The source document for this Digest states:
Nepal covers a large part of the upper catchment of sub basin of Ganges River. Major rivers of the sub-basin like Mahakali, Karnali, Sapt Gandaki and Sapt Kosi originate from Trans-Himalaya region, cross Nepal and flow southwards to join Ganges in India, and so are international or trans-boundary in nature.
Though Nepal occupies 13 percent of the total drainage of the Ganges basin, its contribution to the flow of Ganges river is much more significant, amounting to about 45 percent to its average annual flow.
These hydrological features bind India and Nepal in a relationship of geographical interdependence and economic complementarities on of water resource development. Although the potential for joint endeavors is considerable, the cooperation between these two countries on the issues related to water resource development has not been easy and forthcoming.
Major part of second half of last century was lost in the process, incurring huge opportunity cost of delay for both countries. Sher Bahadur Deuba, in February for joint utilization of trans-boundary water resources of the Mahakali River.
The signing of Treaty was preceded not merely by intense negotiations between the two governments, the track II meetings, but also by extensive informal consultations covering all parties in Nepal, so as to facilitate the process of parliamentary ratification in Nepal. Baggage of Past Despite huge potentialities and commonalities of objectives, water resource development has faced many setbacks due to political and economic factors that acted against the interests of the two countries.
These projects created ill feeling and mistrust between two nations leading to a big gap in joint water resource development initiatives. The efforts between the two countries have suffered due to twin factors. Firstly, policy makers of India for long failed to understand apprehensions of the smaller neighbor.
Nepal, a small kingdom, sandwiched between two giant nations has its own world view. India took Nepal for granted on many occasions. Secondly, Nepal overemphasized sovereignty issues and nursed the grudge and mistrust for long.
The history of negotiations regarding water projects on Indo Nepal transboundary waters got dominated by controversies primarily due to perceptional difference and the blame game instead of technical difficulties.
Nepalese also blame that Indian water resource bureaucracy has shown business as usual approach combined with arrogance of power and a secretive attitude.
The influence of geopolitics in Indo Nepal water resource development has been disproportionate and troublesome. Nepalese have long viewed India as a hegemonic power that arm-twists neighbours for unfair agreements.
Further, fragile and unstable political uncertainties in Nepal also played a role in fueling anti-Indian sentiments. Both the parties are aware of past misgivings, however the negotiations over Mahakali will require out of box thinking to avoid burden of history.
Critical yet neglected actor In transboundary water resources development, planning, geography, politics and technology play major role.
However, due to the nature of the resource, asymmetry in size and power, post-colonial era international relations- public opinion has become an important factor.
Public perception, information, communication and dissemination thus formed, has become important in the development process. But these rarely figure during project planning stages. Only when a debate and the resulting conflict reach a dead end, the need for information and communication is felt.
In many ways disregard of media has impeded development of water resource for cooperative bilateral and regional development.
Media coverage on water resources in Nepal is generally replete with sentimentality and concerns. Many times such sentiments are genuine, but the often are alarmist. The reporting on Pancheswar in some of the newspapers, which are backed by opposition political parties, had little to do with water resources.
Instead, they read like campaigns aimed at creating a climate for political vendetta. It has made transboundary water resource an issue of domestic politics. Unfortunately, the opponents of the project in Nepal are being glorified as nationalists by a section of reporters.
This definitely affects moral and commitment of negotiators from our smaller neighbor as they have to interact with extreme cautiousness and apprehension. Even after striking best possible trade off, they may be labelled as negotiators who sold out national interest.
Information management has emerged as one of the pre-requisite in transboundary water resource development and management in the Ganga-Brahmaputra basin, for more objective information dissemination.
The impact of information on issues, which have cross border implications, till now, has been poorly understood and incorporated.
The setting up of national and regional water resources centers, even one at the international level could help build trust specially in sharing scientific information between experts and the media. Such an institution should encourage participation of professionals from the private and NGO sector in a more productive manner.
Further breakthrough may be possible through increased interaction among the media representatives across the border.Nepal’s renewable water resources are estimated at 7, cubic meters per capita annually, or several times higher than those for the two demographic titans between which it .
Groundwater in India is a critical resource. However, an increasing number of aquifers are reaching unsustainable levels of exploitation. If current trends continue, in 20 years about 60% of all India’s aquifers will be in a critical condition says a World Bank report, Deep Wells and Prudence.
JSTOR is a digital library of academic journals, books, and primary sources. The AQUASTAT country update methodology. AQUASTAT's information management process (Figure 1) comprises: A review of literature and information at country and sub-country level.
Dr David Molden is the Director General of the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), an intergovernmental knowledge organization dedicated to the mountains and people of the Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) region.
The Nepalese Water Resources Secretary Shanker Prasad Koirala said the Nepal-India Joint Committee on Water Resources meet decided to start the reconstruction of the breached Koshi embankment after the water level went down.