Diss full_20102015_CD-copy

Diss full_20102015_CD-copy

Matthias Paukert

Bridging troubled waters:

Water sharing and the challenge of hydro-solidarity in Pakistan

Dissertation submitted to the Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences of the

University of Heidelberg in partial fulfilment of the requirements of the degree of

Doctor rerum politicarum.

Berlin / Heidelberg, October 2015

Matthias Paukert

Bridging troubled waters:

Water sharing and the challenge of hydro-solidarity in Pakistan

Contents

Chapter

Acknowledgements

Preface: Pakistan’s water: why is it a problem?

Information, politics and the study of water

I

Introduction:

The dilemma of water sharing: pieces of a puzzle

I.1

Hydro-solidarity: a hypothesis

I.2

Hydro-solidarity: Australia as a model

II

Introduction:

The politics and science of sharing water

II.1

Laws and norms of water management

II.2

Entitlements, ethics and markets

II.3

Integrated river management

II.4

The water shortage - water war nexus

II.5

The political economy of sharing resources

III

Introduction:

The Indus and the importance of

pani

III.1

Water management: an institutional history

III.2

From colony to sovereignty: problems of governance and federalism

III.3

Dynamics of a hydro-economy

III.4

Managing the Indus: institutional dimensions

Page

1

3

4

11

14

25

39

111

40

56

70

79

91

112

119

142

164

IV

Introduction:

Sharing Indus waters: cooperation versus confrontation

IV.1

Water management and hydro-politics: Partition and confrontation

IV.2

The Indus Waters Treaty and beyond: cooperation as a last resort

IV.3

From

ad hoc

to Accord: towards inter-provincial water sharing

IV.4

Hydro-federalism: the provinces as stakeholders

V

Conclusion:

Hydro-solidarity or hydro-confrontation?

Annex

1 – Abbreviations

2 – Map: Indus Basin in Pakistan, with provincial boundaries.

3 – Documents: a) Draft Agreement between Punjab and Sindh (1945); b) Indus Waters Treaty (1960); c) Water Apportionment Accord (1991). d) Indus River System Authority Act (1992).

191

192

212

241

272

321

341

Acknowledgements

Distillate of an intensive scientific dialogue, a doctoral dissertation is part of a continuous process to promote collective knowledge. This study aims to add information on, and insight into, the intricate problem of sharing water where shortage reigns. I am grateful to the following persons for their help and advice on what had at the beginning seemed a voyage through uncharted waters.

As a student of political science at the University of Heidelberg’s South Asia Institute

(SAI), I have enjoyed a fine example of a cross-disciplinary and cross-cultural academic discourse. Professor Subrata Kumar Mitra, the head of the SAI’s

Department of Political Science and an enthusiastic sponsor of this dialogue, has been a wonderful teacher and supervisor who, by asking the right questions at the right time, would help me steer this study in the proper methodological direction.

To receive the support of Professor Hermann Kreutzmann, co-supervisor of this dissertation at the Free University of Berlin, meant to benefit from the extensive knowledge of an expert on the hydro-geography of South Asia. His advice was invaluable in understanding the complex technical, geographic and hydrological factors that determine water management in Pakistan.

I owe special thanks to Dr. Wolfgang Peter Zingel, for the insight into the agricultural economy of Pakistan that he shared with me and the invaluable information and advice he gave me during our long discussions. I am very grateful to Dr. Jürgen

Clemens, a geographer specializing in the Himalaya-Hindukush; to Astrid Rüdiger, former fellow PhD student and seasoned Pakistan traveller; to Dr. Anna Schmid, an anthropologist specializing in the cultural and social dynamics of Pakistan; to Dr.

Undala Z. Alam, a Warwick University-based expert on the negotiating process that led to the Indus Waters Treaty; and to Dr. Andreas Rieck, of the Hanns Seidel

Foundation, Islamabad, for making the HSS’s news archive available to me.

Water being a politically sensitive issue in Pakistan, I am especially grateful to all the scholars, journalists, activists, politicians, officials and engineers in the

Land of the

Pure

who readily disclosed their views and interpretations to me, highlighting many aspects not found in common literature and reports. Among them, Basharat Hussain and Aarish Ullah Khan stand out as both skilled social scientists and wonderful hosts.

A political analyst with the Institute of Regional Studies (IRS), Basharat helped me navigate the political waters of this study. Aarish, also with the IRS, has been a perfect guide on many journeys through the country.

Finally and specially, my wife Saiqa has supported this effort with the deep personal commitment and patience of a faithful companion. This has proved essential for a study conducted parallel to a full-time job outside the academia. Therefore this study is dedicated to Saiqa and our son, Dayan (4), who draws his own particular pleasure from water.

1

Scientia humanitati servit

This study aims to advance the understanding of the challenge to share of water. The chosen case, Pakistan, exhibits the complex nature of this essential problem in a most dramatic fashion. Having received plenty of political and academic attention in recent years for a multitude of security-related concerns, Pakistan urgently deserves at least equal attention for its more profane problems of water management – an issue no less acute and threatening.

Science is part curiosity and part responsibility. Searching for the sake of research and searching for the sake of mankind go hand in hand. The global community of water experts, through an ever-increasing number of conferences and publications, has turned H²O into an acronym of a cross-border dialogue on sustainable economic growth and livelihoods, public health and social stability, governance and participation. While the original experts on the Indus are the people of Pakistan who have been managing this river for over four millennia, the findings from this study may promote this dialogue and contribute to the solution of existing and future problems in the Indus region and beyond.

Matthias Paukert

Berlin / Heidelberg

September 2015

2

Preface

Pakistan’s water: why is it a problem?

Pakistan’s water resources

have played a central role in this country since ancient times. Pakistan’s main river basin, the Indus, with its abundant supplies of water, has long been the agricultural heartland of the Indian subcontinent. Today’s management of this river basin, applying traditional techniques operated side by side with sophisticated mechanisms, reflects the public awareness of this heritage as much as it signals the manifold challenges arising from a constantly growing demand for this vital resource.

One of these challenges – like in the case of most large Asian rivers – is to synchronize highly variable supplies with equally dynamic, yet steadily rising needs.

Dictated by unpredictable climatic cycles, irrigated agriculture has over centuries developed into an elaborate mechanism customized to regional and even local geological and hydrological conditions. Social and political factors, especially the drastic demographic changes since the end of the nineteenth century, have prompted the development of systematic large-scale irrigation networks that make ever more water available and use supplies more efficiently than ever before.

Water shortage

nevertheless has become a persistent phenomenon in Pakistan.

Though the modernization of the Indus Basin irrigation system in the 20 th

century has increased water availability thanks to an elaborate network of canals, link canals, barrages and reservoirs, water demand could not be dependably satisfied because an unprecedented growth of the country’s population – particularly after independence (1947) – outpaced water resources development.

Water distribution

, in addition to insufficient quantities, is a major problem in several respects. The overall dependence on the Indus River for various types of consumption makes industrial consumers compete with agricultural and household consumers. Aside from mere quantities, access and timing are critical factors as crop patterns demand timed water deliveries, whereas household consumption typically shows little variation over time; industrial consumption, in turn, varies according to particular production processes. At the same time, riparian provinces raise claims for water shares from the common source based on perceived entitlements. As a result, water has become a political issue rising to prominence with the beginning of systematic irrigation at the end of the 19 th

century. Since the consolidation of

Pakistan as an independent nation, water disputes on several levels have accompanied water management.

Water institutions

have obtained an important role in both the management of water and of the disputes over water. This study will examine whether the series of institutional mechanisms put in place over time to tackle water-related disputes are adequate tools for managing water under conditions of shortage and conflicting demands.

3

Information, politics and the study of water

Water sharing is a delicate issue

in Pakistan, sometimes attached to the arcane sphere of national security, sometimes seen as part of a cultural or social struggle. At once an object of politics and an instrument to promote political interests, the challenge to the outside observer is to separate fact from propaganda, particularly where water is addressed as a matter of collective identity, loyalty and patriotism.

Evaluating and interpreting information therefore is as much a challenge to researchers as is the assessment of factors behind water management decisions and politics.

Primary sources

Official information

on water sharing is scant and sporadic. Provincial and federal government branches only infrequently issue press releases on water management, most of which are vague and superficial. This phenomenon has not changed much over the past ten years, despite significant technical efforts in official online presentation. Though the problem of water sharing is regularly addressed by the media, the quality and quantity of official information on the subject does not correspond with the relevance of the issue. Whether behind this apparent neglect to keep the public adequately informed is a general lack of concern about transparency or an actual policy-related interest will be analyzed in this study.

1

Among the major official institutions in the water sector, the Water and Power

Development Authority (WAPDA) holds a monopoly on much of the available official water information. It gives day-to-day figures of water releases and issues water project outlines. WAPDA’s annual report offers a fairly comprehensive account of its water and power operations. The Indus River System Authority (IRSA), by contrast, has until recently been almost invisible to the public. The main institution in charge of water sharing does not publicize reports. Its website was inaugurated as late as 2006 but to date offers very little information.

2

Even the Ministry of Water and Power did not have a web page within the domain of the Government of Pakistan until a few years ago, suggesting that this policy area is of secondary importance.

3

During the Musharraf era, official water management information was issued on the

President’s official website, indicating both an unclear state of authority regarding

1

2

The security dimension will be discussed in sections IV and V of this study.

The content has improved somewhat since its inception (initially at www.irsa.gov.pk; from 2008 to

2010 it was located at a sub-domain at www.stormpages/i/irsaa/). In 2011 at last, its website was integrated into the government framework (www.pakirsa.gov.pk), offering only two major documents

(the Water Accord of 1991 and the IRSA Act of 1992), current release data and so-called press releases which, however, do not address the central issue – water sharing – but rather trivial issues like “retrofitting of IRSA office building” (as of 10 March 2013, none of the links to press releases were

3 active).

While all federal government branches are incorporated in the main site, www.pakistan.gov.pk, the

Water Ministry was listed, but not activated until around 2005. It is now online at www.mowp.gov.pk, yet with no information on water sharing (as of March 2013). WAPDA, visibly reflecting its unique position, has its own site (www.pakwapda.com), independent of the GoP domain; it happens to be one of the most comprehensive websites of all official water institutions in Pakistan.

4

water as well as a degree of importance.

4

The Inter-Provincial Coordination

Committee (IPCC), a newly established forum for dialogue between the provinces, publishes regular reports on its work.

5

The work of two high-profile governmentinitiated water committees has been documented with sufficient transparency from semi-official sources.

6

Statistical data on water use and availability is published in the annual

Agricultural Statistics

of the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock, and the

Economic Survey

published by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Statistics.

7

On the level of the provincial governments, the Punjab government’s information is the most comprehensive regarding water. The other provinces (Sindh, Balochistan,

NWFP/Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa) offer very little information.

The legislative tiers

of the political system have gained relevance in the democratic process of the country. The National Assembly and the Senate each have established internet sites providing information on their activities. Like in the case of most government branches, however, the limited amount and quality of information is in sharp contrast to the widespread use of the internet by the citizens of Pakistan.

Specific water-related information is almost negligible, mirroring the parliament’s rare involvement in water issues.

8

Public information is disclosed through press conferences and occasional press releases.

9

Acts and Ordinances appear in the official

Gazette of Pakistan

.

10

A recent, very noteworthy addition to official documentation is the Punjab Law Database, so far the only internet-based collection of legal texts in Pakistan.

11

Personal communication

with officials is often the only way to obtain primary information, either in the form of verbal communication or in the form of written material that is not readily accessible. In the course of my field research, access to officials has proven most successful when mediated by people with inside knowledge, like retired officials, journalists and academics. Direct approaches, however, have been met with little response, if any. Written or e-mailed queries

4

5

http://www.presidentofpakistan.gov.pk (as of 31 July 2008). “Water strategy” is one of four columns.

After the demise of the Musharraf presidency, many contents have been removed or replaced.

At http://www.ipc.gov.pk/, the IPCC provides a protocol-type report on all meetings since its inception

6 which is remarkable when compared to the websites of other, older government branches, though the actual information lacks detail.

http://www.pakwaters.gov.pk/treaty.htm - the PCWR website may be the only one informing on the political dimension of water management. The TCWR does not have its own site; important documents are found at www.ppib.gov.pk (the Private Power and Infrastructure Board) and the President’s water page (as quoted earlier). Information on the PCWR is found on the private site of its chairman: http://www.nisarmemon.org/ . The Pakistan Water Gateway

,

at www.waterinfo.net.pk, was temporarily closed in mid-2008. The Gateway, issued at around 2001, was a collaboration of IUCN and SDNPK

(Sustainable Development Networking Programme, a joint IUCN and UNDP initiative) endorsed by the

Ministry of Water and Power. The Gateway has recently been reopened with reduced content (as of

7

March 2011).

http://www.statpak.gov.pk/depts/index.html . The current

Survey

is available for download.

8

9

The Standing Committees on Water and Power of both Houses are listed with their members, yet no information on their activities is given (as of 6 August 2008).

Press releases remain rare on most official sites; cf. www.na.gov.pk , www.senate.gov.pk. The judicature is listed under two internet addresses http://www.supremecourt.gov.pk/ and www.supremecourtpakistan.org/index.htm; the latter has been issued in

an act of defiance

to the actions of the President against the SC in 2007 over the re-election of President Musharraf.

10

Some acts are now available online at: http://www.pakistan.gov.pk/gazpakArchive.jsp (by year; not all years available yet – as of 1 August 2008).

11

http://www.punjablaws.gov.pk/index4.html . Though this official database only covers one province, it is a fine example of user-friendly information and transparent government.

5

generally remained unanswered, even when it was only for statistical data that had been published before.

WAPDA, the biggest water authority in the country, was a notable exception: officials have readily replied to questions regarding the debate over water reservoirs and provided technical information (including the

Annual Report

) useful to understand the physical dimension of the problem. IRSA, the most important body in the field of water sharing, proved difficult to access. Initial contact was made through mediation and resulted in a brief conversation with the chairman, albeit not without a degree of reservation. This may be due to the critical institutional position of IRSA at the centre of the water dispute between the provinces.

12

Nevertheless, some information on the procedure of water distribution – including water release charts – was obtained.

13

The Irrigation and Power Department of the Punjab has been very helpful, providing material important for the conduct of this study which is not otherwise available.

Documentation of the water committees and commissions that took place between

1968 and 1983 has proved very difficult to obtain. A number of direct and indirect approaches and queries have not resulted in any substantial information, not to mentions documents, on the work of these institutions. At this point it is not even clear what kind of documentation, if any, exists since none of the articles and books used for this study contains any concrete reference to these institutions beyond barely mentioning them.

14

Secondary sources

Non-governmental sources

bridge the information gap by conducting and publicizing research which helps to establish a set of data not otherwise available.

15

The capacity of institutions like the International Water Management Institute documents the country’s growing expertise in many areas of water management. Its researchers, some of whom enjoy rare access to official sources, are the most important secondary source.

16

Most academic research in Pakistan

focuses on technical and agricultural aspects of water management. Headquartered in Colombo, Sri Lanka, the International Water

Management Institute (IWMI) is the leading research institution in this field, covering most aspects of water management, from irrigation techniques to drainage,

12

IRSA is located outside the government complex in Islamabad. This geographical position seems to mirror the troubled political position of IRSA. Requests regarding the seasonal Water Account Report

– a document on water releases to be provided to the federal and provincial water authorities – have not met with success.

13

In sum, access to information is very much the result of perseverance and luck in terms of meeting people willing to disclose information and discuss the problem at hand. In a sense, the study of water mirrors the politics of water: Actors may, under certain circumstances, be ready to give information if it seems beneficial – just as they may be willing to share the resource if advantages are to be realized.

This observation, by no means a rule, certainly is not limited to Pakistan.

14

The existing details on these four institutions will be presented in the analysis of the water sharing process.

15

Research findings, according to personal discussions with academics in Pakistan, are typically published not in Urdu, but in English, as English is the main language of higher education in Pakistan.

16

In light of IWMI’s widely acknowledged scientific achievements, the reduction of staff at IWMI’s

Pakistan branch in recent years is all the more deplorable.

6

desalination and socio-economic aspects of water utilization.

17

Though the interprovincial water dispute in Pakistan has not been a central focus of IWMI research yet, its findings – regularly published in its

Working Paper

and

Research Report

series – are indispensable for the understanding of the economic, social and environmental aspects of the dispute at hand.

18

Smaller institutions like the Centre of

Excellence in Water Resources Engineering in Lahore specialize in hydrology and irrigation management. The Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources

(PCRWR) is an official research institute founded as a consulting body for federal and provincial governments and the bureaucracy.

19

Its importance, however, is difficult to assess because its research findings are not publicly available.

The political dimension of water

and water sharing in particular is rarely addressed in both Pakistani and international publications. Only very few academic publications offer comprehensive assessments of water management and water politics in

Pakistan.

20

Aloys Arthur Michel’s quintessential history of Indus Basin development and management,

The Indus Rivers

(1967), remains the most comprehensive work to date. Niranjan D. Gulhati’s

Indus Waters Treaty: an exercise in international mediation

(1973) offers a balanced insider’s view of the negotiating process from a former diplomat who was part of the World Bank team. Undala Alam’s

Water rationality: mediating the Indus Waters Treaty

(1995) is likely to be the only study to take an in-depth approach to the political dimension of the dispute between India and

Pakistan. Two books on the inter-provincial dispute edited by Pakistani scholars are the 2007 volume

Problems and Politics of Water Sharing in Pakistan

, edited by

Pervaiz Cheema, Rashid Khan and Ahmad Malik, and

The Politics of Managing

Water

, edited by Kaiser Bengali (2003). Both highlight some of the more important aspects of the dispute and incorporate differing viewpoints on this divisive issue, unfortunately, though, without reference to documents referred to in the text.

21

Among academic journals

in the field of water management,

Water Policy

,

Water

International

and the

International Journal of Water Resource Development

(recently renamed

Water Resources Development

) stand out. Their thematic scope ranges from water management issues like sanitation and drainage to political issues like corruption in the water sector, conflict management and water policies. The Indus

River has received occasional attention for the successful resolution of a conflict between two otherwise hostile neighbours, India and Pakistan. But in spite of these

17

With country offices in most countries of the subcontinent and affiliations with many other scientific institutions, IWMI represents a unique research network. Both by the scope and the quality of its research, IWMI stands out as the leading institution of water research in Pakistan. Its openly available research reports represent a fine example of cross-discipline, international scientific dialogue.

18

The IWMI series, available free of charge in print and online versions, are among the very few regular academic journals on aspects of water management in Pakistan.

19

The Pakistan Council of Research on Water Resources Act, No. I of 2007.

20

This accounts for monographs on the Indus River dispute as well as focussed articles in multiauthored books. Discussions with Pakistani academics during several visits to the country have not resulted in any academic study of the inter-provincial water dispute.

21

The former is an Islamabad Policy Research Institute (IPRI) publication that includes short articles from academics and former water officials, rendering an inside view of the institutional process of water management. The latter, published by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI), may be credited with being the first serious attempt at overcoming the Sindh-Punjab divide in water analyses as it contains contributions from all provinces. Both publications, however, lack attached documents or detailed references concerning the many official steps taken to solve the dispute.

The problem of poor or non-existent referencing applies to many publications from Pakistan which limits their use in the context of a scientific study.

7

contributions the conclusion that water is not nearly as attractive an issue as the

Kashmir conflict is inescapable. In the face of an abundance of classic conflict research, water-related problems play a peripheral role. In this sense, the academic sphere mirrors the political arena.

International organizations

like the World Bank, due to their technical and financial involvement in Pakistan’s water sector, have accumulated important information on water management. The Bank’s reports, assessments and recommendations, compiled by experts from Pakistan and other countries, benefit from privileged access to government officials. Most relevant to the political dimensions of water are the

Country Water Resources Assistance Study

, the

Public Expenditure Management

and the

Pakistan Water Sector Strategy

. Designed as a scientific analysis

cum

policy recommendation, they combine theoretical analysis with aspects of policy implementation. Other United Nations affiliates, like the Food and Agriculture

Organization (FAO) with its Aquastat database and UNESCO (with its

World Water

Development Report

and its

From Potential Conflict to Co-operation Potential

series) have each established special water research units that contribute to the mounting knowledge base on river basins.

Non-government organizations

(NGOs) like the Sustainable Development Policy

Institute (SDPI) or the Pakistan Institute of Legislative Development and

Transparency (PILDAT) sporadically contribute to the water debate. Most notably,

PILDAT has initiated a rare conference addressing the water dispute in 2010.

22

The

Pakistan Water Partnership, a subsidiary of the UN-sponsored Global Water

Partnership, has hosted the South Asia Water Forum, bringing together international and regional water experts and officials.

23

The Pakistan office of the International

Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has conducted research into ecological aspects of water management in Pakistan. International research institutions like the

International Rivers Network (IRN), the World Resources Institute (WRI), and the

Pacific Institute for Studies in Development, Environment and Security have compiled important databases on river management, like the bi-annual report

The World’s

Water

and the

International Water Law Project

.

24

Newspapers

like

Dawn

,

Business Recorder

,

The Nation,

and

Daily Times

provide information on day-to-day developments in the water sector and in some cases have been the only reference to official documents, reports and events. Among the daily papers,

Dawn

proved to be the most comprehensive and most widely respected source of daily information both in and outside of Pakistan. Its archive has been browsed on a daily basis for water information.

Library search

was conducted at the South Asia Institute (SAI), of the University of

Heidelberg, for works on the political system and history of Pakistan; at the library of

IWMI, Lahore, for water management; and at the libraries of the Free University,

Berlin, for selected works on irrigation. Again, field research in Pakistan has been

22

Various conferences with a more political motivation are frequently organized by interest groups in

Sindh and Punjab.

23

The PWP conference was held 14-16 Dec. 2002 in Islamabad, Pakistan. Cf. Proceedings, vol. 1 and

2 (Pakistan Water Partnership, 2002).

24

The IUCN is among the most influential NGOs in Pakistan, closely collaborating with provincial and federal government units. Cf. Matthias Paukert: Umweltengagement an der Wasserscheide;

Südasien

no. 2, 2008, p. 77 (Environmental commitment at the crossroads, in German).

8

vital in order to obtain publications not commonly available outside that country.

Among them were books and journals by the Institute of Regional Studies (IRS) and the Islamabad Policy Research Institute (IPRI) and publications from the private sphere – especially from NGOs, political parties and individual political activists.

Discussions with experts

– academics, journalists and activists – have rendered a deeper understanding of the complex nature of water sharing with its political, social and historical underpinnings. In general, most people approached for a discussion on water have reacted positively, reflecting the relevance of the issue and the public interest in an open discourse.

25

A note on references

All primary and secondary sources used in this study are named in the footnotes. An

English translation of titles, where necessary, has been added in brackets for better understanding. Where an English language version exists, the respective title is referred to as the

English version

in brackets. Unless noted otherwise, the translation to English is mine. All original quotes are in italics, with the author’s name given after the quote or in the footnote. Internet sources are cited by their respective website addresses and the date of download or last access. As with all online sources, there is no guarantee that the content referred to in this study is still available today.

25

I am grateful to Mohsin Babbar for facilitating discussions in Sindh, the downstream area particularly vulnerable to water shortage in the Indus River.

9

10

Introduction

I. The dilemma of water sharing: pieces of a puzzle

Water is short.

Insufficient water supplies are a fact of life in many countries in the southern hemisphere at present and in the future.

– also to the chosen case of Pakistan.

27

26

This applies – by most accounts

The use of water as a universally essential and irreplaceable resource is limited by its spatial and temporal availability. Some countries can easily satisfy their needs, others face major obstacles meeting minimal demands. Even within a country water availability can differ sharply. Some areas may enjoy regular supply, others may suffer seasonal or even permanent shortage. This is true for Pakistan, too.

In order to assess the status, quality and conditions of water availability, this study needs to be based on a qualified definition of water shortage that renders a comprehensive picture of water in the chosen country. Forms of water supply and use are to be taken into account, requiring a closer look at the economy that consumes most of the water and the way it is managed. In addition, social, political, hydrological, climatic and ecological aspects of water have to be factored in as they affect the supply, distribution and utilization of water.

Sharing water

under conditions of water shortage means one or more parties are likely to receive less than their expected share. Does water shortage increase the chances of an amiable solution towards satisfying all parties? When water is short, securing water for one’s own needs seems to be a natural priority, even a matter of survival.

28

Does this in turn mean that water sharing only takes place if and when surplus water is available, or if there is a strong compulsion to do so accompanied by the threat of severe punishment in case of non-compliance, or if there is a benefit to be realized from water sharing that is greater than the value of the resource?

To assess the conditions of water sharing, the existing mechanisms for water distribution are to be analyzed. Whether the institutional arrangements in place – treaties, laws, administrative bodies – regulate joint water use towards unilateral satisfaction is only one question. The other is: what do the parties do in order to avert one-sided losses? Will they cooperate and coordinate when it comes to withdrawing water from the common source? Or will there be confrontation? Why do these actors act the way they do?

26

Various estimates put the amount of freshwater fit for human consumption (sweet water) at between

2.5 and 3 % of all existing water resources;

confer

Peter Gleick, ed.: Water in crisis. A guide to the world’s freshwater resources; Oxford: OUP. 1983; World Resource Institute: World resources 2002-

2004; Washington, D.C.: WRI, 2003 (online: http://pdf.wri.org/wr2002fulltext_230-283_datatables.pdf).

Precise figures are only available for renewable resources (

i.e.

those resources that are replenished by rain fall), not for non-renewable water (fossil groundwater in deep aquifers).

27

Pakistan has been added to a World Bank list of countries likely to face internal conflict due to a lack of stable food supply; see Christian Lorenz: Talfahrt der Wirtschaft? (An economic downturn? in

German);

Südasien,

2/2008, p. 79.

28

One early example exhibiting the vulnerability of arid regions is the ancient Maya civilization, according to recent findings: Mild drought caused Maya collapse in Mexico, Guatemala;

BBC News

(online), 23 Feb. 2012.

11

Conflict

over limited water resources seems a likely consequence of water shortage.

29

Violent clashes have indeed been reported from dry, water-scarce regions the world over. Do a lack of water and an inability to share it promote confrontation? In some cases – as will be seen – elaborate regulations direct water users to take into account other water users’ needs. In other cases water users have arrived at specific agreements to share water. Forms of water sharing are found on all levels and in all types of society but responses to this problem typically reflect the conditions of a given case: its geographical setting and hydrological conditions, and its political, social and economic circumstances. Are there solutions that might be transferable? Does a solution that has proved successful in Australia fit in a place like

Pakistan?

To find answers, the roots of disputes that have taken place in the chosen case will be analyzed. The question whether water shortage alone or unclear regulations for water sharing or even causes not directly related to water are behind the given dispute is important as it points to the nature and dimension of water disputes as well as their potential solution. This means that an evaluation of the conditions under which water disputes take place in the chosen is necessary. A particular focus must therefore be on the institutional mechanisms in place to regulate water sharing: Do they work effectively, and do they provide conflict management tools? Or are they more of a problem than part of a solution?

Rivers

exhibit the obstacles to water sharing in all dimensions.

30

Unlike lakes, rivers allow permanent water withdrawals by several users for a variety of purposes, from irrigation and household water supplies to power generation and navigation. This capacity makes interaction between users inevitable – whether cooperative or confrontational, continuous or temporary – because any withdrawal of water by one side, be it for consumptive or non-consumptive uses, directly affects other riparian users. In addition, the river’s flow regime is marked by an asymmetry in terms of water quantity and quality that typically favoures upstream locations. Plus, the dynamics of rivers and climate make water availability more or less unpredictable with regard to quantity, quality, time and space. This is particularly true for rivers in the Himalayan region, as will be seen.

To assess the challenge immanent in the chosen river basin, a hydrological profile is needed, augmented by geographical and climatic features.

The case of Pakistan

is special for at least three reasons. First, it is the dependence on a single river system, the Indus Basin, for most of its water consumption. Located in an arid zone, the Indus Basin regularly confronts the people of Pakistan with the inescapable social and economic consequences of water shortage. The Indus Basin embodies all the major challenges that much of Asia has to face: a marked discrepancy between upstream and downstream water supplies, high seasonal variations, great sector-wise differences in water consumption, and a strongly rising over-all demand due to dramatic demographic and economic changes.

29

Water distribution has been identified as one of the major economic, social and political challenges of the coming years at the World Water Week 2007 (Stockholm, 12 – 18 August 2007); www.worldwaterweek.org.

30

The UN Register of International Rivers lists over 200 international river basins (Oxford: Pergamon,

1978).

12

Second, Pakistan’s history since independence has been defined by the colonial heritage and the perceived threat from India. The experience of foreign rule and violent conflict has shaped the formation and development of this nation and has since overshadowed its political discourse in many fields, including water management.

Third, these physical and historical factors are compounded by distinctive social and political drivers of water use in each of Pakistan’s four provinces. Taken together, these circumstances make water sharing one of the most difficult challenges of

Pakistan in economic, social and political terms.

To understand the role that history and politics play in Pakistan and how politics affect water management the historical development of this nation and its water management as well as federal relations deserve a critical review.

The problem is management

.

31

Water management is more than making water available and allocating shares. Commonly understood as a comprehensive planned process of administrating and controlling resources and their utilization, it affects the way this resource is utilized. Whether stakeholder demands are met or not, and whether they might resort to confrontation in order to reach their objectives, is linked to water management. As the possession and control of water is directly related to economic development and the wealth of social groups or political entities, of states and provinces and whole nations, water management obtains a fundamental role, particularly in countries which heavily rely on one source of water to fuel their economy. Due to its economic potential, water transforms into an instrument of power where upstream stakeholders use scarce resources and privileged access as an economic and political leverage to achieve targets that would otherwise be blocked by downstream stakeholders. Thus the intrinsic challenge of water management is political.

To evaluate the nature and political dimension of water management, both the development of the political system and the institutional development will be analysed.

The dilemma

of water sharing, as this brief sketch has shown, is multi-layered. It includes the hydrological, geographic and climatic conditions, the economic dimension, the irrigation management, as well as political and legal aspects. The task of this study therefore will be to analyze all layers in order to put the pieces of this puzzle together again.

In methodological terms this means that a single, one-dimensional theoretical concept might not be sufficient to explain this complex problem. In the theoretical section of this study a number of concepts will be discussed. The empirical section will assess the significance of the problem in Pakistan in its hydrological, social, economic and political dimensions. The task will be to find out whether Pakistan is just one example of a typical problem or instead a case of its own.

31

Asit K. Biswas, director of the Third World Centre for Water Management, in an interview on the occasion of his receiving the Stockholm Water Prize;

Impeller

no. 73, June 2006, p.19.

13

I.1 Hydro-solidarity: a hypothesis

The basic assumption of this study is the fundamental importance of water to many social and economic activities in every human society. Its status as an irreplaceable and indispensable resource makes it too important to simply be given away. Even in the few places where water is not in short supply, it cannot be wasted.

While the local availability of water depends on factors that are only partly within the capacity of human intervention, its future quantity (and quality) is unpredictable. This is the general condition that a host of countries around the world, particularly in Asia,

Africa, Australia and Latin America face. With the rising human population in these regions, the importance of managing water is growing.

If water use is restricted by uncertain availability, the task of meeting current and future needs becomes a more or less permanent challenge. The prospect for water sharing, as a consequence, is limited where there is no water to sustain even minimal demands. In those cases where water supplies are sufficient to at least temporarily satisfy demands, available water can be shared. The question is: when and how?

Water sharing is possible

, yet it requires favourable conditions. In the absence of favourable conditions, water sharing is unlikely to happen, and some form of conflict may occur. In order to achieve their individual goals and satisfy their individual water needs, actors may turn to confrontation. Confrontation carries the risk of aggression and escalation to a level of conflict that implies huge costs and little hope for adequate gains.

The empirical observation that to date only few

conflicts over water

have turned violent does not come as a consolation to those who face water shortage on a frequent or even permanent basis.

32

It does not explain why conflict, even in grave situations, did not lead to war: was it because one side simply avoided conflict by moving out of the area to a place with more favourable conditions, or because there was some form of rapprochement or trade-off? Likewise, it does not explain when and how some form of cooperation did take place and whether these forms of cooperation might be replicated in comparable situations: was there any factor that effectively compelled or even forced both sides to share water?

The reality of dwindling water resources all over the world dictates riparian neighbours to find answers to these questions. The nature of cooperation and

32

A record of over 400 water management agreements concerning the cooperative use of rivers is the

Transboundary River Database, compiled at the Oregon State University through the TFDD project supervised by Aaron T. Wolf: http://www.transboundarywaters.orst.edu/projects/internationalDB.html

(May 2010). It suggests that, at least statistically, cooperation is more likely than crisis even where cooperation was preceded by confrontation. A chronology of water-related conflict is the World’s Water database, compiled by Peter Gleick (Pacific Institute), at: www.worldwater.org/conflict.htm (April

2008). The chronology begins in 1503 and lists water disputes, either as a single-issue dispute or as part of a larger set of disputed issues. A precise definition of conflict is not given there. The database nevertheless serves to illustrate the volatility of shared trans-national bodies of water. It also augments the historic knowledge of water management to the point that rivers have always been strongly influencing human settlement patterns, by either attracting or diverting human economic activities, depending on available water supplies.

14

confrontation in the water sector needs to be understood more fundamentally: Are there mechanisms, institutions, laws or other structures and practices that promote cooperation, i.e. water sharing? If so, how can they serve as a model to manage water disputes at present and in the future?

The puzzle of water sharing

The central question is:

why share?

Water sharing poses a complex challenge that is borne out of resource-related factors, like the flow regime of a river and the discrepancy between upstream and downstream water availability, as well as factors related to the environment, to the societies that utilize water, and to wider economic, political and cultural parameters. Any scientific effort to evaluate these factors has to rely on a variety of instruments from different academic disciplines, ranging from economic theory to hydrological knowledge. The capacity of political science to integrate elements of neighbouring disciplines is crucial in understanding why water sharing takes place in some cases and not in others.

Water sharing is a process of

cooperation

. Cooperation, by its Latin origin, is a form of purposeful interaction between at least two sides over a given object. In this case, cooperation is directed at sharing water from a river. The phenomenon of water sharing can be disassembled into two major components:

1 The that may engage in water sharing (or not), i.e

.

the states that are located within a river basin, and the factors that may influence political action regarding water.

2 The of this interaction, i.e. water available from a river system, and the hydrological, geographical, environmental and climatic factors that influence water quality, quantity and availability.

The critical difference between the two components is that the second describes a more or less static dimension of water, its

natural conditions

. River flow regimes, climatic cycles and other environmental aspects determine in principle how much water is available in a given place at a given time. The reach of human intervention is limited: rivers can be diverted to allow distant fields to be irrigated, yet the available amount of water is determined by hydrological conditions at the river’s source, rainfall patterns, and other ecological factors. Likewise, water storage in dams won’t alter the principal water availability. It only changes the temporal supply of the resource in a selected location.

Aspects that relate to the actors involved and the

interaction

between them focus on the circumstances that make actors consider cooperation, i.e. water sharing, or confrontation, or denial of water sharing. Confrontation first leads to a standstill. The losing side may either accept the stalemate and withdraw or proceed to reinvigorate its demands. Interaction takes place in an informal manner or through institutional channels. It may be sporadic or part of an elaborate, organized process, itself exhibiting an institutional character. This process may follow certain established rules and regulations or function on a spontaneous,

ad hoc

basis. Unlike the object-related category, it depends on the actors’ interests, objectives and capacities.

15

The study of water sharing

thus requires a methodology that explains actor-related as well as object-related aspects: Why is water sharing in a selected case difficult?

What are resource-related challenges, and what are actor-related challenges? If water sharing has taken place in a given case, can it be repeated under similar conditions in another case or not?

Objective of research

The aim of this study is to find out how water sharing can be promoted in order to avoid confrontation. Water sharing – in some form or another – is necessary to avoid or to alleviate water shortage. In the absence of water sharing some actors – governments, communities, groups of water users – will be left without this vital commodity and face drastic consequences. Confrontation is expected to result in negative consequences because it will make water sharing more difficult. To avoid confrontation and promote water sharing, a mechanism is required, components of which have been tested in some cases. It remains to be seen whether they are universally applicable.

The problem of asymmetry

Adding to the basic challenge of water sharing is a peculiar condition that characterizes many river basins: the uneven relationship between

upstream and downstream

positions. This condition typically results in a one-sided control of water resources and better supply of water, both in terms of water quality and quantity, in the upstream position. This advantage directly translates into economic benefits and, potentially, political power, too, as the upstream actor may exert pressure on the lower riparian neighbour in order to reach objectives not otherwise feasible.

Holding a downstream riparian position in turn means to a disadvantageous position with regard to quality and quantity of water. In the case of insufficient overall water supplies, the downstream position is at greater risk to face shortage. Hypothetically, upstream riparian actors may alter the water flow pattern either by intention aimed at confrontation or simply by “reckless” one-sided water withdrawals that leave the downstream neighbour without sufficient water.

From a downstream perspective, the intention behind this action upstream may not be a primary factor. The simple lack of water can create an urgent situation that necessitates a reaction in order to avoid or alleviate grave consequences. Whether this reaction will lead to cooperation or confrontation depends on the readiness of both sides to seek an agreement on water sharing or any arrangement that would satisfy demands of both sides. The disproportionate advantage may tempt the upstream riparian to apply pressure in order to exert concessions rather than reaching a mutually satisfactory agreement, particularly because the object of concern is indispensable.

Under conditions of asymmetry

, the theoretical obstacles to cooperation, i.e. water sharing, are greater. Existing water shortage may be aggravated as a result of this principal upstream – downstream asymmetry, or created where it didn’t exist before.

In turn, the demand for reliable cooperative arrangements that reduce or minimize

16

the risk of exploitation of one side by the other becomes evident. The undisputed need for water appears to provide an incentive to cooperate, yet at the same time the potential one-sided benefits of unilateral, non-cooperative action may lure one side into using its natural advantage to exert power to gain additional benefits in the form of concessions extracted under the threat of blocking the river flow.

As a consequence, the problem of water sharing may turn into a political struggle over power and dominance that reaches beyond mere water-related issues. Thus any effort to tackle this problem will require methods that are not limited to water management.

Compounded by factors that directly or indirectly relate to the quantity and quality of water available in an upstream location, the principal upstream-downstream asymmetry leads to

political-economic asymmetry

that further enhances the position of the upstream riparian entity. This effect is expected to influence upstreamdownstream relations over water. Tropical regions are more exposed to this problem where significant variations between wet and dry seasons tend to aggravate the principal asymmetry.

Research questions

The problem of water

, from a political science perspective, is its potential for conflict. If competing demands for water cannot be met, a dispute over water may result in division and conflict. As a result, the water situation may worsen and other issues may also be affected negatively, potentially creating a downward spiral that could undermine the stability of a nation.

The central question

– why share – requires a multi-disciplinary approach. Water, unlike many other natural resources, is highly dynamic because of climatic, hydrological and ecological factors. Its availability poses additional challenges to collective water use. Its universal indispensability does not make water sharing an automatic, natural process. To the contrary: the greater the demand, the more acute the competition over this limited commodity. Therefore the need for some form of cooperation to satisfy competing demands appears most pressing where a condition of shortage already exists.

The challenge: What enables, what hinders water sharing?

Mechanisms that guide collective water management with a view to either alleviating or blocking water sharing have been established in most countries and in most river basins. The mechanisms (processes and structures) in place are norms on water use and political instruments such as agreements and institutions. Many of these mechanisms have lead to cooperation.

The purpose of this study is to identify mechanisms that promote water sharing and test them in a selected case. Starting with institutions (treaties, laws, authorities etc.) that have proven successful, it is suggested that there are general rules that can be applied to other cases, either in part or in an adapted form. But are these mechanisms sufficient to guarantee cooperation? Which role do actors’ interests play?

17

Target questions:

To establish and understand the factors that determine cooperation or confrontation, the following questions will be addressed.

Category Research

1 – Actor - What drives individual water demands?

- How do actors behave under conditions of water shortage?

1a – Conditions of interaction

- Which institutional mechanisms are in place to regulate water utilization and management?

- How do these institutions impede or alleviate water sharing?

2 – Object

2a – Objectrelated factors

- Which quality and quantity of water is available in the given case over time and space?

- Which factors determine water utilization in the given case?

Instruments of analysis

Category 1

requires an analysis of the individual water profile that includes political, societal and economic characteristics of each political actor in the process of water sharing. These characteristics explain the demand for water and help understand why actors may be ready and willing to share water or not. Theories of political economy have defined self-interest as a major driver of political interaction. The objective of all interaction is to defend and strengthen this stated interest. Selfinterest also attains a defining role: through clearly demarcated interests, the identity of a state is underlined. Water shortage and conflicts over water will be discussed as potential factors determining the likelihood of water sharing.

Category 1a

addresses factors that bear on political decision-making regarding water. These are, according to Jehangir and Horinkova, formal rules (laws and other regulations), informal rules (values and practices) and organizational structures

(institutional arrangements).

33

These factors describe the coordinates of political action. They will be analyzed using theories of water law and institutionalism. The concept of Integrated Water Resources Management deserves special attention as it attempts to integrate different approaches to regulate water use.

Category 2

focuses on the issue at stake, water. To understand the relevance of water in the chosen case, a hydrological profile of the Indus River will enable an assessment of water flows, seasonal water availability, and aspects of water quality.

The specific features of water in Pakistan determine how much water is available, and how this commodity may be used.

Category 2a

describes the factors that relate to the use of water in the given case: agricultural, industrial and other forms of water use. Water utilization in any given case depends on a set of social and economic factors that affect water management.

In Pakistan, irrigation is to be assessed towards water productivity which in turn

33

Waqar Jehangir & Wilma Horinkova: Institutional constraints to conjunctive water management in the Rechna Doab; Lahore: IWMI, 2002.

18

depends on climatic and hydrological conditions. This assessment is important for testing theoretical models of water sharing under diverse conditions: the chosen case of Pakistan will be confronted with the water utilization in other countries in order to distinguish specific circumstances of water use.

Methodological sketch

Hypothesis:

Adequate water supplies are a universal interest. Cooperation over water, i.e. water sharing, allows the peaceful water utilization through adequate water supplies. However, unless benefits to be realized from cooperation or incentives that reward cooperation are in place, upstream riparian actors will tend to withdraw water regardless of their neighbours’ needs.

Dependent variable:

Cooperation is possible if both sides, i.e. all riparian actors, can satisfy their demands and / or realize important benefits, water-related or not. To engage in cooperation rather than confrontation requires incentives, i.e. the promise of a beneficial outcome of such interaction to both sides, and / or a dependable arrangement for water sharing.

Independent variable:

Institutionalized mechanisms can promote cooperation.

Mechanisms that are transparent and based on a precise concept with clear provisions can provide the basis for water sharing as several cases have shown.

Institutions can provide incentives for cooperation.

The task of this study

is to confront this hypothesis with the reality of Pakistan’s

Indus River by analyzing the four categories of the actor – object – framework of this case.

Hydro-solidarity: Systematic cooperation

Australia’s Murray – Darling River Basin is presented as a case of comprehensive water sharing and management. It has frequently been cited as an example of hydrosolidarity, a concept of water management that aims to offset divisive aspects, especially asymmetry.

34

Like in the IWRM concept, the river is seen here as a functional unit in its ecological, social-economic and cultural dimensions.

Falkenmark has been among the first to define this term.

35

Representing a hydrological and environmental position on water management, her work takes a

34

A concise review of the discourse over of this concept and its evolution is provided by Andrea

Gerlak, R. Varady and A. Haverland: Hydrosolidarity and international water governance;

International

Negotiation

, vol. 14, 2009, p. 311 – 328.

35

Malin Falkenmark: Ecohydrosolidarity: Towards better balancing of humans and nature; Waterfront,

July 2009, p. 4 – 5. Malin Falkenmark and Jan Lundqvist: Towards hydrosolidarity: focus on the upstream-downstream conflict of interests; editorial to a special edition of

Water International

, vol. 25, no. 2, p. 168 – 171, referring to a seminar by the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI),

Towards upstream-downstream hydrosolidarity, Stockholm 1999; Falkenmark further elaborates hydrosolidarity in the same journal: competing freshwater and ecological services in the river basin perspective. An expanded conceptual framework;

ibidem

, p. 172 – 177. SIWI has addressed this concept of hydrosolidarity again in its August 2001 seminar Water Security for Cities, Food and

Environment – towards Catchment Hydrosolidarity; see:

Waterfront

, July 2001, p. 4.

19

cautious approach to river management, warning of the dangers of overuse and resource degradation.

