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Melting glaciers of Tibet may impact regional security in S Asia: Report

Melting glaciers on the Tibetan Plateau can result in excess water in some places and shortages in others, says a report in Hamrakura

Tibetan plateau

File photo of Tibetan plateau. Photo courtesy: Wikipedia

ANI Asia
Melting glaciers on the Tibetan Plateau can result in excess water in some places and shortages in others, says a report in Hamrakura, adding that the melting of glaciers on the Tibetan Plateau could impact regional security.
Water-related problems are growing rapidly, particularly in Asia, which is home to more than half of the world's population, says the report, adding that changes in the water supply as suggested by current research will impact Asia's water security due to climate change in future.
There is no clear consensus among nations on how to tackle and mitigate the effects of natural disasters that affect infrastructure and agriculture, according to Hamrakura.
As most of the nations of South Asia, particularly low-lying riparian countries like Bangladesh, Pakistan, and India, depend on shared water resources for development, food production, and drinking, water resource imbalances are expected to increase water insecurity in downstream areas, as per the report.
Changes in water supply could lead to conflict between these countries as the Tibetan Plateau is an important source of water for many people in the region, including China, India, and Nepal, as per the news report. According to international research, the water supply from most rivers will be declining by 2050.
Furthermore, it could worsen the humanitarian, economic, security, and environmental problems in the region, the report said, adding that China has no autonomous transboundary river policy of its own regarding the 'upstream powerhouse'.
Beijing has not signed water-sharing agreements or international transboundary water treaties with its neighbouring nations, which has resulted in concerns among downstream regions about the potential for conflict over access and control of shared water resources, the report said.
"The lack of agreement has resulted in Beijing's mistrust of the multilateral framework for resolving the international dispute. Many of China's hydroelectric dams are located on rivers such as the Brahmaputra River in Tibet which has resulted in concerns among downstream nations like India due to potential geopolitical and hydro political implications," the report goes.
China, under the Belt and Road Initiative, has invested in the hydropower industries of many of its neighbours, mainly South Asian countries, goes the news report further, adding that other nations in the region have concerns regarding some hydropower projects as they are located near international waterways.
India has raised objections to some of China's hydropower projects in Pakistan under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and accused Beijing of exacerbating water scarcity by implementing large-scale hydro-engineering infrastructure projects upstream of international rivers, according to Hamrakura.
"India has invested in hydropower projects in South Asia, mainly Bhutan and Nepal. These investments have helped increase energy availability and contributed to economic growth in these nations. However, there are concerns regarding India's impact on these nations' water and electricity supplies," the report adds.
Bhutan's Chukha hydropower project is an example of India's hydropower investment in South Asia. With a capacity of 336 MW, the Chukha hydropower project is the largest hydroelectric project in Bhutan, the report says, adding that the hydropower project generates electricity that is largely sold to India and Bhutan has been benefiting from its revenues.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Jan 09 2023 | 9:28 AM IST

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