Water Issues: The Indus River Basin

1861 Words8 Pages
For centuries, the trans-boundary water issues have affected many communities and countries around the world. According to UN, the water sources for 800 million people living in 39 countries originate beyond their national boundaries, thus giving rise to disagreements over issues relating to control and distribution rights. The central issue in 90% of the cases pertains to discord over infrastructure and quantity allocation, as has been witnessed in major river basins like Nile, Mekong, Tigris and Indus.
2. The Indus River Basin is ‘one of the most important water systems in Asia’. The main Indus River runs for 3,200 kms across northern India and Jammu and Kashmir and the length of Pakistan before falling into the Arabian Sea. Pakistan draws
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The first dispute which was settled through arbitration by a Neutral Expert related to the 450-MW Baglihar hydroelectric project on the Chenab. Pakistan objected that some design parameters were too lax enabling India to control the flow of river thus giving it a strategic leverage in times of political tension or war. However, much to Pakistan’s disappointment, the neutral expert’s verdict, issued in 2007, upheld India’s stance on design of the dam with minor modifications. The verdict rejected Pakistan’s objections especially concerns regarding India’s acquisition of capacity to manipulate the timing and flows of water into…show more content…
Pakistan is today a water stressed country with fast falling per capita water availability – from 5,600 cubic meters in 1947 to today’s alarming 1,000 cubic meters. Our capacity to store water for only 30 days is absolutely dismal adversely impacting our agriculture and energy sectors. India has 120-220 days water storage capacity while Egypt has 1000 days. For our food, energy and water security, we have no option but to adopt a water preservation and management strategy on war footing. Following recommendations may be considered in this respect:
• The government should make a sincere effort to depoliticize the Kalabagh dam and evolve a national consensus for its construction. Myths about the project to be addressed through an effective media campaign.
• Accord highest priority for timely completion of Diamer-Bhasha and Dasu dams. Constitute high level committees for monitoring the projects. Nation should be taken into confidence about the details of these projects and timelines.
• Setting up of a Special Water Fund, to be financed, inter alia, through a new nominal tax basically on stay at five star hotels, purchase of luxury items, etc.
• Nation-wide introduction of modern water management techniques like drip and sprinkle
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