Falkenmark sees a state of hydro-solidarity as an almost inevitable objective of progressive river management if the river as such is to be preserved as a lifeline of society and nature. Acknowledging a condition of interdependence of basin stakeholders, hydro-solidarity is the outcome of a partnership between upstream and downstream water users. Conflicting interests and asymmetric water availability hinder this partnership.

Falkenmark identifies as a major challenge the lack of incentives on the part of the upstream user, generally in an advantageous position, to work towards the benefit of the downstream side, if the status of the river basin as a whole requires it.

36

Therefore the concept of hydro-solidarity is directed towards improving the conditions downstream. Falkenmark and Lundqvist have focused on the over-all conditions downstream, stressing that, in many river basins, as a result of uncoordinated water and land use at upstream locations, the available water is minimal and of poor quality over long periods per year.

37

Their solution to this impending water crisis is a reorientation from simple allocation towards regulated and coordinated water use based on principles of reasonable utilization.

Turton’s understanding of hydro-solidarity, originating from a social science position, basically is in line with Falkenmark’s. Starting with the basic demand of basin states for security of water supplies, Turton advocates a regime theory approach to achieve hydro-solidarity. Essential, according to Turton, is the institutionalization of water management relying on uncontested river flow data and instruments for conflict resolution.

38

What makes this approach seem incomplete is the failure to address an important problem: the lacking willingness of the upstream side to make concessions in order to achieve common goals. Falkenmark suggests a strategy of compromisebuilding and trade-offs.

39

Wouters, a legal scholar, shifts the focus on entitlements and a commonly accepted norm of water use, notably the principle of equitable and reasonable use.

40

Hydro-

See also Falkenmark’s Analytical Summary in the Proceedings of this seminar: www.siwi.org. For a review of the discussion of this concept see Andrea Gerlak, R. Vardy, A. Haverland: Hydrosolidarity and international water governance;

International Negotiation

, vol. 14, 2009, p. 311 – 328.

36

Malin Falkenmark: Towards hydrosolidarity. Ample opportunities for human ingenuity. Fifteen-year message from the Stockholm Water Symposia; Stockholm: SIWI, 2005, p. 25; www.siwi.org (Nov.

2006).

37

Malin Falkenmark and Jan Lundqvist: Focusing on the upstream/downstream interdependencies and conflicts of interests; Proceedings of the seminar Towards Upstream/Downstream Hydrosolidarity,

SIWI, Stockholm, 1999, p. 108 - 121; www.siwi.org (March 2010).

38

Anthony Turton: Towards hydrosolidarity: moving from resource capture to cooperation and alliances; conference paper; in: Proceedings of the seminar Water Security for Cities, Food and

Environment – towards Catchment Hydrosolidarity; Stockholm: SIWI, 2001; www.siwi.org (August

2007).

39

Falkenmark: Competing …,

supra

, note 1, p. 176.

40

Patricia Wouters: The relevance and role of water law in the sustainable development of freshwater.

From “hydrosovereignty” to “hydrosolidarity”;

Water International

, vol. 25, no. 2, p. 205. Wouters admits that no one discipline can offer an effective answer (to the question: How are the conflicts of uses between the multitude of stakeholders involved in upstream/downstream situations to be resolved?), p. 206. Falkenmark, in her Analytical Summary,

supra

, note 1, aptly criticizes the

sectarianism within science

(which is)

incompatible with water’s large complexity in both roles and functions

.

20

solidarity is to be targeted against hydro-sovereignty, reiterating in part Falkenmark’s position.

41

Falkenmark and Lundqvist, however, go one step further demanding the inclusion of responsibility in every discussion of water rights.

42

It could be argued, from an international legal perspective, that this demand is, at least in principle, being recognized by the appreciable harm clause of the 1997 UN Watercourses

Convention. What is missing is the transformation of this legal norm designed for international waterways into a national legal principle.

Pigram, describing a system of integrated river basin management in Australia, has used hydro-solidarity to describe a state of advanced coordination, participation and cooperation in water management among the federal units utilizing the Murray-

Darling Basin.

43

The essence of solidarity, in this case, is the balancing of upstream and downstream riparian conditions:

The institutional arrangements in place certainly have many of the elements conducive to reconciling and rationalizing competing interests for basin resources

, as Pigram summarizes the qualities of the existing system, adding that initiatives to curb withdrawals for ecological reasons have encountered resistance from the stakeholders.

44

Prospect: hydro-solidarity as a workable concept

The search for a concept on which comprehensive, long-term cooperation can be modelled has brought to the surface the limitations of the existing concepts – or rather, the challenge for present and future water research and management. Hydrosolidarity has not so much developed into an analytical tool of its own as it rather represents a synopsis of existing concepts. Hydro-solidarity integrates these concepts into a new concept that highlights the importance of functional cohesion: rather than just summarizing the benefits of the previously discussed concepts, it makes clear why and how these concepts have to be connected in order to meet the demands of long-term water sharing. Without this integration, water sharing would be too unstable and too unpredictable to support long-term socio-economic development that is based on reliable water supply-and-demand management.

As Wouters pointedly remarks, asymmetry remains the biggest potential stumbling bloc for any effort at sustainable river management. In other words, the difficulty lies in hydro-solidarity’s main concern: how to turn sustainable river management into a

common cause

? This form of management and the notion of interdependence implied herewith make a lot of sense, but how to convince every riparian stakeholder to contribute towards this objective if it means to compromise on individual benefits – especially when these benefits carry political power? Economically speaking, this would mean that other stakeholders would have to compensate that stakeholder in more than just one way. Lundqvist answer, to link water rights and responsibilities, convincingly points in the right direction, but the scope of water rights should realistically not go so far as to restrict individual freedom to negotiate in order to seek

41

Hydro-hegemony is used here to describe a behaviour diametrically opposed to cooperative approaches like hydro-solidarity; Gerlak

et al.

refer to “hydroegoism”, describing the same, powercentred approach by upstream stakeholders: Gerlak

et alii

: Hydrosolidarity …,

supra

, p. 312.

42

Falkenmark and Lundqvist: Towards hydrosolidarity …,

supra

, p. 168.

43

John J. Pigram: Towards upstream-downstream hydrosolidarity. Australia’s Murray-Darling River

Basin;

Water International

, vol. 25, no. 2, 2000, p. 222 – 226.

44

Pigram

, ibidem

, p. 225.

21

individual gains.

45

Such gains do not necessarily have to come at the expense of the downstream neighbour.

As Pigram has shown, a system that effectively institutionalizes cooperation a.k.a. water sharing is possible. If cooperation is embedded in an

institutional framework

that safeguards established rights as much as it allows stakeholders to cooperate according to their current interests. Competition as such cannot be eliminated this way. And maybe it does not have to. So long as a degree of rivalry does not develop into confrontation and conflict or compromise the status of the river as a functional system, it is acceptable because the main objective of hydro-solidarity would not be forsaken. Thus one task of an institutional arrangement would be to carefully balance the positions of stakeholders in order to prevent overarching dominance. As water supplies and the benefits drawn from them tend to vary, especially in tropical regions, this balance could be restored through a system of rewards and penalties, or incentives. Falkenmark’s suggested motto,

prevention pays off

, applied here to the issue of water pollution, points in this direction.

46

The concept of hydro-solidarity

, as formulated by Falkenmark and Wouters, is compatible with the hypothesis stated above. It reiterates some of the demands already stated relating to mechanisms for long-term water sharing. Though it has originally been initiated with a view to managing international river basins, its central concern is not limited to the interaction between sovereign nations. The call for a comprehensive, participatory and sustainable approach to rivers does apply to the relationship between states or provinces as federal parts of one nation, too. As will be seen in the empirical section, inter-state or inter-provincial disputes – though apparently less volatile than international disputes – pose a serious challenge to the cohesion of a nation and can undermine its sovereignty.

Hydro-solidarity does not eliminate incentives as a mover of cooperation, but it sets

standards

to be observed by all stakeholders. It requires an appropriate institutional arrangement, especially a legal underpinning of water rights based on reasonable utilization and an enforcement mechanism. This means that the institutional features established above have to be augmented by adding this legal principle which is derived from the said 1997 Convention. Gerlak

et alii

have questioned the use of hydro-solidarity as a concept due, in part, to its vagueness while highlighting its potential as a

broad framework

or

paradigm that can help shape how we negotiate and manage shared waters

.

47

Hydro-solidarity, in the form defined by Falkenmark which is used as a reference, does indeed rely on negotiation to overcome the divide between upstream and downstream stakeholders. Asymmetry, in this case as in other, non-water cases, will always be a condition that demands strong skills in conflict settlement. That is not exclusive to water. It applies to the field of military security or economic relations as well. Even where explicit legal regulations are in place and effectively enforced,

45

Jan Lundqvist: Rules and roles in water policy and management. Need for clarification of rights and obligations; Proceedings, SIWI seminar,

supra

, fn. 4.

46

47

Falkenmark: Towards hydrosolidarity. Ample opportunities …,

supra

, p. 25.

Gerlak

et al

.: hydrosolidarity …,

supra

, p. 316.

22

political actors tend to make use of their physical advantage.

48

This does not as such diminish the potential of hydro-solidarity. Instead it stresses the need for a concept that focuses on this obstacle to cooperation. Dukhovny, citing examples from Central

Asia, doubts that hydro-solidarity is feasible where upstream stakeholders draw benefits from selfish water utilization.

49

He, too, highlights the need for incentives and government regulation, especially in the form of protected water rights.

To make sure that all stakeholders will be committed to cooperation, reliable and authentic information is essential, as Dukhovny points out. Information on current and expected water situations, particularly supply projections, is part of a transparent monitoring and communication process. This process, as Dukhovny recommends, should not be limited to the political sphere, i.e. the stakeholders, but include the wider public, too. This demand is important because the public is the end-user of water and – especially in participatory political systems – is capable to indirectly influence decision-making.

50

The focus of designing the institutional arrangement should therefore be on a

balance

between necessary regulations and the

freedom of movement

required for incentives to bear fruit with individual stakeholders. The danger in tight regulations is that they might inadvertently eliminate all motivation on the part of the stakeholders to pursue their legitimate interests by cooperative means which might instead resort to blockade or withdrawal. Whether the preservation of the water source will be treated as a common interest, and whether water sharing on a long-term basis is possible, depends largely on this balance.

None of the characteristics identified here as crucial for the success of this concept can be implemented simply by an ordinance or an agreement. It will take time for all parties to such an endeavour to realize their benefits. In other words, hydro-solidarity involves a readiness on the part of stakeholders to perceive potential benefits on a long-term scale, rather than in terms of short-term gains. This means that negotiations between stakeholders should focus on long-term gains from cooperation. These depend on a collective commitment of all stakeholders to the preservation of the river basin as a resource system.

The realization that this prospect in effect implies that all stakeholders are bound to each other by a form of interdependence can promote cooperation. To perceive another stakeholder’s advance as a gain for oneself would mean that the common goal is being accepted. Thus hydro-solidarity is a process, rather than a status quo or a structure.

Solidarity, by its French origin, is defined as a sense of togetherness and commitment to a common cause. This term appeals to ethical motives of interaction

48

The history of the Cold War is a series of examples of how power – military and economic – is used to gain benefits, often through the implicit or explicit threat of force and in direct violation of relevant international law.

49

Victor A. Dukhovny: Big challenges and limited opportunities: What are the constraints on cooperation? in: Saskia Castelein, ed.:

From conflict to cooperation in international water resources management: challenges and opportunities

; Delft: UNESCO, 2002, p. 119 – 125.

50

The fact that the number of water conferences, workshops and other fora has increased dramatically over the past 20 years underlines the realism of this expectation as much as does the growing number of NGOs and research institutions focusing on problems of water sharing .

23

and tends to be used as an antipode to interest-driven, power-oriented political behaviour – the realism of which will be assessed in the course of this study.

The quality of Australia as a potential model for other cases like Pakistan will be part of the following analysis. From the above concept, a number of requirements can be deducted

- temporal scope: seasonal and long-term,

- spatial scope: basin-wide,

- topical scope: all water uses (consumptive, non-consumptive), implementation procedures, legally protected entitlements, adaptation to changing water availability, dispute handling facility, which will be part of the final assessment of the case at hand: Pakistan and the Indus

Basin.

24

I.2 Hydro-solidarity: Australia as a model

Australia’s Murray-Darling River Basin

is a remarkable river system in several respects: Similar to Pakistan’s Indus Basin, it is the country’s lifeline in economic terms as it supplies the bulk of Australia’s water, for an area of over one million square km, the agricultural heartland of the continent, including six million people, or roughly one third of the country’s population. Unlike other large river basins, including the Indus, it is not divided by international boundaries. The analysis of its management and water sharing system thus focuses on the inter-state or federal level.

This basin which is formed by two large rivers has frequently been cited as a potential role model of progressive river management and a case of practical hydrosolidarity.

51

The main interest within the context of this study is to assess the institutional components of this mechanism and to evaluate their effectiveness vis-àvis water sharing: What makes the Australian case special, and does it qualify as a potential role model for Pakistan?

To meet the demands of hydro-solidarity

, as outlined before, this mechanism would have to feature

- a legal framework with clear entitlements for reasonable water use,

- an institutionalized mechanism of seasonal and long-term water sharing,

- an transparent implementation procedure, and

- a separate conflict settlement facility.

Institutional development

Riparian states of the Murray-Darling Basin are New South Wales, Victoria, South

Australia and Queensland. Water availability at upstream and downstream locations differs significantly due to hydrological and climatic factors. In general, water in the basin is short, the region is drought-prone.

52

It is against this background of increasing water scarcity that institutional measures have been taken to regulate water use towards preventing a further aggravation of the water situation.

51

John J. Pigram: Towards upstream-downstream hydrosolidarity. Australia’s Murray-Darling River

Basin;

Water International

, vol. 25, no. 2, 2000, p. 222-226. Hydro-solidarity originally describes a state of comprehensive water management based on rules of collective water use as opposed to a one-sided concept of water sovereignty. Among the first to use this term as a scientific model was

Patricia Wouters, a University of Dundee expert in international water law, applying it to upstreamdownstream conflicts over water from an international river. Commonly used for trans-national cases, its application to a federal, intra-state dispute appears even more fitting because of the legal and social affiliation of the competitors. Cf.: Towards upstream/ downstream hydro-solidarity. International

Seminar of the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI), 14 Aug. 1999 - www.siwi.org.

52

William Blomquist, B. Haisman, A. Dinar, A. Bhat: Institutional and policy analysis of river basin management. The Murray Darling River Basin, Australia;

World Bank Policy Research Working Paper

series no. 3527, 2005, p. 7; H. Malano, M. J. Bryant, H. N. Turral: Management of water resources – can Australian experiences be transferred to Viet Nam?

Water International

, vol. 24, no. 4, 1999, p.

308; R. Maria Saleth & Ariel Dinar: Institutional change in global water sector: trends, patterns, and implications;

Water Policy

, no. 2, 2000, p. 188.

25

The legal foundation

of water use is the authority of the states over their respective lands and natural resources granted by the Constitution of 1901.

53

The institutional process to regulate water use in the Murray-Darling Basin dates back to the 19 th century. A long-standing dispute between the states was partly resolved in 1917 with the conclusion of the River Murray Water Agreement and the establishment of the

River Murray Commission.

54

The initial administrative structure had limitations as it did not cover the Darling River, the Murray’s major tributary. Queensland, the uppermost riparian state, did not participate in the regulation. The Commission’s task was the distribution of water from the Murray River among the three parties to the

Agreement and the coordination of water works to that end.

55

These two major issues, water sharing and the financing of water works, were the source of several inter-state disputes raging in the 19 th

century.

The utilization of the smaller tributaries

remained within the authority of the respective states,

i.e.

it was primarily based on territory, less on hydrological concerns. The Darling River, though accounting for a larger catchment area than the

Murray River, was not part of a coordinated river management scheme until 1993.

Following the findings of a comprehensive study of the combined river basin of the

Murray and Darling rivers (Murray-Darling Basin Environmental Resources Study,

1987), a new water management approach came to be realized as a necessity.

Economically speaking, the rising cost of containing salinity in the Murray River proved to be a major incentive for the riparian states to seek a collaborative solution.

With the new Murray-Darling Basin Agreement

(1993), a more advanced concept of water management was inaugurated that recognized the integrity of the basin and the need for cooperation of all riparian states. The inclusion of Queensland in the newly created collaborative water management institution, the Murray-Darling Basin

Ministerial Council (MDBMC), for the first time enabled all riparian states to make joint decisions on all river management issues. All four states plus the federal government and the Capital Territory (also within the basin) have a seat in the

Council; the capital holds an observer status.

56

Most importantly, each state may veto propositions that it considers adverse to its own interests. The Agreement continues to be the basic formula for water management in Australia’s largest river basin. All participating states have enacted legislation to implement the Agreement.

57

For the funding of necessary water works federal government money would become available and thus serve as a stimulus for reforming the management system towards greater state-to-state coordination and collaboration.

53

Anjali Bhat: The politics of model maintenance: The Murray Darling and Brantas River Basins compared;

Water Alternatives

, vol. 1, no. 2, 2008, p. 205.

54

Jyothsna Mody: Management of river basin systems through decentralization; World Bank Report;

Washington, D.C.: World Bank, 2001, p. 12; www.worldbank.org (Aug. 2003; as of May 2005 listed as unpublished and not available online any more). The process of decentralization took almost 80 years due to disputes between riparian states.

55

Pigram: hydrosolidarity,

op. cit

., p. 223

56

The new agreement received full legal recognition in 1993; Pigram,

ibidem

, and Jonathan

Chenoweth: Effective multi-jurisdictional river basin management. Data collection and exchange in the

Murray-Darling and Mekong river basins;

Water International

, vol. 24, no. 4, 1999, p. 369 – 370; see also Govt. of Australia, Dept. of Environment and Heritage: The Murray-Darling Basin Initiative - integrated cross-border river basin management and community engagement; www.environment.gov.au/water/ (Nov. 2010). Document text: www.mdbc.gov.au (Nov. 2010).

57

The state Murray-Darling Basin Acts were enacted in 1993.

26

The Council

serves as the highest-ranking body for water management on basin levels. Decisions are reached by consensus. This means that vital interests of all stakeholders will be taken into account. The Council’s executive body is the Murray-

Darling Basin Commission. Like the Council, the Commission is made up of representatives of all riparian states (responsible for all water, land and environment issues relating to river management).

The task of the Council, according to the 1993 Agreement, is

to promote and coordinate effective planning and management for the equitable, efficient and sustainable use of the water, land and other environmental resources of the Murray-

Darling Basin

.

58

To this end, the Commission advises the Council members on all aspects of river hydrology, water flows, water quality, water distribution, water utilization, and river basin ecology. The scope of these issues leaves all river-related matters in the hands of one institution. From an institutional economic perspective, the effect on decision-making is expected to be positive because institutional coordination is limited to the Council and the federal and state governments.

Decision support is provided by the Community Advisory Committee (CAC).

59

Representing interest groups from all basin communities that are directly affected by

Council decisions, CAC forms

one of the most important factors in strengthening community participation and empowerment

(Pigrim).

60

The 23 representatives of the basin communities on the CAC report to the Council directly. The CAC is credited with promoting the concept of IWRM – it is the essential stakeholder representation.

61

The institutional development

up to this point has been mostly positive as it establishes equal stakeholder participation, thus offsetting the hydrological discrepancy between upstream and downstream users. The Commission’s responsibility to distribute water among the riparian states has a strong long-term perspective which supports the economic planning of all member states. The inclusion of water quality aspects and environmental concerns is an important element of integrated river management. Though much of the day-to-day operation of the river basin rests on coordination between lower-tier units of the water management apparatus, the elaborate nature of the river management system as envisaged in the Agreement is in itself a factor in strengthening cooperation because it leaves little room for free-wheeling. Most aspects of river management are bound to coordination between state water authorities prescribed by the Agreement.

Lastly, by issuing regular reports on water withdrawals (as required by the

Agreement) the Commission provides

transparency

regarding the work of the

Commission vis-à-vis the targets set forth in the Agreement. The Water Audit

Monitoring Reports issued by the Commission are a requirement outlined in detail in the Agreement. The same is true for the financial statements to be submitted through an auditor to the Ministerial Council.

62

58

Murray-Darling Basin Agreement, 24 June 1992, Part 1; document text: www.mdbc.gov.au (Oct.

2010).

59

D. J. Blackmore: Murray-Darling Basin Commission: A case study in integrated catchment management;

Water Science and Technology

, vol. 32, no. 5 – 6, 1995, p. 18.

60

61

Pigrim: hydrosolidarity,

op. cit

., p. 224.

62

Govt. of Australia,

op. cit.

The requirement of monitoring and reporting is detailed in Schedule F of the Agreement, see p. 130 of the above cited document. It explicitly states the duties of each state and the Commission. States have to monitor all annual withdrawals from the river basin and report them to the Commission which

27

Implementation

The sharing of waters from the river basin is regulated through several measures:

-

fixed allotments

(in megalitres per month, according to Part X of the

Agreement)

-

caps

on withdrawals from rivers in order to maintain a minimum flow for river ecology (Schedule F of the Agreement

- inter-state

water trading

- a moratorium on new

irrigation licenses

- a restriction on

off-allocation withdrawals

(surplus water supplies in wet years that exceed the projected requirement) in favour of water storage.

The Commission

oversees the distribution of water, that is, the appropriate withdrawals by each basin state. A detailed plan is set for each state: for downstream-most South Australia, it is fixed varying monthly rates to be withdrawn from the Murray, the only river running through this state. For the other states, withdrawals are to be made from given tributaries, under conditions to adhere to ecological rules in order to preserve the river system. The Commission is in control of the water storages and responsible for water releases from these reservoirs to meet the states’ requirements as laid out in the Agreement. Provisions are made to refill the reservoirs; the water level at which to refill is to be determined by the

Commission. The states upstream of South Australia are required to maintain a minimum flow in order to meet South Australia’s entitlement (Part X, clauses 93, 94).

The minimum flow is not quantified here: the legitimate withdrawals by the other states (upstream of South Australia) are to be calculated on an annual as well as long-term schedule.

To prevent overuse

and eventual water shortage caps (according to Schedule F) were introduced in 1997. They mark limitations on water consumption based on socalled

baseline conditions

that existed on 30 June 1994 reflecting the basin’s state of water management at that time. The caps, representing a complex set of data that take into account each state’s water resources, demand, and climatic conditions, define the maximum water withdrawals per state

per annum

.

63

In light of steadily growing withdrawals, the need was realized to freeze the growth rate, rather than reduce the consumption. The baseline conditions refer to the water management situation as of 30 June 1994 regarding

- the state of infrastructure (canals etc.),

- water allocation rules,

- efficiency of water management,

- entitlements to use water, and

- levels of water demand. sums up all water flows state-wise in its annual Water Audit Monitoring Report. Reports are available at www.mdbc.gov.au. The accuracy of water statistics depends on the metering system in place in any particular spot. The report notes that not all diversions are subject to precise metering; some diversions are calculated upon estimates from user information which are known to be unreliable. The average accuracy in the 2002/2003 report is given as +/- 7% for the whole basin (p. 9). This relative inaccuracy, observed in all basin states, does not diminish the value of transparent reporting as such.

Financial reports will be reviewed by the Commonwealth auditor who in turn is answerable to the

Ministerial Council (Part VIII of the Agreement, p. 42.).

63

Water Audit Monitoring Report 2002/2003, p. 4, 13. The caps are calculated yearly. The caps are based on recommendations and data provided by the Independent Audit Group, a consulting body hired by the Council.

28

Relevant data

cover an 11-year-period prior to that date. These conditions go far beyond simple historical data. They reflect a multi-dimensional understanding of water management that exhibits hydrological, economic and ecological concerns coupled with a long-term perspective. The responsibility to implement the caps,

i.e.

respect the set limits on withdrawals for every state, lies with each state government.

The Ministerial Council,

i.e.

the representatives from all basin states, retains the right to alter the caps if found necessary. In some cases, additional amounts may be allotted by the Commission (under Part X of the Agreement).

In addition, water trading

has become an important instrument to utilize water resources with greater flexibility and towards higher productivity. Water trading is regulated and subject to financial compensation, environmental requirements and approval by the Commission which oversees the transfer of water entitlements between basin states.

64

Trading entitlements not only provides communities and states with additional quantities to meet short-term needs without putting an extra stress on the whole basin. At the same time, it means an incentive for the other state or community to save water in order to sell it. The transfer of entitlements is mostly temporary, for a period of one year, rather than permanent. As such, they resemble water markets in the United States. The results are entirely positive, as the

Commission finds: resource productivity, especially in irrigation, has increased; the availability of water has improved as transfers have been extended from intersector/intra-state to inter-basin/inter-state.

65

Economic development has risen, according to the Commission, as a result of greater investment in irrigation.

66

Two aspects were given priority

by water managers upon reaching the Murray-

Darling Agreement: Water sharing, from 1989 on, should be more transparent and provide a degree of security about water supplies to the riparian states and communities.

67

Greater security means that the states and communities would have a basis on which to plan water utilization in the near and distant future. The above cited annual reports by the Commission quote historical water withdrawals and rainfall patterns that allow a scenario for future water availability projections. The state of water quality and availability is measured in regular salinity reports.

68

In sum, this procedure means that the downstream riparian state is effectively protected by its upstream neighbours from drying out!

Charged by the Commission, the Independent Audit Group observes and critically assesses the implementation of the Agreement, particularly the caps on water withdrawals, by each state. Its neutral status is an important factor in avoiding

64

Transfers are administered by the Commission since 1998. The MDBC maintains separate accounts for each tributary, according to the Operational Principles of the Agreement (Schedule E, Part IV, p.

106). The actual transfer is regulated through licences issued by state authorities. The motivation to introduce water trading, according to the Commission’s President, was the belief that competition can result in greater resource productivity; see Roy Green: Water – the new liquid asset; presentation to the Queensland Farmers’ Federation, Brisbane, 15 March 2001; www.mdbc.gov.au > newsroom (as of

Aug. 2001). Green points out that the cap has effectively promoted water trading.

65

For the development of water transfers see the Water Audit Monitoring Report (various issues).

Transfers play a great role in several fields of the agricultural sector and between agriculture and the environment; see Malano, Bryant and Turral: Management of water resources,

op. cit.

, p. 78.

66

67

MDBC: Interstate Water Trade; Fact Sheet 1, May 2006; www.mdbc.gov.au.

68

Blackmore,

op. cit.

, p. 19.

The Basin Salinity Management Strategy is an important element of the Agreement (Schedule C, p.

65 in the above cited document); it is based on the close monitoring of salinity in all rivers and tributaries of the basin.

29

political interference. The risk of water management being hijacked in order to further one-sided political interests can thus be averted or at least minimized. Guaranteeing a necessary degree of transparency, its annual Review of Cap Implementation is an important indicator not only of the state of implementation and the utilization of waters from the basin, but also of the adherence of member states to the common formula, i.e. their

partnership

.

69

By regularly reviewing the performance of state water management systems, the auditors point the finger at potential faults in the existing system.

70

The settlement of disputes

is outlined in detail in the Agreement.

71

The mechanism to solve disputes is similar to that of other river commissions, like in some Indian cases. The Australian case is particularly noteworthy as it leaves little room for interpretation: If the Commission fails to reach agreement on an issue within two months, the issue may be referred to the Council, which has another six months to solve it. If the Council also fails, an arbitrator is to be appointed within two months, if necessary, by the Supreme Court of Tasmania, a non-basin state. The decision reached by that arbitrator is to be treated as a decision by the Commission and as such is binding upon all states, the Commission and the Council. Thus a precise procedure is prescribed in the case of dispute, with a clear advantage: Because every step of the process is clearly separated from the next, with a fixed time frame attached to it, the outcome is predetermined and not prone to political manoeuvring.

Institutional change and new institutions

The recent years have seen changes in the existing institutional arrangement. On the state level, several governments have concentrated water-related tasks in one government branch in an obvious effort to promote the integrated management of water resources, as Blomquist

et al.

observe.

72

While the results of this development are naturally hard to assess, for a lack of causal links, the fact that inter-departmental rivalry as a common bureaucratic phenomenon could by and large be eliminated would certainly be a positive result: The need to coordinate and the innate drive to fight over budget allocations would cease to be an impediment to focused water decision-making.

On the national and basin level

, a review of inter-institutional coordination found a degree of rivalry between the Commission and the Commonwealth government. The position of the central government was that the Commission overstepped its authority, effectively becoming a governing body in itself. In response the government aimed to strengthen its relationship with the state governments by outflanking the

Commission.

73

Another impetus for changing the existing institutional arrangement was the status of the resource. In the face of growing water shortages, the need to revise the system of water management towards greater sustainability was felt.

69

The integrated catchment management in the Murray-Darling Basin is based on

a spirit of partnership

, as outlined in the prelude to the 2004/2005 Review; document text: www.mdbc.gov.au

(Aug. 2010).

70

The Group’s recommendations (by state), however, are fairly short, and it would seem desirable for state water authorities to receive a more profound analysis;

supra

, p. 14.

71

Part XIII, p. 58 of the above cited document.

72

Blomquist

et al

.: institutional and policy analysis,

op. cit.

, p. 15.

73

Bhat: Politics of model maintenance,

op. cit

., p. 211.

30

The central government

, though legally not in a position to direct water policies, pushed for a change by way of its budgetary power. It initiated the National

Competition Policy which, though not specifically aimed at the water sector, served to stimulate bureaucratic efficiency through monetary incentives. On a wider level, it helped to introduce market-based mechanisms. This had a positive effect in the water sector, too: water management came to be replaced by a demand-based management approach furthering more economic water consumption. Inter-state water trading and realistic water pricing have since become important elements of federal water management.

The influence of the central government, based mostly on its budgetary power, has been rising steadily over the past two decades.

74

It has influenced water policymaking through the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) which initiated a

National Water Policy Reform dialogue in 1994.

75

The outcome of this dialogue was the National Water Initiative (NWI), formally agreed in 2004. The NWI has since become the major policy directive of water management in Australia. It stipulates

- economic efficiency that should be linked to ecological sustainability,

- flexible water use by trading entitlements more widely than before,

- greater participation and responsibility of local water management bodies.

Though not a law, the NWI requires all signatories to implement it following a detailed plan.

76

For this purpose, the National Water Commission (NWC) has been established in 2004. Based on a solid legal foundation, the NWC oversees the implementation of the Initiative and consults the COAG. Unlike the Murray-Darling

Basin Commission, the NWC’s role is

to drive reform

by issuing regular reports on the status of water resources and the implementation of the reforms.

77

The Agreement of 1992

remains the central statute of Australia’s water distribution mechanism. It has been elevated to the status of a federal law by being incorporated into the comprehensive Water Act of 2007 (under Schedule 1).

78

The Water Act marks the latest and most important stage in the reform process. It reflects an analysis of water management in the Basin: Shortcomings of the Murray-Darling

Basin Commission, especially its unanimous decision-making rule and its inability to push reluctant basin states to implement the Water Initiative, led the Central

Government to push forward a new institution, the Murray-Darling Basin Authority

(MDBA). The new Authority, successor to the Commission, would have extended responsibilities.

79

Its main objective would be to turn the recommendations of the

Water Initiative into a comprehensive water management plan.

80

74

The Commonwealth Government has established a Water Fund (budget: $ 2.5 bn) for infrastructure projects; see National Water Commission: Annual Report 2009-10; www.nwc.gov.au (Oct. 2010).

75

The COAG, founded in 1992, is the highest inter-governmental forum; it consists of the Prime

Minister of Australia, the heads of the six state governments and two territories (premier/chief minister) and the President of the Australian Local Government Association. Its purpose is to coordinate policies on all federal levels.

76

See the National Water Commission: www.nwc.gov.au/www/html/117-national-water-initiative.asp .

77

See National Water Commission Act (2004); www.comlaw.gov.au.

78

Document text: www.comlaw.gov.au (Oct. 2010).

79

The National Water Amendment Act (2008) formally makes the Authority the successor of the

Commission.

80

Water Act, Part 2, Division 1, p. 37 – 38.

31

The Murray-Darling Basin Plan

, to be drafted by the Authority as a requirement of the Water Act (Part 2), is to be understood as

a strategic plan for the integrated and sustainable management of water resources in the Murray-Darling Basin.

81

Based on extensive scientific research into the current status and likely development of the river basin in light of continuously rising water withdrawals, the Authority has recently published the first part of the Plan, pointing at a severe gap between water availability and water demand.

82

The prospect of dying rivers has led the Authority to announce a 27 to 37 per cent reduction in existing entitlements.

83

The new plan sets

Sustainable Diversion Limits (SDL) for each sub-basin region. This means a definitive end to classic water management based on the demands of water users.

The new plan instead seeks to curtail demand. The remedy, according to the plan, is to rely on water trading and raising efficiency.

84

In the case of one of the basin regions (the Lower Darling Region),

the Murray–Darling Basin Authority acknowledges that implementing SDLs may have significant social and economic implications for individual entitlement holders and communities across the Basin.

However, the Australian Government has committed to recovering sufficient water access entitlements to fully offset the impact of SDLs across the Basin, including the

Lower Darling region. This will be achieved through a combination of purchasing entitlements in the market and investments in more efficient irrigation infrastructure.

Thus the preservation of the river basin as a hydrological system of the highest nation-wide economic and social importance has become the prime motivation to change the water management mechanism. The cooperation of states had so far been effective in the era of the Murray-Darling Basin Commission. Pressure from the

Commonwealth Government has led to a new institution, the Murray-Darling Basin

Authority, with greater responsibilities, especially for the environmental dimension of river use. The sharpening water shortage will put the existing cooperation under stress. It remains to be seen whether state governments, driven by their communities, will continue to work towards the common goal or opt for a more confrontational, egocentric policy that aims to maximize individual, rather than collective, benefits.

Conclusion: a potential role model?

The theoretical concept of hydro-solidarity, formulated as an extended hypothesis before, has been the standard against which to test the Australian case. Here an elaborate system of water management has evolved from fairly modest beginnings.

Hydro-solidarity

, as has now become a sophisticated formula of managing water, has not been the explicit objective of water managers in the Murray-Darling Basin. The

81

Government of Australia, Ministry of Environment: Water for the future; www.environment.gov.au/water /australia/water-act/key-features.html (Oct. 2010).

82

Cf.: The Murray-Darling plan explained;

ABC News

(Sydney), 8 Oct. 2010; www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/10/06/3030629 (Nov. 2010).

83

The announcement has prompted widespread criticism especially from the farming community and gained some support from environmental organizations: MDBA Chair explains water allocation cuts;

ABC News

(Sydney), 12 Oct. 2010; www.abc.net.au/local/stories/2010/10/12/3036291.htm (Nov.

2010).

84

The MDBA has presented status reports for all 21 sub-basin regions of the Murray-Darling Rivers; www.mdba.gov.au/guide/ (Dec. 2010).

32

current system, which has developed over more than a century, has indeed reached a status that embodies many important elements of progressive water management.

First, the Murray-Darling Basin Agreement, with its comprehensiveness and longterm perspective, corresponds to the basic demands of

Integrated Water

Resources Management

. The river basin is treated as a hydrological unit; important requirements of the river are met through detailed provisions in the Agreement that make it binding for every riparian state to implement them. Second, the Agreement and the Water Act link water use to river development, both in procedural and in structural or institutional terms.

An important driver in developing the existing water management and distribution system has been the growing

water shortage

in most parts of the wider basin and in fact the country. Economically speaking, the widening gap between supply and demand, and the inter-state disputes attached to it, has provided an incentive for institutional development. The Cap and the transfer of entitlements are direct consequences of the institutional discourse on water management. The decisionmaking body, the Council, has made water security a priority, especially for the downstream states. The stability of the institutional process in the water sector of

Australia can also be read from the consistent

long-term orientation

of water policies.

Critical elements of the Australian model are the

institutional set-up

and the

ownership

. The river basin and its resources are effectively owned by the states and their communities.

Responsibility

is not transferred to any detached institution but in essence rests with the state governments themselves which, through the Community

Advisory Committee (CAC), are tied to the communities, in other words, the actual

water users

, whose interests are voiced in the CAC. Responsibility not only relates to the neighbouring basin states but to the hydrological system and to the wider economy of all basin communities. The Agreement, in all its detail, effectively links all states to each other and the river they all depend on.

Pigram and Musgrave refer Australia’s success in terms of water management to

cooperative federalism

.

85

It is difficult to assess whether the state of federalism enabled the governments to reach this Agreement or whether the Agreement has in fact elevated the state of federalism. Both may be true. In the water sector, the agreed formula for cooperation has proven over time that collaboration bears fruit for every state to harvest. If cooperation had not been beneficial to all, the Agreement might not have survived. Outside pressure (from the federal government) probably helped to further cooperation, yet in principle each state, based on its constitutional rights, could exert a degree of independence in water management. The establishment of the Water Act, in 2007, has further solidified the principles of interstate collaboration, making deserting more difficult. Painter cautions that cooperation is not an automatic function of Australian federalism (or any federalism, for that matter).

86

It might be rather limited to one area (

e.g

. water management) and to a

85

John J. Pigram & Warren F. Musgrave: Sharing the waters of the Murray-Darling Basin: Cooperative federalism under test in Australia; in: Richard E. Just & Sinaia Netanyahu, eds.:

Conflict and cooperation on trans-boundary water resources

; London: Kluwer, 1998, p. 133.

86

Martin Painter: When adversaries collaborate. Conditional co-operation in Australia’s arm-length federal polity; in: Ute Wachendorfer-Schmidt, ed.:

Federalism and political performance

; London:

Routledge, 2000, p. 130 – 145.

33

period when collaboration is perceived by both or all states to be beneficial. In the case of the water sector, specifically the Murray-Darling resources, the need to cooperate was realized not least because of the significant financial commitments necessary in the future. Given the tax system in place in Australia, the weight of the

Central Government’s position could not be ignored. And:

Where it is to the mutual benefit of the actors concerned, operating rules may evolve that facilitate bureaucratic accommodation and consensus

.

87

That means if benefits can be realized, state governments might even work to streamline (or bypass, if necessary) the existing institutional processes in order to accelerate cooperation. Painter describes Australia’s federalism as a

mixed system

, with elements of competitive

(cooperation as a choice) and collaborative (cooperation as a predetermined process) federalisms.

Technically and legally, the principle of

solidarity

– by taking into account upstreamdownstream discrepancies – is acknowledged in the form of the

Council’s composition

. By giving each state an equal representation and vote (any state holds the right of veto) and by effectively making the river system a common goal, the foundation is laid for decisions that benefit all riparian states and communities. Onesided decisions that may have disadvantageous consequences for some riparian states can easily be prevented. The cost of blocking decisions that would favour one side over the other, of course, may come in the form of concessions. This is an element of conventional economic and political transactions and not a design fault of the Council as a collective decision-making body. The states are tied to each other, in a sense forced to find solutions and reach decisions that suit all.

Maybe even more important in terms of solidarity and

institutionalized cooperation

is the provision in the Agreement that specifically directs upstream riparian states to enable the lower riparian state (South Australia) to satisfy its legitimate needs. This provision is a strong expression of

solidarity

as it acknowledges the weak position of the downstream state. It effectively ties water utilization of upstream neighbours to that of downstream neighbours, in this case the three neighbouring states of South

Australia, New South Wales and Victoria.

Another important technical aspect is the

detailed water distribution formula

.

Rather than setting figures for each state’s annual or seasonal water allowance, criteria for sustainable and equitable water sharing are set. They reflect each state’s individual water situation, not only supply and demand, and its hydro-economic position within the basin. By extending the baseline conditions on which the water entitlements are calculated to technical and legal parameters of water management, a narrow dispute over monthly or seasonal allotments is avoided. At the same time enough

flexibility

to react to unexpected shortages or changes in demand is at hand by tapping water sources out of the basin. For these sources, another detailed formula is set out.

The

water sharing mechanism

in the Murray-Darling Basin combines safety, flexibility and balance while avoiding over-regulation. Instead it allows economic incentives to work in favour of efficiency and sustainability:

- The instrument of

caps

can have a positive effect as they manage demand, rather than stimulate consumption. By marking a ceiling, they translate into an

87

Painter,

supra

, p. 134.

34

incentive to increase efficiency, i.e. raise water productivity. They also prevent river basin deterioration from over-exploitation. monthly for South Australia provide a safeguard as they recognize the minimal needs of the downstream-most state.

transfer

of entitlements, regulated by the Commission, provides flexibility without compromising the minimum requirements of states and their communities. Trading shares effectively turns states into business partners thus fostering a collaborative relationship which makes cooperation over other issues easier.

The comprehensive

reports

enable all states to review the process of water sharing and to monitor river development. The exchange of

information

as such fosters cooperation because effective water utilization hinges on reliable and verifiable data which all states are required to supply. Finally, the independent annual audit of the caps (as implemented by each state) adds a quasi-judicial element. By measuring the progress of each state on a strictly professional, non-political scale, this neutral body reduces the danger of water becoming politicized.

This does, of course, not mean that in Australia water is a non-political issue. Political interests are linked to water management, just as in most countries water is too important as to be insulated against political instrumentalization, yet they do not seem to dictate it. The main reasons appear to be the degree of water

professionalism

as reflected in the integrated water management system, the legal status of the water administration and bureaucracy, the development of effective water institutions, and the preponderance of economic approaches to water.

In sum

, Hydro-solidarity has proved to be a workable concept in principle. The

Australian case fulfils the basic demands of this concept. Looking at the evolution of the Murray-Darling institutional arrangement, it seems that hydro-solidarity should be understood as a

process

, rather than a status quo. The dynamics of water demand versus water supplies promise on-going challenges to existing mechanisms of water management. Cooperation is by no means a permanent procedure or inevitable mode of interaction. The

conflict

between Australian farmers and environmentalists, like similar ones in other countries, serves as a reminder of the volatile nature of modern water management: Success will not only depend on effective institutions but on constant bargaining, too. The idea that a fundamental conflict over vital interests may be ended by a perfectly designed institutional mechanism runs counter to the very notion of interest aggregation. Water trading, as suggested in the new Basin

Plan, will play a bigger role in the future.

But the increased flexibility, or resilience (as noted in the Plan), does not

per se

increase water supplies; it only improves local

availability

by shifting capacities, i.e. managing demand. In a sense, much of the new water management system of

Australia resembles a logistical effort. Natural water shortage clearly exceeds the potentials of institutional refinement. Ultimately only a reduction in water consumption will avert the water crisis.

Whether and how the Australian example may be

replicated

in another case and country is a matter of careful analysis, as the summary of particular facets of the

Australian case suggest. While some

technical aspects

– like the institutional arrangement (the detailed Basin Agreement, the set-up of the Council and

35

Commission, the Independent Audit Group, the comprehensive Water Act, the reporting system) – may, at least in part, be relatively easy to be installed in another country, their eventual effectiveness hinges on

social-economic, political and cultural conditions

in place in that particular country. Those in place in Australia seemed favourable to the development of the water management mechanism that is now in existence there. As such, it reflects that particular country’s circumstances – circumstances which over the course of more than a century guided the development of water management from a somewhat sketchy concept to a highly integrated system.

Particular aspects

of the Australian case:

- (PA 1) Unlike other major rivers, the Murray-Darling Basin is confined to

one national territory

, thus limiting water sharing arrangements to the federal context. The absence of trans-national claims to shared water resources makes water management easier.

- (PA 2) The existence of strong

federal institutions

has helped the development of effective long-term water management mechanisms. The fact that the original water agreement has been augmented over time, rather than being replaced altogether by a different formula, indicates that the

states’ interests

have been taken into account consistently.

- (PA 3) The

combination

of a modern industrial economy, a participatory political system, the near absence of overarching ideological divisions, and a small population provides a basis convenient for reaching a pragmatic agreement like the Murray-Darling Basin Agreement.

General aspects

of the Australian case:

- (GA 1) The

federalist structure

of the political system turns states into competitors over economic and political power. Control over water resources is an important factor in determining which state will advance and which will not.

- (GA 2) The discrepancy between

upstream and downstream

locations is the major natural cause of disputes between riparian communities and states.

Existing disputes are referred to a specialized conflict settlement forum outlined in detail in the Agreement. Similar procedures are detailed in other cases.

3) and river deterioration (from over-use) are the most significant limiting factors in water management. Resource shortage, however, seems to have stimulated cooperation, rather than confrontation, as most if not all stakeholders are similarly affected by the shortage and the declining state of the river.

- (GA 4) Most

institutional instruments

applied in sharing water in Australia – caps, quota, transfer of entitlements – were adapted from river basins in other parts of the world.

