While all agricultural production depends on water, Asian agricultural especially requires large amounts of this resource to produce its most important staple foods – wheat and rice. Any reductions in water availability could therefore have a devastating effect on the region’s food security. HKH countries already rely heavily on water that originates in the region’s mountains for irrigation. For example, the Indus irrigation system, the world largest contiguous irrigation system, irrigates roughly 76 per cent of the cultivated area in Pakistan, enabling the production of more than 80 per cent of the country’s food grains and cash crops. The Ganges supports approximately 60 per cent of India’s irrigated area and the Brahmaputra supports irrigation in large parts of Bangladesh, Bhutan and India.
From collection: Graphics from: Outlook on climate change adaptation in the Hindu Kush Himalaya
Nieves López Isquierdo