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Riverine Neighbourhood: Hydro-politics in South Asia



Publisher: Pentagon Press
ISBN 978-81-8274-914-6
Price: Rs. 895 [Buy Now] [Download E-copy]

About the Book

Rivers are the most visible form of fresh water. Rivers are ancient and older than civilizations a ‘mini cosmos’ spawning history, tales, spirituality, and technological incursions. Flowing rivers are the largest renewable water resource as well as a crucible for both humans and aquatic ecosystem. Rivers also have a habit of moving on and on from their source from where they gush with gay abandon to their mouth where they quietly disappear into the surroundings. That journey is now being interrupted. Since the age of industrialization, humans have increasingly exerted a pervasive influence on water resources. Rivers in particular have drawn humans to monumental engineering interventions such as dams and barrages often as chest-thumping dominance and seldom as an enduring bond between man and nature.

‘Hydro-politics’ or water politics is not a popular expression among water practitioners. In using hydro-politics, the book does not in any way negate hydro-cooperation rather the chapters argue that cooperation is hydro-politics. Since no water dispute, as history tells, has almost ever led to war, states have to ensure that sensible hydro-politics prevails so that the possibilities of water wars are unlikely in the future.

Transboundary rivers link its riparians in a complex network of environmental, economic and security interdependencies. Cooperation among South Asian riparians is undoubtedly high but that does not mean the absence of competing claims for water. Thus water will remain deeply political. Often water agreements are not always about water. History and hegemony play an important role in understanding the strategic interaction among riparian states and in the contextual framework under what circumstances politics interfere with cooperation or whether sharing of water acts as a neutralising factor in difficult political situations.



Waterscape: The Inescapable Reality

1. South Asia’s Water Security

The Importance of Water Regimes
The Dynamics of River Treaties
South Asia: A Riverine Region
A Tale of Two Trans-boundary River Basins
Riparian Relations 39 Tibet: the Third Pole

2. Himalayan Hydrology: The Anthropocene

The Context
Profile of the Himalaya Mountain System
Himalayan Glacier Profile
Himalayan Hydrology
Climate Change and Water Resources
Himalayan Glaciers in South Asia
Glaciology and the Indus River System
Adaptation Measures
Himalayan Hydro-politics

3. Ganga Basin and Regional Cooperation

The Ganga
Riverine Collaboration
Ganga in Nepal-India Relations
Hydropower Cooperation
Hurdles to Cooperation
Cleaning the Ganga
Reducing Mistrust
Ganga in India-Bangladesh Relations
Cooperation on Ganga
Multilateral Mechanisms
Comprehensive Basin Management (CBM)
From Source to Mouth

4. India-Pakistan and the Waters of the Indus

Legacy of IWT11
Negotiations 1947-51
Negotiations: 1952-56
Final negotiations: 1956-1960
Role of the World Bank

Reactions towards the IWT
Did India compromise?
The Treaty
Water a Political Issue
Jammu and Kashmir Factor
The Future of IWT
The Possible Way Ahead

5. China and India: Hydropowers in South Asia

India and China: Contrasting Riparians
India and China: Cooperation or Conflict
Dams and Diversions
India and China: Hydro Politics
Climate Change and Himalayan Glaciology
Towards Water Dialogue
Turning the Equation
Hydrological Scenarios: the Shape of things in 2030
The Way Forward

‘Let the river flow…’


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