Water management in view of melting glaciers

By: Alfred Diebold

Linking science and art for sustainable futures part 8

This picture was taken in the high mountains of the Tian-Shan near the South camp of mount Khan Tengri in Kazakhstan/Kyrgyzstan on board of a helicopter at an altitude of 5.500 meters. You see the Inylcheck glacier flowing West.

Settlements located downstream along larger rivers will be less affected by glacier melting. Glacier retreat will enhance river discharge and fresh water availability of the main receiving streams. In conclusion in coming decades we will observe a shrinkage of summer runoff from catchments with small glaciers and increase of summer runoff from catchments with large glaciers. As a result migration from mountain areas into riverine settlements will be the consequence. Further urbanisation can be expected.

Photo by Alfred Diebold ©

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