Ainun Nishat

Ph.D.

Vice Chancellor, BRAC University
Presentation at IWFM
A

August 21, 2013
Ganges Basin, Brahmaputra Basin & Meghna Basin

Presentation at IWFM
A

2

August 21, 2013
Common
Rivers

Presentation at IWFM
A

3

August 21, 2013
When discussions/ negoiations started?
• Discussions over the Ganges and the Teesta
started in early 50s.
• Discussions ov...
Emergence of concern over the Ganges
• The problem of distribution of waters of the Indus between
Pakistan (west wing) and...
Emergence of concern over the Ganges
• The problem of distribution of waters of the Indus between
Pakistan (west wing) and...
Emergence of concern over the Ganges
• The problem of distribution of waters of the Indus between
Pakistan (west wing) and...
Emergence of concern over the Teesta
• Plans for construction of a barrage on the Teesta/ Tista for
supplementary irrigati...
Brief history of negotiations
• Operation of the Farakka barrage started in
1975; there was not any formal agreement.
• In...
Brief history of negotiations (contd…)
• Mechanism for sharing of the flows, at Farraka was
instituted under supervision o...
Brief history of negotiations (contd…)
• A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was
signed in Nov. 1983, valid for a period o...
Brief history of negotiations (contd…)
• Another MOU signed in 1985, valid for 3 years; three

parts, sharing of the Gange...
Brief history of negotiations (contd…)
• India responded positively for collaboration
for flood management in 1989 after t...
Brief history of negotiations (contd…)
• A Treaty was signed in December, 1996
with a validity of 30 years with
provision ...
Brief history of negotiations (contd…)
• The Treaty stipulates that flow arriving at Farakka is
to be shared equally when ...
Brief history of negotiations (contd…)
• A Joint Committee is supervising the sharing
arrangements was set up; professiona...
Institutional Mechanism

Presentation at IWFM
A

17

August 21, 2013
Setting up of the Joint Rivers Commission
• The Indo-Bangladesh Joint Rivers Commission (JRC) was

set up on March 19, 197...
Functions of the Indo-Bangladesh Joint rivers Commission
(i) The Commission shall have the following functions, in particu...
The Joint Rivers Commission
• Each country to have a Chairman and three
members, two of them will be engineers.
• Initial ...
Elements
of an Institutional Framework
for development and
Management of Transboundary Water Resources

Presentation at IW...
Basic considerations
• Nature of the Institutions and their Terms of Reference
are very important right from beginning;
• ...
Basic considerations……
• Co-riparians should move away from the
current approach of sharing the flow available
at the bord...
Basic considerations…….
• The ‘Professional body’ ( River Basin Authority/
Commission) must be able operate independently
...
Basic considerations……….
• Transparency and availability of data and
outcome of technical analyses must be ensured;
• Plan...
Basic Considerations………
• Study how similar issues have been
resolved in other river basins in the world;
• Such basins ma...
Wind of Change
Presentation at IWFM
A

27

August 21, 2013
Wind of Change-I
• Changes in approach at political level is visible. This
is evident in:
– the Joint Communiqué issued on...
Wind of Change-II
Article 2 states that “to enhance cooperation in sharing
of the waters of common rivers, both Parties wi...
Wind of Change-III
Article -6 of the Framework Agreement
stipulates that
• “to develop and implement programmes for
enviro...
Wind of Change-IV
• Joint Statement released stated that the two
Prime Ministers ( September 2011):
• “welcomed that there...
Wind of Change- Wind of Change-V
• In article 19: “the Prime Ministers noted that
the Joint Rivers Commission (JRC), Secre...
Wind of Change-VI
Article 20 stipulates that “the two Prime Ministers noted with
satisfaction that the following decisions...
Wind of Change-VII
• In article 21 “the Prime Minister of India
reiterated the assurance that India would not
take steps o...
At present …..
• Agreement on Teesta has been put on
abeyance due to India’s internal political
constraints.
• An agreemen...
ISSUES and OPPORTUNITIES IN THE REGION
•
•
•
•

cooperation hydro-power generation
augmentation of flow of the lean period...
Possible routes
for
navigation

