Interprovincial water cooperation for sharing shortages
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Interprovincial Water Cooperation for Sharing Shortages. Zakir Hussain Dahri & Dr. BASHIR AHMAD. THE INDUS BASIN. The Indus Basin cradles one of the oldest civilization Holding one of the largest irrigation system irrigating 18.63 Mha Fifth largest delta

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Interprovincial Water Cooperation for Sharing Shortages

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Interprovincial water cooperation for sharing shortages

Interprovincial Water Cooperation for Sharing Shortages

Zakir Hussain Dahri &

Dr. BASHIR AHMAD


The indus basin

THE INDUS BASIN

  • The Indus Basin cradles one of the oldest civilization

    • Holding one of the largest irrigation system irrigating 18.63 Mha

    • Fifth largest delta

    • Seventh largest mangrove habitat

    • Highly transmissive and productive aquifer

    • As such the problems and challenges are also huge!


Interprovincial water cooperation for sharing shortages

Water Conflicts and Cooperation

Water often catalyzes conflicts but can also be a source for cooperation.

  • Water has hardly ever the major cause of conflict at national level but there is a history of water-related violence at sub-national level

  • The conflicts between upper- and lower-riparian regions are natural and universal.

  • The upper riparians usually have difficulty in accepting the rights of lower riparians and tendency to take the larger share of water especially during shortages.

  • The lower riparians on the other hand often overlook the important aspect of efficiently utilizing the precious fresh water resources at their end


Interprovincial water cooperation for sharing shortages

Water Conflicts and Cooperation

  • Population growth, socio-economic development, impacts of climate change, environmental needs, cross-border boundaries, compounded the problems and the challenges of the Indus basin have increased manifold which is compounding mistrust over water sharing among the provinces

  • This can aggravate existing political, ethnic or religious tensions

  • The vital nature of freshwater is also a powerful incentive for cooperation and dialogue, compelling the stakeholders to avert conflicts and reconcile even the most divergent views

  • Water can provide a basis for opening dialogue & negotiations


Interprovincial water cooperation for sharing shortages

  • Pre-Partition

  • The dispute was essentially between Sindh and Punjab dating

    • 1901 - Bhakra Dam on Sutlej River

    • 1919 – Sutlej Valley project

    • 1919 - Thal canal project

    • 1920 - Sukkur barrage project

    • 1925 - Greater Thal Canal Lesser Project.

Genesis and Progression of Interprovincial Water Disputes


Interprovincial water cooperation for sharing shortages

  • Pre-Partition

  • 1939 - Sindh lodged a formal complaint for not developing inter-provincial river project without satisfaction of lower riparian

    • 1945 - Sindh- Punjab Agreement under the guidance of Rau Commission

    • 75 % of the waters of the main-stem Indus River to Sindh, and 25 % Punjab. 94 % of the water from the five eastern tributaries of the Indus River to Punjab, and 6 % to Sindh. No dam on Indus or on any of its tributaries without the consent of Sindh.

    • Agreement could not be ratified by the respective provincial assemblies due to partition of India in 1947

Genesis and Progression of Interprovincial Water Disputes


Interprovincial water cooperation for sharing shortages

  • Post-Partition (1947 – 1960)

  • 1947 - Committee B was appointed to deal with the various problems arising out of the partition of the Punjab reached to a "Standstill Agreement" that the pre-partition shares of West and East Punjab in the canal waters would be maintained, which was also accepted by the Partition Committee. However, the matter of canal system valuation could not be agreed, which was referred to the Arbitral Tribunal headed by the Chief Justice of India, Sir Patrick Spense. Strangely, the matter was not pursued by Pakistan till the tenure of the Tribunal expired on March 31, 1948. Very next day India cut off water supplies of all canal systems entering into Pakistani territory

  • 1948, - Inter-Dominion Agreement also known as Delhi Agreement

  • 1960 – Indus Water Treaty

Genesis and Progression of Interprovincial Water Disputes


Interprovincial water cooperation for sharing shortages

  • Post-IWT

  • During India-Pakistan water dispute, Pakistan’s internal water conflicts calmed down until signing of IWT

  • Instead the conflicts reappeared on andforefront with greater intensity and hostility due to growing water shortages.