Hypothetically, the Australian case can serve as a model for other basins where similar features exist. The

successful implementation

of a comprehensive water sharing mechanism in principle will hinge not only on the inclusion of the important rules such as those in the Murray-Darling Agreement. It will primarily depend on the capacity, ability and willingness of the stakeholders to move in such a direction.

Secondly, a stable long-term water management mechanism depends on legal

36

foundations and institutional arrangements already in place to serve as guidelines for decision-makers.

Most, if not all aspects of the Australian water sharing mechanism are

linked

to each other; thus they cannot be transferred separately. The Australian case confirms that water management has to be understood as a

complex system

incorporating political-legal, economic, social and hydrological-environmental elements:

- (PA 2 + GA 4) Without its constitutional footing, the Agreement would not have been as stable in legal terms. In a dispute, the Agreement could have been stalled by one or more state governments denying its binding force, effectively ending cooperation.

- (PA 2 + GA 2) The comprehensive nature of the Agreement does not

per se

guarantee that all states will receive their agreed entitlements. The built-in monitoring and reporting system enables all stakeholders to verify the correct implementation of the Agreement.

- (GA 2 + GA 3) The hydrological discrepancy between upstream and downstream states is by and large offset not only by special provisions for the protection of the downstream state, but also by precisely formulated norms of equality, accountability and information. If one (downstream) state was singled out to claim an advantageous position in terms of water entitlements, collaboration towards the joint long-term utilization of the river would be jeopardized. The risk of water becoming a political tool in a power struggle between the states would become greater.

- (GA 1 + GA 4) The objective to maintain the river’s long-term water supply depends not only on restrictions on withdrawals. If legitimate state and community interests are not acknowledged, their willingness to contribute to joint long-term efforts might fade. The transfer of entitlements enables states and communities to realize individual benefits through market mechanisms.

Without this incentive, the long-term sustainability of river utilization would be undermined.

The Australian case demonstrates the importance of a

combination

of precise institutional arrangements, clearly defined responsibilities, transparent processes, economic incentives and equal stakeholder involvement. If these elements are in place,

cooperation

can be successful. States share water because they benefit from cooperation. Cooperation is based here on agreed principles of equality, transparent and verifiable processes, reliable water information, and effective participation by all stakeholders on all levels of decision-making.

To make these elements work in a different setting (river basin) means to assess the respective institutional, political-legal and hydrological conditions. A customized strategy to reach a state of water management like in the Australian case, however, cannot be prescribed by drawing on any generalized formula.

88

The individual case,

88

In the words of Malano, Bryant and Turral,

op. cit.

:

The general principles of good allocation and rational water resources management are transferable from one context to another, although there is clearly no package or formula for doing so. Context, hydrological and socio-economic, defines the detail and balance that is required within such principles, and can result in very different outcomes

; p.

84. The authors have posed the more general question of transferability of experiences from one river case to another; the specific issue of cooperation (and its political dimension) was not given special attention and has therefore not been analyzed. Like Pigram and Musgrave,

op. cit

., the authors focus on the economic dimension (the water industry, comparison of investment and returns); a similar

37

as presented here, includes both general and particular aspects. An assessment of the conditions in any given case, e.g. Pakistan’s Indus River, should therefore check the existence of the vital elements:

- A) with strong legal foundation, clearly stated objectives and precise shared responsibilities;

- B) (state/province governments and lower administrative levels);

- C) targeted at the long-term use of rivers and, consequently, their sustainability, rather than short-term, single-purpose water management oriented towards satisfying the seasonal needs of water users;

- D) strong institutional

authority to enforce

laws and treaties, and to handle disputes; sound to ensure informed decision-making and transparency;

- F) institutionalized system of

incentives

to promote cooperation, and penalties for confrontation.

The performance of any water sharing mechanism will depend on the

quality

of these elements, i.e. the degree to which they are institutionally implemented

(controlled implementation) and how they are tied to each other by relevant norms

(laws, treaties etc.). If these elements are in place and systemically linked to each other, hydro-solidarity seems possible. If any of these elements are missing, a process towards hydro-solidarity faces critical obstacles. perspective is presented by David Grey: Australia institutional model: guiding principles; presentation to the Pakistan Development Forum 2007, hosted by the World Bank; www.worldbank.org.pk.

38

Introduction

II. The politics and science of sharing water

What are the conditions

under which water sharing takes place? Do structural or behavioural factors determine water sharing, or is water sharing simply a matter of sophisticated hydro-engineering? This chapter enters the theoretical discussion of norms and rules that guide collective water utilization. Water laws, institutional frameworks, ethical concepts of property and economic theories of benefit-oriented rationality are instruments that are brought in to understand when and why actors decide to share water or risk confrontation instead.

As there is no single, universally applicable formula for water sharing, the objective of the theoretical debate is to identify certain rules that are likely to alleviate water sharing and, conversely, factors that hinder it. The example of the water law debate indicates the political dimension that overshadows each case: Certain rules of water management are found acceptable in some countries, yet not in others, resulting in a controversy over globally applicable legal principles. Similar observations have been made in the case of property rights and water management techniques. Even the very definition of a river basin is not undisputed.

This section presents and assesses the methodical tools to understand cooperation and confrontation over water.

39

II.1 Laws and norms of water management

The regulated use of water

is based on a system of norms aimed at establishing general principles for water utilization. These norms influence the way actors may or may not engage in water sharing. Some water norms explicitly direct water users to share, others provide only scant or indirect guidance to the question of when and how to share water, indicating a twofold approach to the problem of water sharing:

On a historical scale, the need to share became obvious very early, yet the question whether water users would act out of a readiness to share or only under compulsion prompted different answers over time.

This chapter explores the efforts to regulate water utilization over time in order to assess the relevance of regulatory measures regarding water sharing: Can – and should – water sharing be enforced by law? Will a lack of regulation make water confrontation more likely? Or will a degree of regulation be likely to promote cooperation thus making more water available to more people? A historic overview of the development of water regulation shows that the core problem has been addressed from various perspectives, without leading to a uniform code or rule that was found universally acceptable. It also shows that water regulation is by no means a permanent status but rather a continuous process that continues to date reflecting changing conditions, increased awareness and knowledge, and new demands.

The requirement of some form of water regulation

was first realized in dry regions where climatic conditions turned water into a very limited commodity. Thus from ancient times water was perceived as a resource that required special protection by way of laws or other binding norms and rules. Water laws of some kind have emerged all over the world, establishing rules for many large rivers. Most of these rules have gradually fed into a body of water law that to date forms the basis of modern water regulation, addressing questions of ownership and access. While some of the early legal principles have survived until this day, representing universal demands on water sharing regulation, different strands of law have emerged, signalling the need for specified rules.

Early norms of water use: Roman, Islamic, Ottoman water laws

The development of water laws and norms runs parallel to river basin development.

Rivers, due to their unique dynamic, have provided the basis for steady progress in water management and regulation. The earliest water laws originated from the basins of the Nile, Euphrates and Tigris, Indus, and Yellow River – the centres of early hydraulic societies that thrived on complex systems of river management.

89

Almost

2,000 years B.C. the foundation of water regulation in the region that would become

89

Berber goes further, stressing that

water rights have been the subject of state concern ever since the earliest appearance of any form of state organization (…) the organization of the state as known to us over the last 6,000 years had its origins in water rights,

see Friedrich J. Berber: Rivers in international law. London: Stevens and Sons, 1959, p. 1. Berber has earned practical experience in the application of international water law as a legal consultant to the Government of India in the course of the Indus River negotiations in the 1950s; cf. N. D. Gulhati: Indus Waters Treaty. An exercise in international mediation; Delhi: Allied Publishers, 1973, p. 104.

40

known as the Middle East was laid, in the form of the Hammurabi Code on river development, resource protection, and canal operation and maintenance.

90

The early institutional arrangements dedicated to water management, in the form of authorities and laws, don proof of the attention to water given by the rulers.

Interestingly, besides the complexity of water regulation at that time, many rules were designed to react to changing conditions of water management, i.e. there was an understanding that managing water required a degree of planning and flexibility, rather than an everlasting arrangement.

91

These rules also reflect in principle a hydrological perception of rivers as a unit in the sense that water use by one person at one location might affect potential water uses by other people at another riparian location. Though the problem of international boundaries cutting through river basins was not known yet, the general awareness of a hydrological relationship between users of a river had already developed into a conceptual underpinning of water regulation.

The Roman law

classified water rights on the basis of ownership of the land as either private (within the control of a private landholder, to be used without limitations or restrictions), common (

res communis omnium

, not subject to ownership, to be used by every member of the community regardless of purpose or quantity of withdrawal), or public, i.e. open to public access, but under the ownership and control of the government.

92

Here, the question of ownership was addressed from a different perspective than in the Hammurabi Code. Access to water and use of this resource was primarily bound to respective land ownership. The Roman law was extensive: besides regulating a wide array of water issues, including resource protection, rules of access and utilization were very detailed. Water was also seen as a tradable good.

Ownership did include the right to transfer water, whereas the right to use did not include any further entitlements.

93

Most significantly with regard to river management,

Roman law identified a

community of interests

based on the mutual dependence of riparian entities on the flow of the river.

94

In other words, cooperation in some form was identified as a relevant component of water management.

Religious norms

have played an important role in the formulation of water laws. In

Islam, Judaism and Christianity, water is seen within the context of a concept of society built on solidarity. Principles of caring and sharing are central to this concept, as are rules for the protection of commonly used resources. Water is identified as a commodity on which the physical survival of the community depends and which therefore has to be protected against overexploitation and waste.

95

This demand

90

Cf. Meredith Giordano: International River Basin management: global principles and basin practice.

Oregon State Univ. dissertation, 2002, p.10; these rules, among else, covered canal and dam operation and included a liability clause requiring a farmer to pay damages in case of neglecting these rules.

91

92

Giordano, p. 9.

Steve Hodgson: Modern water rights – theory and practice. Rome: Food and Agriculture

Organization,

FAO Legislative Studies

No. 92, 2006, p. 9-10.

93

Dante A. Caponera: Principles of water law and administration: national and international.

Rotterdam/Delft: Balkena/International Institute for Hydraulic and Environmental Engineering, 1992, p.

30-42; Antoinette Hildering: International law, sustainable development and water management, Delft:

Eburon, 2006, p. 45.

94

Andromecca-Civic,

op. cit

., p. 67.

95

Iyad Hussein, Odeh Al-Jayyousi: Management of shared waters: a comparison of international and

Islamic law, in: Naser Faruqui, Asit Biswas, Murad Bino, eds.:

Water management in Islam

. New York:

United Nations University Press, 2001, p. 131-134. The main sources of Islamic law are the Quran and

41

requires all believers to use water in a way that will not deprive others – believers and non-believers – of their legitimate share in water. This concern reflects an awareness of the social and environmental consequences of water use, some of which have been identified in earlier water regulation, like the Hammurabi and Roman laws. Thus the religiously motivated water norms have augmented the existing body of water law by the important element of social responsibility based not merely on practical reasons but also on ethical motives.

The right to quench thirst

is given priority over other uses. Water is a public good that is not to be owned privately.

96

Landowners may have control over the flow of a stream, yet they do not possess the water because – as in the Roman law – land ownership might prevent, curtail or condition water access. This provision has relevance to surface and underground water sources and also extends to upstream – downstream relationships of water users. While priority access is given to upstream users, the obligation to mind downstream users’ legitimate rights – through preventing avoidable harm – remains intact.

97

As will be seen, this rule will have a role to play in modern water laws, too.

With water defined as a public good

, water sharing has always been an important obligation in Judaism as well in Islam and in early Hindu water law.

98

The commodity is seen as a gift of God that deserves appreciation and may not be traded. This also implies that water must not be used as a means to exert pressure on other water users, a very important notion with regard to potential disputes over water sharing.

Thus resource protection and equitable distribution are indispensable duties for every member of the community:

the concept of a community right to water – a thing that is shared and not owned – a gift from God to all people … is one of the distinctive principles of water regulation that have flowed from one legal system to the next

, as

Andromecca-Civic describes the most prominent characteristics of Judaic and Islamic legal sources that in principle prevail to date.

99

The importance given to norms for water use in most world religions also relates to the frequent occurrence of water shortages in the respective regions, most notably today’s Middle East. The long absence of a centralized government and of concepts of nation is another factor, as Andromecca-Civic points out.

100

Questions of territory at that time did not have the relevance they were to receive in the colonial era. The background of ancient water norms was the community and local, rather than national or transboundary conditions. Therefore the problems attached to demarcations that cross river basins by and large were avoided. the Hadith of the Prophet Mohammad. See also the international conference

Water Management in the Islamic Countries,

Tehran, Iran, 19 - 21 February 2007 (http://www.irc.nl/page/31859).

96

Caponera: Principles,

supra

, p. 69-70, stresses the detailed hierarchy of water uses.

97

Mélanne Andromecca-Civic: A comparative analysis of the Israeli and Arab water law traditions and insights for modern water sharing agreements;

Denver Journal of International Law and Policy

, vol. 26, no. 3 (1998), p. 441 - 442, referring to Talmudic and Quranic sources; Walid Abderrahman: Water demand management and Islamic water management principles: A case study;

Water Resources

Development

, vol. 16, no. 4, 2000, p. 466.

98

Dante Caponera: The importance of water law and institutions for sustainable development. www.oieau.fr/contributions/atriob/contribution/caponera.htm (May 2007).

99

100

Andromecca-Civic,

supra

, p. 450; Abderrahman,

supra

, p. 469 - 470.

Ibidem

, p. 449 ; Caponera: Principles,

supra

, p. 73.

42

Ottoman rule

, in the 19 th

century, introduced centralized administration to the very same regions where these early laws originated. A major step was the codification of laws, through the

Code Méjelle

, that incorporated ancient water rules. Milestones in

civil law

, the first water laws under Ottoman rule surfaced in northern Africa. Many ancient principles remained: most importantly, water was put under state control, thus in fact remaining a public good not to be traded. This process of institutionalization also led to water commissions in place to ensure the implementation of water rights.

101

As the Ottoman Empire withered, British and French-controlled administrations in those soon-to-be independent countries upheld the

Code Méjelle

in principle, supplementing it in some form or another: public ownership, i.e. state control, remained intact, yet the institutional mechanism was altered along the lines of riparian rights established in Great Britain.

102

In this context, the institution of River

Committees by the British is particularly noteworthy, as will be seen in the case of

Pakistan, then part of the British Crown Colony of India.

Water law in the colonial era

In much of Europe, at about the same time, the

Code Napoléon

(1804) introduced a distinction between public and private waters that in part meant a departure from

Roman and other ancient rules of water management.

103

Territory began to play a more important role in the control of and access to water sources in the light of political transitions from feudal to republican systems (beginning in France) and the introduction of private landownership. The circulation of the Napoleonic laws, in the course of the French imperial extension in the early 19 th

century, reached the French speaking colonies, effectively determining future water laws. The wider

civil law

trend, based on explicit water laws in all European colonial powers, would be exported to Latin America, parts of Africa and eastern Asia.

104

Most importantly, like in the Roman tradition, public waters were subject to legal authority and limitations, whereas private waters, legally belonging to privately owned land, could be used without such limitations. Most rivers would be defined as public, putting them under the authority of judges and courts.

105

In a parallel string of development the

British common law tradition

, by contrast, rose to become the basis of water regulation in Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the U.S., India and Pakistan and in other Commonwealth countries.

106

With a lesser degree of codification, common law did not distinguish between public and private waters, as the Roman tradition would command, but stressed the special quality of

101

Caponera: Principles,

supra

, p. 71-76, details the various different water laws that describe a complex, sophisticated mechanism of water management. The effect of the Ottoman system on water regulation remains confined to Northern African and Middle Eastern countries; the very traditional nations on the Arab peninsula, upon independence, turned to the Sharia law to guide water use and did not develop water regulation.

102

103

Ibidem

, p. 75.

104

105

Ibidem

, p. 76.

Hodgson: Modern water rights,

supra

, p. 9.

106

Hodgson,

supra

, p. 15; Caponera: Principles,

supra

, p. 75 ff.

Hodgson

, supra

, p. 9. For an overview of the evolution of customary and formal laws in India see

M.S. Vani: Customary law and modern governance of natural resources in India – conflicts, prospects for accord and strategies; paper for the

International Congress on Folk Law and Legal Pluralism

,

Chiang Mai, Thailand, April 2002; www.panchayat.org/downloads/Vani%20paper%202.pdf (Sept.

2002).

43

rivers as public water sources and addressed questions of

riparian rights

derived from land ownership rights. Unlike the Roman or civil law definition of private waters, the entitlement to using river waters was bound to specified rules.

The common law line is significant as it redefines water rights from a new perspective: the riparian. While not entirely new in the sense that territory again plays an important role, it focuses on the river flow, and less on other characteristics of a river, like water quantities or quality. That appears to make water management easier, as it makes water a subject of negotiation rather than the strict and static adherence to laws. Whether this will really translate into a measurable advantage in a given case will, however, have to be analyzed with scrutiny. The doctrine of

riparian rights

, or riparianism, developed in the 19 th

century, established the concept of

reasonable use

, referring to household and other essential water uses. Other uses, termed extraordinary, were legitimate up to the point that the riparian rights of neighbouring land owners were not violated. The actual extent of such uses, however, remained a matter of discussion or negotiation.

The vagueness of this concept would, for the lack of codification, require legal intervention by courts or

ad hoc

institutions for the settlement of disputes as the definition of

reasonable

, at least from the perspective of modern-day scenarios of water shortage. Not addressing levels of overall water consumption, let alone water conservation, this doctrine has not lived up to the demands of water management in the era of intensive agriculture and industrial water use.

107

The basic understanding of riparianism as a state of mutual dependence of water users on both the resource and each other does appear modern. It does, however, not go far enough: water users that depend on the particular resource (a river) without bordering the river, were widely ignored, regardless of the essential requirement to use water from any available source.

108

Consequently, a new doctrine that would address the needs and conditions of waterscarce areas and river beds evolved:

prior appropriation

. Unlike the riparian concept, the new doctrine focused entirely on water use, not on land-based water rights. Water rights based on prior appropriation stem from particular beneficial uses: the right to water from a given source, i.e. its appropriation, is bound to a form of water use considered beneficial, as opposed to waste, within a period of time considered appropriate. This version of a

first-come-first-serve

water law allows those who make use of a water source before others to satisfy their needs, while those with later claims to water (due to the time of their arrival at the source) would be left to make do with the remaining amount of water.

This trend of water law, in principle designed in the U. S. where it continues to apply in many states, in spite of some shortfalls, has given rise to a new form of water management that is considered by many to be an important answer to water

107

Chauhan, reflecting on the river disputes in post-colonial India, stresses that

this theory or doctrine

… has never been accepted as basis for, or formal application in, the settlement of (international water law) disputes

. This was pointed out by several water tribunals, e. g. the Narmada Water Disputes

Tribunal which, in its 1978 report, referred to the doctrine of riparian rights as an obsolete rule that impedes the development of farm land and leads to unfair water sharing and waste; see B. R.

Chauhan: Settlement of international and inter-state water disputes in India; New Delhi: Indian Law

Institute, 1992, p. 24-25.

108

S. N. Jain, Alice Jacob, Subash Jain: Inter-state water disputes in India. New Delhi: Indian Law

Institute, 1971, p. 149 ff.

44

shortages: water rights transfers. Again somewhat typical of the common law tradition, the problems emanating from this doctrine – namely

reckless

water use by senior appropriators – have been dealt with by way of negotiation, rather than law.

109

Hardly surprising, it did not gain much relevance in international cases because the blocking of water flows could have triggered international conflict. The principle of first use would have been much more difficult to ascertain than in intra-national cases.

In a departure from the prior appropriation formula, the

Harmon doctrine

redefined water rights on the basis of

territorial sovereignty

by transforming water rights to the

de facto

possession of all water sources within a given territory, and the right to use them without any concern for downstream water users. This radical formula, developed in the U.S. in the late 19 th

century, proved too controversial and divisive to receive wider recognition.

110

It nevertheless entered the discussion of water distribution in some cases overseas especially in the second half of the 20 th

century, when decolonization made it necessary to specify water rights in a new territorial context.

The

Indus Water Treaty

of 1960 between India and Pakistan, concluding a 12-year dispute that started right after the independence of both nations, is one of the few examples: the exclusive right to withdraw water from rivers of the Indus basin was, in the form of a comprehensive treaty, given on the basis of territory to both parties. The effective partitioning of a complex river system consisting of several major rivers plus a network of canals on territorial grounds alone meant that the downstream party,

Pakistan, would be cut off from the water supply from some rivers originating in India.

Through a long-term programme of basin development the negative effects of the treaty would therefore be balanced, providing Pakistan with major reservoirs and canals to increase water availability. This arrangement was made possible by the strong financial commitment of several leading economies, with a view to prevent a major conflict. The need to compensate the downstream riparian nation (Pakistan) for water resources that would almost entirely consumed by India was a signal that the concept of territorial sovereignty could not be implemented without taking into account legitimate demands of downstream water users.

111

Otherwise, the cost of ignoring such consequences might have to be paid in the form of unforeseeable destruction resulting from violent conflict.

109

Hedgson,

op. cit.

, refers to the mining boom in the late 19 th

century U.S. as a conditioning factor in the formation of this water doctrine, p. 12. It was in essence a rule based on customs that reflected the economic opportunism of that era. Giordano: International river basin management, p. 15, on the legal dimension of river development in the U.S. at the turn of the century. Considered more flexible with regard to water transfers and less costly with regard to administration, water regulation based on common law principles has proved particularly successful in North America. This continent, of course, provides a rare case of two vast countries with limited average populations with abundant natural resources at their disposal. The need to share water was not felt as acutely as in many other countries until the progressive industrialization and the mechanization of agriculture by the late 19 th

century, greatly pushing water consumption. For an overview of the ongoing water law discourse see George

W. Sherk: East meets West: a tale of two doctrines;

Water Resources Impact

, vol. 5, no. 2, 2003; www.awra.org/impact (May 2007).

110

According to Chauhan,

op. cit.

, p. 29, most U.S. states rejected the Harmon doctrine; it was not applied in the negotiations with Mexico over the Rio Grande and Colorado River either.

111

F. J. Berber: Rivers in international law,

op. cit.

, p. 13 ff.; B. G. Verghese: Waters of hope. From vision to reality; Delhi: Oxford Publishing, 1999, p. 327 – 328; Kerstin Mechlem: Water as a vehicle for inters-state cooperation: a legal perspective;

FAO Legal Papers Online

no. 32, 2003; www.fao.org/legal/pub-e.htm (Jan. 2008), p. 10; Sergej Vinogradov, Patricia Wouters & Patricia Jones:

Transforming potential conflict into cooperation potential: the role of international water law;

UNESCO

PCCP

series, no. 2, 2002, p. 28 – 19.

45

The case of the Indus river dispute stimulated the development of international river law. Unlike disputed rivers in the U.S. that were to be shared among elements of the federation, the Indus dispute had, at least hypothetically, the potential to escalate into an international war. The principle of absolute sovereignty would have resulted in a dead-end position for Pakistan, putting the very existence of this downstream nation at risk.

The concept of territorial integrity

, later to be incorporated in essence in the United

Nations Charter (Art. 2), aimed at strengthening the sanctity of international borders and protecting legitimate interests of nations, thus protecting state sovereignty by laying down principles of international relations and international peace. The new theory of water rights effectively redefined the critical distinction between upstream and downstream water users. This aspect is crucial for several reasons: first, the status of water sources as an essential requirement was stressed in a more profound manner than before; second, the demand for water was considered equivalent to a human right which, if withheld, could bring drastic consequences not only for those who were denied their share of water, but also for those who blocked water supplies.

In other words, a community of interests was implicitly established, acknowledging that all water users were linked by mutual dependence on water resources.

Furthermore, the fact that the integrity not only of nations but of river systems, too, was outlined in this theory foreshadowed important reforms of water law.

Modern water law: from territory to river basin

Territorial sovereignty began to recede as a major factor in water rights development as a result of the understanding of river basins as indivisible entities. The natural flow of a river would have to be preserved in order to allow all riparian states or subnational units to fulfil their legitimate demands. Interventions, through barrages or canals, could impede the natural flow of a river and almost automatically reduce, at least temporarily, the amount of water available to downstream users. The principle of equality between upstream and downstream users and their respective claims could only be sustained if the river was managed and developed in a comprehensive manner, taking into account potential effects on all riparian water users.

The theory of

equitable apportionment

centred on the concept of rivers as complex natural drainage systems. To draw maximum benefits from such basins would mean to apply a cooperative, or at least coordinated, approach to river use and development. Equitable use, or apportionment, would not necessarily mean equal shares in quantitative terms, but equal rights to benefit from the water source.

112

Apportionment, unlike appropriation, indicates that water users would be entitled to utilize rivers according to their needs, and rivers, like other water sources, were meant to serve these purposes, rather being the subject of landownership or political control. In a sense, the status of water sources, and especially rivers, was elevated to a position above that of individual governments or rulers.

This new perception had far-reaching consequences in legal, political, economic, social and environmental terms, though not all of these consequences became reality at the same time. In the post-World War II setting, the parameters of water law were

112

Chauhan: Settlement,

op. cit.

, p. 31 ff.

46

development-related: the demand for energy, agriculture and industrial production was expected to rise sharply. Water was defined as the major driver of progress towards prosperity and defeating hunger and deprivation. The motivation to reform water laws stemmed from a new understanding of rivers as integrated natural systems as much as it was pragmatism. The role of rivers was to be defined by their collective economic, social and political benefits to the respective societies within or near their basins.

As Friedrich Berber points out, treaties on river basins, as examples of customary law, have contributed to the body of international law on water. At the same time, they reflect the state of legal discussions on water law as they have themselves been influenced by theories and doctrines of water management.

113

This on-going dynamic process has gradually fed into national as well as international water law in different forms.

114

In some countries, detailed water laws embody these norms, whereas in the case of many large rivers, particular treaties outline the principles of collectively utilizing water sources.

115

The end of the Second World War saw the beginning of a new dialogue on international law, stimulated by the establishment of the United Nations. The need to formulate norms for river basins arose from the transformation of many countries, namely the former colonies, as a result of the outcome of the war. Cases like the

Indus River, to be shared between newly independent India and Pakistan, posed challenges to the primary goal of the new international system, the preservation of peace and stability.

The process to establish water norms

that would be globally acceptable thrived on the intensifying dialogue within the International Law Association. The ILA, itself not formally integrated into the UN system, represents the state of institutionalized communication on water laws. Like the International Law Commission, a United

Nations body, it is dedicated to the development of international law, including its interpretation and codification.

116

The discussion of the concepts of equitable apportionment and drainage basins, in the course of several conferences of the ILA between 1958 and 1966, raised critical questions as to the precise definition and treatment of drainage basins and equitable

113

Berber: Rivers in international law,

op. cit.

, p. 129ff. The mere number of such treaties might, however, also be interpreted as a lack of globally binding rules, as Berber suggests.

114

Among the first institutions for the discussion and promotion of water law on an international level is the International Law Association (ILA), founded in 1873, that has held 72 conferences on various fields of international law to date and issued widely renowned reports of its findings.

115

The importance of river basin treaties is indicated by their growing number, especially in the 19 and 20 th th

centuries, cf. the Oregon State University’s Transboundary Freshwater Dispute Database

(TFDD) by Aaron T. Wolf, at: http://terra.geo.orst.edu/users/tfdd/documents/allocations/annex1.html.

The World Bank has focused on the relevance of river treaties with a view to promoting cooperation and stability in international relations, especially in Eastern Europe, Africa and Southern Asia; s. World

Bank: International watercourses: enhancing cooperation and managing conflicts;

WB Technical

Paper

no. 414, 1998.

Two norms that have received widespread recognition in many river treaties are the prevention of damage as a result of one-sided, uncoordinated water withdrawals and the potential economic benefits from preserving the natural condition of rivers; cf. Chauhan: Settlement,

supra

, p. 37-42.

116

Cf. Chauhan,

ibidem

, p. 42, citing the growing acceptance of the Rules at the ILA conferences in

1976 and 1980.

47

sharing of water.

117

Though an agreement could finally be reached, the complexity of river basins in legal terms as well as the problem of sharing water in an equitable fashion remained as much a challenge as the legal status of this agreement.

The Helsinki Rules

on the Uses of Waters of International Rivers, known simply as the Helsinki Rules, emanated from the ILA process in 1966.

118

This set of rules, laid out in 37 articles, was a first of its kind as it represented a common ground: all basin states should benefit from a river that borders their respective territories. The Rules – applicable to all drainage basins

except as may be provided otherwise by convention, agreement or binding custom among the basin states

(Art. I) – were to be taken as a formula that would grant that

each basin state is entitled to a reasonable and equitable share in the beneficial uses of the waters of an international drainage basin

(Art. IV).

This modification of the equitable apportionment theory, termed the

equitable utilization theory

, meant that equitable shares would not have to be equal in quantitative or qualitative terms, but reasonable and equitable in the context of several factors: geography, hydrology and climate, historic utilization, economic and social needs, potential alternatives, and compensation (Art. V).

119

This list of factors to be taken into consideration upon determining the actual shares includes the option of water transfers from one basin to another as well as the utilization of alternative water sources, like groundwater. In an implicit reference to the principle of territorial integrity, harmful acts, especially water pollution, are to be avoided (Art. V (k), X).

120

The solution of disputes is referred to negotiation, arbitration or tribunals.

The Rules reflected the state of international law on rivers, yet they were not a law in the strict sense of law, as Caflisch points out.

121

The need to have a law applicable on a global scale in times of growing shortage of water – and potentially, a growing number of water-related disputes – prompted the UN to seek a revision of the

Helsinki Rules. The ILC, after 21 years of investigations and discussions, presented a draft which served as the basis for a convention on international watercourse management. The heated debates that followed illustrated more than anything else how serious the issue at stake was perceived to be by the members of the UN.

117

Charles Bourne: The development of international water resources: The ‘drainage basin’ approach, in: Patricia Wouters, ed.:

International water law. Selected writings of Professor Charles B. Bourne

;

London: Kluwer, 1997, p. 5-8. In a parallel development, the Institute of International Law had arrived at a similar concept, a resolution on non-navigational uses of international waterways that underlined the importance of equitable utilization, ahead of the ILA’s Helsinki Rules, yet with much less public attention.

118

The text of the Rules is reproduced at: www.internationalwaterlaw.org/IntlDocs/Helsinki_Rules.htm.

The Rules were adopted at the 52 nd

Conference of the ILA at Helsinki, 20 August 1966. The discussion, after their adoption, was by no means over, as Bourne,

supra

, stresses.

119

The text of Art. V of the Rules appears vague as it lists

relevant factors which are to be considered, but are not limited to

…, adding that (in Art. VI)

a use or category of uses is not entitled to any inherent preference over any other use or category of uses

.

120

This should not be read as a principle or obligation but only as

an element, but not the decisive element, for measuring equitable and reasonable utilization

, according to Lucius Caflisch: Regulation of the uses of international watercourses, in: Salman Salman and Laurence Boisson de Chauzournes, eds.:

International watercourses. Enhancing cooperation and managing conflict

; Washington, D.C.:

World Bank Technical Paper series

no. 414, 1998, p. 8-9.

121

Caflisch: Regulation,

supra

, p. 9-11.

48

The main issues that caused division

during the negotiation process were

- the status of river agreements and treaties concluded before the enactment of the Convention;

- the possibility to arrive at agreements that would deviate from the Convention in the future;

- the status of partial agreements between some riparian states that would ignore potential effects on other states that are not signatories of the agreement;

- the definition of equitable and reasonable utilization;

- the settlement of disputes.

Behind the concerns voiced by many governments was a clear determination not to threaten existing arrangements –

per se

norms of at least quasi-legal standing – and thereby maintain an established state of bilateral relations with other riparian nations.

122

The potentially destabilizing effect of water conflict was obviously realized by many governments. As the existing norms of water management were considered sufficiently solid, the motivation to cooperate over water, at this stage at least, appears to have been limited, despite of declarations to the contrary. The upstreamdownstream dilemma was the most prominent symptom of this ambiguity.

Beyond Helsinki: equality and reasonable use

When the draft convention, in its final form, reached the UN, in 1997, it received the approval of the General Assembly.

123

This achievement, at once a milestone towards establishing a global water law and a workable present-day orientation for on-going negotiations, did also highlight the difficulties over the above critical points once again.

The

Convention on the Law of the Non-Navigational Uses of International

Watercourses

, by its official name, represents the status quo of international law on rivers. By its formal status, as approved by the UN General Assembly, it is nonbinding; to become a binding law, it would have to be passed by the UN Security

Council. This formal status alone, however, does not indicate the actual relevance that the Convention will have on existing water arrangements and their implementation, nor on the conclusion of such arrangements in the future. McCaffrey, a former Special Rapporteur for the ILC during the drafting of the Convention, argues that (the Convention’s)

influence is more likely to derive from its status as the most

122

The very definition of watercourse system or drainage basin was in dispute until the final stage of the draft, especially with regard to the introduction of canals and link canals that would extend the basin area and even join several basins, thus widening the riparian community; eventually, vague yet all-encompassing concepts were given preference –

comprehensive enough to cover all the elements involved in any given case and neutral enough for riparian states not to think that their interests were being neglected

: Yearbook of the International Law Commission 1983 Vol. 1, p. 186, para. 18. As one observer noted, the Helsinki Rules might have been more advanced in some sense than the ILC convention, as the former defined rivers as hydrological units, whereas the latter applied a geographical concept,

ibid

., para. 29.

123

Document text reproduced in: Patricia Wouters: National and international water law: achieving equitable and sustainable use of water resources, in: Water International, Vol. 25, No. 4, 2000, p.

507ff. Wouters, p. 504, points out that one of the strengths of this concept lies in its flexibility, allowing for

unilateral development and power politics … where the substantive rules and procedural requirements … are missing

. In that case, of course, the potential negative consequences, like conflict over water, will have to be borne by all parties.

49

authoritative statement of general principles and rules governing the non-navigational uses of international watercourses

and its

success does not depend on whether it enters into force

.

124

The Convention, regardless of its nominal status, has evoked a growing academic dialogue on the importance of water management, water sharing and water regulation in light of rising demand for water.

In the Convention, the problem of the upstream – downstream discrepancy, central to the stated goal of

equitable and reasonable utilization

, was addressed in an indirect form only, following the course set by the Helsinki Rules. Factors to be observed by all basin states are

- natural geographical, hydrological, climatic and ecological factors

- social and economic needs of the states concerned

- the dependency of people within the basin

- effects of utilization by one state on that of another

- existing and potential future uses

- conservation and development of the river, including the respective costs

- availability of alternatives.

In essence, these factors, detailed in Article 5 of the Convention, are in line with Art.

5 of the Rules. The obligation not to cause

significant harm

(Art. 7) especially (but not exclusively) points at upstream states, requiring all riparian states to

take all appropriate measures to prevent the causing of significant harm to other watercourse states

, in other words, measures to protect downstream states. A definition of

significant harm

is not given, but has to be interpreted in the context of Art. 5, i. e. the right to utilize a river in an equitable and reasonable manner. In the case where significant harm has been caused,

all appropriate measures to eliminate or mitigate such harm

, including compensation, are to be taken.

125

The requirements of vital human interests

are to be given special regard (Art. 10).

The lack of precise definitions

and directions, especially with regard to central demands of the Convention like equitable and reasonable utilization, involves the risk of arbitrary interpretation. This deficit can render some provisions of the Convention obsolete in a given case because the state actor easily evades accountability without openly counteracting respective provisions. As Beaumont points out, the list of

factors relevant to equitable and reasonable utilization

(Art. 6) lack priorities as each factor may be considered equal by any riparian state involved. Thus the provision is subject to open-ended debates undermining the main purpose: cooperative river management. The Convention’s practical relevance suffers because it may be too difficult to establish a common ground on all the factors that actually are important in a particular case (river).

126

124

Stephen McCaffrey: The contribution of the UN Convention on the law of the non-navigational uses of international watercourses;

International Journal of Global Environmental Issues

, Vol. 1, No.3-4,

2001, p. 250.

125

This clause has been elevated to a separate, more detailed Article (7), from the previous provision within Art. 5 of the Rules, reflecting the growing attention given to this principle. Wouters points out that – contrary to the Helsinki Rules – the causing of significant harm might not constitute a breach of international law. Patricia Wouters: The legal response to international water conflicts: the UN watercourse convention and beyond;

German Yearbook of International Law

1999, vol. 42, Berlin:

Duncker & Humblot, 2000, p. 310.

126

Peter Beaumont: The 1997 UN Convention on the law of the non-navigational uses of international watercourses: its strengths and weaknesses from a water management perspective and the need for

50

Interestingly, while the spirit of cooperation has been given special mention (unlike in the Rules), the issue of compensation has been treated with less attention. This may be read as reluctance on the part of some riparian governments to quantify water utilization and respective damages, thus opening a Pandora’s box to complex legal battles. More likely, it was not elaborated in more detail because governments, through the agreements they would reach within a particular basin, would prefer to reserve their political freedom to arrive at a mutually satisfactory solution in such a case.

The overall picture of the Convention is that of a compromise. While equitable

sharing

(Art. 4 of the Rules) has been replaced by equitable

utilization

(Art. 5 of the

Convention),

cooperation

is stressed as a

duty

founded in the collective interest to protect the watercourse as an ecological and hydrological system (Art. 5 of the

Convention). As Scheumann and Klaphake point out, the delegates to the General

Assembly clashed alongside the upstream – downstream divide of interests: downstream parties tended to stress the prevention of harmful activities whereas the upstream parties voted against unacceptable limitations on upstream water utilization, thus defining

equitable and reasonable

in an opportunistic sense.

127

In principle, to untie this knot would have meant to make precise statements in quantitative and qualitative terms. But that would only be feasible for individual rivers, not for rivers on a whole. As a result the clauses of the Convention are not as strict as some parties would have wanted them to be. Cooperation is but an appeal, not an obligation in legal terms, and there is no penalty for ignoring this appeal or for departing from the general principles laid out in the Convention. The exchange of river data as a means of river protection points as much at cooperation as it points at the environmental and economic dimensions of river management (Art. 9 - 18).

The settlement of disputes

, in both the Rules and the Convention, is to be conducted in a peaceful manner, through negotiation or arbitration (Art. 33).

128

This provision is the lengthiest in the Convention, and it differs in some aspects from the corresponding articles in the Helsinki Rules (Art. 26 – 37). Most importantly, the

Convention stresses the obligation of each basin state to work towards a peaceful, mutually agreeable solution of disputes, whereas the Rules merely

recommend

state governments to follow a peaceful course. This change in wording throughout the provision is significant and is to be seen in line with serious demographic and economic changes in many large river basins that foreshadow mounting pressure on existing water sources.

The procedure envisaged to settle disputes clearly underlines the sovereignty of riparian nations as the chief actors in all matters relating to river management.

Negotiations are the primary instrument to arrive at an agreement, as each riparian state is entitled to request negotiations or the appointment of a fact-finding new workable guidelines;

Water Resources Development

, vol. 16, no. 4, 2000, p. 482. Kliot,

supra

, p.

266.

127

Waltina Scheumann, Axel Klaphake: The Convention on the law of the non-navigational uses of international watercourses. Bonn: Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik, 2001, ch. 2.2.3.

128

The formulation of this Article (33 in both the Rules and the Convention) is stricter in the

Convention:

parties concerned

shall

seek a settlement .. by peaceful means

; the Rules simply

recommend

the states to form a commission etc.:

It is recommended that the states concerned agree to submit their legal disputes

to a tribunal etc. For a comprehensive comparison: Michelle R. Sergent:

Comparison of the Helsinki Rules to the 1994 UN draft articles: Will the progression of international law be dammed?

Villanova Environmental Law Journal

, vol. 8, no. 2, 1997.

51

commission. This commission is to be in charge of settling the dispute. The high status of such a commission is indicated by the demand that its members be allowed access to the territories concerned and entitled to obtain all relevant information. Its report is to be seen as a binding decision to be implemented by the parties involved.

Only in cases where a commission is unable to reach a solution, a supranational body may be resorted to, in the form of the International Court of Justice or an arbitrary tribunal. This means that state governments retain control over the process of settling a dispute. By choosing to establish a tribunal, they can avoid the

International Court of Justice which would otherwise have to be involved.

129

Aspects of resource preservation

and environmental rehabilitation have gained due mention in the ILC Convention, reflecting growing international concerns over the state of water resources.

130

Rivers as ecosystems in their own right (Art. 20 – 24) have not been mentioned in the Helsinki Rules at all. The protection of water sources is assigned to the governments of riparian states as an element of their individual national responsibility, yet within the context of their riparian status: In order to apply appropriate measures for the protection of rivers,

watercourse states shall, at the request of any of them, consult with a view to arriving at mutually agreeable measures and methods to prevent, reduce and control pollution of an international watercourse

(Art. 21). Accordingly, the exchange of information on existing or planned water projects that might have an effect on other riparian states has obtained greater importance in the Convention (Art.11 – 19).

In sum

, the Convention can be credited with establishing a

modus operandi

and a set of

guidelines

(Caflisch) that have received the widest possible recognition.

131

This fact may be more important than its formal status which is below that of a binding law.

132

The legal position of sovereign states – both as upstream as well as downstream parties – remains unchanged and unchallenged. To realize the virtues of cooperation is as much a prerogative of the sovereign state as the right to forego them. Rivers, by their hydrological nature, seem to induce riparian states to cooperate in order to reap benefits. These benefits may come in the form of economic potentials, direct gains from power generation or indirect gains from preventing costly environmental damage from floods. The scope and quality of cooperation is to be decided by the parties concerned. That also applies to existing treaties. The fact that, as Barandat observed, most states articulated particular national interests and preferred the

ex post

sanctioning of existing treaties does not

129

Patricia Wouters: The legal response to international water conflicts: the UN watercourse convention and beyond;

German Yearbook of International Law

1999, vol. 42, Berlin: Duncker &

Humblot, 2000, p. 314, 316. The voting record of the Convention shows that, while many countries agreed on the basic principles of cooperative river management, some either preferred stronger rules regarding dispute settlement or demanded that this procedure should remain a prerogative of the parties concerned.

130

The Convention’s reference to environmental concerns is a direct outcome of the first UN

Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED, Rio de Janeiro, 1992). Cf. Beaumont,

supra

, p. 478.

131

Caflisch: Regulations,

supra

, p.10: an agreement on whether the Convention would have to be taken as

ius cogens

, or imperative law, could not be reached; instead, a “concession” was entered into the Convention, guaranteeing the status of existing treaties (Art. 3), yet in a vague manner.

132

The WWF has called for a global water law – see http://assets.panda.org/downloads/wwf_unwatercourses_brochure.pdf (August 2008) – based on the UN Convention on the Law of the Nonnavigational Uses of International Watercourses (1997).

52

as such curtail the Convention’s standing.

133

The same countries would be the first not only to realize potential gains but also to pay for potential losses emanating from their river management. The national interest is not necessarily a counterpart to the interest to preserve a river system.

134

Evaluation: the scope of the UN Convention

The water norms presented above have evolved into a framework not only for river basin management but for international relations over water, too. In the form of the

UN Convention, the most comprehensive body of law has been established so far.

The Convention is meant to be a set of guidelines to augment national laws and river basin treaties.

135

Individual riparian nations will remain, in the strict sense of the word, masters of their laws regarding water regulation. If states decide to ignore the

Convention or act contrary to these guidelines, they may do so without automatically being forced by a UN Security Council move. The sovereignty of individual states remains untouched. It continues to be the deciding factor as laid out in the UN

Charter. It is the governments of these states that are to conclude agreements on particular river basins, with detailed provisions that reflect the specific conditions of a given river.

The Convention implicitly promotes the conclusion of such agreements (Art. 3). While some governments have suggested that the establishment of a binding universal water law should be the ILC’s objective, others have stressed the necessity to arrive at a universally acceptable basis of future river treaties, rather than making them obsolete. It appears doubtful whether such a global water law, with all necessary details, would in fact be feasible. To have an effect on river management practise, a global law might not be essential, as long as a commonly accepted set of rules exist to which all parties may refer in case of dispute. As Salman points out, the growing number of river treaties reflects a widespread awareness of the relevance of water norms in terms of progressive river utilization.

136

While disputes do exist over many river basins, very few have shown a tendency to escalate into violent conflict. That may be seen as a sign that the spirit of cooperation, as envisaged in the Convention, has taken hold. Some experts have taken a more cautious position, warning of the threat of conflict over water against the backdrop of growing water scarcity. Wouters points at river basins that lack binding agreements, like the Euphrates-Tigris (Turkey,

Syria, Iraq) or those with agreements in place that have proven insufficient, like the

Jordan River (Israel, Syria, Jordan, Palestine).

