Water

Mountains – water towers of the world

Each day, one of every two people on the planet quenches his thirst with water that originates in mountains.  And as the world population swells to an estimated 9.6 billion by 2050, the worldwide demand for freshwater will continue to soar.  

Mountains provide between 60 and 80 percent of the world’s freshwater, essential for domestic consumption, irrigation, industry, food and energy production. The ten largest rivers originating in the Hindu Kush Himalayas alone supply water to over 1.35 billion people. Some of the world’s largest cities, including New York, Rio de Janeiro, Nairobi, Tokyo and Melbourne, are dependent on freshwater from mountains.

Climate change is already causing more than 600 glaciers to disappear, resulting in springs and rivers drying up. Greater frequency of extreme weather events, droughts and floods, including flash floods and glacial lake outburst floods (GLOFs), are also expected to increase in mountains, causing imbalance between current water supply and demand.  

Given the importance of mountain water resources worldwide, the careful management of mountain water resources is a global priority.  Water management practices need to be adapted to different climatic zones, using locally adapted soil and water management techniques. Most importantly, watershed management must take into account the needs of all those who depend on mountain water, including those who have the greatest stake in preserving healthy mountain ecosystems – people who live in mountain areas themselves, who are often marginalized from the decision-making processes. 

Water in the Alps

Water in the Alps

news

Alpine water is the source of life for millions of people inside and outside the Alps. The traditional biannual Water Conference for the Alps took place on 24-25 September 2014 in Trento, Italy. It focused on climate change, also taking into account extreme events (such as floods and sediment transport) and...

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UN diplomats zero in on mountain targets

UN diplomats zero in on mountain targets

peak to peak

Issue 69 - Month 5 - Year 2014

Our new issue of Peak to Peak opens with news about a meeting held at the Permanent Mission of Romania to the UN, where diplomats discussed mountain-related targets and indicators to propose for the sustainable development goals. We also...

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Water and ecosystems, most pertinent to mountains

Water and ecosystems, most pertinent to mountains

news

Diplomats representing 15 governments and heads of several US-based Major Groups decided on 29 April 2014 that the mountain agenda should hone in on two succinct but compelling arguments for the 11th session of the UN Open Working Group (OWG) on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). During a meeting hosted by...

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Mountains, the world’s water towers

Mountains, the world’s water towers

peak to peak

Issue 68 - Month 4 - Year 2014

Our new issue of Peak to Peak opens with news about the latest policy brief on mountains and water produced as part of the Mountain Partnership’s advocacy work to support UN Member States to push for the inclusion of goals,...

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Mountains as the water towers of the world: A call for action on the sustainable development goals (SDGs)

Mountains as the water towers of the world: A call for action on the sustainable development goals (SDGs)

publication

Mountains as the water towers of the world: A call for action on the sustainable development goals (SDGs)
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World Water Day

World Water Day

event


World Water Day is celebrated everyyear on 22 March to raise awareness and promote the sustainable use of world water resources. This year World Water Day will focus on the interlinkages between water and energy. The UN System along with other partners will work together to bring attention to...

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