  • The government of Pakistan made several attempts to pacify, control and dilute the growing unrest among provinces and resolve the long-standing water dispute, which has now taken a new twist.

Genesis and Progression of Interprovincial Water Disputes


Interprovincial water cooperation for sharing shortages

Competing Interests

The major competing interests that confront and govern water management include:

  • Domestic use

  • Agriculture

  • Hydropower generation

  • Ecosystems

  • Recreational use

  • Esthetic & spiritual interests


Interprovincial water cooperation for sharing shortages

Water Cooperation

Water cooperation refers to the joint planning, development, management and optimal use of freshwater resources at local, national, regional and international levels among various players and sectors.

  • The concept of water cooperation entails working together towards a common and mutually beneficial goals

  • Water cooperation can act as a pathway for peace and security in trans-boundary river basins and aquifer systems, sustainable development, environmental integrity, eradication of poverty and hunger, and universal water access.


Interprovincial water cooperation for sharing shortages

  • After many years of distress Pakistan recorded a landmark achievement by creating a unique testament of political maturity and interprovincial solidarity on March 16, 1991

  • WAA is the product of difficult and longtime efforts

  • Envisioned to promote national solidarity and interprovincial trust building to make the way for water infrastructure development.

  • Served as an important moderating function in the interprovincial hydro-politics

  • Despite few inherent weaknesses, worked reasonably well and is largely considered as landmark

Water Cooperation and the 1991 Water Accord


Interprovincial water cooperation for sharing shortages

Clause 2 apportioned the 117.35 MAF

of river water by allocating 55.94 MAF

to Punjab, 48.76 MAF to Sindh,

8.78 MAF to KPK and 3.87 MAF to

Balochistan

Clause 4 distributed balance waters

during floods and from future storages

(37% to each Punjab & Sindh, 14% to

KPK and 12% to Balochistan)

Key Features of the 1991 Water Accord (1/2)


Interprovincial water cooperation for sharing shortages

Clause 6 admitted the need for storages wherever feasible

Clause 7 recognized the need for below Kotri environmental flows and provisionally allowed 10 MAF until the optimum volume is determined through separate studies

Clause 13 recommended establishment of IRSA for implementing the accord

Clause 14.a required system-wise allocations to be worked out separately on ten-daily basis while clause14.b The record of actual average system uses for the period 1977-82, would form the guide line for developing a future regulation pattern.

Key Features of the 1991 Water Accord (2/2)


Interprovincial water cooperation for sharing shortages

1) Trust Deficit

  • Persistent lack of interprovincial trust is the fundamental reason for all the interprovincial issues

  • Ignorance and negligence of the logical apprehensions of the affected entities simply worsens the situation

  • Aggravated by provincial clashes on accord interpretations and IRSA’s failure to enforce the accord in an equitable and universally acceptable manner

Major Issues and Constraints


Interprovincial water cooperation for sharing shortages

Major Issues and Constraints

  • 2) Hydrological and Physical Limitations

  • Declining trend of river flows

    • Gradual decrease in river flows

    • Western rivers flows decreased from 139.7 MAF during Pre-Tarbela (1937-1976) period to 128.2 MAF during Post-Tarbela (1976-2013) period (8.23 % decrease).

    • Drastic reduction in eastern river inflows – 17 MAF


Interprovincial water cooperation for sharing shortages

Major Issues and Constraints

  • Uncertain and irregular flow pattern of the IRS with very high annual as well as seasonal variability

  • Max flows are double than min flows

  • Kharif season flows are 5 fold of the Rabi season flows

  • Recurring floods and droughts


  • Interprovincial water cooperation for sharing shortages

    Major Issues and Constraints

    • Limited storage facility

    • The current storage capacity of 14.262 MAF is only 10% the river inflows

    • The per capita storage capacity of less than 100 cubic-meter in Pakistan is among the lowest relative to other arid countries in the world

    • Pakistan can barely store 30 days of IRS water whereas the dams of the Colorado and Murray-Darling rivers can hold 900 days of river runoff.