137

133

Jörg Barandat: Wasser – Kooperation oder Konfrontation? Baden-Baden: Nomos, 1997, p. 413.

The author participated in the discussions of October 1996 as an observer.

134

The term

interdependence

has been introduced in later ILC discussions on the Helsinki Rules to describe the relationship of riparian states regarding groundwater aquifers that belong to a basin system (

hydraulic interdependence

). This term – applied in Article 2 of the ILC Seoul Rules on

International Groundwater, 1986 – has not been entered into the UN Convention of 1997. See Kliot,

supra

, appendix 3, p. 286, for an excerpt.

135

McCaffrey: The contribution of the UN Convention …,

supra

, p. 252.

136

Salman A. Salman and Laurence Boisson de Chazournes: International watercourses: enhancing cooperation and managing conflict, in: S. Salman and L. Boisson de Chazournes, eds.:

International watercourses. Enhancing cooperation and managing conflict.

Washington, D.C.: World Bank, 1998, p.

168-170.

137

Patricia Wouters: The legal response to international water conflicts: the UN watercourse convention and beyond;

German Yearbook of International Law

1999, vol. 42, Berlin: Duncker &

Humblot, 2000, p. 297-300.

53

When applied to particular river basins

, the limitations as well as the potential of the Convention become obvious. Citing the cases of the Nile, Yarmuk-Jordan and

Euphrates-Tigris rivers, Kliot states that neither the principle of equitable utilization or cooperation has played an important role in the management of these rivers, thus increasing the threat of violent conflict.

138

To establish quantities of water to be allocated to users even where agreements are in place may be very difficult as hydrological and climatic factors are subject to unforeseeable changes. Kliot stresses that – as provided in both the Helsinki Rules and the Convention – the factors to be taken into account regarding equitable utilization cannot simply be given equal importance at any time; instead in drought conditions, climatic factors would have to be given priority over other factors. The damage caused to co-riparians on the Nile as a result of Egyptian water projects would fall under the compensation provision in

Article 7 of the Convention, yet many communities have instead been displaced and relocated to other areas, often without equivalent economic opportunities. The option of alternative resources (Art. 6 g) could not be used by some of the poorer riparian countries simply because of a lack of funds to develop them.

Wouters points at the built-in resilience of the Convention that allows

a flexible rule governing legal entitlement, with the added requirement of preventive behaviour supplemented by a comprehensive set of relatively detailed procedural rules

.

139

This flexibility would leave room for particular provisions, either to specify those outlined in the Convention, or to add further provisions.

In sum, the above criticism underlines both the importance of the Convention as a set of guidelines and the relevance of individual river agreements. The ongoing discussion of water laws in general and the Convention in particular can be summarized by

two antagonistic positions

: a) the drive to regulate water management through binding global rules, b) and the drive to retain final control over water regulation with the governments concerned.

Both are generally motivated by an awareness of the consequences of growing water shortage.

The Convention, though not covering all aspects of water utilization, does play an important role as it

defines the legal entitlement to water and identifies the rights and obligations tied to water use

.

140

As the UN Convention of 1997 focuses on international watercourses and rules to be observed by the respective riparian states, it is not limited to state-to-state interaction over river management but implicitly includes

intra-state action

, too (Art. 1, 1). The perspective of river management established in the Convention is that of the river, i.e. the river is identified as a unit that requires coordinated management (Art. 2a). As a result, the UN guidelines in principle also apply to the case of the Indus River and the provinces of Pakistan which share its waters. That means that agreements concluded between the riparian governments – national and sub-national – should adhere to the principles outlined in the Convention. The riparian nations of the Indus Basin, namely

138

Nurit Kliot: Water resources and conflict in the Middle East. New York: Routledge, 1993, p. 266-

270.

139

140

Wouters: Legal response,

supra

, p. 320.

Patricia Wouters: The relevance and role of water law in sustainable development of freshwater: from “hydrosovereignty” to “hydrosolidarity”;

Water International,

vol. 25, no. 2, 2000, p.203.

54

Pakistan and India, have abstained from the vote on the Convention.

141

India stated that the provisions on dispute settlement curtailed the autonomy of the central and state governments of India to employ individual instruments of dispute management, as envisaged in Indian law, like in the Inter-State Water Disputes Act (1956).

Pakistan, on the contrary, had expected the provisions of the Convention to be stricter. Both countries, as will be seen in the discussion of the post-1947 dispute, have developed a specific mechanism to handle open questions emanating from a treaty arrived at in 1960. This treaty is still in place, even though open issues between the two sides remain to be solved. Both sides have adhered to this agreement ever since, making the Indus Waters Treaty an often cited example of a solid water agreement.

Conclusion: the relevance of water law

The importance of the UN Convention as a global water law is reflected by the fact that it is the most comprehensive modern water law. It covers more elements of water management than previous norms of water management. It applies a long-term perspective focussing on future demand within the context of accelerated development and the need for environmental rehabilitation.

Through the General Assembly of the UN it has obtained a higher status than any other water law. Though not all UN member states have adopted it yet, the

Convention’s importance is expected to rise by the number of governments adhering to it. It is, however, not the only water law of global relevance. Many other norms remain in place having proven their suitability in a number of cases.

The Convention has not been adopted by all riparian nations. The settlement of the

Jordan River dispute has progressed, yet through bilateral and multilateral negotiations and agreements and without explicit adherence to the Convention’s principles.

142

Some of the principles of the Convention were heeded in this process, like the no-harm rule; disputes were settled not by a specialized facility but by direct talks. The norms formulated in the Convention may not be implemented in the form of precise rules. As Jägerskog suggests, their main effect lies in the

implicit adherence

by a growing number of governments.

143

For the management of large rivers water rights have become more and more important, as the discourse on sustainable water use shows. These rights have their foundation in the legal norms discussed above and in economic propositions on efficient river utilization. The increasing demand for water that stimulates the ecological debate osn water management has also given rise to a wider dialogue on water rights, as will be seen in the next chapter.

141

The voting record is cited by Wouters: The legal response …,

supra

, p. 314. The stated reservations of both countries will be discussed in the empirical section of this study.

142

Tony Allan: Middle Eastern hydropolitics: interpreting constructed knowledge (review article);

London School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) Occasional Paper series

, no. 18 (no date); www.soas.ac.uk/waterissues (July 2007), p. 2. This dispute will be discussed further in the chapter on water shortage and water conflict in this section.

143

Andras Jägerskog: Why states cooperate over shared water: the water negotiations in the Jordan

River Basin; Linköping: Linköping University, 2003, p. 90.

55

II.2 Entitlements, ethics and markets

Is water everybody’s property

– or nobody’s? Does it belong to the state or the government or the nation as a whole? Is it priceless or “worthless”? Can it be sold and traded or is it a legally protected public commodity which each citizen is entitled to claim? Do water rights eliminate ownership rights? Is an entitlement to water limited to its economic utilization? The basic question – who is allowed to get water, where and how - has received renewed attention as a result of a growing human rights awareness and new approaches to socio-economic development based on cooperation, equality, and environmental sustainability. This chapter examines the role of water entitlements, ethical norms and market approaches vis-à-vis the problem of water sharing: Can they provide effective guidelines for water sharing?

Water as a human right

Is there a human right to water? Human rights define essential, inalienable and indispensable entitlements. A universal right to water would have inevitable consequences for the access to water by people all over the world. It could, at least hypothetically, serve as a political-legal instrument to empower people to demand that water is made available. Governments would have to commit administrative bodies to ensure regular water supply. A legal entitlement would not automatically increase the supply of water, especially in arid regions where water shortage is common, irrespective of a government’s readiness and capacity to implement such a human right.

144

Even where water laws are in place and access to water is unhindered, the actual availability of this vital commodity is prone to natural obstacles or the lack of economic and technical resources to improve its supply. In this case, a right to water would positively prevent sections of the society from being denied their share in common water resources. Water could not – or at least not easily – be used as an instrument of power, neither on a national nor on an international scale. This is important because even where water supply is plentiful, not all water users can satisfy their needs.

The United Nations have identified water as a critical commodity on a number of occasions.

The Universal Declaration on Human Rights

(1948) does not name water explicitly, but stresses everyone’s

right to life, liberty and security of person

.

145

That would imply access to water – in sufficient quantity and quality – with regard to the water resources within a person’s reach because life is not possible without water. Acts that block that access would therefore be in violation of this principle. In the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1966), the

144

Formulating a potential human right to water indispensable to prevent

large-scale human misery and suffering

every human being has an inherent right to have access to water in quantities and of quality necessary to meet their basic needs

– Peter H. Gleick concedes that such legal protection would probably not, or at least not immediately, improve conditions. One obvious reason is the cost involved. According to Gleick, its main purpose might rather be to further

a redirection of current priorities at international and local levels

. See: The human right to water; proceedings of the seminar

Towards upstream-downstream hydrosolidarity

, Stockholm International Water Institute, 14 August

1999 (www.siwi.org).

145

Document text: www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/ (May 2008).

56

members of the General Assembly pledged to grant all peoples to

freely dispose of their natural wealth and resources

and stressed that

in no case may a people be deprived of its own means of subsistence

. The International Covenant on Civil and

Political Rights (1966) reiterates this pledge.

146

Both agreements do not

per se

represent a law of the status of a UN Resolution, though, but do signal a universal awareness of the control over natural resources as an essential condition of development and part of national sovereignty.

The Declaration on the Right to Development

, adopted by the UN General

Assembly in 1986, extends this perception to the

rights of people to exercise full and complete sovereignty over all their natural wealth and resources

in the context of a new understanding of development as a

comprehensive economic, social, cultural and political process

. Development, in these terms, is an

inalienable human right

.

147

This means that all factors relevant to development deserve protection. That would, in theory at least, extend to territorial ground and surface water systems. Like the

Covenants, these provisions are not binding international law but recommendations.

148

The UN Millennium Declaration

of 2000 explicitly defines development as a human right. By detailing all components, including natural resources, and aspects of resource management and utilization, it implies water (chapter V).

149

The protection of

our common environment

is termed an act of collective responsibility (chapter IV).

This often cited Declaration, though it is not a binding regulation, has gained importance and status in an informal way, by being referred to in many political and scientific

fora

, influencing many national and sub-national policy decisions and agendas.

150

Water, in sum, has been defined as a qualified or relative human right by its use for development. It has also been linked to political self-determination. It has, however, not yet formally been awarded the status of a human right as such. The same is true for similarly essential resources and commodities pertaining to a healthy environment, like air and soil. The Security Council has so far avoided a debate on the role of water with regard to its role in development and international peace, even though water has been named a potential object of conflict in many UN-sponsored publications.

Parallel to the agreements cited above, UN-affiliated institutions like the

Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

have given water a special status.

151

The prestigious World Water Forum recently acknowledged that water is

a basic human need

, an indispensable commodity, and that everybody’s access to safe water sources is essential for public health and socio-economic stability. It stopped short of declaring water a human right that everybody would be entitled to access and

146

Document texts : www2.ohchr.org/english/law/

147

Document text: www.un.org.

148

Günther Unser: Die UNO. München: Beck 1992, p. 40-41 (in German).

149

Document text: www.un.org/millennium/declaration/ares552e.htm.

150

S. Marchisio argues that sustainable development, as demanded in the UN declaration, will eventually lead to defining water as a human right; in: Sustainable management of water resources and international law;

Water Science and Technology,

Vol. 42, No. 1, 2000, p. 247.

151

Salman A. Salman and Daniel Bradlow: Regulatory frameworks for water management.

Washington: The World Bank, 2006, p.158. The World Health Organization, in its Constitution (1946), has added every person’s right to health to its list of fundamental rights.

57

consume without conditions.

152

This omission received widespread criticism from social and environmental NGOs and many governments from arid countries. A number of Latin American, African and Asian governments declared water a human right in what was meant as a counter-declaration, in opposition to the official Forum declaration:

We recognise that access to water and sanitation is a human right and we are committed to all necessary actions for the progressive implementation of this right.

The European Parliament

declared water a

fundamental and universal right,

and the head of the UN General Assembly explicitly termed access to water

a public trust, a common heritage of people and nature, and a fundamental human right. I am convinced that we must challenge the notion that water is a commodity to be bought and sold on the open market.

153

The EU Water Framework Directive (WFD, 2000) explicitly treats water as a resource that, though it may be transferred, requires special protection.

154

The UN Declaration

recognizes the authority of state governments over matters of national concern, including public health and economic activities. While expressing the universal meaning of common human rights, the UN Declaration is not designed to restrict the authority of state authorities. On the other hand, a human right to water would not automatically put those people who suffer water shortages in a position to claim adequate water services or access to this resource, nor would it as such improve water availability. A government’s inability to provide sufficient water would in any case have to be assessed against a range of factors affecting water availability. As such, water would require a far more complicated handling than other human rights. A government failing to supply water may not simply be charged with a violation of universally valid human rights when adverse climatic conditions hamper the operation of public utilities.

The process to treat water as a human right has since continued on an indirect track aimed at raising pubic attention to the issue. The UN bodies like WHO have proven particularly vociferous in pushing governments to commit themselves to better water access, water quality and services like sanitation. It has been recognized that political measures to implement international water standards hinges on locally available financial and material resources.

155

The demand to declare water a human right, an entitlement, remains high on the agenda of international organizations and NGOs for a particular reason that has surfaced in recent years: the fear that market-based approaches to water management might exclude poor segments of a society from essential water services or subject them to inadequate water supplies.

Thus water must, as WHO and other organizations demand, be defined as an entitlement and a matter of government responsibility. Governments are called upon to provide water as part of their general duty to care for their citizens.

156

Water should

152

Quoted in Hilmi Toros: Troubled waters hard to bridge.

Inter Press Service

, 22 March 2009; www.ipsnews.net, www.worldwaterforum5.org (Istanbul, March 2009).

153

154

155

Miguel D’Escoto Brockmann, UNGA, quoted in Toros: troubled waters … (above).

Document text: http://europa.eu.int/comm/environment/water/.

156

WHO: The right to water Geneva: WHO, 2004, p. 9.

Many countries have entered environmental and public health protection in their constitutions; over

100 cases are cited by Dinah Shelton: Human Rights, Health & Environmental Protection: Linkages in

Law & Practice; Geneva: WHO,

Health and Human Rights Working Paper Series

No. 1, 2002, p. 22.

58

therefore not be seen as a subject of international aid or charitable work. Linked to the prospect that poor people might suffer from deficient water supplies is the threat of water, or rather the lack of it, becoming a catalyst of societal division and unrest.

157

Water ethics

In all major religions

water holds a high status as a source of all life. It has an important religious function in Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Islamic and Jewish rituals.

158

From the purifying effect of bathing in the Ganges, to baptizing, to cleaning oneself before prayer, water is indispensable in the daily practice of religion of billions of people as it symbolizes purity. The multi-faceted importance of water found its expression in political-legal moves to protect its status.

159

Interestingly, water’s religious importance has not prevented the contamination, misappropriation or overexploitation of water sources. The multi-faceted economic value of water has developed into an antipode to the cultural or ethical role of water early on.

160

The economic perspective of water has retained a dominant position to date, though it has been challenged by an increasing public awareness of the ecology of water resources and the ethically motivated responsibility to protect them.

Partly as result of this ethical understanding, economic development has come to be defined on a broader scale, including social and environmental aspects that directly or indirectly affect economic activities and performance.

161

This new orientation

157

WHO,

ibidem

. Poorer people tend to pay a proportionately higher price for water than richer segments of a society; see Patrick Webb and Maria Iskandarani: Water insecurity and the poor; Bonn:

ZEF/Center for Development Research, 1998, p. 28-33.

158

Ira Stubbe-Diarra: Die Bedeutung des Wassers in den Kulturen Asiens; in: Thomas Hoffmann:

Wasser in Asien

; Essen: Asienhaus, 1997, p. 82 – 99 (The importance of water in Asian cultures, in

German).

159

Referring to the Human Rights Charter of the UN (1948) cited before, Klawitter and Quazzaz term this

consensus on human rights a global moral conscience

. See Sabine Klawitter and Hadeel

Quazzaz: Water as a human right: the understanding of water in the Arab countries of the Middle East; published by Israel/Palestine Center for Research and Information and Heinrich Boell Foundation (no date), www.ipcri.org (15 August 2007). Whether there is a universal morale, remains debatable as concepts of justice and injustice vary widely. For a discussion of the universality of ethical standards see Hans Küng: Projekt Weltethos. München: Piper, 1991 (Towards inter-cultural ethics; in German).

In partial opposition to the official World Water Forum, the Third World Water Forum has called for a world water parliament to be established in order to represent people’s interests and guarantee a minimum of 40 litres per day for every individual; see: Alternative water future outlined;

BBC News

online, 24 March 2003. Wolf notes that water trading and pricing is a concept alien to some world religions, like Islam. The economic approach to water management and water conflict resolution, according to Wolf, relates to an entirely Western idea of water and society and runs counter to such values as equity, fairness and kindness; Aaron T. Wolf: Healing the enlightenment rift: rationality, spirituality and shared waters;

Journal of International Affairs

, vol. 61, no. 2, 2008, p. 58 -59.

160

According to Hartmut Böhme, a cultural anthropologist specializing in water at the Humboldt

University of Berlin, the introduction of sanitation services by municipal administrations in Europe in the 18 th

century faced strong public resistance because of the price to be paid by residents; see

Interview with Böhme in

Fluter

23/2008 (in German), p. 44.

161

One major factor in changing the direction of large water development projects has been the public protest against ill-conceived dams in India and Southeast Asia, highlighting the drastic social and economic consequences borne by local communities displaced or deprived of their livelihoods; see

World Commission on Dams: Dams and development; Cape Town: WCD, 2000. The conceptualization and implementation of water development projects has undergone operational changes, as Ronald Cummings, Ariel Dinar and Douglas Olson point out in: New evaluation procedures for a new generation of water-related projects;

World Bank Technical Paper

no. 349;

Washington, D.C.: World Bank, 1996. The authors trace the

change from a construction to a

59

towards sustainability is mirrored in a number of major international declarations.

162

The realization that a one-sided utilization of natural resources, among which water holds a special place due to its unique cultural, social and economic role, might not only lead to resource depletion but also to long-term economic stalemate or decline rather than growth, as the cost of resource rehabilitation exceeds potential gains, has become a increasingly prominent perception. In the public health sector, which is closely linked to clean water, the dependence of human societies and economies is exposed most acutely, making clean water an ethical demand as much as an economic requirement.

163

Falkenmark and Lundqvist, defining water scarcity and developing strategies to counter it, advocate a comprehensive, rather than exclusive, understanding of water management that includes ethical notions as much as scientifically tested methods to improve water management towards preserving a resource threatened by pollution and overuse.

164

Markets and water

Market approaches to water have been presented as a means to solve the water shortage in areas where governments fail to provide minimum resources to people.

Market mechanisms are expected to further effective and efficient water distribution, providing incentives for economic water use, higher resource productivity and – last but not least – business opportunities to private water companies.

165

Two elements

management approach to solving a country’s water problems… viewed in qualitative as well as quantitative terms

, p. VII. Project evaluation is done in three modes: the inferential approach (costbenefit reflecting the ecological sustainability of the project), the anecdotal approach (forecasting benefits drawn on similar cases), and the minimum impact approach (measuring expected damage, including the social costs). The World Bank, as a leading financier of much-criticized projects in the past, has pushed research into socially and ecologically sustainable water development through specialized water research departments. See also Ismael Serageldin: Towards sustainable management of water resources;

World Bank Directions in Development Series

; New York: WB, 1995, p. 10.

162

Among the most important, besides the landmark UN Conference on Environment and

Development (Rio de Janeiro, 1992), are the International Conference on Water and the Environment

(Dublin, 1992) and the World Water Forum (bi-annually since 1998). As Mike Acreman points out, the concept of sustainable development has from the beginning included a strong ethical notion; see

Acreman: Water and ethics, water and ecology; Paris: UNESCO 2004.

163

For the economic cost of poor public health and the spread of water-borne diseases in many developing countries see World Health Organization: World Health Report 2008; Geneva: WHO, 2009, esp. p.15. Malin Falkenmark and Gunnar Lindh, without explicitly advocating the market approach, stress the financial and economic significance of water resources degradation, a fact that tends to be underestimated; see: Water and economic development, in: Peter Gleick, ed.:

Water in crisis.

Oakland: Pacific Institute, 1993, p. 80-82.

164

Malin Falkenmark & Jan Lundqvist: Towards water security: political determination and human adaptation crucial, in:

Water Resources Journal

, Sept. 1998. Falkenmark has criticized the 1992 Rio conference for underestimating the impact of water pollution with regard to food production. The rehabilitation of vital water systems should be understood as the basis of food security in both developed and developing countries; see Malin Falkenmark: The greatest water problem: the inability to link environmental security, water security and food security;

Water Resources Development

, vol.

17, no. 4, 2001, p.540 ff.

165

The concept of virtual water trade is the latest extension of the economic approach to water management. It is based on the realization that water-intensive farming in many countries does not correspond to the available water resources in these same places. In order to reduce the water shortage, or vulnerability to shortage, in these countries it is suggested that these countries rather import those very same products from water-rich countries where water productivity is higher. For a discussion of this concept devised by Anthony Allan, see Lena Horlemann and Susanne Neubert:

Virtueller Wasserhandel zur Überwindung der Wasserkrise? In:

Aus Politik und Zeitgeschichte

60

distinguish this approach from others:

pricing and transfer

. The basic principle of this approach is the assumption that the value of this indispensable commodity should be reflected in an appropriate price. Adequate pricing will encourage reasonable consumption, according to this logic, whereas not pricing it will lead to waste.

166

The concept of water markets has in some cases proved to be effective, thus easing the pressure stemming from water shortage.

167

In water-short countries like South Africa, water pricing is used both to cover the cost of providing water resources and water services and also to regulate demand.

Through differential rates that are adapted to seasonal variability in water supplies, the over-all consumption can be kept in check.

168

Another motivation behind the principle idea of pricing and trading water is the desire to limit or reduce the financial burden to be borne by governments.

Private water companies

have in some cases succeeded in improving the quality and performance of water management through public-private partnerships, easing the financial burden on governments and effectively spreading water services and supplies to sectors of the society previously neglected. A key factor determining success or failure is the price-tag. Where municipal authorities failed to regulate pricing, private companies were free to raise the charges to a level that made the indispensable commodity unaffordable for poorer segments of the society.

169

On the other hand, governments which fail to cover the enormous cost of water management might inadvertently cause or

25/2006 (Virtual water trade a means to overcome the water crisis? in German), p. 26 – 31. It is considered a potential long-term, rather than a short-term remedy against the acute water shortage in regions like the Middle East because of structural hurdles like a lack of economic diversity in these countries, and trade barriers in industrial countries that make such imports economically unattractive, except for richer nations like Saudi-Arabia which could easily shift to other economic activities.

166

Ariel Dinar and Yacov Tsur: Efficiency and equity considerations in pricing and allocating irrigation water;

World Bank Policy Research Working Paper

No.1460, 1995.

167

168

Ibidem.

D. Stephenson: Demand management theory; in:

Water South Africa

, vol. 25, No. 2, 1999.

Stephenson, p. 117, cautions that the potential benefits from demand management are often spoiled by political interests contradicting the economic targets. The capacity to manage demand is primarily dependent on the general quality of the water service and delivery: consumers tend to disapprove of higher rates when services are unreliable or insufficient. This is particularly true for low-income sections of a society.

169

Among the oft-cited positive examples is Chile where private investment has improved water services significantly. A negative example is the Bolivian town of Cochabamba whose citizens rioted against over-pricing leaving several people dead; see: Lukrative Geschäfte mit dem “blauen Gold”,

Frankfurter Rundschau

, 1 Dec. 2001 (Lucrative deals with “blue gold”; in German); Wie das Wasser nach Happyland kam,

Die Zeit

(Hamburg), 21 August 2003 (How water reached Happyland, in

German). One general observation is that private entrepreneurship tends to focus on modern urban areas, rather than peripheral rural areas, due to expected revenues from city dwellers; see: Die H²O-

Geschäfte,

Die Zeit

, 6 March 2003 (Water business, in German). Not all business initiatives really improve the water supply: Nestle’s introduction of bottled water in Pakistan has made clean drinking water widely available, yet bottled water takes huge quantities of water to produce; see: Eau, no: clean, healthy and pure? Hardly. Bottled water is killing the planet,

The Independent

(London), 12

February 2006; the problem of disposed water bottles is another concern.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has made privatization in the water sector one of its development strategies: loan approvals for several countries are tied to efforts at privatizing water management and cost recovery by governments that seek IMF loans; see: IMF-imposed water privatisation,

The Sunday Leader

(Colombo), 11 February 2001. The EU Water Framework Directive demands that, without specifically requiring privatization, water charges to be set so to fully cover the cost of providing services and maintaining the water supply system.

61

exacerbate water shortage due to, for example, leaking pipes that could not be repaired or purification facilities that could not be operated.

170

Property rights

, according to Skaperdas, are an essential precondition to exchanges over resources.

171

Property rights define institutionally sanctioned

rights of action

(Pritzl, Demsetz).

172

These rights include the right of utilization, the right to reap benefits, the right to alter or modify structures and forms, and the right to transfer. In their absence, by this theory, coercion and conflict are likely because the stronger side is expected to force the weaker side to agree to its conditions, or simply follow a selfish course.

173

Water markets

and water trade have criticism from advocates of water rights for dividing societies along income lines. Tsur and Dinar, analyzing pricing schemes in the agriculture sector of several countries, argue that water prices tend not to affect income distribution, but some pricing methods can help reducing income inequality.

174

Savenije and Zaag counter that pricing promotes efficient water use by shifting water from low-value sectors to high-value sectors.

175

If implemented consequently, however, some purportedly low-value sectors would not receive sufficient water even if they prove vital for the economy.

The market approach seems to be diametrically opposed to the

human rights

approach: some human rights defenders argue that once water is declared an entitlement, it could not be treated as a tradable commodity any more. This position tends to ignore the risk of shortages caused by inefficient water management, inappropriate distribution or lack of funds for water services. Entitling people to access water in sufficient quantities can go hand in hand with

pricing water

. The resource as such may not be charged, but the service to provide it. Studies have shown that even low-income households are willing to pay an appropriate amount of money for quality water supplies and services.

176

From an economic point of view, the fear that poor people might find themselves at the bottleneck of water supplies, receiving insufficient water, can be countered by adjusting the financial burden in other categories: by lowering the tax on other commodities or services in a move to create incentives to consume water efficiently.

177

In the long run, raising the quality of water services means an

170

In many countries, only 10 – 30 per cent of over-all costs are covered through water charges; the bulk is financed through subsidies; see: Patrick Webb and Maria Iskandarani: Water insecurity and the poor; Bonn: Center for Development Research (ZEF), 1998, p. 28-34.

171

Stergios Skaperdas: Cooperation, conflict and power in the absence of property rights;

American

Economic Review

, vol. 82, no. 4, 1992, p. 720 – 722.

172

Rupert Pritzl: ‘Property rights’, ‘rent-seeking’ und institutionelle Schwäche in Lateinamerika

(Property Rights, rent-seeking and institutional weakness; in German);

Ibero-Amerikanisches Archiv

, vol. 23, no. 3 – 4, 1997, p. 373 - 377, referring to Harold Demsetz: Toward a theory of property rights;

American Economic Review

, vol. 57, 1967, p. 347.

173

Christopher N. Gibbs & Daniel Bromley: Institutional arrangements for management of rural resources: common-property regimes; in: Fikret Berkes, ed.:

Common property resources: ecology and community-based sustainable development;

London: Belhaven, 1989, p. 22 ff.

174

175

Ariel Dinar and Yacov Tsur: Efficiency and equity,

supra

, p. 27.

Hubert Savenije & Pieter van der Zaag: Water as an economic good and demand management: paradigms with pitfalls;

Water International

, vol. 27, no. 1, p. 102.

176

The Economist

(London), special water edition, 19 July 2003.

177

The purchasing power of consumers is critical as it directly determines access to water along strict economic lines. This means that low-income consumers effectively depend on some form of

62

investment in the social and political future of societies. Based on solid, reliable water management, a country’s capacity to provide water to poorer segments of the society that have previously been left without water is expected to increase due to returns on investment in sectors of the economy that benefit from improved water services.

178

Water demand management

is a way to achieve

desirable demands and desirable uses

, as opposed to simply satisfying needs regardless of hydrological, social or environmental conditions, as Savenije and Zaag argue.

179

This approach intends to regulate, through economic stimuli, water demand towards balancing water consumption. Instruments are quota, licensing, tradable water rights for local water markets, use-specific water charges, subsidies, and penalties. Unlike supply management, it focuses on the user and concrete demands, rather than on maximum supplies regardless of actual needs. This approach means more of a general shift in attitude than an actual concept of management, but if this shift takes place on a wider scale, it will inevitably have a positive effect on over-all water availability. As Biswas and Tortajada conclude, assessing Spain’s National Hydrological Plan, demandfocused management has important advantages in terms of both water availability and water sharing.

180

Turton has analyzed the implementation of this approach: the shift from one form of water management to another, more progressive (like demand management) hinges on a number of factors, like the state of industrialization. The attention to water efficiency relates to the economic profile and development status of a nation. To effectively improve water management towards greater productivity requires an

adaptive capacity

based on social resources within an institutional framework.

181 government-regulated subsidies in case water prices exceed their purchasing power. In the case of irrigation, efforts at increasing efficiency and reducing waste have led to government subsidies for efficient technology; penalizing waste instead, as a negative incentive, may prove even more effective in terms of reducing waste and furthering higher productivity, as Ray Huffaker and Norman Whittlesey suggest: A theoretical analysis of economic incentive policies encouraging agricultural water conservation;

Water Resources Development

, vol. 19, no. 1, 2003, p. 37 – 53.

178

The case of Singapore’s rise to one of Asia’s most prosperous country’s, as a result of the government’s decision to drastically improve its water management, is cited by Peter Wilderer, a water engineer of the Technical University of Munich and winner of the Water Nobel Prize, see: Keine sinnvolle Technik ohne Kulturverständnis (Useful technology requires cultural knowledge; in German), interview in:

Humboldt Kosmos

(journal of the Humboldt Foundation, Bonn), 82/2003, p.18.

179

Hubert Savenije & Pieter van der Zaag: Water as an economic good and demand management: paradigms with pitfalls;

Water International

, vol. 27, no. 1, p.100. Not to be underestimated is the longterm effect of demand management in terms of raising public awareness of water, as the authors stress.

180

Asit Biswas & Cecilia Tortajada: An assessment of the Spanish National Hydrological Plan;

Water

Resources Development

, vol. 19, no. 3, 2003, p. 395 – 396. Among the advantages are direct savings in major dimensions from realizing alternative water sources (desalinated seawater instead of extensive river diversions). Combined with this approach are new pricing schemes that are to replace traditional subsidies which have led to inflated water demands, not least to rising pressure on the public purse. At the same time, desalination is expected to become cheaper whereas construction costs (as envisaged in the Plan) are due to rise. In addition, the need to save water for hydrological and ecological purposes (rehabilitation of the river system) means that less water is to be consumed – a demand formulated in the EU Water Framework Directive.

181

Anthony Turton: Water scarcity and social adaptive capacity: towards an understanding of the social dynamics of water demand management in developing countries;

MEWREW Occasional Paper

no. 9 (School of Oriental and African Studies), 1999, p. 8 - 11, 19 – 21, referring to J. Allan and M.

Karshenas: Managing environmental capital: the case of water in Israel, Jordan, the West Bank and

Gaza, 1947 to 1995; in: J. Allan and J. Court, eds.:

Water, peace and the Middle East: Negotiating resources in the Jordan Basin

; London: Taurus, 1996.

63

For the problem of water sharing this means, countries at a lower stage of development, with less adaptive capacity, would demand greater amounts of water to fuel their water management yet face greater pressure to raise their water productivity and eventually reduce their demand. Following Turton’s assessment, long-term water distribution is linked to both technological innovation and social change.

182

Water trading has proved successful

in several cases, involving both ground and surface water resources. In this case, the resource as such and the water service are charged. Water transfers can effectively improve water availability on the local level if ecological conditions are taken into account.

183

Groundwater, a source that requires a long time to replenish, is particularly volatile to over-exploitation. Legal provisions as well as the definition of property rights are essential in order to maintain basic market rules that allow for an effective allocation of resources, as Saleth points out.

184

Without these, groundwater markets can promote inequity and, directly and indirectly, lead to shortage.

For surface water transfers

, the example of the Northern Colorado Water

Conservancy District stands out as an elaborate institutional arrangement. Within the scope of this administrative unit, the right to withdraw water from a common source is subject to trade among water users, irrespective of the actual amount of water to be used. The actual available amount of water is announced by the district administration. Each owner of an allotment will receive a proportionate share on a yearly basis.

185

Kemper and Simpson highlight the fact that this system of water trading is effectively improving the water availability because its flexibility is flanked by a tight system of regulations designed to prevent water waste or transfer out of this district.

These allotments are

water rights

which are founded in contracts between the water user and the district authority. This system deserves detailed description because it addresses the particular problem of asymmetry in river utilization. The trade in water rights, or rather uses, is limited to fixed consumptive uses and bound to the no-harm

182

… for example, drip irrigation to lower water consumption, and a social readiness to relinquish economic activities that require too much water. The concept of adaptive management will be discussed further in the chapter on integrated water management in this section.

183

India serves as a model for water markets; examples from several Indian states are presented by

G. S. Ganesh Prasad: Water markets: public resource and private appropriation; in:

Economic and

Political Weekly

(New Delhi), 5 January 2002; water charges typically are in kind, i.e. farmers return part of their crops for water. In the case of groundwater, the charge covers the installation and operation of pumps. Saleth, referring to groundwater, cautions that the spread of water trading, in the absence of legal regulation, has led to aquifer depletion in some areas; see: R. Maria Saleth:

Groundwater markets in India: a legal and institutional perspective;

Indian Economic Review

, vol. 29, no. 2, 1994, p. 157 – 164.

184

R. M. Saleth: groundwater markets,

ibidem

, p. 164. A potential framework for groundwater management on the local level, based on public participation, has been presented by Markus Moench:

Approaches to ground water management;

Economic and Political Weekly

, September 1994, p. A135 ff. A particular obstacle to effective regulation is the lack of controls and transparency. Metering has so far proved to be unreliable.

Some states have enacted ground water laws, following guidelines by the Central Ground Water

Authority; see: http://cgwb.gov.in/GroundWater/gw_regulation.htm (May 2010).

185

Karin E. Kemper & Larry D. Simpson: The water market in the Northern Colorado Water

Conservancy District – institutional implications; in: Karin Kemper, Manuel Mariño, eds.:

Institutional frameworks in successful water markets: Brazil, Spain, and Colorado, USA

; New York: World Bank,

Technical Paper

no. 427, 1999.

64

rule: downstream water users must be safe from losses or be compensated in case of changes in use patterns, as determined by a court. Transparency, clear rules and responsibilities, and authorities for the regulation of such transfers are a requirement of success.

186

Summing up the wider discussion on

water as an economic good

, Perry

et alii

pointedly argue that the usefulness of economic approaches hinges on the definition of values: water as a private good treated according to market principles versus water as a public good that is to be treated as a basic human need regulated by government institutions.

187

The latter position does not exclude pricing, though usually only services are priced, not the resource as such. Typical failures of public sector water management lie in the tendency to promote waste, with multiple adverse effects, as in the case of irrigation where head-end farmers receive and consume too much water, spoiling soils, whereas tail-end farmers face drought.

Private sector water management

, in order to prevent divisive effects noted above, needs to balance costs and benefits which, in cases like irrigation, can be difficult to realize.

188

Unless several preconditions are met, market forces are not expected to render positive effects, notably:

- precise entitlements to all users,

- adequate infrastructure, water

- effective institutional oversight and enforcement of regulations.

Dellapenna cites examples from the United States advocating a shift to public water management because it is allows greater efficiency and justice in water distribution.

189

An important condition, in line with Perry

et al.

, is the legal framework.

186

The system has been limited to that particular district, reflecting a legal set-up established in the

19 th

century; that makes water transfers to external districts virtually impossible even if there is a strong demand for water, like in the city of Denver;

ibidem

, p. 31. The early establishment of an institutional framework for water management is crucial to its further development into a successful water rights system, as well as instruments for the enforcement of rules. Similar systems are successfully in place in Brazil; see: Karin Kemper, José Yalay de Brito Gonçalves, Francisco Brito

Bezerra: Water allocation and trading in the Cariri Region, Ceará, Brazil; in Kemper & Mariño:

Frameworks

,

supra

, p. 2 - 8. For a comparison of water markets in the U.S. and India see Nirmal

Mohanty & Shreekant Gupta: Breaking the gridlock in water reforms through water markets: international experience and implementation issues for India; Delhi: Liberty Institute, 2002; www.libertyindia.org (March 2010).

187

C. Perry, Michael Rock & D. Seckler: Water as an economic good: a solution, or a problem?

Colombo: IWMI, Research Report 14, 1997; Hubert Savinje & Pieter van der Zaag: Water as an economic good: the value of pricing and the failure of markets; Delft: UNESCO & Institute for Water

Education (IHE), 2006; Alfredo Sfeir-Younis: Economic policies and watershed management; in: K.

William Easter, J. Dixon & M. Hufschmidt, eds.:

Watershed resources management. An integrated framework with studies from Asia and the Pacific

; Boulder: Westview, 1986, p. 76 – 78.

188

Perry

et al

.: Water as an economic good,

supra

, p. 10 – 12, citing the need to take into account infrastructure costs and ecological damage to water basins.

189

Joseph Dellapenna: Markets – ethics – law: what can each contribute? In: Saskia Castelein, ed.:

From conflict to cooperation in water resources management: Challenges and opportunities

; conference proceedings; Delft: UNESCO & Institute for Water Education (IHE), Nov. 2002, p.132. For a synthesis of economic and entitlement approaches within a clearly defined legal framework see

Odeh Al Jayyousi: Water as a human right: towards civil society globalization;

Water Resources

Development

, vol. 23, no. 2, 2007, p. 329 – 339.

65

Dellapenna realistically considers the role of ethical aspects to be limited: they can

mobilize the political will

, but fail to overcome economic interests to benefit from resource utilization:

A sound ethically based legal regime would incorporate economic incentives as a management tool, as well as, when necessary, a command and control system

, but warns of generalizing economic approaches as the principal solution: Economic incentives are created and operate differently as compared to markets.

190

Water rights

Lundqvist considers

formal water rights essential

for improving water management because without them river basins would face degradation.

191

Advocating a comprehensive approach to water management, he links water rights to a

responsibility

over water:

Making water everybody’s business

means if all water users share the same rights and responsibilities, they will cooperate towards utilizing the river in an ecologically sustainable way. Linking water rights based on a normative, ethical concept of water use to water law, Lundqvist implicitly refers to corresponding trends in international water law that stress equitable and reasonable use of water sources as a universal obligation.

The underlying fear of water rights advocates is that market mechanisms might effectively deprive people with lower purchasing power of their legitimate claims to this vital commodity simply by pricing them out of the market. To strengthen water rights, three elements are essential:

- defined quantities,

- timing,

- and quality, as Molle stresses.

192

The development and forms of water rights

vary according to the river basin and the respective conditions of water use:

In reality the practical distinction among property rights, regulations and liability rules becomes very fuzzy: they mutually determine what can be done with property

.

193

Howe’s observation implicitly points at the vague difference between water rights, which by most definitions are rights of access and use, and property rights, which are rights of ownership allowing use and transfer of water.

194

190

Ibidem

, p. 133.

191

Jan Lundqvist: Rules and roles in water policy and management. Need for clarification of rights and obligations; Proceedings of the seminar

Towards upstream/downstream hydrosolidarity

; Stockholm:

Stockholm International Water Institute, 14 August 1999; www.siwi.org (3/2010).

192

François Molle: Defining water rights: by prescription or negotiation?

Water Policy

, vol. 6, 2004, p.

211.

193

Charles W. Howe: Property rights, water rights and the changing scene in western water; in:

Chennat Gopalakrishnan, Cecilia Tortajada & Asit Biswas, eds.:

Water institutions: policies, performance and prospects

; New York/Heidelberg/Delhi: Springer, 2005, p.175.

194

For an overview of interpretations: A.P. Lini Grima & Fikret Berkes: Natural resources: access, rights-to-use and management; in: Fikret Berkes, ed.:

Common property resources: ecology and community-based sustainable development

; London: Belhaven, 1989, p. 40. Meinzen-Dick distinguishes three types, or

bundles

, of water rights: use rights, control rights, and transfer rights;

Ruth Meinzen-Dick: Water rights issues in agriculture; in: David Molden, ed.:

Issues of water management in agriculture

; Colombo: IFPRI, 2002, p. 65.

66

Meinzen-Dick and Bruns caution that principles of water allocation are not always formalized by conventional statutes.

195

Therefore the recommended understanding of water rights,

legal pluralism,

takes into account diverse legal or quasi-legal norms that guide water sharing, corresponding to a multitude of formalized laws as well as

people’s own perceptions

of water rights. They should be seen as dynamic, negotiable entitlements rather than monolithic

prescriptions

.

196

Meinzen-Dick and

Bruns add that as a result, conflict management has also undergone changes.

197

Where water rights are not sufficiently formalized negotiations – either within the institutional framework or outside – gain importance.

198

An important aspect of water rights is the focus on the actual stakeholders, the water users. Common to most contributions in this debate is the implicit understanding of water as a collectively used resource on which all sides are equally dependent.

Therefore an interest in the continued utilization is to be expected. What must be true for most if not all water users, or stakeholders, may not necessarily be true for higher levels like the governments of a state or province or even a nation. This discrepancy of affectedness could be a crucial factor in water management and water sharing – an aspect that will be looked into more closely in the empirical section.

Conclusion: entitlements versus markets?

The concepts presented in this chapter have one common denominator: they appreciate the multi-dimensional value of water as an essential, indispensable commodity. The value of this commodity is expressed in the high legal status that advocates of water entitlements call for and widening public concerns. At the same time, its economic value has received greater acknowledgment recently – both as a tradable resource and with regard to the economic potential attached to the availability of water and the flow of rivers. The ongoing discussion on natural resource economy is about to bridge the gap between classical economic positions and ecological arguments.

199

Ethical arguments

are important for this study because they shed light on the manifold uses of water, the question of participation of water users, and efforts at preserving water systems. As such, they can affect the political process of water distribution, though their influence is likely to be of an indirect manner.

195

Ruth S. Meinzen-Dick & Bryan Randolph Bruns: Negotiating water rights: introduction; in: Bryan

Bruns & Ruth Meinzen-Dick, eds.:

Negotiating water rights

; Delhi: Vistaar, 2000, p. 25.

196

197

Molle: Defining water rights,

op. cit.

, p. 207.

Ruth S. Meinzen-Dick & Bryan Randolph Bruns: Negotiating transitions in water rights;

Water

Resources Impact

, vol. 5, no. 3, 2003 (no page numbers); www.ewra.org/impact (May 2004).

198

Much of the water rights/property rights debate centres on the local or community level, the level of the actual stakeholders. Therefore most of the findings and recommendations emanating from this debate have only limited relevance to higher levels,

e.g.

the provincial or national level. The discussion of these rights nevertheless has its rightful place in this study because it can further the understanding of diverse legal and normative approaches to sharing water and the positions taken by the parties in the dispute over water in Pakistan.

199

The latest and certainly one of the most remarkable signals in this respect comes from an institution that has been known to promote a rather conservative understanding of natural resource economics: World Bank to lead economic push on nature protection

; BBC News

(online), 28 Oct.

2010. The World Bank acknowledges the limits of one-dimensional approaches to natural resources by pointing at the incalculable, yet economically significant consequences of overuse and ecosystem degradation.

67

The water rights debate

has highlighted important aspects of water management that affect water sharing, especially the role of the government to ensure availability, quality, and resource protection. In order for water to further social and economic development, which has been identified as a universal right, the status of the resource and its utilization must be prevented from misuse, over-exploitation or diversion. Ethically motivated approaches to water have strengthened the call for a human right to water and development and cautioned against economic advances to treat water like any other commodity. Given the indispensability of water, it is obvious that any trade in water will have to adhere to strict rules in order to prevent conflict of illegitimate water transfers that may cause abundance in one place and shortage in another. The impression inherent in legal approaches to conflict-prone issues such as water sharing that clear-cut legal rules effectively prevent such conflicts will have to be confronted with political realities. As the discussion of rationality will show, action is not solely determined by rules, but also by interests, perceived gains and losses, and the particular circumstances in which each actor operates.

