Retrieved from: Opits link fest
“In the Nepalese Himalayas in 2009, I trekked into the Langtang Valley, just short of the Tibetan border, and to a village of empty plywood cabins. The arrival of the summer monsoon season had chased the trekkers away.
“Just uphill was a Buddhist temple and, behind it, a wrinkled sea of gray ice reached up the steep mountain walls into the clouds – the Langtang Lirung glacier, one of thousands that make up the largest body of ice outside the poles. In the winter, these glaciers capture precipitation that melts off in warmer months to feed the Ganges,Indus, and Brahmaputra rivers – and 1.5 billion people in eight countries who depend on them.
“Villagers talked of the arrival of mosquitoes – heralds of warmer summers and milder winters. The accelerated glacial melt is expected to increase floods in countries downstream over coming decades; earlier melts can reduce water when it’s needed most.
“In the long run, says Madhav Karki, director of the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development, the rivers themselves may become seasonal, with potentially profound effects on the countries below.”
Read more: Yahoo
Photo retrieved from: TIME world
“India’s Wular Lake, a popular picnic and tourist spot nestled in the Kashmir Valley, is an unlikely site for conflict. But India’s plan to build a structure on the Jhelum River at the mouth of the lake that will allow it to release water during the river’s lean winter months has outraged neighboring Pakistan, which believes the project will give India the power to control how much water flows downstream to its farmers. After two and a half decades of deadlock and 15 marathon rounds of bilateral talks — the most recent occurring in late March — the countries appear a long way from finding common ground.
The dispute isn’t the first of its kind, nor will it be the last. The waters of the Indus River and tributaries like the Jhelum — and the dams built on them by India — have long been one of the main points of contention between the rival neighbors, along with the disputed region of Kashmir itself and cross-border terrorism. Pakistan, whose agriculture-dominated economy is heavily reliant on the Indus and its tributaries, fears upstream dams allow India to manipulate the flows of water as it sees fit. Many in Pakistan accuse New Delhi of wantonly exacerbating the country’s dire water shortages, choking its agricultural production and ruining livelihoods.
“Indeed, India has ramped up its hydroelectricity projects in recent years to try to boost its woefully inadequate power supplies. The government has a total of 45 projects either already completed or in the proposal stage on the western rivers, some as large as 1000 megawatt and many as small as 2 and 3 megawatt. This expansion has irked Islamabad. “India is putting more and more restrictions and constrictions on Pakistan’s waters,” Kamal Majidulla, Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gillani’s special assistant on water resources and agriculture, tells TIME.
A 2011 U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee report said that studies show no single dam will affect Pakistan’s access to water, but the cumulative effect of multiple hydroelectric projects could give India the ability to store enough water to limit Pakistan’s supply at crucial moments in the growing season. India has never abused its water supplies in this way, the report adds, and New Delhi rejects the theory as an unsubstantiated hypothesis. But the report’s observations serve as a suitable analogy for India and Pakistan’s water conflicts overall. While no single legal or diplomatic tussle will rupture the fragile relations between the countries, the cumulative effect of a series of standoffs could cause tensions to boil over.”
Read more: TIME
Retrieved from: Greater Kashmir
“Pakistan has in most areas of agriculture a monsoon climate, and there might be abundant rainfall during the wet season and then a very long dry season where crop production depends very heavily on irrigation water.
“Groundwater is a very important source of irrigation for farmers. Ground water is being over-pumped extensively in order to meet current demands for food production but if our demands exceed that renewable supply, then we must be in the situation that we might be over-pumping groundwater to satisfy the demand, or taking too much water from river basin systems, result in formation of salinity and barren land that in long run cause food scarcity. Over-pumping of groundwater for agriculture, industry or domestic use comes at a sharp ecological price. It disrupts the natural hydrologic cycle, causes Rivers and wetlands to dry up, the ground to collapse and fish and wildlife and trees to die.
“Water and agricultural sectors are likely to be the most sensitive to climate change. Fresh water availability is expected to be highly vulnerable to the anticipated climate change. While the frequency and severity of floods would eventually increase in river deltas. The arid and semi-arid regions could experience severe water stress.
Read more: Eurasia review
Retrieved from: Tribune
“As fears of a water scarcity mount in the face of attempts by India and Afghanistan to use more of the water that flows into Pakistan, the Indus River System Authority (Irsa) has decided to recommend the construction of the Katzara dam, despite its preference for the Kalabagh dam.
“Sources close to the authority told The Express Tribune that Irsa will recommend that the government begin dam construction immediately in order to secure the country’s water supply. Irsa will also recommend negotiating a water treaty with Afghanistan, which plans to build 12 dams on the Kabul River.
“So concerned are Irsa officials about the inadequacy of Pakistan’s water storage capacity that they are willing to back the Katzara dam because their preferred Kalabagh dam is too politically controversial to be completed in the timeframe Irsa deems necessary.
“It is not Irsa’s recommendation to build Katzara dam, but we are going to table a proposal to the water and power ministry that they build Katzara dam instead of Kalabagh dam,” sources told The Express Tribune.
“The proposal was first devised by former Irsa chairman Fateh Ullah Khan Gandapur, who suggested that the government create a 37 million acre feet (MAF) dam at Katzara instead of Kalabagh, to ensure that the process of building up storage capacity was not held hostage to political differences.
