Some of Nepal’s biggest river systems originate in the Himalayan glaciers which then flow into India through Bihar. During the monsoons, these river systems flood causing many problems for Bihar. It is a necessity that there is process-driven coordination between the Centre and the Government of Bihar to handle the flooding in Nepal’s Terai and North Bihar (largely the Mithilanchal region).
Indo- Nepal Water sharing
Water cooperation agreements have been struck between Nepal and India on important rivers such as the Kosi, Gandaki, Karnali, and Mahakali, primarily for significant hydropower and irrigation projects involving dams or barrages. Except for the Kosi barrage, no project has been completed yet. Rivers that are smaller have also been overlooked. Since the signing of the Kosi Agreement in 1954, talks between the two countries have stopped, and water rights problems have remained unresolved. Various disagreements about this agreement have arisen as a result of flooding in the Kosi region.
The compensation for the Kosi dam has also been a source of contention between India and Nepal.
Furthermore, Nepal saw India’s building as an infringement on its territorial sovereignty.
The Kosi River’s concern is that it has a high amount of sedimentation, and embankments have proven ineffectual in reducing sedimentation.
Storage tanks are the only alternative in this circumstance, and they can’t be built without Nepal’s participation.
The interpretation of the Sugauli has long been a source of contention between India and Nepal.
The British East India Company and Nepal signed a treaty in 1816 that defined the boundary along the Maha Kali River in Nepal.
Which stream is the river’s source differs between India and Nepal.
The dispute between India and Nepal may appear trivial, yet the disputed area is located close the Sino-Indian border, giving it strategic significance.
How it helps
Construction of large dams/reservoirs on rivers at appropriate places is seen as a long-term solution to flooding, especially if a specific fold cushion is included in the storage reservoirs. Big dams manage floods in downstream areas by releasing a controlled amount of water down a spillway.
In 2008, a three-tier structure was developed to discuss all bilateral matters connected
to water resources and hydropower cooperation.
Nepal’s geography and abundance of fast-flowing rivers make it suitable for hydroelectric power development. Arun III, a 900 megawatt hydropower project, was
What can be done
India should project soft power to confront Chinese hard force. In contrast to China’s efforts to encroach on Nepal, India should emphasise the country’s long-standing cultural, religious, and people-to-people ties.
Both countries are impacted by the misuse of open borders by internal and external forces, and both countries share responsibilities for border management and control.
India could offer a different perspective on India-Nepal relations, one that considers long-standing people-to-people links and cultural affinities.
India should concentrate on realising the potential of hydropower collaboration, which has mostly been untapped due to conflicting perspectives.
With around 4% of the world’s water resources, India should have been a water-sufficient country. India, on the other hand, became a water-stressed country in 2011.
According to a research by NITI Aayog, India is now placed 120 out of 122 countries on the Water Quality Index. It consumes the most groundwater, accounting for 24% of the global total, more than China and the United States combined. According to UN predictions, India’s water demand will increase to about 1.5 trillion cubic metres by 2030, up from around 740 billion cubic metres today (2010 estimate). India’s water disputes with its neighbours, as well as inter-state river water disputes, have exacerbated the situation.
How to structure:
- The question is primarily based on Indo-Nepal relations and secondarily leaning towards the developmental and environmental prospects.
- Give a brief introduction of Indo-Nepal relations or on its water sharing agreements as introduction
- Now, give the necessity for water cooperation for regional development and environmental conservation- Explain how working together can bring more development and preserve environment. Here, make sure to add some of the previous conflicts between Indo-Nepal water sharing to emphasize on the significance. Draw a map to point out the areas, especially area of development and area of environmental conservation
- Mention some of the agreements
- Mention the challenges: ex – Chinese presence, Lack of investment etc.
- Suggest measures and conclude