Hundreds of Millions of South Asians Face Increasing Water Stress - 1 Mar 2009  
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South Asian water resources increasingly vulnerable. A report by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and Asian Institute of Technology in Thailand have concluded that freshwater resources in three major river basins in South Asia are threatened due to climate change and over-use. The report states that the severe water shortages predicted in all three basins would jeopardize the lives of some 750 million people. With two-thirds of the Himalayan glaciers now receding, intense pumping at lower elevations has led to groundwater levels declining rapidly in the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna and Indus basins, resulting in contamination by saltwater intrusion.

United Nations Environment Programme and Asian Institute of Technology, we appreciate your work in providing this valuable report. With Heaven’s grace, may we all tread more gently on the Earth to save precious water resources and sustain lives.

In a videoconference with Supreme Master Television staff on November 26, 2008, in California, USA, Supreme Master Ching Hai explained the seriousness of water loss in systems such as that of the Ganges River.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: Many are concerned, but little is done to avert this tragedy and I cannot imagine what happens if all the glaciers in Himalayas are all melted. I cannot imagine how people will live. The Ganges River, which feeds millions of people, depending on the glacier of the Himalaya, and if it melted all, then first of all, we’ll have a lot of floods and then we will have drought and dryness afterwards.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: Because water will not be distributed evenly like it has been done for centuries. The glacier is there to feed the Ganges water and it melted slowly, slowly as per using. As the human use it, it will melt out, just evenly distributing day by day like this. But if it’s all melted at one time, then cities will be drowned, people will die and flood will be everywhere and later we will have no water even. No reservoir any more. So either way, either a lot of flood or drought, it’s very dangerous for the people, especially the people who depend on the Ganges River and the glacier to survive. I am really worried, but I just pray and hope that the people who are in power will do something.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: The only solution is vegetarian diet for everybody.