Presentation at IWFM
A

37

August 21, 2013
Bilateral or multilateral?
There are 57 common rivers for Bangladesh.
Two are shared by Bhutan, India and Bangladesh
( the...
Closing Remarks …
All documents/ text books/manuals/ guidelines recommends
basin approach for management of water resource...
however, ………..
Institutional framework for working out
mechanisms for common basin management
of common rivers need to be ...
also, ………..
• Benefits from hydro-power generation must be realized,
by meeting all demands from environmental and
sociolo...
Thank you for
your patience
Presentation at IWFM
A

42

August 21, 2013
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in …5
×

Ainun Nishat - Dhaka Dialogue, August 21, 2013

549 views

Published on

Published in: Education
0 Comments
0 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Views
Total views
549
On SlideShare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
1
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
9
Comments
0
Likes
0
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Ainun Nishat - Dhaka Dialogue, August 21, 2013

  1. 1. Ainun Nishat Ph.D. Vice Chancellor, BRAC University Presentation at IWFM A August 21, 2013
  2. 2. Ganges Basin, Brahmaputra Basin & Meghna Basin Presentation at IWFM A 2 August 21, 2013
  3. 3. Common Rivers Presentation at IWFM A 3 August 21, 2013
  4. 4. When discussions/ negoiations started? • Discussions over the Ganges and the Teesta started in early 50s. • Discussions over Dharl, Dudhkumar, Monu, Muhuri, Khowai, and Gimtai were taken up in in mid-eighties. • When did the negotiations over the Brahmaputra start Presentation at IWFM A 4 August 21, 2013
  5. 5. Emergence of concern over the Ganges • The problem of distribution of waters of the Indus between Pakistan (west wing) and India cropped up in 1948 and it was resolved in 1962 through signing of a Treaty. There was no serious attempt to work out issues related to management of water resources of trans-boundary rivers of the then East Pakistan. • Plans to divert the flow of the Ganges/ Ganga for the stated objectives of saving the Port of Calcutta were made in mid forties; • Negotiations started between the two governments in 1951; documents on demand and availability were exchanged. India had assured that sharing arrangements will be finalized before diversion starts. This assurance was repeated many times till 1975. Presentation at IWFM A 5 August 21, 2013
  6. 6. Emergence of concern over the Ganges • The problem of distribution of waters of the Indus between Pakistan (west wing) and India cropped up in 1948 and it was resolved in 1962 through signing of a Treaty. There was no serious attempt to work out issues related to management of water resources of trans-boundary rivers of the then East Pakistan. • Plans to divert the flow of the Ganges/ Ganga for the stated objectives of saving the Port of Calcutta were made in mid forties; • Negotiations started between the two governments in 1951; documents on demand and availability were exchanged. India had assured that sharing arrangements will be finalized before diversion starts. This assurance was repeated many times till 1975. Presentation at IWFM A 6 August 21, 2013
  7. 7. Emergence of concern over the Ganges • The problem of distribution of waters of the Indus between Pakistan (west wing) and India cropped up in 1948 and it was resolved in 1962 through signing of a Treaty. There was no serious attempt to work out issues related to management of water resources of trans-boundary rivers of the then East Pakistan. • Plans to divert the flow of the Ganges/ Ganga for the stated objectives of saving the Port of Calcutta were made in mid forties; • Negotiations started between the two governments in 1951; documents on demand and availability were exchanged. India had assured that sharing arrangements will be finalized before diversion starts. This assurance was repeated many times till 1975. Presentation at IWFM A 7 August 21, 2013
  8. 8. Emergence of concern over the Teesta • Plans for construction of a barrage on the Teesta/ Tista for supplementary irrigation in vast tract of land, in areas now in Bangladesh, was also made in mid forties; • Concerns about diversion of the Teesta was first expressed in 1952; a separate Teesta Committee was set up; negotiations continues; [a solution was in sight in September 2011]; assessment of demand and availability of water remains contentious issues; • Both India and Bangladesh took up construction of their respective projects at Dalia and Gajoldoba. Concerns have been expressed about design standards and delineation of command areas. Availability of flow is very small compared to demands of respective countries in the dry months. Proposal for augmentation was made by Bangladesh. Presentation at IWFM A 8 August 21, 2013
