Climate and Sustainable Development Network (CSDevNet) has said climate change and increasing hot temperature levels may threaten water security in the country.
Dr Ibrahim Choji, Chairman, CSDevNet Board of Trustees, said this in a statement to commemorate the 2022 World water Day on Tuesday.
According to him, in this age of climate change, how Nigeria deals with its water resources will determine its survival in extreme climatic conditions.
He said: “Groundwater feeds springs, rivers, lakes and wetlands and seeps into oceans. It is recharged mainly from rain and snowfall infiltrating the ground, just as it can be extracted to the surface by pumps and wells.
“Climate and Sustainable Development Network believes that climate change impacts are about heat — increased and scorching temperatures — and variable and extreme rain. Both have a direct correlation with the water cycle.
“Therefore, climate change mitigation has to be about water and its management, the rising heat we currently experience across Nigeria has severe implications for water security as it implies greater evaporation from water bodies’’.
He stressed the need for Nigeria to work not just on storing water in millions of structures but also plan for reducing losses due to evaporation, adding that there was need for an underground water storage or wells.
“Increased heat can also lead to a drying up of moisture in soils. It will make the land dusty and will increase the need for irrigation. In a country like Nigeria, where the bulk of the food is still grown in rain-fed regions, irrigated by rain.
“This means water management must go hand in hand with vegetation planning to improve the ability of soils to hold water, even in times of intense and prolonged heat’’.
Choji noted that with an increased demand for water with climate change, it was even more imperative that Nigeria do not waste either water or wastewater.
“Nigeria must begin to think more about flood management to embank rivers and optimise the floodwaters to store them in underground and over ground aquifers, wells and ponds.
“The bottom line is that we must plan deliberately to capture every drop, not just of rain but of floodwater, in this age of climate change’’.
The chairman said Nigeria needed to be obsessive about water and its management, noting that water is the basis of health and wealth.
He added that all stakeholders, including state and non-state actors in Nigeria, must realise that the water agenda was the actual make or break of the future.
The theme for the 2022 World Water Day is, ‘Ground Water: Making the Invisible Visible’.