Trends in atmospheric water availability

Long-term trends in water availability are occurring, and will continue. However, the trends are likely to be in different directions in different areas within the region, giving no meaningful regional average. Similarly, the trends may not persist with the same magnitude, or even direction, during the next few decades.

The most significant actual or potential impacts identified were:

• Agriculture may directly benefit in some areas, but not in others o Impacts may change with time and initial benefits may turn to problems

• Ecosystem shifts are likely o Forest resources may be redistributed across the region

• Seasonal frost regime changes will affect soil moisture supply o Water-logging of soil may become more common

• Timing and rate of melting of glaciers will change and influence flood potential o Possibly more water may be available initially, but this may be a short-term effect. This may be marked in Central Asia o Mudslides may increase

• Potential transboundary and political problems o Potential for conflict (Water Wars) is likely to increase.

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