India and Pakistan Duke It Out Over Water At Annual Meeting
Photo via t3rmin4t0r via Flickr CC
Every year, India and Pakistan sit down to talk about and decide on water use from the shared Indus basin. But as we know, the water use in India is skyrocketing while the availability is quickly diminishing. In fact, violence over access to clean water in residential areas is already making news. At this year's meeting, set to run until tomorrow, the two countries are at odds over use of the basin. Edie reports that India is planning to build two new hydro power plants on the River Sindh, which Pakistan isn't too keen about, yet India rejected five of Pakistan's formal objections about the plants. According to Pakistani authorities, the damming required for the plants would mean blocking over 43 million cubic meters of water - a huge amount of a precious resource. Yet, for a country with a fast-growing economy and population as India is experiencing, it's no wonder they want to plow forward with plans for hydro-electric power plants.
In addition, Pakistan has asked India for open reporting on its plans to use water from the shared basin for agriculture. It seems a reasonable request - and actually one that should be done globally. Water use for agricultural purposes comprises a huge percentage of water consumption, and open reporting by all countries and businesses could lead to much smarter and more effective water regulations and usage.
The two countries have a history of tension around water use from the shared basin, and tensions will likely only rise as the global water crisis tightens.
More on Water in India
Violence Over Water Already Happening in India
Water Shortages Rising Across the Globe, But Especially India
We Use How Much Water? Scary Water Footprints, Country by Country