube, Rhone, and Po, remained much lower than average.

The European Alps witnessed unprecedented levels of glacier mass loss.

“The melting of glaciers is speeding up,” said WMO’s Secretary-General.

“In the report, we are showing that, for example, the Swiss mountain glaciers, especially the Alpine ones, they have lost about ten percent of their mass last year and this year, which is a record.”

In 2022, over 50 percent of the global catchment areas experienced deviations from normal river discharge conditions.

Most of these areas were drier than normal, while a smaller percentage of basins displayed above or much above normal conditions.

This was like 2021, so the report.

“We will have challenges to get water for agriculture, for human beings, industry, and also for hydropower production,” said Taalas.

“We also know that the warming of rivers and waters in general is causing problems for power production.”

“More than 70 percent of the water that is used by humans is used for agriculture and to produce food and therefore absolutely critical for food and nutrition security,” said Stefan Uhlenbrook, WMO’s Director of Water and Cryosphere department.

“In some countries it is even more than 90 percent of all the water withdrawals from the systems, so the water supply is actually used for food production. Drinking water is globally roughly ten to twelve percent of the water that is used for the direct human consumption or domestic use.”

Currently, 3.6 billion people face inadequate access to water at least a month per year and this is expected to increase to more than 5 billion by 2050, according to UN Water.

“What is the solution? We need to manage the demand. Using 90 percent of the water withdrawals for agriculture in largely inefficient irrigation systems is not the way forward,” said Uhlenbrook.

“We need to think about more efficient irrigation technology. We need to think about: only irrigate where necessary, think about which crops are produced there. For instance, very thirsty, very water intensive crops to grow them in the middle of the desert is maybe economically still viable but environmentally not sustainable anymore.”
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