Shared Watercourses and Water Security in South Asia: Challenges of Negotiating and Enforcing Treaties

In: Brill Research Perspectives in International Water Law
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Abstract

Shared water resources have influenced South Asia’s geography and history, as well as riparians’ responses to the challenges of utilizing, managing, and protecting such resources. Because of scarcity, population growth, and climate change impacts on all the riparians, national calls for water security have become louder. Consequently, collaboration among the nations of South Asia for ensuring equitable sharing of such water resources has not been optimal. While most countries do not have reliable systems for data generation, those possessing some hydrological data consider them state secrets, restricting their exchange. Even when treaty obligations exist, data-sharing practices are ad hoc, and the range of information shared is limited. Thus, negotiating new transboundary water treaties amongst South Asia’s riparian countries has become a daunting task, and enforcing existing ones remains a real challenge.

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