“If once the proposed dam is filled, the water stored in it will be enough to meet the country’s requirements for three to four years,” sources quoted the former Irsa chairman as saying at a May 16 briefing at the authority.”
Read more: Tribune
Photo retrieved from: www.heavenawaits.com
“With the climate change and as a consequence shrinking water availability across the Middle East, Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, violent conflict between states is increasingly likely. This matter was on the agenda of annul World Water Week forum in Stockholm held in 2006, but it could not answer the question raised in the meeting whether we are heading for an era of “hydrological warfare” in which rivers, lakes and aquifers become national security assets to be fought over, or controlled through proxy armies and client states? Or can water act as a force for peace and cooperation? It has been estimated by the experts that by 2025, more than two billion people are expected to live in countries that find it difficult or impossible to mobilize the water resources needed to meet the needs of agriculture, industry and households. Population growth, urbanization and the rapid development of manufacturing industries are relentlessly increasing demand for finite water resources. Symptoms of the resulting water stress are increasingly visible. In northern China, rivers now run dry in their lower reaches for much of the year. In parts of Pakistan and India, groundwater levels are falling so rapidly that from 10 percent to 20 percent of agricultural production is under threat.
In the past, there have been wars between the countries over religions, usurpation of territories and control of resources including oil, but in view of acute shortages of water in Africa, Middle East, Asia and elsewhere, the future wars could be fought over water.
In addition to Kashmir dispute, the Indus River Basin has been an area of conflict between India and Pakistan for about four decades. Spanning 1,800 miles, the river and its tributaries together make up one of the largest irrigation canals in the world. Dams and canals built in order to provide hydropower and irrigation have dried up stretches of the Indus River. The division of the river basin water has created friction among the countries of South Asia, and among their states and provinces. Accusations of overdrawing of share of water made by each province have resulted in the lack of water supplies to coastal regions of Pakistan. India and Bangladesh have also dispute over Ganges River water and India is resorting to water theft there as well. Nepal and Bangladesh are also victims of India’s water thievery. India had dispute with Bangladesh over Farrakha Barrage, with Nepal over Mahakali River and with Pakistan over 1960 Indus Water Treaty.”
Read more: Pakistan Observer
Photo retrieved from: www.pakistan33.blogspot.com
“It is rumored that the Indian government is taking seriously a statement made by the Pakistan Chief of Army Staff, General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani, during his visit to the United States. The assertion is “water is taking the centre stage to an array of disputes between India and Pakistan”. Why to make so much fuss about this, in fact every Pakistani today feels that India is way bent to convert Pakistan into a desert by controlling its rivers and diverting the flow towards Mother India. The Indians are probably perturbed because they think that the issue has now come under the security spotlight.
The water crisis of Pakistan is directly affecting the food security of the agriculture based country. Like Egypt, Pakistan is also a single-river system-based country which is of course, the Indus. The Ganges-loving Indians are after Pakistan’s Indus – a war of geographical deities. Pakistan is a hydraulic society, whose complete economy is agrarian based; even its industry is nothing more than value addition to agricultural produce. Pakistan’s economy is based on informal sectors, therefore is outside the proper evaluation network. 80% of this is based upon agriculture. India has realized the real Achilles heel of this economy and is trying to steal Pakistan’s share of water. The Indians are even having a second thought over the Indus water treaty, rather they have almost redefined the terms and conditions as per their own national interests.
The biggest dispute between Pakistan and India in coming months is going to be the Indus water treaty. It is the declared water aggression which the Indians have perpetrated. The Indus Basin Treaty is based upon four cardinal principles of agreement; one is the division of three eastern rivers to India and three western rivers of the Indus water system to Pakistan. Second was the financial support to assist Pakistan in making dams and canals to make with the loss of eastern rivers.”
Read more: Pakistan Observer
“Tharparker District in Sindh Province, southern Pakistan, is among the most arid regions in the country. Limited rainfall, brackish underground water and the private ownership of wells by an elite minority have made access to potable water very difficult for much of the district’s 900,000 mostly rural inhabitants.
“However, an innovative project by local NGO Thardeep Rural Development Programme (TRDP) in conjunction with the World Food Programme (WFP) and the Government of Sindh is helping alleviate Tharparker’s drought problems.”
read more: AlterNet
“Speaking on the occasion, Saeed said that by constructing illegal dams and diverting water of Pakistani rivers, India has virtually imposed war on Pakistan. He demanded of the government to prepare the nation to counter this aggression. “The government must take practical steps to secure Pakistani water,” he stressed. He said that due to water shortage, not only cultivation of crops would be impossible but drinking water would not be available to Pakistanis. “It is a matter of life and death for Pakistan”, he said.”
read more: The News
“Jamaat-ud-Dawaa (JuD) chief Hafiz Mohammad Saeed on Sunday declared that India had “imposed war on Pakistan” by constructing “illegal dams” and diverting water of Pakistani rivers and said the government must prepare the nation to counter this aggression.”
read more: The News
“Muhammad Ishaq, a resident of Indus Road-III, said that they regularly pay water taxes but the concerned authorities have failed to provide water to them. “There is no water supply for last 10 days and we are in a state of helplessness,” he said. He said that they have to buy water through tankers but it is not fit for human consumption. He said that several residents, particularly children, are suffering from various diseases because of drinking water supplied through tankers.”
read more: the news