The market-based approach

holds relevant findings for the problem of water sharing. In principle, it has shown that water distribution along market rules can be effective. The role of incentives, both negative (in the form of penalties or higher prices) and positive (rewards, e.g. lower prices or rebates), has the potential to improve water management without automatically sacrificing entitlements or a human right to water. One of its convincing advantages lies in its flexibility: water transfers, if administered appropriately, can satisfy demands according to time and place. Where gains can be made from transferring water, waste is expected to be minimal. This is true for leaking water pipes in many cities, too, that before could not be repaired due to lacking public funds. Most importantly, the

focus on potential benefits

, rather than simply quantities of the resource, helps broaden the perspective on water’s manifold uses, the relevance of resource protection and the realistic dimension of water sharing.

The note on virtual water trade, exotic as it may seem, points in a similar direction: As it focuses on water productivity, i.e. the amount of water needed in different places to produce a given quantity of a selected produce, this concept questions economic policies. The political-economic decision to grow water-intensive crops in water-short areas tends to make water sharing more difficult, as stakeholders representing waterintensive farming compete with stakeholders that represent water-efficient farming.

The idea of virtual water – i.e. the water needed to produce or manufacture a certain commodity – highlights the principle of appropriate water utilization: ideally, water utilization in any given place represents a balance between water needs (for any kind of economic activity) and the water resources available.

This situation forms part of the water dispute between the

provinces of Pakistan

:

Punjab founds part of its claim to water on the assumption that irrigation techniques of Sindh, the lower riparian province, are inefficient and wasteful, thus aggravating the over-all water availability up to a point of severe shortage. Hypothetically, the country’s water problem of sharing could be alleviated by introducing irrigation reform. That would, however, not affect the acute water situation, only the long-term water supply.

Economic concepts offer a way out of this dead-end. The critical question of

supplyversus-demand

is seen here from a less polarizing, less narrow angle than in the

68

water-shortage-water-conflict theorem. It offers to trade benefits or entitlements if an acute water situation may require it.

A shift to demand

(rather than supply) management implies a critical review of actual water needs, promoting a reorientation towards greater water productivity. This has an immediate effect on water sharing.

The lesson from cases where water markets led to unwanted consequences is to install adequate legal provisions and

enforcement-cum-control mechanisms

that prevent adverse effects of pricing. It will be seen in the empirical section how some countries have incorporated flexible economic and political mechanisms for water sharing embedded in an effective institutional environment.

What is missing with the above discussed economic concepts of benefit sharing is the

question of negative outcomes

: How to account for damages? Will damages to the river system be treated along the same principle as gains? A full account of benefits to be realized from water utilization has to include costs for the rehabilitation of the river system in case of water pollution caused by one or more water users, which will have a negative effect on the benefits to be expected by other water users.

Damages like water pollution from unchecked effluence from agricultural and industrial activities deteriorate the water quality and reduce the quantity of readily usable water. Though such damages tend to fully materialize in the long run, some negative consequences are likely to have a short-term effect on seasonal water use, too.

To further test the potential of economic approaches to water management, their influence on the political process of decision-making will be assessed: How do concepts of political economy explain political interaction over water sharing? How do political actors, like the governments of the Pakistani provinces, promote their interests? Water shortage is a central issue in the process of water sharing. But what does water shortage mean, and how can it affect water management? Which challenges does water shortage pose to water sharing? The issue of responsibility for damages will be addressed by discussing concepts of integrated water management that apply a long-term, comprehensive perspective on river use.

69

II.3 Integrated river management

Rivers have been understood as being either part of a demarcated territory or as a hydrological unit, as such independent of political boundaries. The latter definition, advocated by environmental and hydrological experts, has gained prominence in the light of dwindling water reserves, deteriorating water quality in rivers in many parts of the globe and a growing number of people suffering from a lack of water. These concerns have fuelled the debate over a comprehensive form of water management that would take into account all relevant aspects of water use.

While the former definition of rivers has been criticized for ignoring hydrological imperatives, the latter has been challenged for not sufficiently taking into account political realities. This chapter explores the concept of integrated water resources management (IWRM) in light of the problem of water sharing: can this concept which integrates diverse types of river utilization be a suitable framework for water sharing?

Integrated water management: a concept or a vision?

From a hydrological perspective, the question of water sharing is seen in line with the requirements of the river basin. The main objective of this approach which defines a water body as a complex hydrological system is to ensure future water supply through sustainable water use. Sustainability is a formula for environmental management that balances human economic activity with the natural requirements of ecological systems, such as rivers. Overuse or overexploitation threatens the ecosystem and thus the future availability. As a result, a sustainable mode of natural resource management would have to integrate economic and social factors as well as ecological imperatives into a comprehensive set of provisions and rules in order to ensure resource protection. As Biswas puts it,

the water problems are becoming increasingly more and more interconnected with other development-related issues and also with social, economic, environmental, legal, and political factors at local and national levels

.

200

According to the Global Water Partnership (GWP), IWRM is a

process which promotes the coordinated development and management of water, land and related resources, in order to maximize the resultant economic and social welfare in an equitable manner without compromising the sustainability of vital ecosystems

.

201

Principles of Integrated Water Resources Management

were formulated in the course of the 1992 Dublin Water Conference:

- Water is a finite resource that requires adequate management and protection

- Involvement of all stakeholders in river management participation

- Water is an economic good and has multiple economic and other values.

202

200

Asit K. Biswas: Integrated Water Resources Management: a reassessment;

Water International

, vol. 29, no. 2, 2004, p. 248.

201

GWP: Integrated Water Resources Management; Stockholm: GWP,

TAC Background Paper

no.4,

2000; quoted by Biswas,

supra

, p. 249.

202

The Dublin Statement of Water and Sustainable Development, issued at the International

Conference on Water and the Environment – Development Issues for the 21 st

Century; Dublin, 26 – 31

70

This conference is commonly credited for being the starting point of the wider IWRM debate. Besides promoting the understanding of water as an economic resource, as

Zaag and Savenije note, it is the focus on benefits drawn from water, rather than the resource and its quantities, and the multi-dimensional value and importance of water that initiated a wider discourse on water management.

203

Biswas, listing no less than 35 features of IWRM derived from various individual studies, counters that IWRM has not evolved into a methodical concept because it lacks a clear-cut definition, and doubts that a truly holistic concept that would incorporate all major issues of water management is feasible because of the very complex nature of water and the limited knowledge so far available.

204

Medema and

Jeffrey, replying to Biswas, stress that IRWM should be seen as

a continuous process of balancing and making trade-offs

, rather than a state or an objective.

Nevertheless, it

remains to be seen whether it is indeed possible for a single paradigm to encompass all the countries and regions

that each reflect specific conditions.

205

Building on the Dublin principles, they suggest a set of

characteristics

that represent a widely acknowledged definition of IWRM:

- a systemic approach to rivers based on a catchment level understanding,

- relevance of environmental and social aspects of water use,

- stakeholder participation and supportive government structures,

- equitable water allocation,

- reliable, up-to-date information and forecasting, pricing.

The aim of IWRM

is to

balance water for livelihood and water as a resource

.

206

In other words, IWRM expresses the desire to melt two seemingly contrary fields – ecology and economy – into one concept based on the understanding that in order to realize long-term economic gains from natural resources, ecologic aspects need to be recognized. The structural mechanism needed to implement a concept by this definition is not described here. Some authors mention vaguely an institutional arrangement that provides for cross-sectoral coordination, public participation, and implementation of agreements and regulations, and conflict settlement.

January 1992; reproduced in: Salman Salman & D. Bradlow:

Regulatory frameworks for water resources management

; Washington, D.C.: World Bank, 2006, Appendix 1.

203

Hubert Savenije & Pieter van der Zaag: Water as an economic good and demand management: paradigms with pitfalls;

Water International

; vol. 27, no. 1, 2002, p. 98. A major factor in the development and spreading of this concept was the Rio Conference of 1992 focussing on sustainable resource use.

IWRM has since become a focus of professional education: the University of Biel, Switzerland, offers training courses for water experts, see: www.ahb.bfh.ch/ahb/en/Weiterbildung/. Other institutions like

IWMI offer training courses in aspects of water management based on IWRM. IWMI has developed a strong reputation in Pakistan for hosting workshops for farmers on comprehensive water management; www.iwmi.org.

204

205

Biswas: Integrated water …,

supra

, p. 252.

Wietske Medema & Paul Jeffrey: IWRM and adaptive management: Synergy or conflict?

NeWater

Report Series

no. 7, 2005, p. 8; www.newater.info. This definition is based on the Global Water

Partnership’s (GWP) concept of IWRM as outlined in

GWP Technical Advisory Committee

Background Paper

no. 4 on Integrated Water Resources Management; Stockholm: GWP 2000.

206

GWP: Integrated Water Resources Management and water efficiency plans by 2005. Why, what and how?

GWP Technical Advisory Committee Background Paper

no. 10; Stockholm: GWP, 2005.

71

Important elements

of an IWRM mechanism are

- management instruments for assessment, information, allocation,

- an enabling environment (policies and legislation) and

- an institutional framework (central-to-local, basin-wide, public and private actors).

207

The

coordination

between various administrative institutions is meant to increase efficiency by avoiding overlap from fragmented authority. This could undermine the perception of rivers as functional units and inadvertently further policies that would depart from comprehensive river management. In this context, decentralization has been stressed as a requirement of IWRM. Mody asserts that

decentralization

of authority is important to adequately address concerns on local levels, yet stresses that in order to implement IWRM successfully, some form of centralized decisionmaking might be required in some fields.

208

Financial authority is a requirement for decentralized institutions to work effectively, as is the participation of stakeholders and property rights. Changing centralized mechanisms to decentralized, as Mody cautions, may take decades due to competing political interests which means that the implementation of water sharing decisions may be hampered for a long period. A potential negative outcome of decentralization, if pushed to the lowest level, is that the solution of boundary problems may be made more difficult because coordination and consensus-building will take longer.

Jaspers cites a number of large river basins in which IWRM mechanisms have evolved, some with strong government backing, others more or less out of itself.

209

However the involvement of stakeholders, i.e. riparian communities, in the management process cannot be taken for granted: the Narmada River dispute in

India is a prominent example of lacking stakeholder participation in major river development decision-making that has led to a long-standing confrontation between local communities, state authorities and construction companies. It is true that hydrological approaches, as opposed to territorial concepts or river management, allow efficient river utilization. But this understanding does not foreclose political interests tied to territorial demarcation. As will be seen in the next chapter, national interests in many cases dominate negotiations over collective river use – in spite of potential gains from integrated river management.

IWRM in South Asia

Mollinga describes the state of IWRM in Asia as

a concept looking for a constituency

.

One reason is that IWRM lacks clarity; it is an

amalgamation

of different concepts, some of which has been in existence since long.

210

Mollinga, like Medema and

Jeffrey, stresses the

particular objective of IWRM in Asia

, unlike that of IWRM in

Europe: social-economic development and poverty reduction. Along with different

207

GWP,

ibidem

.

208

Jyothsna Mody: Management of river basin systems through decentralization;

World Bank Report

;

Washington, D.C.: WB, 2001, p. 5 ff.; www.worldbank.org (May 2003), currently listed as unpublished, not available online any more (May 2005).

209

F. G. W. Jaspers: Institutional arrangements for integrated river basin management;

Water Policy

, no. 5, 2003, p. 80.

210

Peter P. Mollinga: IWRM in Asia: a concept looking for a constituency; in: P. Mollinga, Ajaya Dixit &

Kusum Athukorala, eds.:

Integrated water resources management: global theory, emerging practice and local needs;

London/Delhi: Sage, 2006, p. 28.

72

targets go different perceptions and approaches. Citing political and professional reservations against IWRM by the above standards, he challenges the somewhat optimistic and generalizing view of the Global Water Partnership which suggests that in all seven countries of South Asia, first steps at IWRM have been undertaken:

The participation discourse has not been able to enrol or force the government water bureaucracy, which is dominantly present in South Asia, into a process of rethinking some of the basic premises of its approach to water resources

.

211

As Mollinga points out, this

social idea

tends to conflict with more pragmatic approaches of the engineering community in the water bureaucracy of South Asia. Thus IWRM is

not a universal concept

, rather

part of a global debate

.

212

Some examples

nevertheless leave little doubt that water management has become more comprehensive, including many aspects of IWRM.

India

’s existing institutional arrangement covers a wide range of water management tasks, including conflict settlement.

213

To assess the state of water management, however, is not easy, as

Bandyopadhyay notes.

214

One problem is

data secrecy

by official water institutions that prevents the transparency necessary for broad stakeholder involvement and for evaluating policies. The National Water Policy that evolved from a series of meetings of the National Water Resources Council in 2002 is a comprehensive plan that was followed by a government action plan to implement it. But the lack of institutionalized coordination has already drawn criticism from NGOs. The priority of irrigation over river basin ecology, according to the author, conflicts with the stated principles of

IWRM.

Janakarajan, citing India’s Cauvery River dispute over water shares, points at the institutional development towards solving the dispute between the riparian states but joins Bandyopadhyay in criticizing the lack of coordination between administrative units: the National Water Plan remains a mere statement of intentions because it is not supported by legislation, or by a

time-bound, concrete action plan

. Moreover,

unprincipled and myopic political ambitions

drive a

regional chauvinism

that undermines not only cooperation in the water sector but also

the very foundation of

India’s federalism

.

215

In

Sri Lanka

, coordination between water bodies is hampered by a multitude of institutions. As a result, duplication leads to confusion and

211

Mollinga,

supra

, p. 30 – 32; Global Water Partnership: Informal stakeholder baseline survey.

Current status of national efforts towards sustainable water management using an IWRM approach;

GWP 2004, p. 18; www.gwpforum.org (Aug. 2008).

212

Mollinga,

supra

, p. 34. This view is supported by a more detailed assessment of Asian IWRM: Asit

Biswas, Olli Varis & Cecilia Tortajada, eds.: Integrated water resources management in South and

South-East Asia; Cambridge: Oxford University Press, 2005. Adding to the conclusion that IWRM does not represent a universal concept, Bruce Lankford & Nick Hepworth stress that while IWRM formulae have been exported from Western European countries, they can by no means simply adapted to just any river basin: The cathedral and the bazaar: monocentric and polycentric river basin management;

Water Alternatives

, vol. 3, no. 1, 2010, p. 92 – 97; www.water-alternatives.org (August 2010); citing the case of Tanzania, IWRM may have to be implemented on a sub-basin level in order to be successful, rather than on a state level, like in many industrialized countries of the temperate zone.

213

S. Bhatt: Environmental laws and water resources management; Delhi: Radiant Publishers, 1986; p. 47 – 51.

214

Jayanta Bandyopadhyay: Criteria for a holistic framework for water systems management in India; in: P. Mollinga, Ajaya Dixit & Kusum Athukorala, eds.:

Integrated water resources management: global theory, emerging practice and local needs

; London/Delhi: Sage, 2006, p. 152 - 162.

215

S. Janakarajan: Approaching IWRM through multi-stakeholder dialogue: some examples from

South India; in: P. Mollinga, Ajaya Dixit & Kusum Athukorala, eds.:

Integrated water resources management: global theory, emerging practice and local needs

; London/Delhi: Sage, 2006, p. 292-

298.

73

inefficiency. While the

need for sector-based development activities in water resources to be planned and managed in an integrated and holistic manner is now accepted

, the institutional arrangement does not include

instruments for transactions between sectors and competing needs

.

216

Imbulana, while accepting this assessment in principle, reiterates that IWRM should be seen as a continuous process, rather than a status.

217

Adaptive water management (AM)

The idea of adaptive management has been introduced recently to augment the concept of IWRM towards greater flexibility by adding institutional resilience. AM originates from systems analysis and has been applied to political processes. It has been used to address shortcomings of IWRM which is criticized for being too static to allow for flexible management of a highly dynamic and unpredictable resource.

218

Uncertainty

is essentially a lack of information that hinders water managers from optimizing water use.

219

This means that

reflexive capabilities of individuals and societies

are important, as Medema and Jeffrey point out.

Communication

between all stakeholders and active

participation

in decision-making – as in IWRM – is essential to react to unforeseen changes in the river and also to provide the transparency necessary to ensure compliance of all sides with established rules or agreed treaties. This sets limits to long-term planning and stresses instead regular exchange of information and, if necessary, adaptation. Adaptive Management consequently focuses on the flow of information and coordination between all actors and institutions involved, through a constant process of monitoring, evaluating, adjusting, planning and acting.

220

Raadgever and Mostert have examined a number of international river basins for the quality of their respective water management, applying a set of AM and IWRM characteristics which they term

River Basin Management (RBM) regimes

.

221

Rather than using IWRM as a conceptual starting point, they apply regime theory, a concept originally designed to explain international relations, to trans-national rivers.

222

An RBM regime, according to their definition, describes the interaction of

216

Ranjith Ratnayake: Inter-/intra-sector coordination as a means to IWRM: the case of Sri Lanka; in:

P. Mollinga, Ajaya Dixit & Kusum Athukorala, eds

.: Integrated water resources management: global theory, emerging practice and local needs

; London/Delhi: Sage, 2006, p. 250 – 256.

217

Lalani Imbulana: Water allocation between agriculture and hydropower: a case study of Kalthota irrigation scheme, Sri Lanka; in: P. Mollinga, Ajaya Dixit & Kusum Athukorala, eds.:

Integrated water resources management: global theory, emerging practice and local needs

; London/Delhi: Sage, 2006, p. 230 – 240.

218

219

Medema and Jeffrey: IWRM …,

supra

, p. 21 - 22.

Claudia Pahl-Wostl & Jan Sendzimir: The relationship between IWRM and Adaptive Water

Management;

NeWater Report Series

no. 3, 2006, p. 6 -7; www.newater.info (April 2010).

220

Ibidem

, p. 25. Institutional adaptation has been widely discussed in response to perceived design faults of existing structures, particularly at the communal level; cf. D. J. Bandaragoda: “Institutional adaptation” for integrated water resources management: an effective strategy for managing Asian river basins;

IWMI Working Paper

no. 107, 2006, p. 14.

221

G. Raadgever & E. Mostert: Transboundary river basin management;

NeWater Report Series

no.

10; Delft: Delft University of Technology, 2005; www.newater.info. The cases include the Nile, Orange,

Amu Darya, Elbe, Rhine, Guadiana and Tisza rivers.

222

Regime theory as a way to understand international river management has been proposed by

Anders Jägerskog: Why states cooperate over shared water: the water negotiations in the Jordan

River Basin; Linköping: Linköping University, Department of Water and Environmental Studies, 2003,

74

formal actors (government bodies) and informal actors (non-governmental institutions) over water policies and laws. The regime as such comprises

all institutions that significantly influence management of the relevant issues

. In order for a regime to become sufficiently adaptive, referring to the above mentioned definition of AM, the following

criteria

should be met:

- formal and informal actor networks (cross-sectoral cooperation, cooperation between different levels of administrative units, stakeholder participation)

- legal framework (appropriate and adaptive legislation)

- policy development and implementation (long-term focus, experimentation and testing of measures, oversight of actual implementation)

- information management (joint data collection)

- finance (sufficient budgets, cost-recovery from users)

223

Their conclusions on the

adaptiveness

of the respective rivers present a diverse picture: the management of the Rhine and Elbe rivers has achieved a solid capacity to adapt to the dynamics of water, whereas the management of the Amu Darya and

Nile rivers lacks the required cooperation, legal framework, implementation mechanism and communication of relevant information to allow for effective adaptation.

224

The regime concept does not bear striking differences to IWRM. More important is the focus on the

adaptive capacity of institutions

. The importance of information is an element of IWRM, too, as is coordination and cooperation. But to allow long-term water sharing, changing water availability has to be taken into account as well as potential effects from water utilization.

Jägerskog, advocating a regime theoretic approach, suggests that

the hydrological interdependence of international river basins provides a rationale for cooperation

.

225

The assumption that the mutual dependence of riparian nations would automatically lead to cooperation and indeed further a process of institution-building is tempting.

But what if political interests override initiatives in the water sector? As will be seen in the case of Pakistan and other countries, progress in the water sector often depends not so much on other riparian actors but on wider political interests.

Decentralization

The institutional dimension

of the IWRM discourse tends to focus on inter-sector water management. While some form of decentralization has been demanded by many IWRM proponents, the actual form of a decentralized system of river management is a subject of discussions. In principle, as Mody suggests, a

decentralized

system of river basin management is a preferential mode for p. 50 - 53; www.transboundarywaters.org (July 2007); A. Jägerskog: Explaining interstate water cooperation through regime theory;

School of Oriental and African Studies Occasional Paper

no. 31.

223

224

Raadgever & Mostert,

supra

, p. 26 – 27.

The fundamental importance of information exchange to coordination on all levels is underlined by

Cecilia Tortajada in her examination of Brazilian and Mexican water management systems: Institutions for Integrated River Basin Management in Latin America;

Water Resources Management

, vol. 17, no.

3, 2001, p. 289 – 301.

225

Anders Jägerskog: Water regimes – a way to institutionalise water co-operation in shared river basins; in: Saskia Castelein, ed.:

From conflict to cooperation in international water resources management: challenges and opportunities

; proceedings of an international conference; Delft:

UNESCO & Institute for Water Education (IHE), 2002, p. 209 – 212.

75

economic reasons as it would reduce transaction costs.

226

For reasons of appropriate representation and participation of user groups, or stakeholders, Falkenmark

et al.

call for an institutionalization of shared benefits and responsibilities.

227

From a political system perspective, decentralized water management puts administrative units at state and district levels in charge.

228

This means that those communities have a say in water decisions which are directly affected. Following the logic of Integrated Water Management, their motivation to seek solutions that promise long-term benefits from river use over short-term exploitation at the expense of overuse should be greater than that of higher administrative and executive units like the provincial government. Therefore water sharing decisions should at least consider the positions of riparian districts.

Decentralization to a lower level would also have a positive effect on the political asymmetry between upstream and downstream water users in the case of intranational disputes, or disputes between federal subjects like provinces or states. In principle, as Richards and Singh state, decentralized water management inevitably affects the handling of

water disputes

as actors have to take into account subnational stakeholders.

229

Molle

et al.

caution that the allocation of large budgets in the water sector, especially for large-scale irrigation projects in agricultural economies like India, tends to further the prevalence of a supply-oriented

water bureaucracy

.

230

As a result, much of the positive potential of IWRM and decentralization in terms of efficiency falls victim to vested political-economic interests.

Decentralization of river management has to be viewed critically: it cannot be taken as a one-size-fits-all solution

per se.

As will be seen in the empirical section, water decisions taken at central as well as state government levels have faced opposition from the people, like in the oft-cited Narmada case (India) or the various dams and canal projects in Pakistan. In some cases, decentralization even had to be reversed.

231

226

Jyothsna Mody: Management of river basin systems through decentralization; New York: World

Bank, June 2001 (downloaded from www.worldbank.org, Feb. 2002 (not available online any more, as of Jan. 2010; currently listed as an unpublished report).

227

Malin Falkenmark, L. Gottschalk, J. Lundqvist & P. Wouters: Towards integrated catchment management: increasing the dialogue between scientists, policy-makers and stakeholders;

Water

Resources Development

, vol. 20, no. 3, 2004, p. 304 – 305.

228

The case of Israel as a nation that shifted from centralized to decentralized water management due to public demands to contain vested interests, e.g. of the farming community, is presented by Eran

Feitelson: A retreat from centralized water management? The Israeli case; conference paper no. 80,

International Water History Conference 2001, Bergen, 10 August 2001.

229

Alan Richards & Nirvikar Singh: No easy exit: property rights, markets, and negotiations over water,

Santa Cruz: University of California, 2000, p. 22 - 25; http://econ.ucsc.edu/~boxjenk/noeasyexit.pdf

(Aug. 2004).

230

François Molle, P. Mollinga & P. Wester : Hydraulic bureaucracies and the hydraulic mission : flows of water, flows of power ;

Water Alternatives

, vol. 2, no. 3, p. 337 – 338; www.water-alternatives.org

(July 2010). The occurrence of water bureaucracies will be discussed further in the empirical section in the case of Pakistan. The cited example, albeit focused on the complex water sector, deserves attention within the theoretical discourse on federalism; for a concise analysis of India’s federal system in perspective see Subrata K. Mitra: The nation, state and the federal process in India; in: Ute

Wachendörfer-Schmidt, ed.:

Federalism and political performance

; London: Routledge, 2000, p. 40 –

57.

231

Molle et al.,

supra

, p. 342.

76

Conclusion: water sharing through integrated systems

IWRM represents a convincing approach to the problem of water sharing, even though it is more of a quality standard or a vision than a concept. Applying a river basin perspective, the implied focus is on coordination of various using water economic sectors, on coordination of diverse forms of water use (consumptive, nonconsumptive; cultural, economic, environmental etc.), on short-term and long-term use, on questions of access and entitlement. The need for cooperation is a central demand of IWRM. Similar to the water rights approach, it envisages participatory mechanisms. It stresses institutional arrangements required for its implementation.

IWRM, however, has its limitations. It has been argued that IWRM lacks clarity and precision, and that a detailed scientific method to assess river basin systems has not yet been developed.

232

As Biswas cautions, IWRM is one good – but not the best – way of managing water, simply because of the complexity of water management.

Medema and Jeffrey point out that the implementation of IWRM in a particular river basin will depend on

the development stage of the country

, especially regarding the existing institutional environment, finance, administrative structures, data collection, and participatory mechanisms.

233

The all-encompassing nature of IWRM does not mean that it would have the same purpose and harbour the same potential in each case.

Governance

is the crucial factor in the effectiveness of IWRM. It hinges on three conditions:

- a basis for private and public sector initiatives,

- a solid legal framework and

- a mechanism for stakeholder interaction.

234

It becomes clear that IWRM as such has to be seen as a part of the wider political, administrative and socio-economic system. To imagine IWRM to be an isolated system somehow independent of any overarching structure would be unrealistic. To address some of these challenges, the authors advocate the concept of

Adaptive

Management

(AM) as a less static form of water management. This is convincing because IWRM involves a number of conditions to be met in order to prove successful, some of which may not be feasible in many river basins.

AM may be employed in addition to or parallel to an IWRM process, or as a separate management tool. The threshold for AM is lower, allowing more countries to adopt it.

AM is, however, not likely to result in quick successes in highly bureaucratic countries because, in theory, it confronts water managers with deficits of past management, prompting them to shift processes and structures towards greater flexibility and responsiveness. In this context the effectiveness of incentives to enable change should also be expected to be limited.

As implied by Medema and Jeffrey, the question of

political decision-making

and interaction over water sharing is not sufficiently addressed here. From an economic perspective, decision-making is guided by seeking gains from water use; actors are driven by interests, not necessarily the desire to collaborate. Rather than a long-term collective, ecologically advisable vision, actors strive to make short-term gains.

232

Biswas: Integrated Water ….,

supra

, p. 250.

233

Medema and Jeffrey: IWRM ….,

supra

, p. 16.

234

Medema and Jeffrey,

ibidem

, cite the GWP TAC

Background Paper

series, esp. no. 7/2003.

77

The availability of the contested resource either stimulates cooperation or confrontation, depending on the shortage or abundance of water. Intervening higher political interests might prompt actors to instrumentalize water in order to achieve goals not related to water. In this context perceptions of circumstances and potential gains and losses are factors that determine decision-making. This political-economic approach to understanding the conditions of water sharing will be examined in the following two chapters. It remains to be seen whether IWRM and AM can be synchronized with actor-centred concepts.

Finally, but most importantly for the case of Pakistan, the

dynamics of the federal system

require critical analysis. A federal mechanism for water management and water sharing is in place, yet it may be – in the light of the above presented hypothesis on decentralization (Molle

et al.

) – as much a part of the problem as of the solution.

78

II.4 Water shortage – water conflict

Does water shortage lead to confrontation, or even war? The indispensability of this resource, coupled with its limited availability and unstable political and socioeconomic conditions in many countries, make the perfect environment for violent conflict. Cooperation, under these circumstances, seems most unlikely. This assumption is widely discussed in the field of conflict research and, more recently, in the field of water management, too. Given the number of international rivers, the occurrence of water shortage and the political-economic profile of the basin countries, the likelihood of water crises appears to be significant.

This hypothesis is partly rooted in new trends in conflict research emanating from an academic reorientation inspired by vanishing Cold War paradigms, and partly in the growing prominence of environmental and development research.

235

While natural resources have traditionally been perceived from a geopolitical perspective, developmental perspectives are a relatively new approach to problems of global importance. A lack of water is seen as a potential threat to the development especially, but not exclusively, of poorer nations where institutional mechanisms to direct water allocation tend to be deficient. Insufficient water supplies not only threaten agricultural, industrial and power production and public health, they can lead to environmental degradation and destabilize social and economic systems.

This chapter discusses the relevance of water and conflict vis-à-vis water sharing. A main purpose of water sharing is the regulation of limited resources and the prevention, or alleviation, of scarcity. If water shortage is found to be particularly conflict-prone, it would have to be taken into account in any water sharing arrangement.

Water shortage: How much water is enough?

What does shortage mean? The basic definition of water shortage – a lack of water – neither includes any explanation of its causes nor qualifies its scope over time and space. For an assessment of needs, water shortage must be qualified in order to distinguish chronic overall shortage from momentary localized shortage. In the wider development debate that routinely focuses on the state of vital resources, shortage

235

The second Gulf War, following the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, in 1990/1991, was widely considered to herald a new era of conflict. One characteristic element would be the aggressive competition for control over natural resources, especially water. In the wake of the Persian Gulf crisis, proponents of a water war theory have identified trouble spots where armed conflict over water was likely, threatening to merge with other conflicts, particularly over disputed territory, finally escalating to a regional confrontation; cf. Joyce Starr: Water wars;

Foreign Policy

1/1991; Thomas Homer-Dixon: On the threshold: environmental changes as causes of acute conflict

; International security

, vol. 16, no. 2,

1991; Arnold Hottinger: Wasser als Konfliktstoff;

Europa-Archiv

6/1992 (Water as a source of conflict; in German). For an overview of the water-and-development debate see Sandra Postel: Pillar of sand: can the irrigation miracle last? New York: W. W. Norton, 1999, and Christian Schütze:

Umweltprobleme: Klima – Wasser – Land (Environmental problems: climate – water – soil; in

German), in:

Peter Opitz, ed.: Weltprobleme

; Bonn: Bundeszentrale für Politische Bildung, 1995.

79

tends to suggest a crisis-prone situation.

236

However, a shortage of food, for example, is not automatically followed by famine. Assessing the availability of a critical commodity in a whole country represents a formidable challenge because – especially in the case of water – the actual supply of the commodity in a given location at a given time is difficult to measure. As supplies as well as consumption may differ significantly in diverse places and at different times, they cannot be extrapolated to the country-wide situation. In a country like Pakistan, even within one province the water supply differs markedly. Local water shortage exists next to water sufficiency, as is the case in Punjab, pointing at the distribution of water, rather than the availability as such. In this case, water transfers can, at least hypothetically, avert water shortages, as will be seen in the analytical section.

The condition of water shortage

has been approached analytically using diverse measures to assess water needs and supplies. While some approaches rely on a minimal-needs concept based on statistical average quantities, others stress aspects of quality in the water supply and use system. A differentiated estimate of water needs has proven very difficult to arrive at because of the multitude of water uses in all sectors of society, each requiring specific amounts of water, subject to dynamic patterns over time as modes of utilization change, thus affecting water consumption.

Assessments would also have to be country-specific due to the particular conditions of water use, the status of water productivity, and the available sources of usable water. Water shortage, as result, is not a narrowly defined term, but a rough mathematical calculation of demand versus supplies, rendering a vague description of a relative lack of water under given circumstances.

The per capita water availability

is one common denominator of water shortage.

This quantitative approach is derived from estimated average human needs and projected against the respective water availability in a given country. According to a

World Health Organization (WHO) standard, an amount of 1,000 cm³ or 2,740 litres of internal renewable water resources marks the critical limit on a per capita, per annum basis.

237

Countries that fall below that line are classified as water scarce. This method serves as an indicator, not a precise instrument to measure a country’s resources. Average water demand and consumption differs according to climate,

236

A critical and sobering look at the treatment of food shortage in the case of Cambodia in the 1980s taken by William Shawcross demonstrates how widely perceptions can differ: What seemed to be a clear case of near famine turned out to be a gross misinterpretation of realities, though in many places and at certain times people did suffer from a dramatic lack of food. See his book: The quality of mercy,

New York: Simon and Schuster, 1984, ch. 18. Assessing shortage, as Shawcross makes clear, is a difficult task. Even in a poor country like Cambodia then, many people did in fact not suffer from food deficiency while others were dependent on food aid.

Another aspect related to defining water shortage is the understanding of drought as a climatic phenomenon. Similarly disputed among academics, drought should be understood within the context of a particular region, as Asad Qureshi and Mujeeb Akhtar caution; see: Analysis of drought coping strategies in Baluchistan and Sindh provinces of Pakistan;

Working Paper

no.

86; Colombo: IWMI,

2004, p. 7.

237

WHO: World Health Report: Life in the 21 st

century. Geneva: WHO, 1998. According to a report compiled by leading NGOs, the minimum daily household requirement is 50 litres per person, but the added water requirement to allow a diet of 3,000 kcal per day amounts to 3,500 l/day; see: Let it reign:

The New Water Paradigm for Global Food Security. Final Report to CSD-13; Stockholm: Stockholm

International Water Institute, 2005, cited in Malin Falkenmark: Towards hydrosolidarity: Ample opportunities for human ingenuity; Stockholm: SIWI, 2005; www.siwi.org.

80

physical activity, age, culture and other factors.

238

The overall water demand of a society and its economy is not within the reach of this method.

Internal renewable water resources

include groundwater and river water.

239

The global map of water availability roughly resembles that of precipitation patterns, pointing at a dry belt comprising northern Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, central

China and Australia.

240

A shortfall of this one-dimensional measurement is that it ignores water quality. Quality aspects are important because they affect the actual usability of water: While drinking water demands rank highest, for some industrial water uses, like water-cooled power generators, low-quality water is sufficient.

Rainfall assessments

are based on a solid database of recorded precipitation covering several decades. The actual availability of recorded rainfall, however, hinges on other climatic factors, like monthly and local variations which affect specified water uses in agriculture. Pakistan is grouped into a low category of under

350 mm of rain water annually, alongside countries on the Arab peninsula and in the

Sahara region.

241

The actual availability of rainfall in these countries, however, is dependent on facilities to harness rainwater. In the case of Pakistan, an extensive irrigation network allows for effectively utilizing rainfall; the peripheral agricultural systems of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf nations offer little potential.

Water consumption and water productivity

by global comparison differs sharply.

While overall water availability in the Middle East is very low, countries like Israel have increased water productivity through highly efficient drip-irrigation systems thus reducing the overall water demand. Living standards in some North American and

European countries have led to high demands for water, through an overall change in consumer mentality, effectively offsetting the benefits from sophisticated water technology.

242

Hidden water uses, like in the form of industrial products that require high quantities of water (automobiles), push overall water demands.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) has issued the

Water

Dependency Ratio

, indicating amounts of total renewable water resources originating outside a given country.

243

This method points at the interdependency of nations regarding water supplies. For Pakistan, the ration is 76%, i.e. this country to a significant degree depends on water supplies that are not completely within its own political control. The background of this finding is simple: it means that the sources of the main rivers of the Indus system lie in India and, to a lesser degree, in

238

Falkenmark and Widstrand estimate the minimal per capita water needs to be around 100 litres per day (for household consumption): Malin Falkenmark & Carl Widstrand: Population and water resources: a delicate balance;

Population Bulletin,

vol. 47, no. 3, 1992.

239

See World Resources Institute (WRI, Washington D.C.): World Resources 1996-1997, and 2002-

2004. World Resources provides one of the most comprehensive records of available data, compiled mainly from FAO and related UN institutions. The accuracy of the given data, however, depends on individual measurements employed by national authorities. The given data is not based on standardized measurements.

240

See FAO: Review of water resources by country (2003), based on Aquastat data (FAO): www.fao.org.

241

See, among other sources, FAO review of water resources by country (2003),

ibidem.

The amount of water lost due to evaporation allows only a rough estimate; see Atlas of World Water Balance,

Paris: UNESCO, 1977.

242

Sandra Postel: Die letzte Oase. Frankfurt: Fischer, 1993 (Last oasis; German ed.); Sandra Postel and Aaron Wolf: Dehydrating conflict;

Foreign Policy

3/2002.

243

For Southern and Eastern Asia: www.fao.org/DOCREP/005/Y4473E/y4473e0d.htm (May 2004).

81

Afghanistan. This does not translate into potential conflict, though, as most of the world’s rivers cross at least one international boundary. Only island nations, like Sri

Lanka or Brunei, or very large territorial entities, like Mongolia and China, have low ratios.

The Water Poverty Index

(WPI), developed at the Centre of Hydrology and Ecology, allows a more comprehensive, multi-dimensional assessment of a country’s water situation, including its developmental profile.

244

Based on an analysis in five categories – resources and population; access to water; capacity (economic profile); use (consumption); environment (water quality, ecology) – the WPI renders a different picture: the highest scoring is awarded for a mix of abundant water supplies and favourable administrative and economic conditions.

245

While the inclusion of development-related aspects like infant mortality rates, pointing at water quality management, highlights the potential results of water shortage, it risks diverting attention from more fundamental questions of water availability. It may be less useful to indicate existing or imminent water shortages, yet it can serve as a profound basis for progressive water management.

Falkenmark and Lindqvist have developed a concept of

five categories of water scarcity

to explain water shortage.

246

Advocating an ecological perspective, the authors generally define scarcity as

a condition of insufficiency of water in usable condition in relation to demand for plant production and/or human activities

. An amount of 1,700 m³ of water per person per year is seen as a critical bottom line of water availability.

247 taken into account:

Water needs for all forms of utilization and all eco-systems are

- 1) scarcity regarding plant production: insufficient rainfall and

(over)dependence on irrigation;

- 2) demographic water scarcity: inadequate water demand due to rising populations;

- 3) technical water scarcity: water scarcity cannot be stemmed by (further) water resource development;

- 4) induced in-stream water scarcity: (over)withdrawals of water can lead to ecosystem failures (e. g. collapsing reproduction in fish);

- 5) use scarcity: low-quality water sources limit the utilization of available water.

This concept supplements the minimal-needs approach on which some of the UNsponsored concepts are based with a systemic approach that includes agricultural and industrial water utilization and ecosystem needs, to arrive at a comprehensive instrument for assessing the water supply-demand situation in different regions. Their water management is to be oriented towards a long-term balance between demand and availability based on their specific water utilization and water generation patterns.

244

See Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Wallingford: www.nwl.ac.uk/research/WPI/ (January 2003).

245

Australia, for instance, assumes a high rank in spite of being a very dry country threatened by chronic water shortage; Brazil and Cambodia, countries of abundant water sources, score low because of infrastructural and economic deficits. This result is due to factors that do not directly relate to water, yet weigh in significantly, affecting the overall scoring.

246

Malin Falkenmark and Jan Lundqvist: Towards water security: political determination and human adaptation crucial;

Water Resources Journal

, September 1998, p. 12, 14-15.

247

World Water Council: Water vision; London: Earthscan, 2000, chapter 3; www.worldwatercoundil.org. See also the bi-annual World Water Forum, hosted by the World Water

Council, a UN-affiliated body.

82

A concept of five Water Predicament Clusters

is presented:

- A) The “close to the ceiling” group: countries in which demand is about to outgrow supplies, requiring a shift from food self-sufficiency to food imports in order to avert water shortages (South Asia, northern Africa, Middle East);

- B) The group with very high per-capita water use: progressive water resources development has led to high productivity and high over-all demand, now requiring greater efficiency and water saving (Central Asia, U.S.);

- C) The intermediate group: sufficient water supplies and efficient water utilization, plus moderate increases due to fairly stable demographic development (Western Europe, Southeast Asia, Northern China, Mongolia);

- D) The arid, water-short group: infrastructure shortcomings inhibit access to water; higher water productivity and efficiency needed to counter rising population (Eastern, Western and Southern Africa);

- E) The water-rich group: water demand is below water availability, yet ecosystems face deterioration due to water pollution (Scandinavia, Canada,

Central Africa, most of South America).

The importance of this concept lies in the linking of water utilization patterns to hydrological characteristics of a given region.

248

Large parts of the United States, for example, face a technical water scarcity due to high levels of water withdrawals, coupled with high water productivity. The potential to further develop existing water resources is limited, thus water shortage can occur, yet without posing a fundamental threat. In this case, rather than expanding water-intensive economic activities, importing those very same commodities from countries or regions with lower over-all water withdrawals may be needed to avert scarcity. For a region like southern Africa, the arid climate might force water managers to intensify agricultural production towards greater water productivity because sharp rises in demand due to demographic dynamics will lead to water shortages.

In South Asia

, for example, the inter-sectoral competition over water resources – hydropower versus agriculture – reflects the region’s challenge to improve water sharing because demand is rising in all sectors due to dramatic population growth.

This dilemma, in principle, is behind Pakistan’s problems of water sharing, too. For these countries, a possible way out of this dilemma is to increase food imports in order to save water. This strategy would require balancing the increased expenses with income generated from exports that do not involve high water consumption.

From an economic perspective, this means to effectively price water in a more consequential manner than before. This way the value of water would be reflected by the financial resources invested in preserving it or in raising its efficiency, e.g. through higher crop-per-drop ratios, or by the money saved due to a positive balance of trade.

Water and war

Approaching water conflict, research has focussed on

water as a direct and indirect cause

of conflict. Some scholars have addressed disputes over water shares on different administrative and political levels, whereas others are concerned with the social, economic and ecological dimensions of water use that may trigger conflict.

248

Falkenmark & Lundqvist: Towards water security…,

supra

, p. 16.

83

Fröhlich, citing recent African disputes, identifies territory as a major factor and sees a higher likelihood of violent confrontation on sub-national levels.

249

Conca addresses factors of conflict that indirectly relate to water, like the displacement of people due to the construction of large dams.

250

Hsiang

et al.

conclude that there is a link between climate change and a rise in violence on various levels of society all over the world, particularly in times of drought.

251

Haftendorn categorizes water-related

causes of conflict

:

1) conflicting uses (

e.g

. power generation versus irrigation)

2) pollution (degrading water quality)

3) distribution (uneven upstream – downstream withdrawals) resulting in relative shortage on one side (less than required supplies)

4) distribution resulting in absolute shortage on one side (no supplies at all)

252

Haftendorn’s approach, originating from conflict and international relations research, is actor-centred: certain forms of action, rather than the object (water), have a tendency to lead to dispute. Other authors seem to suggest that the commodity by itself is problematic.

253

Water shortage can trigger conflict – yet not because of adverse climate conditions but because of inadequate water consumption or water distribution. Sherk

et alii

point at

water shortage

and factors that determine water shortage (inefficient use, ecosystem degradation), especially in the case of international rivers.

254

The combination of shortage and trans-boundary distribution of this resource creates a delicate, conflict-prone situation that is aggravated in times of drought, turning neighbours into rivals. The assumption is that a dire situation may force one side to resort to violent action to acquire the commodity needed for survival.

249

Christiane Fröhlich: Zur Rolle der Ressource Wasser in Konflikten;

Aus Politik und Zeitgeschichte

25/2006 (The role of water in conflict; in German). The land disputes in this part of Africa which have recently escalated into fierce violent confrontation are by no means a new phenomenon;

BBC News

(online), 8 March 2010, on the recent clashes in Nigeria. The role of territory has to be assessed carefully, as Wolf stresses. Analyzing the demarcation of territory in the Middle East, he finds that

water was uppermost in the minds of planners and political decision-makers … as boundaries were negotiated over the years … However, despite studies advocating the need for greater access to water through 1947, actual official advocation of sovereignty over such hydrostrategic territory ceased each and every time negotiations over legal borders were concluded

; Aaron T. Wolf: “Hydrostrategic” territory in the Jordan Basin: water, war, and Arab-Israeli peace negotiation; paper presented at the conference

Water: a trigger for conflict/a reason for cooperation

; Bloomington, IN, 7 – 10 March 1996; www.pnl.gov./ces/academic/midleas2.htm (Jan. 2001).

250

Ken Conca: The new face of water conflict;

Navigating Peace

, no. 3, Nov. 2006; www.wilsoncenter.org.

251

Solomon Hsiang, M. Burke and E. Miguel: Quantifying the influence of climate on human conflict;

Science

, 2013. This most recent study once more reflects the dilemma of most research into causes of conflict: the problem to pinpoint the factors that actually led actors to turn to aggressive action.

252

Helga Haftendorn: Water and international conflict;

Third World Quarterly

, vol. 21, no. 1, 2000, p.