  9. 9. Brief history of negotiations • Operation of the Farakka barrage started in 1975; there was not any formal agreement. • In November 1977, an Agreement was signed valid for 5 years. It had three major component: formula for sharing of flow with a guarantee clause, development of proposals for ‘augmentation’, and procedure for extension of the Agreement. A Side Letter stated that Bangladesh may propose reservoirs in Nepal. Presentation at IWFM A 9 August 21, 2013
  10. 10. Brief history of negotiations (contd…) • Mechanism for sharing of the flows, at Farraka was instituted under supervision of a Joint Committee with joint monitoring by professional from the two sides. • Bangladesh pursued their proposal for storing the monsoon flows through a series of ‘dams and reservoirs’ in Nepal. Nepal Committee was formed. India stuck to their stated policy of bilateralism. • India pursued their proposal to transfer waters of the Brahmaputra to the Ganges through a link canal which Bangladesh did not accept. This is the entry of the Brahmaputra. 10 • There was no progress on ‘augmentation’; Presentation at IWFM August 21, 2013 A
  11. 11. Brief history of negotiations (contd…) • A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed in Nov. 1983, valid for a period of 18 months. Contained three elements similar to 1977 Agreement; but for augmentation, the proposal that was feasible was to be pursued. Guarantee Clause was dropped; replaced by ‘burden sharing concept’. • Sharing arrangement was operational in 1984 and 1985. But no agreement on augmentation could be reached. Presentation at IWFM A 11 August 21, 2013
  12. 12. Brief history of negotiations (contd…) • Another MOU signed in 1985, valid for 3 years; three parts, sharing of the Ganges, augmentation of Ganges flow, and sharing of all common rivers. • An approach was made by two teams of India and Bangladesh, to Nepal, with a simultaneous and concurrent approach for information and data; a joint approach was not acceptable to India. The approach did not produce any results. • No formal agreement for distribution was in place between 1988 and 1996. • Intense negotiations continued. Many non-papers were produced. Presentation at IWFM A August 21, 2013
  13. 13. Brief history of negotiations (contd…) • India responded positively for collaboration for flood management in 1989 after the floods of 1987 and 1988 flood. • Negotiations on six other common rivers, namely the Dharla, the Dudhkumar, the Monu, the Khowai, the Gumati and the Muhuri were initiated in 1983 and still going on. Presentation at IWFM A 13 August 21, 2013
  14. 14. Brief history of negotiations (contd…) • A Treaty was signed in December, 1996 with a validity of 30 years with provision for review after 5 years. • The Treaty has three parts, – sharing of the Ganges, – augmentation of flows of the Ganges, and – sharing of all common rivers. • No linkage between the three elements. Presentation at IWFM A 14 August 21, 2013
  15. 15. Brief history of negotiations (contd…) • The Treaty stipulates that flow arriving at Farakka is to be shared equally when the flow is below 70,000 cfs; when flow is more than 75, 000 cfs, India will get 40,000 cfs (maximum capacity of the feeder canal) . • The Treaty contained a clause that India will ‘protect the flows at Farakka’; this provision offers a mechanism to bring back the benefits of the guarantee clause for Bangladesh. • Provision for guaranteed flows of 35,000 cfs for alternate 3 ten-day periods, in March and April, for each country. Expected minimum flow for Bangladesh is 27,620 cfs. Presentation at IWFM A 15 August 21, 2013
  16. 16. Brief history of negotiations (contd…) • A Joint Committee is supervising the sharing arrangements was set up; professionals drawn from both sides jointly monitor release of water at Farakka. • India supported Bangladesh’s plan to develop Ganges Barrage required for proper utilization of their share. • No progress towards augmentation of the flows of the Ganges. • Some progress with respect to other rivers. Presentation at IWFM A 16 August 21, 2013
  17. 17. Institutional Mechanism Presentation at IWFM A 17 August 21, 2013
  18. 18. Setting up of the Joint Rivers Commission • The Indo-Bangladesh Joint Rivers Commission (JRC) was set up on March 19, 1972 by a decision of the Prime Ministers of the two countries. The statutes was finalized in November 24, 1972. • Preamble stated JRC is set up being “ desirous of working together in harnessing the rivers common to both the countries for the benefit of the people of the two countries”. • Proposal for joint development of the Barak/Meghna for controlling flood in Cachar in India and adjoining areas in Bangladesh was one of the proposals that were taken up for further assessment. Presentation at IWFM A August 21, 2013