    Interprovincial water cooperation for sharing shortages

    Major Issues and Constraints

    • Inadequate irrigation infrastructure

  • IBIS a 20th century system designed at the CI of 60 %, which has now increased to over 130 %

  • The cropping pattern on which the water demands and withdrawals were worked out did not include the high delta crops like rice and sugarcane


  • Interprovincial water cooperation for sharing shortages

    Major Issues and Constraints

    • 3) Opacity in Sharing of Shortages

    • Water disputes usually aggravate during shortage periods

    • Declaration of initial conditions for sharing the shortages

    • Accord declares pro rata sharing of shortages based on ten-daily average uses, system-wise and seasonally adjusted figures (clause 2 and14.a)

    • Punjab wants sharing of shortages as per clause 14.b (historical formula based on av. actual uses during 1977-82),

    • Due to disagreement, IRSA accustomed water sharing on ad hoc basis and has currently adopted the three-tier modus operandi that works in practice, but not without disagreements and disputes.


    Interprovincial water cooperation for sharing shortages

    Three-Tier System


    Interprovincial water cooperation for sharing shortages

    Allocations v/s Actual Uses


    Interprovincial water cooperation for sharing shortages

    Major Issues and Constraints

    • 4) Institutional Constraints

    • Issues in accord implementation

    • Issues in conflict resolution

    • Inadequate legal cover


    Interprovincial water cooperation for sharing shortages

    Major Issues and Constraints

    5) Future Water Infrastructure and Operation of Existing Reservoirs and Link Canals

    • Large storage reservoirs to regulate and ensure year-round supplies

  • unlessprovincialgrievances addressed, water infrastructure projects may not go ahead

  • carryover dams for water shortages and generate low-cost hydropower

  • standard and agreed operating rules for operation of major reservoirs and link canals


  • Interprovincial water cooperation for sharing shortages

    Major Issues and Constraints

    • 6) Environmental Flows and Disposal of Pollutants

    • below Kotri outflows influenced by extreme natural variability of inflows and upstream water developments

    • Downstream flows are highly erratic and unregulated as most of the flows are released during water surplus period

    • Different view point of provinces on environmental flows

    • 1991 water accord did recognize need for environmental flows and provisionally allocated 10 MAF

    • IPOE recommended a perennial flow of 5,000 cfs throughout the year (3.62 MAF/year) and 25 MAF in any 5 years period

    • Lack of clarity regarding how these e-flows are to be shared by the provinces

    • IRSA has been including environmental flows from “off the top” while calculating allocations for provinces


    Interprovincial water cooperation for sharing shortages

    Major Issues and Constraints

    Extent and probability of below Kotri outflows during Post-Tarbela period


    Interprovincial water cooperation for sharing shortages

    Options for Promoting Inter-Provincial Water Cooperation

    • Trust Building

      • Establishment of independent water forums

      • Cooperative management

      • Rational decision-making

      • True implementation of the accord

      • Maximizing benefit sharing - royalty of hydro-power to all provinces as per water entitlements, integrated watershed management, ecotourism, aquaculture, biodiversity habitat, and other livelihood opportunities are the additional non-consumptive incentives


    Interprovincial water cooperation for sharing shortages

    Options for Promoting Inter-Provincial Water Cooperation

    • Trust Building

      • Compensating the damages-compensation and resettlement -There is no compensation for the loss of livelihoods

      • Develop state-of-the-art and reliable system of water measurement to provide reliable information for making rationalized decisions to resolve inter-provincial disputes

      • Transparency in data collection and information exchange

      • Recognition of environmental integrity


    Interprovincial water cooperation for sharing shortages

    2) Strengthening and Empowering of IRSA

    • Technical

      • Water accounting (discharge measurement and monitoring), analyzing water demands, forecasting water availability, estimating system losses, conflict management, and transboundary water cooperation

    • Institutional

      • Hydrology,and Flood Forecasting Divisions my be transferred to IRSA

      • Linkages with Pakistan Commission for Indus Waters to ensure synergy and consistency with the major policy positions.