51 – 68. In line with this assessment is Kenneth D. Frederick: Water as a source of international conflict;

Resources for the Future

, no. 123, 1996. Le classifies potential conflicts into four spheres - environmental, economic, social and political – and three issue areas, water quality, water quantity and ecosystem: Le Huu Ti: Potential water conflicts and sustainable management of international water resource systems;

Water Resources Journal

, Sept. 2001.

253

The Asian Development Bank (ADB), without explicitly naming water a source of conflict, warns of the consequences of shortage; see ADB: Water in the 21 st

254

century. Manila: ADB, 2000.

See George Sherk, Patricia Wouters & Samantha Rochford: Water wars in the future? Reconciling competing claims for the world’s diminishing freshwater resources;

Centre for Energy, Petroleum and

Mineral Law and Policy Internet Journal

, vol. 3, no. 2, 1998; www.dundee.ac.uk/cepmlp/journal/html/article3-2.html (May 2011).

84

In the Middle East

most of the countries suffer from chronic water shortage. This condition has invited a host of studies focussing on water as an element of the wider

Arab-Israeli conflict. Schiffler identifies

power politics

over water in the Jordan River basin in which progress on the water issue depended on agreement in other areas.

255

In this case, negotiations were overshadowed by other, non-water issues.

Water, though obviously a most critical issue from a social-economic perspective, figured as a secondary issue, as Jägerskog observes.

256

The solution of the water question was helped by earlier efforts at cooperation on the bilateral level, between

Israel and Jordan, and measures towards greater water productivity, especially in

Israel.

257

Water has benefited from the overall

rapprochement

between the antagonists. It remains, however, a

highly politicized issue

on the sub-national level, especially in the territories occupied by Israeli settlers.

258

Accusations of intentional water shortage on the Palestinian side have been voiced. This would mean that water has effectively been turned into an instrument to exert political power.

259

Blocking a river’s flow regime to withhold water reaching a downstream riparian neighbour, or otherwise reduce the water flow beneath an acceptable level would come close to an economic blockade within the context of aggression under Chapter 7 of the UN Charter, even though water is not specifically mentioned there. They would also be in violation of the principles of international relations laid out in Article 1 and 2 of the Charter, calling for international cooperation to avoid or end disputes.

260

255

Manuel Schiffler: Konflikte um Wasser – ein Fallstrick für den Friedensprozess in Nahost?

Aus

Politik und Zeitgeschichte

11/1995 (Conflicts over water – a threat to the Middle East peace process? in German). The dominance of power politics partly explains why these states have not ratified the UN

Convention on Non-navigational uses (1997). Cf. Peter Beaumont: Dividing the waters of the River

Jordan: an analysis of the 1994 Israel – Jordan peace treaty;

Water Resources Development

, vol. 13, no. 3, 1997, p. 422 – 423.

256

For an analysis of the negotiating process Anders Jägerskog: Why states cooperate over shared waters: The water negotiations in the Jordan River Basin; Linköping: Linköping University, 2003, esp. p. 98 – 105. Allouche’s concept of

water nationalism

does not contradict this assessment: Water, originally being within control of the community (local level), has become a central government prerogative upon the beginning of nation-states in this region and thus a matter of delineating the former colonies and protectorates. The explanatory value of this concept appears limited. Jeremy

Allouche: Water nationalism: an explanation of the past and present conflicts in Central Asia, the

Middle East and the Indian Subcontinent; Geneva: University of Geneva, 2005; www.transboundarywaters.org, p. 270 – 283.

257

Harald Neifeind: Wassernot im Nahen Osten – Gefahren für den Frieden (Water scarcity in the

Middle East – threats to peace, in German);

Gegenwartskunde

, vol. 46, no. 4, 1996, p. 500 – 501 For an overview of techniques to reduce demand and raise productivity see Masahiro Murakami:

Managing water for peace in the Middle East: alternative strategies; New York: UN University Press,

1995.

258

Jochen Renger & Andreas Thiele: Politische Verteilungskonflikte um Wasserresourcen (Conflicts over allocation of water resources; in German);

Der Bürger im Staat

, no. 1, 1996, p.79 – 80.

259

Annette van Edig: Verteilungskonflikte im Nahen Osten (Conflicts over water distribution in the

Middle East; in German);

Blätter für deutsche und internationale Politik

, no. 9, 1998, p. 998 – 999.

Edig cites several cases of virtual blackmail of downstream riparians by upstream nations (Sudan,

Turkey) that have only deescalated because the weaker sides gave in to demands.

260

Water may not specifically be mentioned in the UN Charter with regard to international peace and security – partly because at the time of its passing water wasn’t a subject of international debate or of conflict – yet it holds a protected status in an indirect manner, reflecting its unique importance. With a view to guaranteeing human development and political stability, people’s access to this commodity must not be blocked, waterways must not be contaminated, and water must not be used as an instrument of war. This rule has been widely accepted as a binding international customary law. In the

Second Gulf War (1991) Israel has refrained from bombing Iraqi water systems, as proposed by some military advisers. Similarly, plans of the U.S. general staff to bomb dikes in North Vietnam during the

85

Cases like this illustrate the potential weight of power politics in water sharing. Legal regulations do not seem to effectively improve the water situation for either party involved. Instead, in spite of a set of legal norms demanding the protection of water in conflict, water becomes a hostage to overriding issues.

261

Comparing several water conflicts in the Middle East/North Africa regions, Edig concludes that

water wars require three factors:

- a negative state of relations between upstream and downstream nations,

- a lack of water regulations (especially treaties or other formal agreements) and

- the physical capacity of the upstream nation to withhold and store large quantities of water.

This conclusion explicitly sets aside external factors like international mediation or international law.

262

It highlights the importance of the actors involved and rejects the

functionalist

argument (Edig) that technical or institutional remedies might suffice to avoid conflict. Earle, reviewing recent literature on the water wars debate, pinpoints

issues of national identity and views of co-riparian states

as catalysts of conflict, whereas water disputes as such, citing Kalpakian, mostly are

secondary fora for conflicts rooted in national identity questions

.

263

Wolf, author of one of the most comprehensive databases on water-related conflicts, asserts this interpretation while stressing that

all water management is multiobjective and is therefore, by definition, based on conflicting interests

. Consequently,

water management is conflict management

(Wolf).

264

Second Indochina War were refused by the government; Seymour Hersh: The prize of power. New

York: Summit, 1983, ch. 23. Both cases were undoubtedly influenced by fear of a public outcry. In an earlier war, when media attention was not as acute, dams were indeed targeted to trigger a devastating flood; see Jon Halliday & Bruce Cumings: Korea – the unknown war; London: Penguin,

1988, p. 196. In the Afghan civil war of the 1990s a case of intentional water contamination is cited by

Ahmed Rashid: Taliban. The story of the Afghan warlords; London: Pan, 2001, p. 62.

261

For a concise overview of legal norms and deficits see Frederick M. Lorenz: The protection of water facilities under international law;

UNESCO PCCP

series no. 1, 2001.

262

Water security has been defined as a status of water supplies sufficient to meet minimal health requirements; Patrick Webb & Maria Iskandarani: Water insecurity and the poor; Bonn: Center for

Development Research (ZEF), 1998. Its analytical value, however, is limited as the minimal requirements in a given case are hard to quantify. Interestingly, it has gained some notoriety in politics, yet without enhancing it to a comprehensive concept: The U.S. Government, in 1993, has established the office of Environmental Security within the Department of Defense. Former Secretary of State

Madeleine Albright has called for

an alliance for global water security in the 21 st

century

; http://usinfo.state.gov/topical/global/environ/latest/00041001.htm (Earth Day address, 10 April 2000.

Whether an international law on water protection, as Boutruche suggests, would improve water availability, reduce water shortage, protect waterways from pollution, and avoid the risk of conflict over water appears doubtful: Théo Boutruche: The status of water in the law of armed conflict;

International

Review of the Red Cross

no. 340, 2000, p. 887 – 916.

263

Antony Earle: review article (John Kalpakian: Identity, conflict and cooperation in international river systems; Aldershot: Ashgate, 2004; Sanjeev Khagram: Dams and development: transnational struggles for water and power; Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2004),

ECSP Report

, no. 11/2005; www.wilsoncenter.org (March 2010). This view is supported by Miriam R. Lowi: Political and institutional responses to transboundary water disputes in the Middle East; report for the

Environmental Change and Security Project

(Smithsonian Institution), no date; http://ecsp.si.edu/pdf/report2a.pdf (Feb. 2002), p. 6 – 7.

264

Aaron T. Wolf: Shared waters: conflict and cooperation;

Annual Review of Environment and

Resources

, vol. 32, no. 3, 2007, p. 4 – 5, 12 – 13. Recent developments in the water row between the

Nile riparian states also point in this direction as the heated public debate in Egypt, the lower riparian state, indicate: Egyptian warning over Ethiopia Nile dam;

BBC news

, 10 June 2013.

86

Wolf provides a valuable addition to Edig’s set of factors by identifying

factors of resilience

that decrease the risk of conflict, such as

- international agreements and institutions,

- experience of cooperation in other fields,

- positive overall relations, and

- a high level of economic development allowing alternatives to water-intensive production (farming etc.) - as well as

factors of vulnerability

that increase the risk of conflict, such as

- rapid environmental change,

- rapid demographic and/or rapid social-economic change,

- large unilateral development projects (dams that cause displacement e.g.),

- inadequate institutions and

- negative overall relations.

Wolf’s refined set of factors represents a workable framework for assessing the selected case because it goes beyond the acute causes of conflict identified by other authors.

265

Allan, generally in line with Wolf, Edig and Haftendorn, adds another potential factor that defuses tension: some downstream nations (in the Middle East) have turned to importing

virtual water

(water-intensive crops), thus reducing their dependence on water supplies.

266

In sum

, the role of water in conflicts is ambivalent, as Wolf points out, advocating a differentiated look at individual cases rather than a grand theory of water conflict.

267

Conflict over water can turn violent, but is usually limited to the sub-national level. It can be both the result and the cause of political disputes on a higher level, as the case of the Ganges River dispute illustrates which had repercussions on the internal situation of Bangladesh and the state of West Bengal, India.

268

From an empirical point of view, the occurrence of water-related conflict is very limited.

269

265

The relevance of internal factors like the state of the economy and the environment is confirmed by

Bächler

et alii

who conducted an extensive research project: Günther Bächler, V. Böge, S. Klötzli, S.

Libiszewski & K. Spillmann: Kriegsursache Umweltzerstörung. Ökologische Konflikte in der Dritten

Welt und ihre friedliche Bearbeitung; Chur: Rüegger, 1996 (Environmental degradation as a cause of war; in German), 3 vols. The central hypothesis, in line with Wolf, is that environmental stress tends to promote conflict.

266

Tony Allan: Middle Eastern hydropolitics: interpreting constructed knowledge (review article);

London School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) Occasional Paper series

, no. 18 (no date); www.soas.ac.uk/waterissues (July 2007). Allan strongly favours virtual water trade as a means not only to defuse conflict but also to preserve water sources: Tony Allan: Watersheds and problemsheds: explaining the absence of armed conflict over water in the Middle East;

Middle East Review of

International Affairs (MERIA)

, vol. 2, no. 1, 1998; Tony Allan: Avoiding war over natural resources; conference paper,

Water and War

, 1 November 1998 (International Committee of the Red Cross).

267

Aaron Wolf: Conflict and cooperation along international waterways;

Water Policy

, vol. 1, no. 2,

1998, p. 254 – 256. The threat to use force in order to reach a desired solution of water disputes has been expressed occasionally, just like predictions of future water wars. The Israeli Army has called the

Lebanese plan to divert water from the river Hasbani a ground of war: Israel warns of war over water,

BBC news

(online), 10 Sept. 2002. Echoing the late Egyptian President Anwar as-Sadat, former UN

Secretary General Boutros Boutros Ghali warned of water wars, especially in the Middle East.

268

Wolf,

ibidem

; for a concise analysis of the Farakka Barrage dispute Ben Crow, Alan Lindquist &

David Wilson: Sharing the Ganges: the politics and development of river development; Delhi: Sage,

1995; also Ben Crow & Nirvikar Singh: Impediments and innovation in international rivers: the waters of South Asia; Santa Cruz: University of California, 1999; http://econ.ucsc.edu/~boxjenk/wd_rev.pdf;

87

The problem of asymmetry

as a factor in water-related disputes, i.e. the imbalance of upstream and downstream water availability, has drawn growing attention. This condition is prevalent in most large rivers and often means that downstream riparian locations receive less water and, in some cases, water of lower quality. Whether and how it translates into a factor of vulnerability, to use Wolf’s concept, is a matter of specific analysis. As will be seen in the empirical section, water availability in the

Indus Basin differs significantly between upstream and downstream positions; the case of the Ganges is similar. Asymmetry as a natural feature of rivers, however, is not a cause of conflict but rather a challenge in terms of water distribution. Zaag and

Schiesler appropriately set asymmetry in context with achieving equitable water sharing.

270

This aspect will be discussed further in the ensuing chapter on the political economy of water sharing. In spite of such obstacles, water has been a catalyst of cooperation, as Wolf’s statistics indicate. To test his observation and concept, some cases will be presented in the empirical section.

Conclusion: the relevance of the water conflict hypothesis

Assessing water shortage

, as a starting point of the water war discussion, has exposed the intricate difficulty of water use. There is no definite, universally accepted and generally applicable standard of water shortage just as there is no standard for sufficient water supplies. Sectoral water requirements are hard to quantify, as are requirements in different locations. Rice farming requires differing quantities of water in different places and at different times, depending on the climatic and geographical conditions and the sort of rice, to name just one example. In general, the over-all water availability has shrunk, while water demand and consumption are on the rise, reflecting a strong growth in population and in agricultural and industrial production.

Yet these assessments mainly relate to individual water availability. On a collective

(district, state or nation) level the question whether water is short or sufficient will eventually be determined by a simple contrast of demand and supply. If supplies do not meet demands, water managers have to find ways of either generating more supplies or reducing demand.

The concept by Falkenmark and Lundqvist stands out as it qualifies water shortage according to types of use and environmental conditions, allowing for a specific assessment. As it addresses forms of water use under varying circumstances, it

Nahid Islam: Indo – Bangladesh common rivers: the impact on Bangladesh;

Contemporary South

Asia

, no. 1, 1992, p. 211 – 214, 219 – 222.

269

Though lacking a precise definition of conflict, Peter Gleick’s chronology lists disputes related to water as a single issue or combined with other issues, starting in 1503 A.D.: www.worldwater.org/conflict.htm. Out of 507 disputes, only 21 included military involvement (mostly involving Israel and its neighbouring states). Aaron Wolf’s database of over 400 water sharing arrangements underlines the argument that cooperation is more likely than confrontation: www.transboundarywaters.orst.edu/projects/internationalDB.html. See also Aaron Wolf & Meredith

Giordano: Sharing waters: post-Rio international water management;

Natural Resources Forum

, vol.

27, 2003, p. 163 – 165. According to the authors, there are 263 international river basins, involving

145 nations and around 40% of the world population. For the post-1945 period they count over 150 agreements – versus 37 conflicts that turned violent.

270

Pieter van der Zaag: Asymmetry and equity in water resources management: critical institutional issues for Southern Africa;

Water Resources Development

, vol. 21, no. 1, 2007. Nora Schiessler, A.

Renner & A. Lüth: Möglichkeiten und Grenzen partizipativer Verfahren zur Überwindung asymmetrischer Wasserkonflikte; Bensheim/Leipzig: Institut für Organisationskommunikation (IFOK) /

Umweltforschungszentrum (UFZ), 2004.

88

renders a more accurate evaluation of existing water situations. It also shows the limits of one-dimensional quantitative concepts. For the problem of water sharing, aspects of water productivity, water conservation, water trade and water recycling affect the long-term water sharing process. For short-term, seasonal water sharing the primary question is: How do the actors involved cope with gaps between supply and demand?

The water – war nexus

, from an empirical perspective, cannot be sustained – at least not generally. The absence of major conflicts over water, however, does not mean that serious disputes have not occurred at all. In several cases, especially on communal levels in arid regions, conflicts have erupted and are likely to occur again.

In areas struck by regular water shortage, some people have resorted to emigration rather than facing conflict.

As a result, the potential of conflict may have diminished in the original locality, but at the prize of increasing it in the new locality. In theory at least, the migrants of watershort places face the same obstacles of other migrants: against a rising number of environmental refugees, countries of relative wealth have moved to tighten their borders.

271

Internal migration – especially from the countryside to the urban centres - increases the pressure on city dwellers or on rural populations in other parts of the country, in turn affecting the existing water allocation in those places. From an economic perspective, avoiding conflict by migrating out of the conflict area only means changing the setting of the problem. For the country as a whole and the river basin the basic challenge – and the risk of conflict, or

vulnerability

– continues to exist.

In this regard, the Security Demographic concept, presented by Population Action

International, is more helpful as it points at water shortage in conjunction with other

stress factors

like the prevalence of young people in the demographic set-up of a country, the urban growth rate and the availability of cropland. Pakistan, for instance, is rated in the

high risk

category, together with several African countries.

272

Water shortage, coupled with other factors, may very well become a factor in violent conflict where people are faced with several threats to their physical existence.

An inter-sectoral competition over water supplies can jeopardize the economic development of a country and its provinces or districts not so much in the form of a direct violent confrontation but with political and social repercussions. This fall-out of water shortage might in turn take the shape of public protests challenging the authorities. The necessity to find a solution that will satisfy demands does remain.

Rather than shifting people authors like Ohlsson advocate an

economic shift

towards higher water productivity, e.g. by changing water-intensive crops for crops

271

For a discussion of environmental degradation as a cause of migration, see Manfred Wöhlcke:

Umweltflüchtlinge. Ursachen und Folgen; München: Beck 1992 (Environmental refugees. Causes and consequences; in German).

272

Richard Cincotta, R. Engelman & D. Anastasion: The Security Demographic. Population and civil conflict after the Cold War; Washington, D. C.: Population Action International, 2003, p. 57, 59; www.populationaction.org (May 2011). The data on which the categorization is based is from UNDP and FAO. It is, however, sometimes misleading, e.g. where the cropland and water availability of

Pakistan is rated below that of Afghanistan – a very dry country with very little arable land that is commonly listed well below Pakistan in terms of agricultural potential and water resources.

89

that consume less water.

273

Such an adaptive system of water management would not involve incalculable consequences.

In sum

, the water wars scenario has proved valuable for this study because it highlights

1) the

dimension of politics

that overshadow water sharing and the difficulty to treat water issues separately;

2) the

capacity and limitations of legal instruments

to regulate water sharing and contain dispute;

3) the need for a reliable

conflict settlement facility

;

4) the importance of efforts towards

greater water productivity

in order to avert shortage.

The case of Pakistan,

as a result, will have to be analyzed focussing on

- political disputes that may impact on water sharing,

- legal instruments for the regulation of water management and the handling of water disputes,

- mechanisms to prevent water conflict, and

- efforts towards greater water productivity in order to avoid shortage and conflict related to inadequate water supplies.

273

Leif Ohlsson: Environment, scarcity and conflict: a study of Malthusian concerns; Göteborg:

Göteborg University, 1999, p. 189 - 191.

90

II.5 The political economy of sharing resources

Economics

define water as a finite natural resource.

274

Its use by one individual or state will inevitably reduce the amount of the resource available to other individuals or states. Consequently, this condition will lead, sooner or later, to an unfavourable situation for at least one actor, in the form of water shortage. As a result, actors compete over resources and benefits of all sorts in a basically self-centred fashion.

Cooperation, from this perspective, is directly related to expected benefits. If they are not to be expected, cooperation is not likely to happen.

This part of the discussion on water sharing focuses on actors and interaction:

- How do political actors achieve individual targets?

- What makes actors consider sharing water?

- What are the prospects and likely gains from cooperative strategies?

Political economy

presents a number of concepts that explain political interaction based on economic principles: Game Theory, Rational Choice, New Institutional

Economics. What makes actors act in a rational way, or not, renders a multi-faceted picture that goes far beyond the limits of market economics.

Equality has been a central demand from normative sides. Asymmetry describes a condition of

inequality

which is a built-in feature of many rivers. The task of this chapter is to put to the test diverse concepts to explain if, and how, water sharing can take place under asymmetric conditions.

Why cooperate? A biological excursus

Recent neurobiological research counters the widespread tendency to approach water sharing from economic and conflict research perspectives arguing that cooperation is much more likely than confrontation. In a partial revision of some of

Charles Darwin’s quintessential observations on the principles of interaction, new findings claim that cooperation is in fact the

prime orientation of human interaction

. Man’s

social brain,

according to this research, determines that cooperation greatly increases the chance of survival and reproduction, defined here as the primary drivers of human decision-making. Human evolution is understood as a process of adaptation to changing environmental conditions, not as the result of a struggle for survival. Consequently, human action is orientated towards acceptance.

Struggle and competition over resources may occur, but rather as a tertiary factor, and only in a situation marked by severe shortage.

275

Related to this research is the

274

A common definition of economics as the science which studies human behaviour as a relationship between ends and scarce means which have alternative uses, by L. Robbins: An essay on the nature and significance of economic science (London: Macmillan, 1935), is used here, as cited by C. Perry et al.: Water as an economic good: a solution, or a problem? Colombo: IWMI,

Research Report

14, 1997, p. 2.

275

Joachim Bauer: Das kooperative Gen, Hamburg: Hoffmann & Campe, 2008 (The cooperative gene, in German). This research corresponds to earlier findings from evolutionary biology on primate social behaviour. Social primates like the Black-and-white Colobus monkeys of West Africa form a complex functional network that allows all members of a group to be safe from predators. Realizing the benefits

91

discovery of so-called mirror cells that are responsible for the human ability to communicate with other humans more intensely through empathy.

276

The overall conclusion is that egoism as a factor in human interaction has to be viewed within a newly defined context of survival based on cooperative, rather than competitive, modes of action. This position is diametrically opposed to the basic economic perspective of a rationality of self-interest. Modern economic theories dominate the social science discourse of interaction, yet some economists voice concern over the underlying tone of this trend of concepts. Miegel warns that an overly interest-driven society of egoists will face inevitable decline.

277

The dissolution of society may be an extreme vision, but in essence the erosion of values related to achieving collective aims seems to be obvious. But a reckless drive to reach individual goals against the interests of other members of a group or society can quickly reach a dead end when other members of the same group or society act in the same way. Individuals facing conflict over colliding interests may find that some form of cooperation is the only way to reach the set target at least partly, if only because the perceived costs of confrontation are too high to bear.

Cooperation as a rational decision

Social science research has addressed the problem of cooperation drawing on economic concepts of

rationality

. Contrasting the findings of neurobiological research, cooperation is not perceived here as a predetermined mode of interaction, but one based on situational analysis and interest-, i.e. benefit-driven decisionmaking. Actors engaging in cooperation or confrontation are egotists by principle, choosing the strategy that promises the best returns.

Rational Choice Theory

(RCT) defines rationality as a set of defined goals that are to be achieved within perceived limitations by choosing those strategies or instruments that promise the best outcome regarding the set goal. Derived from micro-economic decision theory (consumer behaviour as one simple example), Rational Choice Theory represents a theory in from cooperation, both individual and collective, each member, in its specific function, assumes responsibility for the group. Utilizing food sources and feeding grounds collectively enhances the species’ survival. This complex social interaction is reflected in the bigger brain sizes of these social primates. Cf. Peter M. Kappeler & Carel van Schaik: Cooperation in primates and humans: mechanisms and evolution; Heidelberg/Berlin/New York: Springer, 2006. Conflict, however, does happen; see Frans de Waal: Wilde Diplomaten. Versöhnung und Entspannungspolitik bei Affen und

Menschen. München: Hanser 1991 (Wild diplomats. Reconciliation and détente among primates and humans; in German). I am grateful to Cornelia Paukert for pointing out this aspect to me. Weizsäcker, a biologist, contrasts one-sided, profit-maximization economics with the very ability of man to act jointly towards collective benefits as a decisive feature of man’s survival:

Der außerordentliche

Überlebensvorteil des Menschen gegenüber allen – auch den am höchsten entwickelten – Tieren besteht darin, dass er Solidargruppen zu bilden vermag, die den Gemeinsinn über den Eigensinn stellen. Für den nackten Egoismus als Hauptcharakterzug des Menschen ist die naturwissenschaftliche Grundlage extrem schwach

(The extraordinary evolutionary advantage of man over even the most highly developed species is his ability to form groups based on solidarity. Life science offers very little justification for the concept of naked egotism as a main trait of man); Ernst Ulrich von

Weizsäcker: Eine neue Politik für die Erde (in German); Freiburg/Wien/Basel: Herder, 1999, p. 129.

276

Joachim Bauer: Warum ich fühle, was Du fühlst. Intuitive Kommunikation und das Geheimnis der

Spiegelneurone, Hamburg: Hoffmann & Campe, 2005 (Why I feel what you feel. Communication by intuition and the secret of mirror neurons; in German).

277

Meinhard Miegel & Stefanie Wahl: Das Ende des Individualismus: Die Kultur des Westens zerstört sich selbst; München: MVG, 1994 (The end of individualism: Western culture is self-destructive; in

German).

92

progress:

Homo oeconomicus

, originally guided by his (or her) interest in

maximizing benefits

, has come to be replaced – in a sort of economic evolution – by a more complex

homo sociologicus

, guided not only by self-interest but also by varying perceptions of other actors, common norms, collective and individual values and roles.

278

The initial, somewhat one-dimensional concept of man as seen by

Thomas Hobbes proved to be too narrow to explain human behaviour. Instead of being egotistic to the point of aggressive despotism, human behaviour features altruistic facets. The critical question is: when and why? The promise of RCT is to predict likely behaviour and decisions. Axelrod takes an economic look at cooperation arguing that cooperation is a matter of gains versus losses, rewards versus costs.

279

In principle, any actor will favour cooperation if it reaps benefits or if unilateral, non-cooperative action is costlier than collaboration. Axelrod adds that cooperation is more likely under conditions that favour or alleviate cooperation.

Methodically, to

measure all determinants of human decision

is a major challenge to RCT.

280

Decisions can be influenced by information and by perceptions (of self, others, and objects) – both of which are subject to change. Decisions also can be influenced differently by diverse objects at stake. In some cases the readiness to cooperate might be greater than in others because the object is either considered rewarding it or not. The question of values that may guide action is also a matter of debate: do individuals adhere to the same values as political decision-makers? The reasons behind decision-making may be explicitly stated, but in other cases they may not. This leaves room for speculation. Reasons are not identical with causes.

Reasons reflect an actor’s awareness, while causes of action are not necessarily known to the actor.

The dynamics of these factors and the difficulty to measure them in a quantified manner has led to concessions. Osborne admits the limited

rationalizability

of some actions.

281

The degree to which RCT is confirmed by empirical data is in dispute, prompting a debate over the very essence of RCT.

282

The desire to quantify information on behaviour and express it in mathematical forms implies that this approach would render exact results, as in the case of numerical analysis. Simon has introduced the concept of

bounded rationality

, arguing that the capacity of individuals to perceive and understand their social environment and incorporate this information into their decision-making is limited and might over time lead to diverse, even contrary decisions.

283

This means that any effort at predicting decisions and

278

For a discussion of different trends of RCT Karl-Dieter Opp: Contending conceptions of the theory of rational action;

Journal of Theoretical Politics

, vol. 11, no. 2, 1999, p. 173.

279

Robert Axelrod: Die Evolution der Kooperation; München: Oldenbourg, 1987 (The evolution of cooperation; in German), p. 3 – 8, 131.

280

Mathematical formulae, as used in the above economic approaches, have an appeal in itself for their clarity yet their explanatory value is limited, no matter how complex they are, because one critical factor in human decision-making, the individual person or the individual mind, has so far escaped man’s ability to completely monitor, explain and predict human thinking. Thus the models discussed here merely serve to approach, but not to capture, human decision-making by simulation.

281

Martin Osborne: A course in Game Theory; Cambridge: Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Press, 1994, p. 54 – 77.

282

See Gary W. Cox: The empirical content of Rational Choice Theory. A reply to Green and Shapiro;

Journal of Theoretical Politics

, vol. 11, no. 2, 1999, p. 151 – 157, referring to Donald Green & Ian

Shapiro: Pathologies of Rational Choice Theory;

Critical Review

, vol. 9, no. 1 – 2, 1995.

283

Herbert A. Simon: Models of Bounded Rationality; Cambridge: Massachusetts Institute of

Technology Press, 1997.

93

actions is limited even further and that an analysis has to take into account the specific conditions of decision-making in any given case with greater attention.

An important dimension in understanding political action is the historical background of decision-making, for example

historical experiences

in relationships between neighbouring states. Assessing past experience in the case of the Indus water dispute between Sindh and Punjab provinces as well as between India and Pakistan is crucial to understanding today’s political positions but how to fit it into a rational choice concept? Levi defines

path dependence

as a factor but cautions that its use in comparative analyses has been limited, mostly due to methodological vagueness.

284

Path dependence reflects internal and external expectations which in turn reflect a society’s set of organized interests, among other aspects.

This example also reveals another important factor in decision-making,

perceptions

.

The dispute between the provinces of Sindh and Punjab, as will be documented in the empirical section, is characterized by opposing perceptions of the causes that led to the dispute, and its main issues.

285

Applied to the case of water sharing, potential gains can differ widely depending on the way they are perceived.

286

If decisionmakers are confronted with the prospect of long-term benefits that outweigh higher short-term gains, they might opt in favour of the former even if this decision might briefly put them in a less than beneficial position.

RCT describes not a single, unified approach but a community of approaches, some relying more on strict economic measures, others drawing on findings from psychology and sociology. Scott summarizes

three main challenges

to RCT approaches:

1) to understand and predict collective action;

2) the relevance of social norms that may direct actors to decide in favour of others or not;

3) the relevance of social structures and their potentially limiting effect on individual decision-making and action.

287

The relationship between individual and collective interests

is a subject of intense debate. The question is: what makes individual actors consider joining others in order to achieve benefits? Economically speaking, the cost of joining, i.e. any obligation from membership (fees, duties, compromising), should be rewarded by higher gains in one form or another. Scott cites the classic case of trade union membership with a view to getting higher salaries: for an individual actor (member) it

284

Margaret Levi: A model, a method and a map: rational choice in comparative and historical analysis; in: Mark Lichbach & A. Zuckerman, eds.:

Comparative politics: rationality, culture, and structure

; Cambridge: CUP, 1997, p. 28.

285

While the question of water shares between the provinces of Pakistan is – undisputedly – one of the main issues of inter-provincial relations, it is by no means the only one. The political and historical positions vis-à-vis water that are articulated in the provinces differ widely; see Kaiser Bengali, ed.: The politics of managing water; Islamabad: SDPI, 2003; P. I. Cheema, R.A. Khan, A.R. Malik, eds.:

Problems and politics of water sharing and management in Pakistan; Islamabad: IPRI, 2007. This question will be discussed further in section V.

286

Amos Tversky & Daniel Kahneman: Rational choice and the framing of decisions;

Journal of

Business

, vol. 59, no. 2, 1986. Both authors have pointed at the limitations of a fixed set of criteria for decision-making. Individual perceptions are bound to be influenced by momentary personal situations and experience.

287

John Scott: Rational Choice Theory; in: Gary Browning, A. Halcli & F. Webster:

Understanding contemporary society: theories of the present

; New Delhi/London: Sage, 2000.

94

is not clear how his or her single vote would have an effect on the outcome of the labour negotiations. Consequently, joining the union in the first place would not make a tangible difference if the expected result (pay rise) will be achieved regardless of his or her commitment.

288

Does cooperation result from social norms?

Social norms exceed the narrow scope of contracts and agreements between actors. Their precise effect is difficult to measure. The realization of actors that altruistic, rather than selfish behaviour may receive approval from other members of a group or society may be based in an awareness that being a member of a group or a society carries benefits in one form or another that will somehow have to be paid for by an individual commitment of one kind or another. Such norms have evolved over time, without any single incident causing this development. They are unintentional in the sense of rational action.

289

The role of social structures

is even harder to assess. Do actors act independently of other actors? The assumption that interaction, especially economic transfers

(markets), creates structures is widely held but difficult to incorporate into a theory of action.

290

For the problem of water sharing this means that the decision to share water is to be understood as an element of a complex pattern of internal processes involving members of the executive and administrative sections of government. From an RCT perspective it means that the decision as such may be transparent but hard to predict because of the many variables involved.

Cooperation can take on many forms. According to Axelrod, one of the most frequent and most successful is on a

case-by-case

level. Actors engage in limited cooperation on a strictly reciprocal basis (tit-for-tat). Applying a strategic perspective, cooperative actors – in Axelrod’s view – reduce the risk of losing due to other actors which don’t stick to their commitment by reassessing the chances of winning in each new case. Interaction thus becomes easier to manage and oversee, and reciprocity implies fairness, inviting other actors to also try cooperative engagement.

Scharpf questions the principle of interest maximization. He advocates a more particularistic approach to rationality that incorporates

specific conditions

.

291

This argument is particularly important where it points at the growing interdependence of social, economic and political processes. Applied to water sharing it means to assess the role of water in diverse fields and re-evaluate non-water factors that influence water decisions. This interdependence not only requires analysts to put water (or any other issue) in perspective, but also to take into account the added pressure on decision-makers.

Braun concludes that the methodological effort to

differentiate rationality

leads to a more comprehensive understanding of the factors behind political decisions. This,

288

Scott,

ibidem

.

289

Scott,

ibidem

, citing Anthony Heath: Rational choice and social exchange; Cambridge: Cambridge

University Press, 1976, p. 64.

290

On the ambivalent nature of methodological individualism criticized by many sociologists for an overly psychological interpretation cf. Douglas Heckathorn: The paradoxical relationship between sociology and rational choice;

The American Sociologist

, vol. 28, no. 2, 1997.

291

Fritz Scharpf, Bernd Reissert, Fritz Schnabel: Politikverflechtung: Theorie und Empirie des kooperativen Föderalismus in der Bundesrepublik; Kronberg: Scriptor; 1976 (The intertwining of politics: theoretical and empirical dimensions of German cooperative federalism; in German), p. 13 –

18.

95

however, comes at a prize: a reduced theoretical capacity to predict decisions.

292

Hill counters that while

the theory of rational choice is typically employed to deduce the necessary consequences that result from the interaction of rational agents

, there may in fact be

more than one possible outcome from interaction

if conditions change.

293

Using

Game Theory

(GT) to analyze and predict actors’ behaviour in conflict towards realizing gains and avoiding losses, he simulates two principal types of games: cooperation and confrontation. One common game is the Prisoners’ Dilemma:

Applied to the collective use of water resources, the dilemma is that in order to protect the river from overuse, one or more water users have to compromise on their individual withdrawals.

294

When one user prefers to withdraw a maximum amount at the expense of other users in order to achieve higher gains in the short-run, it is uncertain whether the other users will stick to refraining from one-sided egotistic action in order to allow long-term benefits for all. If all users act egotistically, the longterm benefits would be eliminated because the status of the river as a resource system would soon deteriorate. In short, the readiness by some to act in a concerted manner towards collective benefits does not guarantee effective cooperation unless egotism by others will be punished. Hill tries to prove that rational actors are prone to unforeseeable changes (

fate

) that affect their decisions, thus making precise predictions difficult even where the sphere of the actor is transparent.

295

The

Pareto Optimum

represents a situation in which all actors have achieved a level of gains beyond which at least one of them will suffer losses. At that level, any strategy that guarantees the existing gains and prevents losses is considered positive. This means that if further gains can only be achieved at the cost of suffering losses in other areas, actors will have to reconsider their priorities and may reevaluate expected gains and losses. In the case of water sharing, this could mean

292

Dietmar Braun: Theorien rationalen Handelns in der Politikwissenschaft; Opladen: Leske &

Budrich, 1999 (Rational action theories in political science, in German), ch. 3.3.3.

293

Greg Hill: History, necessity, and rational choice theory;

Rationality and Society

, vol. 9, no. 2, 1997, p.190.

294

Scott Barrett refers to the classic case of two riparian nations which, in spite of defined selfinterests, effectively depend on each other regarding the choices each makes as interdependence:

Conflict and cooperation in managing international water resources;

World Bank Policy Research

Working Paper

no. 1303, 1994, p.3. This

interdependence

– demonstrating the actors’ decisionmaking perspective – can be seen as mirroring their hydrological interdependence, according a common hydrological understanding by the IWRM community (see chapter II c). Interdependence, as convincing it may seem in ecological terms, does not preclude a principle one-sided dependence of lower riparian entities on the upper riparian. This may, as Barrett suggests, be set of by downstream facilities which may be useful to upstream riparian nations or states, too. As will be seen in the empirical section of this study, the upstream-downstream discrepancy in most cases is a major challenge and a test case for game theoretic concepts.

295

Ibidem

, p. 204 – 209. Mandel, in principle arguing along a rational choice course, has devised a counter-concept termed irrationality to explain, or rather assess, decisions that (a) run counter to stated policy goals, (b) are based on non-comprehensive search and evaluation, (c) are inconsistent with official statements and (d) are marked by passionate or emotional motives. See: Robert Mandel:

Irrationality in international confrontation; Westport: Greenwood Press, 1987. It may be argued that such irrationality might in itself be a kind of rationality – one that sports a new form of rationality in the sense that expected benefits from such action might not be obvious to observers outside the decisionmaking forum, but do make sense on a more personal level, that of the decision-maker. A much discussed case is that of the personal rationality behind the official

irrationality

of the Nixon-Kissinger government (cf. the so-called madman theory, i.e. the apparent readiness to initiate nuclear warfare).

The “rationality” of political decisions that were mainly aimed at increasing the personal status of these men has been examined in detail by Seymour Hersh: The prize of power. Henry Kissinger in the Nixon

White House; New York: Summit, 1983.

96

that achieving higher shares might involve a greater risk of conflict with other riparian actors on other issues.

Game Theory implicitly suggests that both actors involved in the game are somehow linked by a degree of mutual dependence. The case of universally essential resources like water the dilemma of one-sided (over-) utilization that may cause shortages to some users, plus the ecological deterioration of the resource as such, is widely referred to as the

tragedy of the commons

.

296

This dilemma becomes particularly serious if one cooperative actor is confronted by several non-cooperative actors which seek short-term gains at the expense of long-term utilization of the resource by anyone. An effort to expand the capacity of GT is the concept of

Nested

Games

(NG). Tsebelis defines his model as

a network of games

which an actor may be involved in at the same time. He finds that decisions which appear less than optimal regarding the maximum benefits to be reaped may in fact be optimal when perceived from a different perspective.

297

Critics of mathematical models

of political interaction state that

politics is not a game

(Warren) and not a closed system consisting of a given set of clear options and alternatives, while conceding that some kinds of political interaction, especially in their strategic conceptions, may be modelled through GT with some usefulness.

298

A major problem, from the perspective of qualitative social science, is that GT fails to adequately define

power

. Politics, from a behavioural perspective, can be seen as a quest for power. Alternatively, power may be seen as the ability to control the flow of resources or the authority over institutional mechanisms.

299

Skaperdas, methodically sticking to the mathematical model, finds that long-term political strategy, especially power projection on a global scale, tends to be underestimated.

300

Wolf, applying GT to water sharing in the Middle East, strongly denies its capacity to explain complex decision-making processes.

301

Supalla presents the Platte River as a classic competition of water uses (environmental, power generation, irrigation), each requiring specified water supplies over time and space.

302

Its management is complicated by the multitude of stakeholders and objectives. GT, according to

Supalla, exposed the failures of past efforts, like an open-ended dispute over

296

Garrett Hardin: Managing the commons; London: Freeman, 1977.

297

George Tsebelis: Nested Games. Rational choice in comparative politics; Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1990, p. 7. Lynne Bennett, S. Ragland and P. Yolles on linked games: Facilitating international agreements through an interconnected game approach: the case of river basins; in:

Richard E. Just & Sinaia Netanyahu, eds.:

Conflict and cooperation on trans-boundary water resources

; London: Kluwer, 1998, p. 61 – 84.

298

299

Mark E. Warren: What is political?

Journal of Theoretical Politics

, vol. 11, no. 2, 1999, p. 211 - 217.

Political power may have different notions, as Warren,

ibidem

, points out. The importance of this discussion for this study is the conclusion that a universally applicable concept of power is neither feasible nor desirable because it would narrow the analytical approach to specific problems down too much.

300

Stergios Skaperdas: Bargaining versus fighting;

Defence and Peace Economics

, vol. 17, no. 6,

2006, p. 657 – 676. The author questions the logic of great power decisions taken in the First and

Second World Wars, especially the Soviet Union towards Germany, and the U.S. towards Japan which cannot be explained using classic economic concepts of benefit realization. Instead, he finds, longterm visions of the post-war world were the likely motives for decisions that otherwise seemed irrational.

301

Aaron T. Wolf: Hydropolitics along the Jordan River. Scarce water and its impact on the Arab-

Israeli conflict; New York: United Nations University, 1995.

302

Raymond J. Supalla: A game theoretic analysis of institutional arrangements for Platte River management;

Water Resources Development

, vol. 16, no. 2, 2000, p. 256 – 263.

97

assessments that could have easily been avoided if a neutral scientific analysis had been commissioned beforehand. As a result, the bargaining process degraded to a mere show of force; rather than water, political power seemed to be at the heart of the dispute. A major problem was the lack of a common goal that could have served as a starting point. From a GT perspective, a coalition of some stakeholders could be helpful to formulate common goals, thus making their position transparent and calculable for other stakeholders. Game Theory, in the Platte case, can serve to make actor positions clear, thus allowing other actors to adjust theirs in order to reach an agreeable solution.

Aiming to extend the reach of Rational Choice and Game Theory models, Levi and

Bates highlight the importance of

context-added analysis

in order to adequately take into account the multitude of cases and circumstances of interaction. Their model, Analytic Narratives, adds a

detailed and textured account of context and process

, thus bridging the gap between abstract economic theories and particularistic historic approaches or area studies.

303

This model appears especially promising where political challenges of the present are overshadowed by open disputes or problems from the past. Another argument in favour of this approach is uncertainty associated with decision-making under conditions of dynamic and complex social processes. In such a situation, as Levi points out, actors may opt for a course they would not consider in a more stable situation where the outcome of their action is more foreseeable.

304

The history of Pakistan – with its chronology of water-related conflict, clashes with

India, shifts from authoritarian to participatory rule and back again – is not an example of a straight red line of development. The many turns in the process to establish a functioning state since independence suggest that a conventional model of analysis might not adequately factor in relevant dimensions and dynamics of the problem of water sharing and politics in this country. Therefore a closer look at the specific circumstances of the post-independence era, or the narrative, will be placed before the analysis of the water dispute.

Rationality and identity

The role of identity and culture

has been discussed to explain action that appears to escape common notions of rationality. Wendt defines identity as

relatively stable, role-specific understandings and expectations about self

– identities are

inherently relational (

) within a specific, socially constructed world

.

305

This notion is important as, by relating identity to particular situations, it defines identity as a dynamic, rather than somewhat structural system. This identity is not only reflected in the actor’s interests, it is the very basis of interests, according to Wendt. The underlying

303

Margaret Levi: Modeling complex historical processes with Analytic Narratives; in: Renate Mayntz, ed.:

Akteure, Mechanismen, Modelle: Zur Theoriefähigkeit makrosozialer Analysen

(Actors, mechanisms, models: on the theoretical capacity of macro-level analyses; in German); Frankfurt:

Campus, p. 112; Robert H. Bates, A. Greif, M. Levi & J.- L. Rosenthal: Analytic Narratives; Princeton:

Princeton UP, 1998, p. 14 – 15, 36.

304

305

M. Levi: Modeling …;

op. cit

., p. 116.

Alexander Wendt: Anarchy is what states make of it: The social construction of power politics

;

International Organisation

, vol. 46, no. 2, 1992, p. 397 – 398, with a reference to Peter Berger: Identity as a problem in the sociology of knowledge;

European Journal of Sociology

, vol. 7, no. 1, 1966, p.

110.

98

assumption is that political action is guided by individual cultural characteristics.

Almond

et al.

define political culture as a concept based on three tiers, political system, political process and policy.

306

Legitimacy is a critical factor marking both the status of the government’s authority as well as the reach of governmental control.

Legitimacy may rest on democratic mechanisms in some societies; in others it rests on people’s perceptions of whether their government makes good decisions. In methodological terms, this means that rationality has to be viewed in a specific national context. The capacity of game theoretic models to predict outcomes of interaction would thus be limited. To make it more complicated, political culture is to be understood as a multifaceted process rather than a general status.

307

In turn, however, culture, according to Ross, facilitates predicting decisions and actions because

it frames the context in which politics occur

.

308

Espeland uses Max Weber’s notion of

rationalism

instrumental

versus

value rationality

– to explain the dynamic nature of rationality, or

subjective rationalism

.

309

Following Weber, rationality becomes difficult to generalize, yet

just as there is no completely objective stance that can determine whether and how action is rational, neither is there a rational basis for defending our choice of substantive values

.

310

The concept of

homo sociologicus

(as opposed to

homo economicus

) presented by

Hargreaves-Heap et al. points in a similar direction, explaining rationality from a behavioural perspective stressing the importance of social norms, rather than individual interest maximization.

311

Mitra finds that the role of values in decision-making is subject to change according to the political circumstances:

transcendental issues

are a characteristic of the transitional period, up to the point of the establishment of a power base. At that point they are replaced by

the normal politics of “who gets what and how”

.

312

This model is important because it marks a way out of the methodological dilemma between overgeneralization and over-specialization in the discussion of rational action.

306

Gabriel Almond, G. Bingham Powell, Russell Dalton, Kaare Strøm, eds.: Comparative politics today. A world view; New York, San Francisco etc.: Longman, 2010, p. 43 – 48.

307

308

Ibidem

, p. 49.

Ross concedes that

culture complicates issues of evidence

by

raising serious unit-of-analysis problems for which there are no easy answers

; Marc Howard Ross: Culture and identity in comparative political analysis; in: Mark Lichbach & A. Zuckerman, eds.:

Comparative politics: rationality, culture, and structure

; Cambridge: CUP, 1997, p. 43, 47.

309

Wendy Nelson Espeland: The struggle for water. Politics, identity, rationality in the American South-

West; Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998, especially chapter 1: Contested rationalities.

Referring to Max Weber’s notion,

rationalism is a historical concept which covers a whole world of different things

, p. 34.

310

311

Espeland,

ibidem

, p. 36.

Shaun Hargreaves-Heap, M. Hollis, B. Lyons, A. Wheale: The theory of choice. A critical guide:

Oxford: OUP, 1992, ch. 5. The authors conclude that

we have no theoretical paradigm that adequately integrates the two

(h. sociologicus

and

h. economicus

) – nor are we likely to have one

; p. 71. The importance of legitimacy, within the framework of a transparent process of decision-making, is obvious, as are the likely consequences in any participatory system. Hofmann and Mitchell have conceptionalized them using an opinion survey of water users in Canadian communities: Nancy

Hofmann & Bruce Mitchell: The RESPECT model: evolving decision-making approaches in water management;

Water Policy

, vol. 1, 1998, p. 341 – 355; the concept as such, however, fails to provide any explanation of decisions, or water-related conflicts, but rather summarizes important elements that decision-making should incorporate, such as research, communication and equity considerations.

312

Subrata K. Mitra: Sub-national movements of South Asia; in: Subrata Mitra, ed.:

Culture and rationality: The politics of social change in post-colonial India

; Delhi: Sage, 1999, p. 196 – 215.

99

Asymmetry: Water and power

Asymmetry is a condition of

imbalance

. In the case of rivers, asymmetry between upstream and downstream positions renders the upper riparian actor superior to the lower riparian, at least in theory, because of the control over water resources of higher quality and quantity. It is the hydro-geographical potential and the capacity to make use of this asymmetry that translates water into

power

. Privileged control over water resources, due to asymmetric conditions of water access, enables one riparian actor to push economic development on one side of a river or withhold water on the other side in order to compel a competitor to make concessions which he would otherwise not be ready to make.

From a Game Theory perspective

, asymmetry is a methodical challenge because the antagonists act under vastly different conditions. One actor is able to refuse cooperation and still make gains whereas the other side might face losses without compensation, i.e. one side could simply escape the prisoner’s dilemma altogether.

The hydrological superiority of the upstream actor can hardly be offset because water cannot be replaced by any other commodity.

313

What is left for downstream riparian actors is to seek a detour – by either offering a pay-off or trying to connect water to other objects of interest to the opposing, superior side:

- A)

intra-issue linkage

: water supplies are linked to cooperation, or concession, on other water issues, like navigation, fishery, coastal security etc.;

- B)

inter-issue linkage

: water supplies are being tied to cooperation on nonwater issues (trade, cross-border migration, regional security etc.);

- C)

financial compensation

: a pay-off is made to the superior side for water supplies.

The hope that is implied with such

linkage

strategies is that a common interest or benefit may be identified.

314

In principle, all theoretical schemes are rooted in observations from international conflict research, negotiation theory, and rational choice. Cooperation, as a general conclusion, is possible if the price is right and if there are no adverse circumstances. Strictly speaking, these strategies tacitly assert the realist assumption (of international relations theory) that cooperation is not the preferred mode of interaction, but rather dominance or superiority. To counter this negative position, the concept of

benefit sharing

(to be distinguished from water sharing) has been introduced to defuse the potential danger of water conflicts.

The linkage concept

is convincing as it suggests that – at least in some cases where favourable conditions exist – water may simply be treated as any other issue.

In a positive case, the downstream side will succeed in obtaining the required water supplies in turn for other commodities or services. By a rational choice standard, the trade-off should be roughly equal in terms of opportunity costs and direct value of the

313

Nora Schiessler, A. Renner, A. Lüth: Möglichkeiten und Grenzen partizipativer Verfahren zur

Überwindung asymmetrischer Wasserkonflikte;

Berichte des Umweltforschungszentrums Leipzig

(UFZ) Nr. 10, 2004 (Options, and limitations, of participatory strategies to overcome asymmetric conflicts over water; Report of the Environment Research Center, Leipzig, Germany; in German), p. 37

– 52. Another important aspect regarding game theoretic approaches to asymmetry is that the longterm nature of asymmetry – it is not supposed to end unless the river dries up. Theoretically, over a long period several

games

may be tried to further both sides’ interests.

314

Schiessler

et al

.,

ibidem

.

100

commodities traded. It can be argued that cooperation as such is a beneficial action and should thus be preferred. This argument has been elevated from its initial normative status to a more pragmatic level referring to practical (quantifiable) as well as political advantages that reach

beyond the river

.

315

In a negative case

, the downstream side may not escape its inferiority because the price demanded by the upstream side is too high in one form or another or other, hidden demands make the downstream side essentially dependent for its very existence. Such a situation would result in a state of

hydro-hegemony

: water could thus be used as a lever to effectively suppress all downstream riparian actors at will.

316

The possibility of linkages would be reduced because no other commodity matches the value of water. Cooperation, by its actual meaning, would be almost impossible. Such an extreme situation depends on a near-absolute supremacy based on water, i.e. downstream actors would have no alternative water source available and could thus be blackmailed, and they would not have any means to counter such a threat, neither individually, nor collectively.

Given the expected political cost of such confrontational behaviour, as described in the water wars chapter, the chances for some form of cooperation – in the wider sense of the word – are greater. The Indus Waters Treaty, concluded by long-time antagonists India and Pakistan in 1960, is often cited as a successful example of financial compensation. While linkage options also existed, it was the direct financial pay-off (in this case by third-party commitments and by Pakistan) that made the agreement possible.

317

Negotiations and dispute resolution

The Middle Eastern water conflicts have provided a testing ground for theories on water dispute management. A classic economic approach is based on valuing water

315

Starting from a river basin or IWRM perspective, Sadoff and Grey (both from the World Bank), circumnavigate the problem of asymmetry by pointing at the positive potential of cooperation: Claudia

Sadoff & David Grey: Beyond the river: The benefits of cooperation on international rivers;

Water

Policy

, vol. 4, 2002, p. 389 – 402.

316

Hydro-hegemony has recently become a hotly discussed topic. Identifying asymmetry as a major obstacle to inter-riparian cooperation, it is argued that conflict over water is much more likely than statistics suggest because of the widespread phenomenon of asymmetry and the growing shortage of water, especially when compounded by other volatile factors, like existing bilateral tensions. Jeroen

Warner and Marc Zeitoun have tried to develop a concept of hydro-hegemony (HH) based on conflict research models; see: Hydro-hegemony – a framework for analysis of trans-boundary water conflicts;

Water Policy

, vol. 8, 2006, p. 442 – 452; J. Warner: Contested hydro-hegemony: Hydraulic control and security in Turkey;

Water Alternatives

, vol. 1, no. 2, 2008, p. 271 – 288. A condition of HH is measured in accordance with type of control over water, riparian interaction and intensity of conflict; p. 453. The main result from this effort is that water conflict has to be understood within the wider context of riparian relations, or politics. This finding is not surprising. Whether it required a new concept to reach this conclusion is questionable. The expectation that natural advantages tend to be used to generate power, and that power is used to generate benefits regardless of other nations’ or groups’ interests is well documented in the history of international relations. Water, as Warner and Zeitoun admit referring to T. Allan, has to be understood as an object of politics – see: Zeitoun and Warner: International relations theory and water do mix: A response to Furlong’s troubled waters, hydro-hegemony and international water relations;

Political Geography

, vol. 27, 2008, p. 802 – 810.

317

This example will be presented in detail in the empirical sections of this study.

101

and its opportunity costs on a monetary basis.

318

One constraining factor of this approach is that it typically centres on macro-level political decision-making. In the case of water sharing, distribution may be prioritized over efficient water use for reasons of political acceptance, as Just

et al.

point out.

319

This argument not only applies to democratic societies but to more authoritarian societies, with a degree of secrecy, as well because the consequences of water management decisions inevitably are felt by almost all citizens.

Colby and d’Estree note that water conflicts typically require a

long-term mechanism

of dispute resolution due to the changing, cyclic nature of rivers and their management:

The ongoing nature of water conflicts implies that parties have different behaviour than in a one-time dispute, knowing they will meet again

.

320

This applies in particular to river basins in the tropics, with strong seasonal variations. In terms of Game Theory, it means that actors might tend to find themselves in a position to try different games, rather than being caught in a dead-end.

Of the conventional forms of conflict resolution, court settlement (litigation) and bargaining, it is bargaining between the antagonists that allows for political power to yield favourable outcomes. If a judicial solution is sought, the result – especially in an asymmetric situation – might render a more balanced situation for both sides, which would turn into one big incentive for the powerful (upstream) riparian actor to try to avoid a legal decision.

At that point

Alternative Dispute Resolution

(ADR) might be an option in order to avoid confrontation (in the form of repercussions from an unfavourable legal verdict on the upper riparian side), a loss of face, and an over-all uncooperative position of the losing side. ADR employs third parties as mediators, either to reach a consensus on disputed issues, or to establish a neutral assessment of the problem (by way of an independent study, for example). ADR, as its proponents stress, has a proven track record, especially in the U.S., even though many conflicts continue to be approached in a classical fashion exerting pressure in one form or another on weaker sides.

321

Its

rising popularity

with state and federal authorities in the U.S. (Colby and d’Estree) reflects in part the public’s attention to these disputes. A strong argument in favour of

ADR, albeit psychological, is that in cases where positions are already hardened, a head-on process is not likely to yield positive results quickly, whereas a mediator can serve as a sparring partner of sorts while at the same time communicate both sides’ positions step-by-step.

Shamir attempts to classify negotiation – based on power, established rights, and interest.

322

This differentiation renders the perspective of the negotiator, rather than

318

Franklin Fisher: The economics of water dispute resolution, project evaluation and management:

An application to the Middle East;

Water Resources Development

, vol. 11, no. 4, 1995, p. 377 – 388.

319

Richard Just, G. Frisvold, V. Harrison, J. Oppenheimer & D. Zilberman: Using bargaining theory and economic analysis as an aid to trans-boundary water cooperation; in: Richard Just & Sinaia

Netanyahu, eds.:

Conflict and cooperation on trans-boundary water resources

; London: Kluwer, 1998, p. 415 – 423.

320

Bonnie G. Colby & Tamra P. d’Estree: Economic evaluation of mechanisms to resolve water conflicts;

Water Resources Development

, vol. 16, no. 2, 2000, p. 240.

321

322

Colby & d’Estree,

ibidem

.

Yona Shamir: Alternative dispute resolution approaches and their application; UNESCO:

From

Potential Conflict to Co-operation Potential (PCCP) series

no. 7, 2003, p. 6 – 17, 18 – 22 (on water); www.unesco.org/water/wwap/pccp/pubs/disciplinary_studies.shtml (Sept. 2008).

102

the decision-maker, yet it does not reach beyond conventional conflict analysis.

323

The outcome of negotiations does, of course, depend on the starting positions of the actors. Whether they rest on economic or military power or on established rights makes a difference, of course. The big question is: what to do if a powerful actor refuses to cooperate in terms of water sharing? Mediation and other negotiation techniques can bring two sides closer towards each other, but an agreement ultimately hinges on the readiness of both to seek a solution rather than sort out their difference by means of force.

Institutions

Institutions, from an economic perspective, are objects of rational action as much as limiting factors of it.

New Institutional Economics

(NIE) can be seen as a reply to criticism of classical economics, especially over the lack of rules in market-oriented interaction. Classical economics imply a set of rules that actors more or less automatically observe in their quest for maximum benefits. Institutional arrangements are introduced to provide a

framework for interaction

.

324

As an enabling component, they can also be designed to provide incentives to actors, according to

North’s principal definition of institutions as

the rules of the game in a society (…) that shape human interaction. In consequence, they structure incentives in human exchange

.

325

These rules, as North points out, are subject to change and may reflect the particular object of an interaction as much as the position taken by the actors involved as well as their respective social values.

326

Institutions, consequently, can take different shapes: formal laws, administrative authorities, or simply informal codes of conduct or rituals. As such, they are the parameters of social, economic and political development.

327

More important in political terms, by regulating political interaction

323

K.D.W. Nandalal & Slobodan Simonovic: State-of-the-art report on systems analysis methods for resolution of conflicts in water resources management; UNESCO

PCCP

series no. 4, 2001, p. 96 –

106. This mathematical approach simulates decision-making by modelling uncertainty. Within the strict logic of systems analysis, it may be convincing, but when compared to rational choice or qualitative analysis methods, its explanatory limits become obvious – even more so in the case of multidimensional water disputes.

324

A more appropriate definition of institution may be convention, following Mary Douglas: How institutions think; London: Routledge, 1987, p. 46 – a very general, yet widely recognized understanding of the purpose of institutions. Douglas’s theoretical discussion is particularly helpful where it touches concepts of rationality, e.g. the role of information in decision-making.

325

Douglass C. North: Institutions, institutional change and economic performance; New York:

Cambridge UP, 1990, p. 3. North has been widely credited for highlighting the design of institutions towards aiding decision-making by providing incentives for rational action. See also Jack Knight:

Institutionen und gesellschaftlicher Konflikt (Institutions and social conflict; in German); Tübingen:

Mohr-Siebeck, 1997, p. 11. For an overview of the methodological roots of NIE see Eva Terberger:

Neoinstitutionalistische Ansätze: Entstehung, Wandel, Anspruch und Wirklichkeit (New institutionalism: evolution, change, demand and reality; in German); Wiesbaden: Nomos, 1994, p. 47ff.

326

Douglass North: The new institutional economics and Third World development; in: John Harris, J.

Hunter & C. Lewis, eds.:

The new institutionalism and Third World development

; London: Routledge,

1995, p. 18.

327

Gerhard Göhler: Politische Ideengeschichte – institutionentheoretisch gelesen (A history of political thought: an institutionalist perspective; in German); in: G. Göhler, K. Lenk, H. Münkler & M. Walther, eds.:

Politische Institutionen im gesellschaftlichen Umbruch (Political institutions and social transformation;

in German

)

; Opladen: Westdeutscher Verlag, 1990, p. 7 – 20.

103

institutions, according to North,

reduce uncertainty in human exchange

.

328

A principal requirement of effective institutions to this end is

information

, as North details.

Information, like institutions as such, is seen from a market perspective that takes into account both its availability and cost. Obtaining information, though theoretically essential for rational decision-making, may be costly enough for some actors to rather cut expenses, thus risking suboptimal results. Ideally, institutional design is oriented towards reducing this cost in order to allow optimal outcomes of decisionmaking.

One important quality of institutions is the

stability

they provide to political action.

329

Being frameworks, they function as reference points. This applies especially where one institution forms part of a network of institutions, e.g. a treaty or law and a bureaucratic mechanism in place to implement it. Both elements draw legitimacy from each other. This self-stabilizing effect has an inevitable consequence on politics: A drastic turn-around in (water) politics would require a fundamental change in the institutional set-up; the new policy, however, is not likely to be implemented as intended if the institutional apparatus is not functioning. In other words, the incentive to maintain the existing institutional mechanism comes from the institution itself.

Finally, the stability of the government as a whole depends on an effective institutional arrangement, as Mitra demonstrates in the case of diverse Indian states.

330

The relevance of NIE to assess rational decision-making has been discussed critically. Bates misses the political dimension, especially the acknowledgement of

power

.

331

This point, discussed above with regard to rationality, is important and deserves a closer look when it comes to institutional change. Institutions do shape political interaction as they regulate it; they may, at the same time, become an object of politics, too, as Göhler stresses, while in principle being the result of political will.

332

328

North: new institutional economics,

supra

, p. 18.

329

Rudolf Richter & Eirik Furubotn: Neue Institutionenökonomik. Eine Einführung und kritische

Würdigung (New institutional economics. An introduction and critical appraisal; in German); Tübingen:

Mohr, 1996, p. 459 – 460. The relationship between bureaucrats and decision-makers is referred to as

Organisationskultur

by the authors.

330

Subrata K. Mitra: Effects of institutional arrangements on political stability in South Asia;

Annual

Reviews of Political Science

, no. 2, 1999, p. 416 – 418. Identifying four factors of political stability

(effective law-and-order institutions, acknowledgment of public demands; articulation of demands by political elites through protest plus participation; corresponding constitutional changes), Mitra explains the success of West Bengal’s conflict management which is based on the ruling party’s effective handling of existing institutions and the implementation of reform policies that respond to public demands, whereas (in 1999) the situation in Bihar entirely escaped the control of the government.

331

Robert H. Bates: Social dilemmas and rational individuals. An assessment of the new institutionalism; in: John Harris, J. Hunter & C. Lewis, eds.:

The new institutionalism and Third World development

; London: Routledge, 1995, p. 42: “

Political facts” lurk just beneath the surface of the new institutionalism

.

332

Gerhard Göhler: Wie verändern sich Institutionen? Revolutionärer und schleichender

Institutionenwandel (How do institutions change? Revolutionary and creeping institutional change; in

German); in: G. Göhler,ed.:

Institutionenwandel

;

Leviathan

no. 16, 1997 (Sonderheft /special edition; in German); Opladen: Westdeutscher Verlag, p. 21 – 25; G. Göhler: Zusammenfassung und

Folgerungen: die institutionelle Konfiguration (Summary and conclusions: the institutional configuration; in German); in: G. Göhler, ed.:

Institution – Macht – Repräsentation: Wofür politische

Institutionen stehen und wie sie wirken (Institution, power and representation: the role and functioning of political institutions; in German)

; Baden-Baden: Nomos, 1997, p. 579 ff.

104

As such they are

manifestations of power

.

333

Given the nature of some institutions, and in fact many political processes, it is often hard to clearly mark the effects that certain actions have on institutions, and vice-versa.

334

As both rational action and institutions are subject to change caused by the dynamics of communication, perception, shifting priorities etc., it becomes difficult to analytically separate causes from consequences –

institutional structures constrain and constitute actions

, at the same time actions give rise to new institutions.

335

The causes of

institutional change

relate to both economic and political factors, as

Feeny points out. The

supply of institutional change

, according to Feeny, principally corresponds to a respective demand, either on an economic (cost-related) or a political (interest-related) basis. The cited example is a classic case of economic benefit versus political interest: the improvement of an irrigation system (Chao

Phraya River, Thailand) towards greater efficiency versus political concerns over national security and the business interests of an economic élite.

336

Generally speaking, change is motivated by potential gains to be realized from improved institutional arrangements.

Institutional change may come in the form of limited reorganization or a wholesale renovation. March and Olsen find that major reorganization efforts tend to fail.

337

A prominent reason is opposition from a bureaucracy that is fearful of losing influence and earnings. This attitude, of course, represents a case of rationality in itself, though it may collide with the rationality of a higher level of the administrative hierarchy, like that of the government.

338

This example illustrates the ambiguous nature of rationality as much as the ambivalence of institutions: they are the structural expression of politics, and they themselves promote structures by giving incentives to further institutionalization. In the given case this means the organized interests of those who oppose the reorganization planned by the government. It will be seen in the case of the water sector how such institutions-within-institutions affect the process of water sharing.

333

Gerhard Göhler: Der Zusammenhang von Institutionen, Macht und Repräsentation; in: G. Göhler, ed.,

supra

, p. 39, citing Hannah Arendt: Macht und Gewalt (English edition: On violence); München:

Piper, 1970/2006, p. 42.

334

The relationship between institutions and action is

not a one-way street

, as Windhoff-Héritier points out: Institutions, interests and political choice; in: Adrienne Windhoff-Héritier & Roland Czada, eds.:

Political choice. Institutions, rules and the limits of rationality

; Boulder: Westview, 1991, p. 39- 40.

335

Windhoff-Héritier,

ibidem

. The discussion of institutions, with its countless sub-theories, has caused some observers to question the analytical reach of NIE; see Oliver Williamson: The new institutional economics: taking stock, looking ahead;

Journal of Economic Literature

, vol. 38, Sept. 2000, p. 595 –

613. Williamson describes the theoretical stage of NIE as

a boiling cauldron of ideas

, p. 610.

336

David Feeny: The demand for and supply of institutional change; in: Vincent Ostrom, D. Feeny & H.

Picht, eds.:

Rethinking institutional analysis. Issues, alternatives and choices

; San Francisco: ICSG-

Press, 1993, p. 166 – 170. The preference for national security concerns in 1930s’ Thailand is linked to the perception of Japanese imperial policies (Greater Asian Co-prosperity Sphere) and, as an endogenous factor, the political influence of the big landowners and the near absence of political influence of the small farmers.

337

James March & Johan Olsen: Rediscovering institutions. The organisational basis of politics; New

York: Free Press, 1989, p. 83 – 85.

338

Braun points at William Niskanen’s understanding of bureaucrats as collective actors: their common rationality, according to Niskanen, is based on achieving, and securing, high budgets – regardless of actual needs – as a means to ensure high status, and along with it more staff (i.e.

a bigger institution), vis-à-vis other branches of the administration; see Dietmar Braun: Theorien rationalen Handelns,

op. cit.

, p. 139.

105

Bureaucracy

has widely been perceived as a typically negative feature of public institutions. The alleged lack of effectiveness and efficiency, however, is hard to assess. Whether goals are achieved and how organizations perform in order to reach these goals is, as Holmes concludes, impossible to measure because organizations as such are

not rational

.

339

Holmes instead offers an analytical clue in the form of the organizational ideology or

organizational culture

:

- Person culture (based on the professional profile of loosely linked group members)

- Power culture (strongly hierarchical, centralized)

- Task culture (project-oriented, flexible)

- Role culture (highly regulated)

The example of the Hong Kong Environmental Protection Agency, evolving from a

person culture

to a

task culture

, explains why private administrative units do not necessarily guarantee greater efficiency.

340

The key to organizational

effectiveness

, as observed in this example, are resources,

- adequate time for institutional development (including recruitment), and

- management skills.

This institutional analysis

does not suggest that there is a universal design of an effective institution, as Holmes cautions. To analyze institutional performance and policy implementation also means to assess the institutional process in a given case in detail. Such a qualitative analysis seems indispensable especially in times of crisis.

341

The cited example of the Iran crisis of 1978 illustrates the

role of individuals

in inter-institutional coordination and communication: Misperception of ground realities, inadequate communication with other institutions and – as a result – misguided policy recommendations have adversely affected decision-making.

What may be taken as a negative case of person culture points at the difficulties attached to effective management: collecting and evaluating information, communication with other individuals, coordination of activities, counselling leaders on policy-making

et cetera.

Also this example exposes a clash of opposing rationalities: Each participant in the governmental deliberations on the current crisis

(both in Tehran and in Washington) represented well-founded rational proposals for action, yet the decision-makers on both sides found it difficult to make a choice.

339

Paul R. Holmes: Bureaucracy and effectiveness in water pollution control;

Water Science and

Technology

, vol. 30, no. 5, 1994, p. 114.

340

341

Holmes,

ibidem

, p. 116 – 118.

Gary Sick, himself an advisor of the U.S. president at the time of the Iranian crisis of 1978, provides a critical look at the internal mechanism of government decision-making: All fall down. America’s tragic encounter with Iran; New York: Random House, 1985. The failure of government branches to adequately evaluate the situation, coordinate with all institutions involved, and arrive at an appropriate policy is considered by Sick a

structural inadequacy of the system

; p. 42. There are, however, serious personal failures, too, like the U.S. Tehran ambassador’s inability to reach and deliver a realistic assessment of the situation on the ground. Similar observations have been made in other crises like

Vietnam and Cuba; see Irving Janis: Groupthink. Psychological studies of policy decisions and fiascos;

New York: Houghton & Mifflin, 1982.

106

This dilemma

reflects some of the limitations of institutional and rational choice theories:

- Rationality can take different shapes. It may be guided by established norms or assumptions about situation, appropriate (re-)actions and expected results.

- Not all factors that determine decision-making may be known in a given case.

- In some cases, actors try to manipulate institutions to further their interests

(career, power) or simply circumvent them.

The gap between theory and reality points not so much at a failure of this particular theory but a fundamental inability to acknowledge every form of decision-making and action in all its complexity in a theoretical model.

342

Synthesis: the case study as a model

The desire to explain a particular problem and extrapolate findings from this case to another can lead to new theoretical models. Conversely, applying an established theory to a particular case may yield new understanding that was not possible when a strict case-by-case approach was applied. Where is the middle ground between both approaches? Generalization carries the risk of superficiality, particularism does not reach beyond the chosen case.

The Analytic Narrative

approach has been introduced to the discussion of economic models of interaction as an attempt at merging two different approaches, or even two disciplines.

343

Based on rational choice theory on the one hand and historical case analysis on the other, this method involves the actor’s context more closely in the analysis than a typical game theoretic or rational choice approach might do. Hoping to bridge a gap, its authors intend to

transcend some of the current and unproductive

“tribal warfare”, especially between the new economic versus historical institutionalists and between advocates of unbounded and bounded rationality

. By developing

systematic explanations based on case studies

, they want to increase the range of existing economic models of interaction.

344

The capacity of this approach depends in part at least on the chosen case to which it is applied. Levi stresses the importance of the specific context:

Once the context is sufficiently understood, the researcher can build a model that fits the particular case better and that captures the actual institutional constraints

.

345

Similar to historic methods and contrary to classic rational choice methods, the approach is mostly inductive rather than deductive. This tends to yield better results on the chosen case,

342

Elinor Ostrom: Rational choice theory and institutional analysis: toward complementarity;

American

Political Science Review

, vol. 85, 1991, p. 237 – 243. Ostrom citing Jon Elster (

Solomonic judgments.

Studies in the limitations of rationality

; New York: Cambridge UP, 1989, p. 181):

Individuals frequently

“do not know what they want, or do not know what they know; or fail to do what they have decided to do”

.

343

Robert H. Bates, Avner Greif, Margaret Levi, Jean-Laurent Rosenthal & Barry Weingast: Analytic

Narratives; Princeton: Princeton UP, 1998.

344

Robert Bates

et al.

: The Analytic Narrative Project;

American Political Science Review

, vol. 94, no.

3, 2000, p. 696.

345

Margaret Levi: Modeling complex historical processes with Analytic Narratives; in: Renate Mayntz, ed.:

Akteure, Mechanismen, Modelle: Zur Theoriefähigkeit makrosozialer Analysen

(Actors, mechanisms, models: on the theoretical capacity of macro-level analyses; in German); Frankfurt:

Campus, p. 117.

107

but at the expense of

generalizability

.

346

Downing notes that

the result

(of a conventional rational choice approach)

does not always add to the understanding of historical phenomena; it merely translates a historical narrative into the language of economics

. The analytic narrative approach, by contrast, aims to

fill in gaps in historical sources

by focusing on

the context of historical actors and construct a framework of capacities and constraints

.

347

Conclusion: the rationality of sharing water

The most convincing argument of the concepts presented above is that water sharing in a rational manner means to realize

benefits

for the actors involved. Water as an indispensable resource and driver of socio-economic development carries a multitude of potential benefits. The aim of rational actors in the water sector, accordingly, is to realize such benefits – be it in the form of greater shares, more convenient delivery timings, for example, or in the form of any other substantial benefit in return for water.

Cooperation will be seen as a successful strategy if such benefits outweigh the prize that has to be paid by the individual actor, either in the form of water or other commodities or assets given to other actors, or potential gains foregone. If cooperation does not pay, it will most likely not be considered.

For actors to engage in an effort to share water those expected benefits need to be identified. Since cooperation, even if the benefits seem so obvious, does not come automatically, there must be other aspects behind political decisions worth analyzing.

Stated interests

help identify an actor’s expected water-related benefits and thus provide a guideline by which to measure when and how one actor might take to cooperate rather than seek confrontation. A central problem attached to political interests is the

decision-making

. The arcane sphere of executive decision-making inhibits the analysis of rationality and it conflicts with the desire of other actors seeking cooperation to identify and understand interests and positions. Besides the stated interests and political agendas, a number of psychological, societal, cultural and other factors determine decision-making which are highly dynamic and not transparent yet important for the understanding of government action.

To employ RCT effectively would mean to be able to evaluate these factors, at least as far as they can be identified,

before

actually entering the actor into an RCT model.

Game Theory describes a clearly defined idea of rational action that – in theory – allows predicting patterns of action. As such, it exposes the methodical limitations of a strictly mathematical approach to understanding behaviour while at the same time exhibiting the importance of

qualitative analysis

.

348

346

Levi: Modeling ….,

op. cit.

, p. 121. This challenge has been faced by other social science disciplines, for example the sociological discussion of war as an integral part of theories on conflict and peace; cf. Hans Joas and Wolfgang Knöbl: Kriegsverdrängung. Ein Problem in der Geschichte der

Sozialtheorie (Avoiding war. A problem in the history of social theory; in German); Frankfurt/Main:

Suhrkamp, 2008.

347

Brian M. Downing: Economic analysis in historical perspective: Analytic Narratives, by Robert H.

Bates et al.; review article;

History and Theory

, vol. 39, no. 1, 2000, p. 90 - 91.

348

Cf. Randy Simmons & Peregrine Schwartz-Shea: Method, metaphor …,

supra

, p. 6; the authors point at the limits of game theoretic approaches regarding group identities which tend to be mistaken analytically for collective interests.

108

Political decision-making in past crises reminds us of the difficulty to adequately assess and weigh the factors behind executive decisions. Some rational decisions may, on an individual level, even contradictory perceptions of ground realities, reflecting very different rationalities concerning the same subject.

349

A well studied case of

conflicting rationalities

is the Vietnam War management of diverse U.S. administrations. In this case, the government institutions involved in decision-making functioned as intended, yet several different rationalities emerged out of a complex set of personal and group interests, some individuals and groups arguing against, others arguing in favour of escalating the war. Both sides, while advocating diametrically opposed measures, regularly referred to the overall national security interest as a guiding parameter of their respective rationalities. In the end, many measures taken proved counter-productive or even

irrational

(Halberstam), yet the widespread belief in the righteousness of the decision-makers remained by and large intact.

350

Cases like this serve to underline that a

general concept of rationality

does not exist. In other words, rationality is to be understood as dynamic and reflecting psychological, institutional and other aspects of decision-making, even public opinion. Today’s rationality of a given actor might lead to cooperation with another actor, while tomorrow confrontation might serve that actor’s interests better, just as perceptions of likely gains or costs might change due to factors not necessarily visible to people outside the decision-making body. This observation strongly supports a context-oriented narrative approach, rather than an approach that relies entirely on a general theoretical framework.

The role of

incentives

as a trigger of cooperation remains important. The above cited example, however, has marked the limits of an entirely incentive-based approach to rational action – not simply because it may be hard to identify likely incentives and their effect on the actor, but also because they do not necessarily constitute the main driver of rational decisions. Much of the decision-making in the Vietnam case is due to the unchecked belief of decision-makers and advisers that the policy enacted by the previous government was in essence successful and in line with stated interests.

Moreover, the government itself had already limited its own options to a point where there were few potential benefits from a cooperative move, if any. When defeat on the battlefield had become inescapable, there weren’t any possible incentives left.

Consequently, confrontation, rather than cooperation – besides a half-hearted agreement on the withdrawal of foreign forces – continued until the end.

349

The American war against Vietnam illustrates the clashing rationalities expressed by leading political and military figures in a most dramatic fashion. Though regarded as a hopeless case by many senior advisers, presidents Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon have steadily escalated this conflict up to a level where it became increasingly unmanageable. Stated geopolitical interests were regularly given priority over more tangible arguments fielded by advisers, such as prohibitive costs, adverse economic and social consequences, and lacking prospects of any measurable military success. For a comparative analysis of the internal divisions within the respective U.S. governments see David L.

Anderson, ed.: Shadow on the White House. Presidents and the Vietnam War, 1945 – 1975;

Lawrence: University of Kansas, 1993; Robert Buzzanco: Masters of war. Military dissent and politics in the Vietnam era; Cambridge: CUP, 1996, especially ch. 8.

350

David Halberstam: The best and the brightest; New York: Random House, 1969. See also Walter

Isaacson: The wise men; New York: Simon & Schuster, 1986. Halberstam, citing policy-making with respect to Asia and China, remarks

that it was the irony of the Kennedy administration that John

Kennedy, rationalist, pledged above all to rationality, should continue the most irrational of all major

American foreign policies.

109

The debate over rational action

, benefits and incentives for cooperation will also have to address issues of responsibility, accountability and common interests. From a public perspective, the relevance of incentives may be seen as irrelevant because the elected government is expected to act in a responsible manner, serving a common objective beneficial to most, if not all members of the society, at least in a democratic system. Rational choice, in the above context, is typically applied to governments seen as executive bodies acting in a sphere of exclusive authority with a more or less exclusive right to define national interests. From a public perspective, the benefits from cooperation over water might include ecological long-term aspects not taken into account by the executive.

As systematic economic utilization of rivers inadvertently involves ecological damages to the river basin in one form or another that, in the long run, might lead to a deterioration of water supplies (in terms of quantity and quality), the cost of restoring the basin is set to rise. Avoiding such a burden can be translated into economic benefits to all users. As Ostrom has pointed out, if

transaction costs

like these are included in the calculation of potential benefits, the rewards of cooperation would have to be reassessed. This helps explain why, if all relevant information is available to decision-makers, it may pay to cooperate even if there are no significant immediate gains but instead important long-term benefits. This finding is crucial to the problem of water sharing in a case like Pakistan because it would hypothetically enable all actors (provinces) to find a common ground,

e.g.

the rehabilitation of the irrigation and storage network towards ensuring adequate long-term water shares for all parties. In terms of methodology Ostrom’s extension of the classic NIE model widens the scope of rational choice instruments and narrows the gap between economic concepts and concepts primarily based on hydrological and ecological approaches, like IWRM, as well as the property rights approach.

Finally, the problem of

asymmetry

remains a major challenge in practical political as well as in methodical terms. Hydro-strategic advantages do not necessarily lead upstream sides to blackmail downstream sides – though, at least hypothetically, it is possible. Thus the perceived threat remains, as will be seen in the case of the Indus

Basin shared by India and Pakistan. Whether water will be used as a means to exert power over the lower side is a matter of wider political considerations. Upstream positions do not always render an all-out advantage over downstream actors; turning the screws on a riparian neighbour involves potentially negative consequences for the upstream side, even if water blackmailing is feasible.

351

It is again economic theory that provides a clue to understanding decision-making by translating such opportunity or transaction costs into operational factors of political action.

351

Halting the flow of a river requires upstream storage capacities; unless storage of significant dimensions is available, the threat cannot easily be realized. This aspect will be discussed in the chapter on the early post-independence conflict between India and Pakistan.

110

Introduction:

III. The Indus River and the importance of

pani

Large rivers

have been focal points of human development ever since the beginning of organized settlements thousands of years ago. The prospects of constant water supply, high-yielding agriculture and revenues from water-borne regional trade have been accompanied by the manifold challenges of river management which were particularly felt in arid places. Not surprisingly, it was Asian societies that have over the centuries developed a unique mastery in managing large rivers and adjusting their economies to the highly dynamic Monsoon cycles.

The Indus River Basin

, with its tributaries and canals, its groundwater reservoirs and surface storage facilities, and its climatic and geological features, determines the way water is used in the countries that share this basin.

The people of Pakistan

have been harnessing the waters of the Indus River for irrigation since ancient times. Rising demand for water, or

pani

(in Urdu), has necessitated a more economic utilization of water and the sharing of this vital resource among its many users. To find out why water sharing remains a hotly contested issue in a country whose experience with organized water utilization goes back over 4,000 years, this section presents a comprehensive profile of Pakistan that includes the historical, political, economic and hydrological circumstances of water management.

This context-oriented approach

aims to identify the social, economic and political fault lines that run through the Indus River basin and define the relationship between the water users. Understanding the circumstances and conditions of water management is a precondition of understanding the way water is shared or why sometimes confrontation reigns.

111

III.1 Water management: an institutional history

The history of water management

in the Indus Basin is very much a history of

Pakistan as a nation. As the development of the Indus into a network of rivers and canals is accompanied by an evolving institutional framework intended to support systematic irrigation, Pakistan’s transition from colonial entity to sovereign state is reflected by the development of administrative structures.

The hallmark of this dual process is the gradual expansion of the irrigation network begun during the colonial rule of the then Crown Colony of India. The desire to support increasing water consumption in the Indus region and beyond drove colonial water managers to regulate the use of the rivers and canals.

Institutions of various types

have since emerged: acts and ordinances, committees and commissions, treaties and agreements. Their scope ranges from

- provincial (concerning only one particular province),

- inter-provincial (concerning relations between provinces) and

- federal (concerning Pakistan as a whole) to

- international (concerning India and Pakistan).

As the following table shows, a number of institutions covering both provincial and inter-provincial concerns have survived from the colonial era to this day. After independence, when political attention focused on the conflict with India, many institutional provisions in the water sector remained operational without much change, if any. It was not before the conclusion of the Indus Waters Treaty (IWT), in

1960, when the main problem – sharing water between India and Pakistan – finally seemed to be solved, that the road was cleared for the necessary modernization of the irrigation system that would allow for effective economic and political sovereignty.

Though the IWT’s consequence was not instantaneous institutional change, the

Treaty can nevertheless be seen as a first step in this direction – all the more so because the former colonial patron, the United Kingdom, did not play much of a role in the IWT process, as will be seen in the chapter on the IWT process.

Further institutional steps that followed the IWT strengthened the role of the provinces. While federal structures took a long time to evolve into effective mechanisms of government, the problem of provincial water shares slowly appeared on the political agenda. When in 1991 a formula for the sharing of water within

Pakistan was agreed, a basis for water distribution was established to last to this day.

The following chart

presents a chronology of water management that is closely interwoven with the transition from colony to an independent nation. Institutions can be read as markings on the path towards sovereignty in water management as well as in governance.

352

352

The following table is primarily based on information provided by Arthur Aloys Michel: The Indus

Rivers: A study of the effects of Partition; New Haven/London: Yale UP, 1967. Being the most comprehensive account of water management up to the implementation of the Indus Waters Treaty of

1960, Michel’s work remains a reference on the subject even five decades after its publication. For developments after 1965 the main source are newspaper quotations (particularly

Dawn

).

112

Political system

Year

1873

Institutional history of water sharing in the

Indus Basin.

Canal and Drainage Act

(No. VIII, 11 Feb. 1873).

Punjab irrigation management (to be followed by similar acts for other territories). Comprehensive law on water supply from canal head; irrigation management becomes a provincial responsibility; provisions for dispute settlement.

Type Scope

L Prov.

L Prov. 1879

Sindh Irrigation Act

(No. VII, 2 Oct. 1879).

Comprehensive law on water supply from canal head and irrigation management, including dispute settlement.

1901

Indian Irrigation Commission

(1901 - 1903).

Report on irrigation as a system against famine (1903); designed to alleviate expected losses from Sutlej project for Sindh

C Interprov.

1905

Punjab Minor Canals Act

(Punjab Act, No. III, 7 April 1905).

L Prov.

1919

Government of India Act

.

L Interprov.

Partial autonomy to provinces over irrigation schemes.

Coordination between upper and lower riparians if more than 2 affected. Decision by Governor General/Viceroy.

1919

Cotton Committee

.

C Interprov.

1919

Report on Sutlej project of Punjab (11 canals)

Tripartite Agreement

.

T Interprov.

Punjab, Bahawalpur, Bikaner. Coordination of Sutlej Valley

Project (4 dams, 11 canals).

1921

Indus Discharge Committee

(Sept. 1921). C Interprov.

Measurement of discharges; control of seepage and other effects on water. Inspector General of Irrigation.

1929

Nicholson Trench Report

.

Assessment of potential effects of Bhakra Dam on Sukkur

Barrage (on behalf of Indus Discharge Committee) by engineers from Sindh and Punjab; report and recommendations accepted by both provinces.

1935

Anderson Committee

.

Report (1935) on Thal Canal irrigation capacity.

C Interprov.

C Interprov.

1935

Government of India Act

.

L Interprov.

Irrigation under full prov. authority. Governor General as mediator, to appoint commission or council.

113

1941

Indus Commission / Rau (Rao) Commission

.

C Interprov.

Direct Sindh – Punjab talks over Bhakra, Haveli and Thal projects, without central govt. representation or mediation.

Report (July 1942) based on thorough examination of existing irrigation network, with references to Colorado River.

1945

Sindh – Punjab (Draft) Agreement

(28 Sept. 1945).

Water sharing recommendation by Chief Engineers of Punjab and Sindh; recommends coordination on any project that may affect Sindh as downstream riparian; affirmed by Punjab (13 Oct.

1945) pending financial compensation arrangement; final agreement has not been reached, yet Draft is considered by some the basis of future Sindh-Punjab water sharing.

T Interprov.

1947

Arbitral Tribunal

Part of the Partition Council, to divide assets among Pakistan and India and to settle disputes ( - 31 March 1948).

Independence

(14 August 1947)

1947

1st Chief Engineers’ Agreement / Standstill Agreement

(20 Dec. 1947).

Chief engineers of East and West Punjab (India and Pakistan) agree on water supply from the Upper Bari Doab Canal for the

Rabi 1948 season (- 31 March 1948).

C Interntl.

T Interntl.

1947

2nd Chief Engineers’ Agreement / Standstill Agreement

(20 Dec. 1947).

As above, on the water supply from the Sutlej Valley Canals.

1947

Committee B

, in coordination with the

Partition Committee

(20 Dec. 1947).

Approval of Chief Engineers’ Agreements.

T Interntl.

C Interntl.

1948

Inter-Dominion Agreement / Simla Agreement

(4 May 1948).

T Interntl.

India progressively reduces upper Indus flow to allow development of water-scarce areas in Pakistan. Integrated operation of the Indus has effectively ended.

1952

Punjab Soil Reclamation Act

(No. XXI, 14 July 1952).

L Prov.

Rehabilitation of waterlogged and saline areas, including groundwater management and regulations for tubewell operation; later to become the basis for SCARP (salinity control) projects

1952

Punjab Soil Reclamation Board.

A Prov.

Implementation of the resp. Act; later incorporated into the provincial Irrigation and Power Department.

114

1955

(1st) Inter-Governmental Agreement between India and

Pakistan for

Ad hoc

Transitional Arrangements for 1955 on the Use of the Indus River Waters

(12 June 1955).

T Interntl.

First of 4 transitional agreements concluded through World Bank mediation; for Kharif 1955.

1955

(2nd) Inter-Governmental Agreement between India and

Pakistan for

Ad hoc

Transitional Arrangements for 1955 on the Use of the Indus River Waters

(31 Oct. 1955).

T Interntl.

Concluded through World Bank mediation in Washington, for

Rabi 1955/1956.

1956

(3rd) Inter-Governmental Agreement between India and

Pakistan for

Ad hoc

Transitional Arrangements for 1956 on the Use of the Indus River Waters

(24 Sept. 1956).

Concluded through World Bank mediation in Washington, for

Kharif 1956 – Rabi 1957.

1958

Water and Power Development Authority Act

(No. XXXI, 24 April 1958).

1958

Water and Power Development Authority

(WAPDA).

T Interntl.

L Fed.

Effective division of Indus basin between India and Pakistan, with long-term river basin development plan; as such a compromise reflecting territorial disputes between I. and P.; mediated by World Bank, with political and financial support from

US, GY, UK, CAN, AUS, NZL.

