The World Resources Institute’s updated Aqueduct Water Risk Atlas has revealed that Nepal ranks 40th in the list of countries facing water stress in the world.
While the water stress has been categorised as ‘extremely high’ in western Nepal, the stress level is high in mid-western and central regions of the country. The eastern and far-western regions of the country face medium to high water stress, according to WRI.
The report unveiled today shows that the country is the fourth most water stressed in the South Asia region, behind India, Pakistan and Afghanistan.
“The world has seen a string of water crises in recent years, as what’s now known as ‘Day Zero’ — the day when the taps run dry — has threatened major cities from Cape Town to São Paolo to Chennai. These cities are just a few examples of how water stress can impact people, livelihoods and businesses around the globe,” says a media release accompanying the report.According to the report, India and Pakistan face ‘extremely high’ water stress, whereas Afghanistan and Nepal fall under the ‘high’ stress category. While Sri Lanka faces ‘medium to low’ water stress, Bangladesh and Bhutan have managed to secure ‘low’ stress rating.
WRI’s report has revealed that 17 countries, which are home to a quarter of the world’s population, face ‘extremely high’ water stress. The tool has ranked water stress, drought risk, and riverine flood risk across 189 countries and their sub-national regions, like states and provinces.
In the 17 countries facing extremely high water stress, agriculture, industry and municipalities are using up to 80 per cent of available surface and groundwater in an average year. When demand rivals supply, even small dry shocks — which are set to increase due to climate change — can produce dire consequences.
“Water stress is the biggest crisis no one is talking about. Its consequences are in plain sight in the form of food insecurity, conflict and migration, and financial instability,” Andrew Steer, president and CEO of the World Resources Institute, has been quoted as saying in the release. “The newly updated Aqueduct tools allow users to better see and understand water risks and make smart decisions to manage them. A new generation of solutions is emerging, but nowhere near fast enough. Failure to act will be massively expensive in terms of human lives and livelihoods.”