While highlighting the importance of hydrological data for India, critically discuss how water has emerged as a new divide in Sino-Indian relations in recent years. Is there some kind of international arrangement with hydrological data sharing between co-riparian countries?

Published: September 29, 2017

Many of the important rivers of India such as Satluj, Brahmaputra arise in the Tibetian region of China making it the upper riparian state.These trans-national rivers are not only an important source of water for indigenous communities but any change in their flow especially during Monsoon can create havoc.
These trans-national rivers are emerging as new issue of conflict between India and China:
a) China plans to build dams and divert water from rivers flowing into North-eastern region of India this has  created apprehension among communities living in these regions.
b)Flash floods that ravaged Himachal Pradesh and Arunachal Pradesh between 2000 and 2005 were linked to the unannounced releases from rain-swollen Chinese dams and barrages
c) Thus China and India signed two bilateral MOUs of 2013 and a 2014 accord, which obligate China to transfer hydrological data to India from three upstream monitoring stations in Tibet every year from May 15 to October 15.
d) This year China did not share the data in the backdrop of Doklam standoff as political tool,the denial crimped flash flood modelling in India leading to floods in Assam and U.P.
There are agreements on transboundary rivers but no agreement on hydrological data sharing. Water sharing and hydrological data sharing arrangement is made through mutual agreements between the nations.
There is a need for International arrangement so that any violation which threatens the safety and security of people can be dealt effectively.

Model Questions Category: