Highlight the need to revisit India’s neighbourhood policy with respect to the transboundary water resources.

India shares transboundary water resources with Pakistan, China, Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh, each having their own challenges.

Issues:

  1. Pakistan:
    • Governed by Indus water treaty.
    • Issues over Kishanganga project for diverting water of Jhelum.
    • Scope to increase Indian utilization of Ravi waters.
    • Issue related to non-cordial relation with Pak.
  2. Bangladesh – Issues on Teesta water sharing and China’s investments in water projects.
  3. China – No water sharing agreement and threat to lower riparian areas through dams on Brahmaputra.
  4. Nepal – Recent disputes on Lipulekh & Kalapani and issue of Kosi water flood management.
  5. Bhutan – Relatively lesser disputes but scope for cooperation for better exploitation.

Need for change in policy:

  • More than 50% agriculture is rainfed in India and there is a need to exploit inter-linking of rivers.
  • Increasing water risk – India contributes to 4% of water resources but 25% of groundwater exploitation.
  • Water security in the sight of clashes with China.
  • Need for cooperation in flood management especially in light of climate change.

Thus, to secure our future and water security, transboundary resources require renewed diplomatic cooperation.

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