  19. 19. Functions of the Indo-Bangladesh Joint rivers Commission (i) The Commission shall have the following functions, in particular: (a) to maintain liaison between the participating countries in order to ensure the most effective joint efforts in maximising the benefits from common river systems to both the countries, (b) to formulate flood control works and to recommend implementation of joint projects, (c) to formulate detailed proposals on advance flood warnings, flood forecasting and cyclone warnings, (d) to study flood control and irrigation projects so that the water resources of the region can be utilized on an equitable basis for the mutual benefit of the peoples of the two countries, and (e) to formulate proposals for carrying out coordinated research on problem of flood control affecting both the countries. (ii) The Commission shall also perform such other functions as the two Governments may, by mutual agreement, direct it to do. Presentation at IWFM A 19 August 21, 2013
  20. 20. The Joint Rivers Commission • Each country to have a Chairman and three members, two of them will be engineers. • Initial focus of the negotiation process carried out in JRC was on “flood control” and “joint development of common resources”. • Augmentation became an official issue in May 1974; JRC was mandated to come out with proposals for augmentation of the flows of the Ganges. Soon the JRC became the platform for negotiations. • Is the institutional mechanism effective? It is high time that it is reviewed. Presentation at IWFM A August 21, 2013
  21. 21. Elements of an Institutional Framework for development and Management of Transboundary Water Resources Presentation at IWFM A 21 August 21, 2013
  22. 22. Basic considerations • Nature of the Institutions and their Terms of Reference are very important right from beginning; • Two mechanisms/ institutions will be necessary : for Professional/ Technical aspects and for Political aspects; • The Professional/ Technical body must be able to recommend options, to the Political body, for maximizing benefits from the common resources, independent of political position of the co-riparians; Presentation at IWFM A 22 August 21, 2013
  23. 23. Basic considerations…… • Co-riparians should move away from the current approach of sharing the flow available at the border; • Development of ‘basin-wise’ and ‘ basinwide’ water management plans/ options/ scenarios should be the goal of the professional/ technical units; Presentation at IWFM A 23 August 21, 2013
  24. 24. Basic considerations……. • The ‘Professional body’ ( River Basin Authority/ Commission) must be able operate independently ( draw lessons from US-Mexico Water and Boundary Commission, Rhine River Commission, Mekong River Commission, Snowy Mountain Rivers Commission) • Independent professionals may be engaged for technical analyses and formulation of options; • Involvement of UN Agencies and third countries may be welcome; Presentation at IWFM A 24 August 21, 2013
  25. 25. Basic considerations………. • Transparency and availability of data and outcome of technical analyses must be ensured; • Plans /options must be developed with effective participations of all stake-holders in an inclusive manner; • A mechanism to provide Political Guidance to the Professional body may be worked out; • Representatives of all co-riparian countries in management of the professional body; Presentation at IWFM A 25 August 21, 2013
  26. 26. Basic Considerations……… • Study how similar issues have been resolved in other river basins in the world; • Such basins may be shared by two states of a federal type country or by two sovereign states; Presentation at IWFM A 26 August 21, 2013
  27. 27. Wind of Change Presentation at IWFM A 27 August 21, 2013
  28. 28. Wind of Change-I • Changes in approach at political level is visible. This is evident in: – the Joint Communiqué issued on after the visit to India by the Prime Minister of Bangladesh (January 2010). – the joint statements released on the occasion of visit of the Prime Minister of India to Bangladesh (September 2011) ; – the “Framework Agreement On Cooperation for Development” between Bangladesh and India, signed by the two Prime Ministers in September 2011. Presentation at IWFM A 28 August 21, 2013
  29. 29. Wind of Change-II Article 2 states that “to enhance cooperation in sharing of the waters of common rivers, both Parties will explore the possibilities of common basin management of common rivers for mutual benefit”. Article -2 also stipulates that: • “the Parties will cooperate in flood forecasting and control”; and, • “they will cooperate and provide necessary assistance to each other to enhance navigability and accessibility of river routes and ports”. Presentation at IWFM A 29 August 21, 2013
