The South Asian region’s rainfall varies from year to year, causing droughts and floods that result in deaths along with social and economic shocks. South Asia also faces water-related environmental problems such as shrinking glaciers, soil erosion, pollution, groundwater degradation and trans-boundary issues that put pressure on the availability of water. South Asia’s renewable freshwater resources are about 1,200 cubic meters per capita. Withdrawals of freshwater are high.
Trans boundary Waters
Many of the rivers in the South Asian region are shared across the many borders. Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal and Pakistan, share 20 major rivers alone. Conflicting claims over shared water resources is a major security challenge in the region. Because of this constant proble it requires mediation and dispute resolution for water sharing between countries and communities.
The burning of fossil fuels, biomass, as well as diesel transportation, factories, power plants, and dust has caused the problem of heavy pollution in South Asia. In many cities there is always a cloud of smog in the sky. The Meteorological Department of both India and Nepal agree that the intensity and duration of smog affected days has been on the rise in the past ten years. Many people living in these areas suffer from pulmonary and respiratory diseases. The economic effects of air pollution are severe.The World Health Organization estimates that 2.4 million people die each year due to air pollution and 1.5 million of these deaths are due to indoor air pollution.