Water Wars: Agriculture vs Hydropower; India vs Pakistan

Thursday, June 10, 2010


image Pakistan has begun formal arbitration against an Indian hydroelectric project proposed along the Kishanganga River in Kashmir that would violate the 50-year-old Indus Waters Treaty with Pakistan, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Proposed in March, the $US800 million project would redirect water that is used for agricultural production in Pakistan to generate 330 megawatts of energy in India. The Kishanganga River is a tributary to the Indus River, which was one of three eastern Himalayan rivers awarded to Pakistan for unlimited use under the 1960 treaty. The treaty also designated the Jhelum and the Chenab Rivers to Pakistan with unlimited use, while the three eastern Himalaya rivers–the Sutlej, Beas, and Ravi–were awarded to India.

Both parties have nonconsumptive rights to the opposing country’s three rivers, with India having restricted hydropower and agricultural rights to the Pakistan rivers, minding that large amounts of water are not retained or redirected. There are currently more than 30 other Indian hydroprojects on the Indus at varying degrees of development, all of which have been challenged by Pakistan.

When a point of contention arises, such as the current arbitration panel requested by Pakistan, each country selects two members and the remaining three are selected by both countries–and if an agreement cannot be made, the World Bank will mediate. [Read rest of story]

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Post a Comment


Water: Our Most Precious Resource: by Marc Devilliers. This highly readable report on the looming global water crisis is amazingly informative on water issues around the world from China to Texas.