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Climate Change Impacts on Water

December 18th, 2013

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Along the Rio Grande River in Texas; photo courtesy of Patti Radle

An increase in global temperatures by 2 degrees Celsius would likely result in chronic water scarcity—less than 1,000 cubic meters per person per year—for 21 percent of the global population, according to new climate models developed by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Climate Progress reported. An increase of just 1 degree Celsius would create chronic water scarcity for 13 percent of the population and absolute water scarcity—less than 500 cubic meters per person per year—for 6 percent of the population.

A newly released study of the Lower Rio Grande River Basin predicts that climate change will reduce water supplies by more than 86,000 acre-feet each year by 2060, leaving a total annual supply shortfall in the basin of 678,522 acre-feet, Science Daily reported. The shortfall is expected to create problems for irrigators in the basin, and the study suggested looking at desalinated brackish groundwater as an alternative to surface water supplies.

 

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