Workshop on Governing Critical Uncertainties:  Climate Change and Decision-Making in       Transboundary River Basins     ...
New Challenges of Transboundary Water Conflicts and Climate Change for Governance of Indus River Basin
Introduction• Indus is a river system that sustains 200 millionpeople in India and Pakistan• Both India and Pakistan have ...
Indus River Basin System• Sanskrit – Sindhu• Old Persian – Hindu• Ancient Greek - Ἰ νδός• Old Iranian - Indós• Urdu - Dary...
Indus River Basin SystemLength: 3,200 km (2,000 mi)Basin: 1,165,000 km2 (450,000 mi2)Discharge: 6,600 m3/s (230,000 ft3/s)...
Indus River Basin System• 21st largest river in the world in terms of annual flow• 60% of Indus basin lies in Pakistan and...
Competing Water Demands& Transboundary Conflicts• Water disputes between Punjab and Sind provinces duringBritish India• Co...
Some Major Dams on India’s Part of Indus River Basin
Transboundary Governance System• Inter-Dominion Accord of May 4, 1948: required India torelease sufficient waters to Pakis...
Transboundary Governance System• World Bank mediated from 1952 onwards, and Indus WatersTreaty (IWT) was signed in Septemb...
Chronology of Indus Water Treaty(adapted from Jutla and Dewayne, 2009)                                         Transbounda...
New Challenges of Transboundary Water Conflicts and  Climate Change for Governance of Indus River Basin
New Challenges of Transboundary Water Conflicts and  Climate Change for Governance of Indus River Basin
New Challenges of Transboundary Water Conflicts and  Climate Change for Governance of Indus River Basin
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New Challenges of Transboundary Water Conflicts and Climate Change for Governance of Indus River Basin

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  • Indus is a river system that sustains communities in both countries India and Pakistan, which have extensively dammed the Indus River for irrigation of their crops and hydro-electricity systems. The river tributaries are Jhelum and Chenab rivers, which primarily flow into Pakistan while other branches—the Ravi, Beas, and Sutlej—irrigate northern India. Conflict in the basin started in 1947 when India stopped water flowing through its canals to Pakistan, forcing the later to approach international agencies for help. Indus Waters Treaty (IWT) was signed by both countries in 1960, giving exclusive rights over the three western rivers of the Indus river system (Jhelum, Chenab and Indus) to Pakistan, and over the three eastern rivers (Sutlej, Ravi and Beas) to India. Competing water demands and inadequate water availability for irrigation and other uses stress regional economy which leads to failing of legal and governance institutions. Water dispute in Indus River Basin (IRB) arose due to poor governance and lack of proper institutions to manage water between two stakeholders, which stressed the amount of water available in the basin. Changing climate worldwide and its effect on mountain snow-caps and glaciers have been exerting new set of challenges to the governance and institutions managing the waters of IRB. Based on the review of secondary literature and scenario analysis, this article exposes the inherent uncertainties and suggests governance solutions.
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New Challenges of Transboundary Water Conflicts and Climate Change for Governance of Indus River Basin

  1. 1. Workshop on Governing Critical Uncertainties: Climate Change and Decision-Making in Transboundary River Basins 21‐ 23 January 2013, Chiang Mai, Thailand www.earthsystemgovernance.org
  2. 2. New Challenges of Transboundary Water Conflicts and Climate Change for Governance of Indus River Basin
  3. 3. Introduction• Indus is a river system that sustains 200 millionpeople in India and Pakistan• Both India and Pakistan have extensivelydammed the Indus River• With competing demands of water both sides,the conflicts sustain since 1947, year of partition• Indus Water Treaty (IWT) agreed in 1960• Transboundary water conflicts on climax now• Climate change is supposed to add to conflicts• New challenges to governance and institutions• Need to reform the international legislation andgovernance to cope with uncertainties
  4. 4. Indus River Basin System• Sanskrit – Sindhu• Old Persian – Hindu• Ancient Greek - Ἰ νδός• Old Iranian - Indós• Urdu - Daryā-e Sindh• Hindi - Sindhu Nadī• Sindhi - Sindhu• Punjabi - Sindh• Gujarati - Sindhu• Tibetan - Sênggê Zangbo (Lion River)• Pashto - Abāsin (Father of Rivers)• Turkish – Nilab• Arabic - Naḥ ar al-Sind• Persian - Rūd-e Sind• Latin – Indus
  5. 5. Indus River Basin SystemLength: 3,200 km (2,000 mi)Basin: 1,165,000 km2 (450,000 mi2)Discharge: 6,600 m3/s (230,000 ft3/s)Location Coordinates: India andPakistan ~32046N and 74057EPopulation: 175 million (72% inPakistan; 28% in India)Rainfall: 1000-1400 mmTemperature: 80oC (Winter) - 48oC(Summer)Economic Factor: AgriculturalproductionArea: 450,000 square milesTop uses of water: Irrigation, watersupply, hydropower generation LeftTributaries: Zanskar River, ChenabRiver, Sutlej River, Sohan RiverRight Tributaries: Shyok River, GilgitRiver, Kabul River, Kurram
  6. 6. Indus River Basin System• 21st largest river in the world in terms of annual flow• 60% of Indus basin lies in Pakistan and Pakistan-occupiedKashmir (POK), 10% in Tibet, 25% in India and India-Administered Kashmir, and 7% in Afghanistan• Indus system is largely fed by the snows and glaciers ofthe Himalayas, Karakoram and the Hindu Kush ranges• 80% of water for Upper Indus Rivers comes from Himalayanglaciers• 25 amphibian species and 147 fish species of which 22 areendemic• Indus is the most important supplier of water resources tothe Punjab and Sindh plains
  7. 7. Competing Water Demands& Transboundary Conflicts• Water disputes between Punjab and Sind provinces duringBritish India• Conflict in the basin started in 1947 when India stopped waterflowing through its canals to Pakistan• Dispute over Salal dam was settled in 1978• Controversy on the Wullar Barrage/ Tulbul Navigation projectand Kishanganga hydroelectric dams remains unsettled.• Baglihar dam created severe conflicts, but the issue wassettled by recourse to Neutral Expert• Recent Conflicts created around: 57-metre high Nimoo-Bazgodam in Leh (India); 42-metre high Chuttak dam on Suru river(India-Kashmir); Tulbul Navigation Project in India-Kashmir
  8. 8. Some Major Dams on India’s Part of Indus River Basin
  9. 9. Transboundary Governance System• Inter-Dominion Accord of May 4, 1948: required India torelease sufficient waters to Pakistani regions• Pakistan wanted to take the matter to the International Courtof Justice but India refused• In 1951, David E. Lilienthal, former chairman of TennesseeValley Authority, visited India and Pakistan.• Lilienthal wrote an article with suggestions that Indus Basinbe treated, exploited, and developed as a single unit
  10. 10. Transboundary Governance System• World Bank mediated from 1952 onwards, and Indus WatersTreaty (IWT) was signed in September 1960• IWT conferred rights over 3 western rivers of Indus riversystem (Jhelum, Chenab and Indus) to Pakistan, and over 3eastern rivers (Sutlej, Ravi and Beas) to India
  11. 11. Chronology of Indus Water Treaty(adapted from Jutla and Dewayne, 2009) Transboundary Governance System

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