- The WorldWide Fund for Nature recently released its ‘Water Risk Filter’ (WRF) analysis.
About: Water Risk Filter analysis
- The Water Risk Filter is an online tool that evaluates the severity of water risk in different places due to various factors.
- The analysis gave cities a risk score out of five in 2030 and 2050, where anything above three is a ‘high risk’ and anything above 4 is a ‘very high risk’.
- The city’s risk levels were scored by evaluating several factors, which included droughts, floods, fragmentation of river ecosystems, freshwater availability, climate change impact, the presence of regulatory laws governing water use, conflict etc.
- The tool enables companies and investors to explore, assess, value and respond to water risks worldwide.
Water Risk Filter Report
Global findings :
- Hundreds of millions of people in cities across the globe could face significantly increased water risks, unless urgent action is taken to reduce and adapt to climate change.
- According to the scenarios in WRF, 100 cities that are expected to suffer the greatest rise in water risk by 2050, are cities where at least 350 million people live. Moreover, these cities are important economies nationally and globally.
- Globally, populations in areas of high-water risk could rise from 17% in 2020 to 51% by 2050.
- China accounts for almost half of the cities at high water risk. Beijing, Jakarta, Johannesburg, Istanbul, Hong Kong, Mecca and Rio de Janeiro are also in the list.
Findings from India:
- India that has emerged as a dominant place in both current and future lists of cities with the highest overall water risk.
- 30 cities in India including Delhi, Jaipur, Indore, Amritsar, Pune, Srinagar, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Mumbai, Kozhikode and Vishakhapatnam have been identified as cities that will face increasing water risks in the next few decades.
- All 30 Indian cities received a score of at least three or above for both 2030 and 2050.
- The highest increase in risk among Indian cities has been projected for Jaipur (11%) and Indore (10%).
Risk factors in India:
- Major environmental problems like deforestation, soil erosion, overgrazing, desertification, air pollution from industrial effluents and vehicle emissions, water pollution from sewage and agricultural pesticides impact water quality in India.
- Further, ecological factors are not properly considered during city planning, so the flow lines change due to urbanisation. This is particularly true for new cities that are coming up with very little planning.
- Most rivers in India are of good quality, in their upper parts. However, water use for cities, agriculture and industries, and the lack of wastewater treatment plants in the middle and lower parts of most rivers, cause a major degradation of surface water quality.
- Nature-based solutions including restoring degraded watersheds, reconnecting rivers to their floodplains, and restoring or creating urban wetlands are important.
- Urban planning and wetland conservation should be integrated to ensure zero loss of freshwater systems in the urban areas.
- Multi-stakeholder engagement and ownership, involving local communities could be the key in creating and conserving sustainable water infrastructure.
- The Smart Cities initiative in India could offer an integrated urban water management framework for building future- ready, water smart and climate resilient cities.
- The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) is an international non-governmental organization founded in 1961. It was earlier known as the World Wildlife Fund.
- It aims to stop the degradation of the planet’s natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature.
- It works to help local communities conserve the natural resources they depend upon; transform markets and policies toward sustainability; and protect and restore species and their habitats.
- It is the world’s largest conservation organization, working in more than 100 countries and supporting around 3,000 conservation and environmental projects.