Last year, John Matthews — CI’s new director of Freshwater Climate Change — traveled to eastern Nepal to see firsthand how the country was coping with changing weather patterns attributed to climate change. “…We passed many new and under-construction hydropower plants. We got out and talked to the dam operators: are you producing as much energy as you projected? Who consumes your electricity? How is your river changing? Many new dams were producing significantly less electricity than had been predicted, and dam operators compensated by diverting more water than planned.”
Why is this happening? The situation in Nepal is just one example of the close linkages between climate change and freshwater accessibility — connections that will only become more poignant in the future.
In honor of World Water Day, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) asked Matthews for his thoughts on the implications of climate change on freshwater resources — and how policymakers should take action. Matthews addresses these issues in a blog post published today as part of CSIS’s “Healthy Dialogues” blog series (from which the above quote is taken).