    • More autonomy, authority and financial resources to ensure true implementation of water accord.

    Options for Promoting Inter-Provincial Water Cooperation


    Interprovincial water cooperation for sharing shortages

    3) Harmonizing the Accord (1/2)

    • The 1991 accord is widely believed to be landmark that has moderated the interprovincial hydro-politics in Pakistan.

    • However, the growing conflicts among the provinces further recognize and emphasize the need for the accord to be more stable, predictable and flexible enough to adjust the future changes.

    • Many of the important water laws, international protocols and customary rules were not available at the time of signing the accord. The emerging concerns regarding climate change, water trading and trans-boundary aquifers need to be adhered and adjusted in the accord.

    Options for Promoting Inter-Provincial Water Cooperation


    Interprovincial water cooperation for sharing shortages

    • 3) Harmonizing the Accord (2/2)

      • The current settings of the accord need to be adhered, improved and strengthened by harmonizing the accord with the current issues through consensus-based addendums and supplements while securing and ensuring water rights and entitlements of each province within the existing domain.

    Options for Promoting Inter-Provincial Water Cooperation


    Interprovincial water cooperation for sharing shortages

    Options for Promoting Inter-Provincial Water Cooperation

    • 4) Effective Conflict Resolution Mechanism (1/2)

    • The 19991 water accord was signed without an adequate conflict resolution mechanism. It completely relies on the CCI to resolve interprovincial issues including development and distribution of shared water resources. Due to absolute political nature and structure of the CCI, small provinces are often reluctant to refer the disputed matters to the CCI.

    • Alternatively IRSA is empowered to resolve the issues regarding implementation of the accord through democratic way by casting the votes of the members and if needed of the Chairman


    Interprovincial water cooperation for sharing shortages

    • 4) Effective Conflict Resolution Mechanism (2/2)

    • IRSA members are representatives of the provinces and ethically bound to protect the rights of their parent province

    • Hence, the historical hostilities, rivalries, and bargaining for the future intentions significantly influence the autonomy and neutrality of IRSA.

    • Urgent need for developing and evolving an effective and recognized conflict resolution mechanism at federal level on practical and sustainable basis.

    • Technical committee to assist the decision making body.

    • Similarly, the CCI may also be restructured with a blend of professionals and politicians to effectively play its active role in developing consensus among the provinces.

    Options for Promoting Inter-Provincial Water Cooperation


    Interprovincial water cooperation for sharing shortages

    • 5) Legal Framework

    • Reasonably well-defined water rights at national level but relatively vague at the system level

    • Legal cover to most of the water rights is either inadequate or absent.

    • No comprehensive set of water laws that define water rights, allocations, uses, values, pricing, subsidies, conservation, or polluter penalties

    • Over two dozens of the existing provincial acts and ordinances passed from time to time covering the various aspects of water, need to be integrated, updated and extended in a comprehensive manner to clearly define water rights supported by adequate legal cover based on the ground realities.

    Options for Promoting Inter-Provincial Water Cooperation


    Interprovincial water cooperation for sharing shortages

    • 6) Market excess water

    • Make an amendment in the Water Apportionment Accord and allowing provinces to market their excess water especially Balochistan so that on one side the province is not deprived from their entitlement and at the same time it will result in efficient use of water through selling of extra water and maintaining transparency in distribution of water.

    Options for Promoting Inter-Provincial Water Cooperation


    Interprovincial water cooperation for sharing shortages

    THANKS


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