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- Dec 2021
Cryospheric and hydrological changes in combination with socioeconomic changes are threatening downstream water security (Drenkhan et al., 2019; IPCC, 2019). Glacial melting impacts river discharge and the availability of water in areas downstream and change in runoff pattern of rivers draining from the glaciated catchments (Table 4). Hydroelectric power generation depends completely on water availability, and any variability in flow pattern of rivers can have far-reaching consequences for energy security of the country. Available hydrological simulations indicate reduced rainfall and shrinkage of glacier, thereby leading to shortage of water supply for power generation and irrigation particularly in highly glaciated basins (Gautam et al., 2013). The increasing drought frequency combined with other environmental degradation has already affected the livelihoods particularly of smallholder farmers.