The current coronavirus pandemic indicates to the importance of conserving water and water resources. Today, when World Water Day is marked and when one of the most important protective measures is regular, safe and effective hand hygiene, it is important to be reminded how climate change and responsible water system management affects the water availability for all.
Have you noticed in recent years that rivers of Bosnia and Herzegovina no longer have high water levels in early spring, caused by snow melting and heavy spring rains? Did you get wet due to the unexpectedly heavy showers during the spring? The circulation of water in nature, the term which we studied at schools as a water cycle, is already affected by climate change, particularly global warming.
While the total precipitation in the areas of Bosnia and Herzegovina is similar to the previous periods, its schedule varies throughout the year, resulting in shorter occurrences of very intense precipitation, and the same goes for longer dry periods. Snowpack levels are on average declining. The amount and distribution of precipitation and consequently the availability of water over time is different than before, affecting all water users – citizens, economy, ecosystems.
Experts point out that with a further rise in average temperature, evaporation of water and the moisture content in warmer air will also increase, which will lead to increased precipitation in some parts of the world, thus resulting in more frequent flooding, but only at certain times of the year. Such changes also lead to enhanced water runoff after rains, thus resulting in its reduced infiltration into the soil and, consequently, reduced replenishing of ground water reservoirs, from which most of BiH population is supplied.