  30. 30. Wind of Change-III Article -6 of the Framework Agreement stipulates that • “to develop and implement programmes for environmental protection and responding to the challenges of climate change through adaptation” ; and, • “… shall collaborate on projects of mutual interest to preserve common eco-systems and, as far as practicable, coordinate their response in international fora”. 30 Presentation at IWFM A August 21, 2013
  31. 31. Wind of Change-IV • Joint Statement released stated that the two Prime Ministers ( September 2011): • “welcomed that there has been progress on the principles and modalities of interim agreements on sharing of waters of Teesta and Feni Rivers on fair and equitable basis. They directed the concerned officials to work towards concluding the agreements at the earliest ( article -18). Presentation at IWFM A 31 August 21, 2013
  32. 32. Wind of Change- Wind of Change-V • In article 19: “the Prime Ministers noted that the Joint Rivers Commission (JRC), Secretary and technical level meetings were discussing various aspects relating to sharing of waters of the Manu, Muhuri, Khowai, Gumti, Dharla and Dudhkumar rivers”. Presentation at IWFM A 32 August 21, 2013
  33. 33. Wind of Change-VI Article 20 stipulates that “the two Prime Ministers noted with satisfaction that the following decisions flowing from the Joint Communiqué of January 2010 had been implemented: a) Dredging of the river Ichhamati along the common reach between Angrail and Kalanchi bridges has been completed; b) The river bank protection works along Mahananda, Karatoa, Nagar, Kulik, Atrai, Dharla, Punarbhaba, Feni, Khowai, Surma etc. are being carried out in phases. Presentation at IWFM A 33 August 21, 2013
  34. 34. Wind of Change-VII • In article 21 “the Prime Minister of India reiterated the assurance that India would not take steps on the Tipaimukh project that would adversely impact Bangladesh”. Presentation at IWFM A 34 August 21, 2013
  35. 35. At present ….. • Agreement on Teesta has been put on abeyance due to India’s internal political constraints. • An agreement on Muhuri is being implemented. • Some questions have been raised on implementation of the Treaty on the Ganges that has been negated by Indian Officials. Presentation at IWFM A 35 August 21, 2013
  36. 36. ISSUES and OPPORTUNITIES IN THE REGION • • • • cooperation hydro-power generation augmentation of flow of the lean period sharing of major rivers during lean period cooperation in navigation system • cooperation in river training works • ‘adverse’ location and river bank erosion • cooperation in flood management • sharing of data for flood forecasting • drainage congestion and small scale diversions • watershed management • cross-border pollution management Presentation at IWFM A 36 August 21, 2013
  37. 37. Possible routes for navigation Presentation at IWFM A 37 August 21, 2013
  38. 38. Bilateral or multilateral? There are 57 common rivers for Bangladesh. Two are shared by Bhutan, India and Bangladesh ( the Dharala and the Dudhkumar) One river is shared by by Bhutan, India, China and Bangladesh (the Brahmaputra) One shared by Nepal, India and Bangladesh ( also China) ( the Ganges) Three between Myanmar and Bangladesh Rest 50 rivers are common between India and Bangladesh. Presentation at IWFM A 38 August 21, 2013
  39. 39. Closing Remarks … All documents/ text books/manuals/ guidelines recommends basin approach for management of water resources. All global environmental agreements emphasizes on basin approach: Dublin Statement and Agenda 21( 1992), Rio+20 Declaration 2012, UN Convention on International Water Courses (1997), J’burg Plan Of Action 2002, World Water Forum –2000, 2003, 2006, 2009, 2012. The directions for future planning approach has to come from political level. Fresh look on a holistic approach will lead to opening of many new routes for collaborative programmes. Is it happening? Our “political masters” have given decisions that are in line with global approaches. Presentation at IWFM A 39 August 21, 2013
  40. 40. however, ……….. Institutional framework for working out mechanisms for common basin management of common rivers need to be established; effectiveness of the JRC may be evaluated; Seasonal and temporal variation in availability of water will be a critical factor in future as demand will increase; Looming threat of climate change must be taken seriously; Presentation at IWFM A 40 August 21, 2013
  41. 41. also, ……….. • Benefits from hydro-power generation must be realized, by meeting all demands from environmental and sociological view points; • Role of navigation in basin management must be recognized; • Provision of ‘environmental flow’ is to be made; • Transparency in all decisions made will lead to building confidence among common people. • The directives of the two Prime Ministers are land mark decisions. • We see light at the end of the tunnel. Presentation at IWFM A 41 August 21, 2013
  42. 42. Thank you for your patience Presentation at IWFM A 42 August 21, 2013

×