A Fed.

Overall responsibility for irrigation works, hydropower, reservoirs and water supply.

1959

1959

(4th) Inter-Governmental Agreement between India and

Pakistan for

Ad hoc

Transitional Arrangements for 1959 on the Use of the Indus River Waters

(17 April 1959).

Concluded through World Bank mediation in Washington, for

Kharif 1959 – Rabi 1960.

Indus Basin Advisory Board

(IBAB, from June 1959).

T Interntl.

A Fed.

1960

Coordinated planning (WAPDA, Irrigation Dept. and IWT delegation).

Indus Waters Treaty

(IWT, 19 Sept. 1960).

T Interntl.

1960

1960

Indus Basin Development Fund Agreement

(IBDF, 19 Sept. 1960).

IBDF details funding for replacement works according to the

IWT, effective 12 Jan. 1961. Supplemented on 31 March 1964

(additional funding).

Permanent Indus Commission

(PIC).

Arbitration body founded on IWT, for dispute settlement, with equal representation from PK and India.

T Interntl.

C Interntl.

115

1968

Akhtar Hussain Committee / Water Allocation and Rates

Committee of West Pakistan

C Interprov.

Report (June 1970).

1970

Fazl-e-Akbar Committee / Indus Waters Committee

.

Appointed by Fed.Govt. (Oct. 1970). Report issued (Nov. 1971)

C Interprov.

1973

Interim Accord

between Sindh and Punjab on Water

Apportionment (3 July 1973).

1973

Constitution of Pakistan

(August 1973).

T Interprov.

L Fed.

Establishment of Council of Common Interests (Part V, Ch. 3,

§153-155) and National Finance Commission (Part VI, Ch. 1,

§ 160ff), both with equal provincial representation.

1973

Council of Common Interests

(CCI).

C Interprov.

Mandated to address and resolve water-related disputes.

1974

Inter-Provincial Coordination Committee

(IPCC)

(first meeting 1 July 1974, since then ca. 30 meetings).

C Interprov.

Diverse issues within the provincial prerogative.

1976

Council of Common Interests

(31 Dec. 1976).

C Interprov.

First meeting

on water sharing.

Recommendation: to establish a commission.

1977

Anwar-ul-Haq Commission / Indus Waters Commission

.

Appointed by President, based on CCI recommendation. No report.

C Interprov.

1978

India-Pakistan Agreement regarding the Design of the Salal

Hydroelectric Plant of River Chenab

T Interntl.

(14 April 1978)

1980

Balochistan Canal and Drainage Ordinance

(10 Dec. 1980).

L Prov.

1981

NWFP Water Users' Associations Ordinance

(No. XI, 14 Feb.

1981)

L Prov.

1981

On-farm Water Management and Water Users’ Associations

Ordinance

(No. V, 22 April 1981).

Irrigation management and stakeholder participation in Punjab under the prov. Agriculture Dept.

L Prov.

1981

Balochistan Water Users' Associations Ordinance

(No. V, 30

April 1981)

L Prov.

1982

Sindh Irrigation Water Users’ Associations Ordinance

(No. X, 10 July 1982).

L Prov.

Scope and purpose similar to the Punjab’s ordinance.

116

1983

Haleem Committee

(3 March 1983)

Report rejected by Chief Justice of NWFP (15 April 1983).

C Interprov.

1991

Sub-committee on water apportionment

(2 Jan. 1991).

Initiated by the federal govt., finalization of working paper on water sharing, brought before CCI.

1991

Council of Common Interests

(12 Jan. 1991).

Second meeting

on water sharing.

Recommendation: establishment of inter-prov. committee on water apportionment.

1991

Inter-Provincial Committee on Apportionment of Indus

Waters

(first meeting on 30 Jan. 1991, further meetings in

February). Also referred to as the

Special Committee

.

C Interprov.

C Interprov.

C Interprov.

Assessment of disputed issues. Expert level discussions

(technical representatives of provinces and Fed. Govt.).

1991

Inter-Provincial Committee

meeting (Lahore, 3 March 1991).

Political level discussions (provincial Chief Ministers and representative of Fed. Govt.)

1991

Inter-Provincial Committee

meeting (Karachi, 16 March 1991).

Political level discussions (provincial Chief Ministers and representative of Fed. Govt.). Consensus on accord.

C Interprov.

C Interprov.

1991

Council of Common Interests

(21 March 1991).

C Interprov.

Third meeting

on water sharing.

Adoption of the Water Apportionment Accord.

1991

1991

1992

1992

Water Apportionment Accord

(WAA, 21 March 1991) T Interprov.

Regulation of inter-provincial water sharing based on fixed quotas, including dispute settlement mechanism and long-term water planning. Approved by CCI, and with equal representation from all provinces. Establishment of IRSA.

Council of Common Interests

(16 Sept. 1991).

C Interprov.

Fourth meeting

on water sharing. Adoption of Annexure 2 to the

WAA (10-Day Seasonal System-wise Adjusted Allocations for

Rabi and Kharif seasons, for each province), as submitted by the provinces).

Indus River System Authority Act

(No. XXII, 10 Dec. 1992).

L Interprov.

Establishment of IRSA to implement WAA; with equal representation from all provinces, rotating chair, technical and advisory committees; first body to focus on water distribution and river basin development.

Indus River System Authority

(IRSA).

Independent governing authority to decide water sharing; dispute settlement; issues water availability certificates for river development; directs reservoir and canal operations; coordinates exchange of river flow data;

A Interprov.

117

1994

Inter-Ministerial Committee

(Lahore/WAPDA, 2 May 1994).

Chaired by Min. of Water and Power, discussion of water sharing during shortage;

extra-

IRSA modus (

historic uses

) agreed.

C Interprov.

1997

Provincial Irrigation and Drainage Authority Acts

(PIDA,

2 July – 15 Sept. 1997).

Acts passed by all four provincial assemblies to distribute water from barrage level to lower end water users in accordance with the Canal and Drainage Act/Sindh Irrigation Act/Balochistan

Canal & Drainage Ordinance.

1997

Provincial Irrigation and Drainage Authority

.

L Prov.

A Prov.

2000

Indus River System Authority (Amendment) Ordinance

(No. XLI, 4 Sept. 2000).

Shift of IRSA offices from Lahore to Islamabad.

L Interprov.

2002

Sindh Water Management Ordinance

Repeal of Sindh PIDA Act; comprehensive water management and drainage provisions.

(XL, 16 Oct. 2002)

2003

Parliamentary Committee on Water Resources

(PCWR, established 10 Oct. 2003, first meeting 11 Nov. 2003).

L Prov.

C Fed.

2003

Initiative of the National Assembly to review the Water Accord with a view to new dams to increase water availability. Forum of

Members of NA and Senate, headed by Senator Nisar Memon.

Final report: 20 Dec. 2005.

Technical Committee on Water Resources

(TCWR, established 26 Aug. 2003, first meeting 11 March 2004).

Presidential initiative to address disputed issues: feasibility of

Thal Canal irrigation project; relevance and feasibility of large dams (Kalabagh, Basha); water requirements of provinces; prevention of seawater intrusion below Kotri (minimum release).

Forum of appointed experts from the provinces, headed by

A.N.G. Abbasi. Final report: Aug. 2005.

2007

Inter-Provincial Coordination Division

(IPC, 19 March 2007); part of the Cabinet Division of the Federal Govt., headed by a federal minister; to be the new structural basis for IPCC meetings.

C Fed.

A Interprov.

2007

Inter-Provincial Coordination Department

(IPC).

A Interprov.

Provincial govt. department parallel to federal govt. division, headed by the Secretary IPC.

2010

Constitution, 18th Amendment

(No. X, 19 April 2010).

Revision of articles 153 - 155 regarding the composition, reporting, and meeting of the CCI

Glossary:

A

- Agency;

C

- Committee, Commission;

L

- Law;

T

- Treaty, agreement

L

Interprov.

118

III.2 From colony to sovereignty:

Problems of governance and federalism

The transformation of Pakistan

from colony to independent nation has been a long and complicated process. At the time of independence, the territory that had been the

Crown Colony of India encompassed a host of ethnically, culturally, economically and politically diverse provinces, princely fiefdoms and other entities that were to merge into two sovereign nations, India and Pakistan. The Indus Basin has played an important role in this process both in terms of its resources and its territory. Used as a bargaining toll, it has been an object of politics in the relationship between the provinces of Pakistan and between the two nations, Pakistan and India. At the same time its water resources have impacted the interaction among the stakeholders.

The presence of the past

in today’s politics can be traced throughout Pakistan’s history. People and policymakers alike show a keen awareness of the historical development of Pakistan. Its colonial history and troubled independence overshadow many political, social, cultural and economic aspects of the society, including the management of water. The country’s unsolved dispute over hydro-electric works on the Indian side of the Indus River is just one example of the persistence of this heritage.

In analyzing such disputes it is not always easy to pinpoint the actual problem: Is it water that is at the heart of the problem, or is it the historic grievances between the provinces of Pakistan (or between Pakistan and India) which overshadow water issues? To assess the chances of cooperation, this chapter explores the political, societal and historical conditions of water management in Pakistan.

Roots of a nation

The remnants of the British Crown Colony of India marked the starting point of the new nation of Pakistan. British rule came to a formal end on 17 August 1947, after two centuries of colonization. Ordered to delineate the new country’s borders within

35 days, the boundary commission of the British government in 1947 had carved two nations out of the vast colonial territory, India and Pakistan. An amalgam of majority-

Muslim states was pieced together to what was to become Pakistan. States and fiefdoms populated by a majority of Hindus were to become modern India. Aspects of socio-economic integration, political governance or administration were by and large neglected in the process of transforming the former colony. Movable assets were roughly split on the basis of population.

353

353

For a concise history of the partition see Dietmar Rothermund: Delhi, 15. August 1947. Das Ende kolonialer Herrschaft (Delhi, 15 August 1947. The end of colonial rule; in German); München: DTV,

1998. The migration of millions of people, still rated as one of the largest in history, from their original state to the new nation in an atmosphere of uncertainty, tension and fear resulted in the death of countless people; hundreds of thousands became victims of massacres on both sides of the border.

This traumatic experience continues to haunt Pakistanis to date, as Kreutzmann points out: Hermann

Kreutzmann: 60 Jahre Pakistan. Begründung, Konsolidierung und Herausforderung für ein krisengeschütteltes Staatswesen (Pakistan at 60. Creation, consolidation and challenges to a crisis-

119

The single factor deciding over who will live where and own what after 14 August

1947 was the

religious adherence

of the population according to available demographic data. As a result, the formation of the new nations, more appropriately termed

partition

by Indians and Pakistanis, resembled patchwork, most drastically visible in the partitioning of Pakistan itself: a nation consisting of two large territories separated by over 1,500 km of Indian territory. Heated disputes that followed the decision of the commission could not prevent the implementation of the Partition. The widespread havoc that the abrupt Partition caused to communities that were left without proper information and guidance had not been anticipated by British officials.

A chaotic migration of unseen dimensions – Muslims moving to Pakistan, Hindus moving to India – tore apart established economic and social systems, marking the ominous beginning of the troublesome post-colonial era in both India and Pakistan.

The dramatic consequences hit the new governments without warning and would plague both nations and their mutual relations for a long time to come.

The fate of the

Indus River

mirrors the devastating nature of the separation: many waterworks, along with the accompanying economic infrastructure, were severed because the new border happened to cut through the river system in complete ignorance of hydrological conditions or socio-economic patterns of water use.

Economic structures and social networks as well as sub-national identities that had developed over centuries were fractured. An arrangement for the further utilization of the river on which both new nations depended on was not in place.

354

Internally, the newly independent nations would have to start from scratch in many fields, rendering the execution of political and administrative control a long uphill struggle against growing political instability, economic chaos and social unrest.

Externally, what had been a neighbourly relationship for ages had overnight turned into a matter of foreign affairs. Yesterday’s neighbour all of a sudden had become an independent nation with unclear objectives.

The process of nation-building

The establishment of the nation of Pakistan faced a number of practical obstacles.

Much like in India, a political system had to be created from scratch, including working institutions of government, the legislature and judicature as well as the legal foundation of this new nation. In practical terms, the administration of national assets like infrastructure, natural resources, land etc. lacked an adequate legal environment, a professional bureaucratic system and parliamentary oversight. In the absence of these essential requirements, arbitrary rule of one kind or another threatened.

In theoretical terms, the

identity

of a nation that was the result of the so-called Twonation Theory remained a thin conceptual framework. According to this theory, the

British Crown Colony was to be separated along religious lines.

355

However, in the ridden nation; in German), p. 16 (quote translated by this author); in: Saeed Chaudhry, H.

Kreutzmann, P. Lehrieder, N. Pintsch, eds.:

60 Jahre Pakistan. Aufbruch, Errungenschaften und

Herausforderungen

(Pakistan at 60. Evolution, accomplishments and challenges; in German);

Festschrift des Deutsch-Pakistanischen Forums, Berlin/Bonn, 2007.

354

355

See section V of this study for details of the Partition and the early post-partition period.

The idea goes back to revered poet Mohammad Iqbal and has become a formula for the political emancipation of the Muslim community in the late colony of India.

120

vision of the founding father of the nation, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, while Pakistan was to be the home of the subcontinent’s Muslim population, it was not be to be governed by a theocratic state, but by a secular state. Islam would be the religion of most of the people, yet not a excluding factor in determining citizenship.

356

Similar to Ataturk’s

Turkey, religion was not to be an affair of the government, yet it formed an essential element of the nation’s identity – even more so than in the case of Turkey because

Pakistan as a coherent nation had not existed before 1947. The challenge to the nation’s founding fathers was to build the country’s sovereignty on an identity that exceeded the religious dimension.

357

A more comprehensive concept of a nation-state had yet to be developed by the time the Partition did take place. The question of how the diverse ethnic groups, of which many had their own distinct traditions and languages and a history of cultural and political autonomy, would be represented in a nation that was built on one common denominator, the Islamic religion, remained largely unsolved.

358

Religion

, as Malik points out, proved to be an ambiguous factor in Pakistan identity:

Pakistan’s inception from an evolutionary communitarian ethos owed its rationale, amongst several other factors, to a growing recognition of cultural mutuality that eventually became a demand for political sovereignty based on territorial nationalism

.

359

As a result, Islam became a rather pragmatic formula for national identity, an instrument of nationalism, reflecting in part the unsolved debate over the political and cultural status of Pakistan and its originality vis-à-vis India.

360

More important in practical and theoretical terms was that the concept of a Pakistan

nation

did not have roots in the existing societies at the time of unification. Instead, the princely states and provinces that joined Pakistan in 1947 had enjoyed different degrees of autonomy under British rule that reflected their distinct ethnic and cultural

356

In the famous words of Jinnah:

You are free, you are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or to any other places of worship in the State of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion or caste or creed – that has nothing to do with the business of the State (…) My guiding principle will be justice and complete impartiality

…; Address to the Constituent Assembly, Karachi, 11

August 1947; quoted in: Kreutzmann: 60 Jahre …,

op. cit

., p. 15.

357

Pakistan’s identity has been a hotly debated issue, pitching the immigrants of 1947 against earlier residents of the territories that would form Pakistan after August 1947; another divide runs along religious lines; for an overview see Rai Shakil Akhtar: Media, religion and politics in Pakistan; Karachi:

Oxford University Press, 2000, p. 2 – 8. Conrad points out that Islam was not mentioned in the key document on the planned creation of Pakistan, the Lahore Resolution of 1940: Dieter Conrad:

Conflicting legitimacies in Pakistan: The changing role of the Objectives Resolution (1949) in the

Constitution; in: Subrata K. Mitra & Dietmar Rothermund, eds.:

Legitimacy and conflict in South Asia

;

Delhi: Manohar, 1997, p. 122.

358

Jorge Scholz: Der Pakistan-Komplex. Ein Land zwischen Niedergang und Nuklearwaffen (The riddle of Pakistan. Between national decline and nuclear weapons; in German); München: Pendo,

2008, p. 36 - 37.

359

Iftikhar Malik: Islam, nationalism and West: Issues of identity; London: Macmillan, 1998, p. 98.

Malik points out that the debate over the creation of a Muslim state in the 1930s and ‘40s was led controversially. The theoretical state of Pakistan’s identity, officially defined by religion, language and other facets, is expressed by various myths, reproduced in history textbooks. For a critical assessment see Khurshid Kamal Aziz: The murder of history. A critique of history textbooks used in Pakistan;

Lahore: Vanguard, 1993, ch. 2 and especially p. 167 – 173. The effort made to communicate these myths reflects, among other things, the challenge that Pakistan’s troubled origins mean to today’s political leadership.

360

Jinnah’s idea of religion and the state in Pakistan – theocratic or secular – has been the subject of an ongoing debate, particularly as one of his major speeches appears to be missing; cf.: The search for Jinnah’s vision of Pakistan;

BBC News

(online), 11 Sept. 2013.

121

identities.

361

They faced each other as

competing regional cultures

, without any reference to a higher authority, according to Eisenreich.

362

Kuhnen adds that

until the war against India, in 1965, the mass of the population had hardly developed any national feeling … for [them] the world was restricted to an orbit of a few villages

.

363

The question of a national language

was to become a source of division. Urdu, a language previously used by educated classes in India to express their resentment against British cultural influence, was chosen to be the official language though it was not spoken by a majority of people in any of Pakistan’s provinces. English, likewise a language spoken only by few, would be used as a second language, especially for official use. These moves were mostly read as a challenge to ethnic identities beneath an artificial national surface, thus becoming an obstacle to effective political rule, rather than a factor in the new nation’s unity.

364

A lack of experienced politicians

to construct the legal pillars of the new nation and the absence of an ideological consensus on the main character of the political system further impeded the establishment of a political authority that would be respected by all citizens.

365

Political power on the national level in the early years rested in the hands of a few popular leaders and a loosely organized party, the Pakistan Muslim

League (PML). The PML, Jinnah’s party, had not gained the status of a professional political organization of nation-wide reach when its leaders found itself in charge of a vast country with a heterogeneous population. The plight of the millions of people who had just arrived after a traumatic flight from their former homes in India, the chaotic economic situation, and the growing tensions with India over disputed territory nourished an atmosphere of insecurity.

366

The unresolved question of

Kashmir quickly led to the first military confrontation of both nations, shortly after the independence. It has since proved to be a constant source of mutual mistrust and belligerence on both sides.

The social and political structures

of the communities that entered the newly independent state of Pakistan were built on feudal and tribal systems of political rule.

They had survived the British rule intact. Whaites points out that – especially in the early post-colonial period – these structures provided a degree of much needed

361

Sindh, Punjab and NWFP in 1947 had the status of a province; Balochistan was a Chief

Commissioner’s province initially made up of four states, later to be transformed from the Balochistan

States Union to the province of Balochistan. Thirteen princely states were integrated into NWFP and

Balochistan respectively; the Pakistan-controlled part of Kashmir and the Tribal Areas would retain a special status. Reetz points at the strong public awareness of regional ethnic identities: Dietrich Reetz:

Strukturelle Konstanten der pakistanischen Innenpolitik (Structural continuity of Pakistan internal politics; in German); in: Dieter Conrad & Wolfgang-Peter Zingel:

Pakistan. Zweite Heidelberger

Südasien-Gespräche

; Heidelberg: Südasien-Institut (SAI), 1992, p. 26 – 27.

362

Petra Eisenreich: Die Situation in Sindh zu Beginn der 1990er Jahre (The situation of Sindh at the beginning of the 1990s; in German); in: Dieter Conrad & Wolfgang-Peter Zingel, ed.:

Pakistan. Zweite

Heidelberger Südasien-Gespräche

; Heidelberg: Südasien-Institut (SAI), 1992, p. 58 – 60.

363

Frithjof Kuhnen: The agrarian sector in Pakistan’s development process; paper presented at the 6th

Annual General Meeting of the Pakistan Society for Development Economics, Islamabad, 8 -10

January 1990, p. 3; www.professor-frithjof-kuhnen.de (Feb. 2005).

364

365

Scholz: Pakistan-Komplex,

op. cit.,

p. 102 – 104.

The early demise of the leaders of the independence movement, Mohammad Ali Jinnah and Liaqat

Ali Khan (who died in 1948 and 1951 respectively) meant the loss of the actual founders of the nation.

366

According to the 1951 Pakistan census, most migrants from India settled in the Punjab, making up

73.1 % of the population; cited in Hermann Kreutzmann: Die doppelte Teilung – Ursachen und

Hintergründe der Spaltung Pakistans (The dual partition – causes and background of the separation of

Pakistan; in German);

Geographische Rundschau

, vol. 55, no. 11, 2003, p. 7.

122

social stability and security that was not paralleled by anything the new nation could offer.

367

The PML was aware of its limited appeal to the people: To increase their following, the party had to gain the support of tribal leaders and the feudal élite.

368

Thus the PML gained popular support while the existing sub-national structures remained largely unaffected:

The combination of religion and ethnicity as formative primordial attachments within the new state was complimented in creating adverse conditions for political development

(Whaites).

369

The PML had become the formal representative of the people of Pakistan without becoming an organization for effective political representation. By relying on its relationships with local leaders, it effectively extended a system of

patronage

to the national level.

370

This meant that the sources of political power in the largely rural regions, oligarchic large-scale land ownership, were by and large asserted.

371

As a result, the party was thus unable to drive the process towards creating a political system that would combine the capacity to rule with one voice and represent the interests of its diverse communities.

Political system and constitutional development

The acute requirements of the newly independent state of Pakistan led its leaders to rely on structural elements of the British colonial rule such as the bi-cameral parliamentary system (Senate and National Assembly), the bureaucracy, the federal division of authorities and the constitution. In essence, however, the nascent political system started as a highly centralized mechanism dominated by a

strong central government and bureaucracy

.

372

The early years of independent Pakistan were formative in the sense that the existing bureaucratic elite soon replaced the major party, the PML, as a centre of power. Firmly rooted in the colonial tradition, the

367

Alan Whaites: The state and civil society in Pakistan;

Contemporary South Asia

, vol. 4, no. 3, 1995, p. 232-233.

368

369

Syed Akbar Zaidi: Issues in Pakistan’s economy; Karachi: OUP, 2005, p. 27 – 29.

370

Whaites,

supra

, p. 233.

For a detailed analysis see Stephen Lyon: Power and patronage in Pakistan; dissertation,

University of Kent, 2002; www.eprints.dur.ac.uk/archive/00000020/01/Lyon_thesis.pdf (August 2008).

371

According to Taylor, the original idea of nation state for all of the Indian subcontinent’s Muslims, important as it still is in ideological terms, has not been able to replace loyalties based on region, group and language; David Taylor: Parties, elections, and democracy in Pakistan;

Journal of

Commonwealth and Comparative Politics,

vol. 30, no. 1, March 1992, p. 97. The influence of landlords would remain strong in the decades to come, with a severe impact on the development of political parties, as Taylor notes, citing the example of the PPP, p. 105.

372

Aitzaz Ahsan: Why Pakistan is not a democracy; in: Meghnad Desai & Aitzaz Ahsan:

Divided by democracy;

New Delhi: Roli, 2005, p. 99 – 100. On the colonial roots of the bureaucracy, the Indian

Civil Service, see Ali Cheema & Asad Sayeed: Bureaucracy and pro-poor change;

PIDE Working

Papers

(ed. By Pakistan Institute of Development Economics), no. 3, 2006, p. 6 – 8; www.pide.org.pk

(Dec. 2010); the authors point out that India and Pakistan inherited one of the most developed civil service systems in the world (p. 7). Its virtually complete insularity allowed it to become a strong tool of the new government, and as a result, it did not face any political compulsions for accommodation of the public interest (…);

ibidem

.

The disputed territory of Kashmir consists of a Pakistan-controlled area – Azad Kashmir (free Kashmir) neighbouring the Northern Areas – the Indian controlled Jammu and Kashmir (central and southern parts) and Chinese-controlled northern sections (Aksai Chin and Trans-Karakoram Tract). Neither side acknowledges the authority of the others. A referendum on the legal-political status and territorial boundaries, as mandated by the UN Security Council, has not yet materialized; the actual borders are subject to a final resolution of the dispute. The Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and the

Northern Areas hold a special status of semi-autonomy.

123

bureaucracy has been an organized institutional apparatus, similar only to the army which itself emerged largely unchanged from the transformation of 1947.

373

In the face of external crises and a lack of internal cohesion the belief that only a strong central government headed by a strong leader could provide the required stability to hold the nation together became a guiding principle of governance after 1947. For that purpose the bureaucracy proved essential.

The need to balance the authority

of the provinces and that of the central government was not felt as a challenge in the early years. The federalist system of

Pakistan that had been developed from the colonial system recognized in principle the autonomy of the provincial governments in certain areas, yet without allotting resources to exercise the power to act accordingly. The areas of provincial autonomy were very limited and would only slowly be extended. The Government of India Act

(GIA, 1919) which itself marked a transition from a centralized to a more decentralized administrative system continued to be the de facto constitution of

Pakistan until 1956. It had been amended in 1935, leading to greater provincial autonomy, especially in the water sector.

374

Pakistan’s first Constitution

, of March 1956, reversed the existing system in that it established the “one unit”, effectively abolishing provincial autonomy.

375

The first constitution also established the office of the President as the head of state.

376

The strong position of the president would become a cornerstone of the centralist system.

The power of the head of state is manifested in the capacity to dissolve the federal and provincial governments and the legislative organs; even the judicature is subject to the president’s decision as it is the president which selects the members of the

Supreme Court. Provincial governors were not representatives of the provinces but of the President.

373

Taylor: Parties,

op. cit.

, p. 102 – 103. According to Shafqat, the influence of the bureaucracy (and of the military) suffered a marked decline following the 1971 conflict that led to Bangladesh becoming independent, with the army and administrative elite widely blamed for the military and political debacle;

Saeed Shafqat: Pakistani bureaucracy: Crisis of governance and prospects for reform;

The Pakistan

Development Review

, vol. 38, no. 4, 1999, p. 1005. This loss of credibility helped Zulfikar Bhutto gain power from 1972 on, as Hamza Alavi notes: Authoritarianism and legitimation of state power in

Pakistan; in: Subrata Mitra, ed.:

The post-colonial state in Asia. Dialectics of politics and culture;

Lahore: Sang-e-meel, 1998, p. 20.

A major factor in the bureaucracy’s strong influence in the post-independence years is the increasing politicization, underlined by the large scale postings and transfers after each change of government;

Shafqat, ibidem, p. 1008 – 1009. Cf. also Syed Akbar Zaidi: Issues in Pakistan’s economy; Karachi:

Oxford U.P., 2005, p. 500.

374

This aspect will be addressed in greater detail in section V of this study.

375

The administrative structure of Pakistan was changed to comprise of two provinces (East and West

Pakistan). In the course of the East Pakistan crisis (1970/71), the earlier system of four Provinces

(Balochistan, Sindh, Punjab, NWFP) was reinstituted in the western part of the country; the eastern province would become the state of Bangladesh in 1971; see Hamid Khan: The division of functions amongst federal, provincial and local governments under the constitution; workshop paper;

Federation, provinces and local governments: demarcation of roles, issues and possible solutions; workshop hosted by Pakistan Institute of Legislative Development and Transparency, Quetta, 16 – 17

July 2003; www.pildat.org/events/03-07-16/ (August 2008).

Conrad notes that a federation has been envisioned in the Objectives Resolution of 1949, the first partial draft of a Constitution for Pakistan: Dieter Conrad: Conflicting legitimacies, op. cit., p. 126.

376

The Queen of England had remained the formal head of state until 1956. The Constitution of 1956 led to the election of Iskander Mirza to the office of President. Conrad doubts the legality of the

Constitution of 1956, established by decree: Dieter Conrad: Zwischen den Traditionen. Probleme des

Verfassungsrechts und der Rechtskultur in Indien und Pakistan (Problems of constitutional law and legal culture in India and Pakistan; in German); Wiesbaden: Steiner, 1999, p. 210.

124

The first military government

(Gen. Ayub Khan, 1958 – 1969) led to a further centralization of political power, manifested in the Constitution of 1962. One the one hand, though, the new constitution established the

National Finance Commission

(NFC). Made up of provincial finance ministers, it gave the provinces a say in budget planning – however not as partners of the federal government, but merely as advisers. Appointed by the President, the actual influence of these provincial representatives was limited. Similarly, the

National Economic Council

(NEC), also with provincial representation, was established to make sure that budgets allocated for the provinces would take into account the population of the respective areas. In sum, this constitution did more to assert the power of the central government

(especially of the President) than it provided a forum for the provinces to articulate their concerns and become actively engaged in policy-making.

377

In sum, the Ayub period strengthened the

bureaucratic hegemony

(Waseem), i.e. the rule of the three pillars of Pakistan politics – the bureaucracy, the military and the landlords.

378

Finally, the constitution of 1973

which is valid to date gave a slightly more pronounced status to the provinces.

379

Reflecting the concerns over the civil war in the former eastern half of the country and its aftershocks in the western part, this constitution eased the relationship between central and provincial governments in the provinces’ favour, at least hypothetically, as it allowed the centre to shift powers to the provinces.

380

More precisely, the Constitution distinguishes two areas of legislative authority, exclusively federal and potentially provincial. All policy areas, from foreign affairs to fisheries, are divided into two blocs, the Federal List and the

Concurrent List, the former describing exclusive federal responsibility, the latter allowing provincial legislation. In practice, this means that provincial legislators can pass laws, but have to synchronize them with federal legislation. In case of conflict between provincial and federal legislation, the latter would prevail.

381

The control over taxes, however, remained unaltered. The provinces would continue to rely mainly on land revenue and tax on agricultural production. Issues not mentioned in either list but fall within the provincial prerogative would be referred to the Provincial Assembly.

Provincial participation

was served more by a bi-cameral legislative body that was formalized through this Constitution. In the National Assembly (NA), the provinces are represented on the basis of demography which means a proportionally smaller participation of NWFP and Balochistan.

382

In the Senate, all provinces have an equal representation which offsets the demographic weight of the Punjab. In sum, the third

Constitution includes provincial participation in the legislative process, yet under the control of the federal government and the President. More importantly, effective legislative action and participation in the policy-making process depend on the

377

Hamid Khan: Division of functions,

op. cit.

378

Mohammad Waseem: Politics and the state in Pakistan; Lahore: Progressive Publishers, 1989, p.

156.

379

The 1973 Constitution, unlike its predecessors, was passed by parliament. Its legitimacy is strengthened by the fact that it was passed unanimously by all parties.

380

381

Hamid Khan: Divisions,

supra

.

Syed Jaffar Ahmed: Overview of the Constitution of Pakistan. Briefing Paper for Pakistani

Parliamentarians; Karachi: Pakistan Institute of Legislative Development and Transparency (PILDAT),

2004, p. 16; www.pildat.org. Ahmed concludes that with regard to legislation, the Constitution of 1973 represents a step back in history, behind the earlier constitutions and even the GIA. See also Hamid

Khan: Constitutional and political history of Pakistan; Karachi: Oxford University Press, 2001, p. 494.

382

The demographic shares, according to the last population census (1998), are: Punjab, 55.62 %,

Sindh, 23 %, NWFP, 13.4 %, Balochistan, 4.96 % (FATA and Kashmir not included); www.statpak.gov.pk (Jan. 2011).

125

professional and institutional capacity of the Members of the Assembly to actively voice their positions, particularly in the form of qualified staff and a strong party base.

At the start of the parliamentary period, 26 years into the independence of Pakistan, the elected members of the two Houses could not realistically be expected to start fulfilling their mandate perfectly armed to face a central government firmly built on the support of the country’s bureaucratic, military and economic elites.

On the institutional front, the most significant change was the establishment of the

Council of Common Interests

(CCI). Its ominous name notwithstanding, the purpose of the CCI, according to the Constitution, is to mediate between the provinces in cases of dispute, to seek a solution to conflicts, and, implicitly, to represent the provinces towards the central government. Water sharing is explicitly mentioned as a particular cause for the CCI. The CCI, according to Chapter 3 of the

Constitution, is composed of top-level provincial and federal government representatives, signalling, in theory, a readiness on the part of the federal government to meet provincial governments on an equal footing.

383

The CCI, which is answerable to the National Assembly, may be summoned in any case where

the interests of a Province, the Federal Capital or the Federally Administered Tribal

Areas, or any of the inhabitants thereof, in water … have been or are likely to be affected

(Art. 155, 1).

Decisions of the Council would, in case of dispute, have to be referred to the National Assembly. The N.A.’s decision would be final.

Whether the CCI, which has so far met only rarely, will develop into a strong mechanism for dispute settlement will depend on how the parties adhere to its findings. In a dispute between the central and provincial governments over budget allocation within the NEC, the Prime Minister in 1989 refused to convene the CCI, as requested by the provinces, on the ground that tying the NEC to the CCI would not be in accordance with the Constitution.

384

The CCI is powerful in theory but weak in practice

, as Waseem notes.

385

Besides the CCI, the

Supreme Court

is mandated to have

original jurisdiction in any dispute between any two or more governments

(Art.

184,1). The position of the Supreme Court has in the past been ambivalent, as

Ahsan notes, as it has often sided with the central government.

386

Political parties

as vehicles for the articulation and representation of interests and the recruitment of professional politicians have developed slowly. Their role in the political process effectively emerged after the authoritarian rule of General Zia ul-Haq

(1977 – 1988), a period which saw the creation of several major parties that would compete in the parliamentary elections of 1988.

387

The major parties that have formed governments after the Zia period, the PML and the Pakistan Peoples Party

(PPP), represent organizations that are primarily based on the loyalty of supporters to the respective party leaders. The main parties are commonly distinguished not so

383

As described in articles 153 – 155, the federal government is represented by four cabinet members, the provinces by their respective chief ministers – all of which are appointed by the

President.

384

Ian Talbot: Pakistan: a modern history; London: Palgrave, 1999, p. 299; it wasn’t until Nawaz Sharif assumed office (in late 1990) that the CCI convened again to solve the problem; p. 318.

385

Mohammad Waseem: Federalism in Pakistan; paper published by the Forum of Federations, 2010; www.forumfed.org (Dec. 2010), p. 12.

386

Aitzaz Ahsan: Why Pakistan is not a democracy;

op. cit

., p. 118 - 119.

387

The election of 1985 was a non-party vote; cf. Ahsan,

supra

. The long military rule had a lasting negative impact on the parties’ development into professional bodies of political articulation and representation of popular interests.

126

much by their individual programmes but by their leaders.

388

In the case of the various factions of the Muslim League (PML), it is usually the Sharif family, and in the case of the Pakistan People’s Party’s (PPP) factions, it is the Bhutto family. The frequently observed readiness of prominent members and elected representatives

(Members of the National Assembly or the Senate) to change sides and aid the more successful party not only demonstrates the volatility of governing coalitions in the light of their members’ opportunism, but also suggests a general lack of affinity with the party.

389

The military

in Pakistan rose to a strong political role as a result of early acute threats to the physical existence of the nation. A self-proclaimed saviour of national unity, the military has developed a strong belief in its political role, a

mission

that goes far beyond its constitutional responsibility for the physical integrity of the nation.

390

Competition with civilian leaders and institutions over political control became an inevitable characteristic of the political system of Pakistan. Throughout the history of independent Pakistan, the military has retained firm control of politics – both while in power and also without formally assuming power, as Rizvi observes.

391

388

For a concise overview of the political parties of Pakistan see party profiles in

The Herald

, Oct.

2002, p. 30 ff.

389

The widespread factionalism and highly dynamic alliances, a phenomenon of the pre-election phase, is analyzed by Syed Ali Dayan Hasan: Understanding the opposition;

The Herald

, Oct. 1999, p.

31.

390

Rizvi highlights the organizational strength and the significant presence in the polity and the society as the basis of the military’s role in politics – regardless of the actual government: Hasan-Askari Rizvi:

The military; in: Anita M. Weiss & Syed Zulfikar Gilani, eds.:

Power and civil society in Pakistan

;

Karachi: Oxford University Press, 2001, p. 186. Cohen, supporting Rizvi’s findings, concludes that the army was reluctant to take an active political role but saw it necessary for the survival of the nation:

Stephen Cohen: The Pakistan Army; Berkeley: University of California Press, 1984, p. 107. Tariq Ali stresses the foreign influence on the military system in Pakistan as a factor in promoting the army’s political role: Tariq Ali: Pakistan. Ein Staat zwischen Diktatur und Korruption (in German; original title:

The duel. Pakistan on the flight path of American power; New York: Scribner, 2008); Bonn:

Bundeszentrale für Politische Bildung, 2008, p. 237ff. For an account of the army’s view of politics see interview with defence analyst Eqbal Ahmed,

The Herald

, May 1999, p. 36 – 39; Ahmed concludes that the military, having saved the country from external attacks and natural disasters alike, sees governing as a military job: It naturally becomes a function of defence activity. Gen. Jehangir Karamat, former Army Chief of Staff, asserts the civilian role of the military in indirect terms

: Army chiefs can resist pressure only up to a point. Beyond that, their own position starts getting undermined because the army is after all a mirror image of the society from which it is drawn

; interview in:

The Herald

,

October 2002, p. 14.

391

Rizvi describes it as a power sharing arrangement between the military chiefs and the civilian government: Hasan-Askari Rizvi: Civil-military relations in Pakistan;

The Herald

, May 1999, p. 39.

Interestingly the first nation-wide direct elections were held under General Yahya Khan, in 1970.

Ahsan terms this arrangement a form of controlled democracy that has become a constant thread of

Pakistani politics – often with the tolerance and even support of the Supreme Court: Aitzaz Ahsan:

Why Pakistan is not a democracy;

op. cit.

, p. 104, 112. It is noteworthy in this context that the Kashmir dispute has developed into a factor of national identity above ethnic or clan affiliations; cf. Wolfgang-

Peter Zingel: Stabilitätsanalyse Pakistan; in: Sigrid Faath, ed.:

Stabilitätsprobleme zentraler Staaten:

Ägypten, Algerien, Saudi-Arabien, Iran, Pakistan und die regionalen Auswirkungen

;

Mitteilungen

no.

67; Hamburg: Deutsches Orient-Institut, 2003, p. 2.

The latest sign of the military’s notorious refusal to subordinate itself to an elected government is manifested in its aggressive reaction to the sacking of defence minister General Kayani, threatening serious ramifications with potentially grievous consequences; see:

Pakistan

army warns PM Gilani over criticisms;

BBC News

(online), 11 January 2012; PM sacks secretary defence; COAS calls emergency meeting;

Dawn

, 11 January 2011.

127

Like in the case of the bureaucracy, the military benefited from a colonial legacy of well-organized institutional mechanisms. This institutional foundation provided a degree of political stability at a time when – due to external crises and internal frictions – Pakistan’s very existence was at risk. The military itself has been perceived as a pillar of stability thanks to its structural continuity. In this sense, the representation of the military in civilian institutions, like WAPDA, has contributed to the political and social status of the armed forces.

392

On the other hand, the price for this outward stability came in the form of a slow development of civilian institutions

(political parties, legislative organs, provincial representation).

The economic toll

of the military’s enhanced role has grown into a heavy burden on a country that can hardly afford excessive military spending.

393

Interestingly, military governments which have ruled for 34 years – longer than all civilian governments combined – have overseen some important steps towards water sharing among the provinces and with neighbouring India.

394

This seems to suggest that efforts towards cooperation (between the provinces / between India and Pakistan) require an authoritarian rule to overcome existing differences. However, the progress achieved in the water sector did little to solve the underlying feud between the provinces. The existing water sharing agreement has not succeeded in satisfying the stakeholders.

Neither military nor civilian governments have managed to overrule provincial concerns regarding water distribution.

In sum

, the role of the military in Pakistani politics has been mostly negative. The original concern for territorial integrity, nourished by early conflicts with India, has over the decades developed into what seems to be an obsession with security. For the military, the overall focus on alleged and widely circulated Indian designs to destabilize or attack Pakistan, whether real or not, has proved to be a very useful instrument to inflate the importance of the armed forces far beyond the constitutionally sanctioned defence of the country and to justify massive military spending – even at a time when nuclear armaments on both sides were supposed to

392

For an overview of civilian institutions currently run by members of the military (retired and active soldiers) see Mubashir Zaidi: The real military rule;

The Herald

, October 2003, p. 48 – 51. Another factor in the stability provided by the military is the social background of many military officers: Like many higher-level bureaucrats, they stem from the land owning class, as Alavi,

op. cit

., p. 26 – 27, notes.

393

Wolfgang-Peter Zingel: Das Militär in Pakistan: Garant oder Bedrohung der nationalen Einheit und wirtschaftlichen Entwicklung? (The Pakistan military: guarantor of or threat to national unity and economic development; in German); in: Reiner Steinweg, ed.:

Militärregime und Entwicklungspolitik;

Friedensanalysen

no. 22, Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 1989, p. 245. The political weight of the military is partly based on its economic influence. According to Scholz, the military is the biggest landholder in

Pakistan and a major shareholder, partly owning over a hundred companies: Scholz: Pakistan-

Komplex,

op. cit.,

p. 54 – 57. Ahsan,

op. cit

., on the national security state, p. 108. Cf. Medha Bisht:

The politics of water discourse in Pakistan;

ICRIER Policy Paper

no. 4 (no date), p. 8, citing a report on the Army-owned Okara farms in Punjab and the widely perceived

monopolisation of power and resources;

cf. John Lancaster:

Fighting an Army empire

;

Washington Pos

t 29 June 2003, p. A-19; www.icrier.org/pdf/Policy_Series_No_4.pdf (March 2013). Cohen estimates the current defence budget to amount to about 22 per cent of all government spending; cf. Stephen P. Cohen. Shooting for a century; Washington: Brookings, 2013, p. 6. Pakistan ranks among the top five arms importers, cf.:

Siemon Wezeman & Pieter Wezeman: Trends in international arms transfers; SIPRI Fact Sheet, 2013.

394

… most notably the Indus Waters Treaty (1960); the committees and commissions on water sharing between the provinces (Akhtar Hussain Committee, Fazl-e-Akbar Committee, Anwar-ul-Haq

Commission, Haleem Commission) are steps towards the creation of a mechanism for water distribution, yet in the course of 15 years they have failed to reach a solution; see the following section of this study for a detailed assessment.

128

deliver a degree of mutual security through deterrence.

395

For the society as a whole, the wisdom of enormous defence budgets in times of severe financial constraints in critical sectors such as education, infrastructure, supply of electricity and water, food security or the modernization of irrigation works is highly dubious and may prove counter-productive in terms of internal security and long-term development.

396

Whether the constantly repeated scenario of an Indian attack will one day be read as proof of political incompetence of military leaders by the public will be seen.

397

What is more important is the fact that issues like Kashmir and nuclear weapons have received a disproportionate amount of attention.

398

Issues of a much more direct and acute national relevance – like water supply, economic development, education and employment – still tend to be seen as merely secondary. This distortion of realities – through the inflation of the Indian threat and the manipulation of the public – has made much-needed efforts to promote economic cooperation and bilateral trade more difficult.

399

Inter-provincial relations

The distinct ethnic, cultural and social-economic identities of what today are the provinces of Pakistan – Balochistan, Punjab, Northwest Frontier/ Khyber

Pakhtunkhwa Province (NWFP/KPP), Sindh – have marked the relations between them since 1947.

400

Before becoming a part of today’s Pakistan, they had enjoyed different forms of government and different degrees of political autonomy. Federalism has not been the first choice of the founders of the nation, in a sense. Again, the reason lies in the colonial past, as Waseem explains. A basic form of federalism was

395

This is not meant to support the widely-held belief of politicians, members of military and academics (not only) in India and Pakistan that nuclear arsenals provide stability and peace. The

“rationality” of the South Asian nuclear arms race is discussed by Karsten Frey: State interests and symbolism in India’s nuclear build-up;

Heidelberg Papers in South Asian and Comparative Politics

no.

8, 2002, p. 25; www.sai.uni-heidelberg.de/SAPOL/HPSACP.htm (May 2012).

396

Pakistan’s educational sector is marked by poor quality of education, malnutrition of students, and high numbers of out-of-school children; cf.: UNESCO: Teaching and learning. Achieving quality for all.

Global Monitoring Report 2013/2014; Paris: UNESCO, 2014, p. 47, 54, 185, 197-198. Shahid Javed

Burki: Educating the Pakistani masses; in: Robert M. Hathaway, ed.:

Education reform in Pakistan:

Building for the future

; Washington, D.C.: Woodrow Wilson Center for Scholars, 2005, p. 16 – 20.

397

The militarization of civilian institutions will be discussed in the chapter on “Managing the Indus”.

Cohen notes that despite its dubious political record, the military continues to enjoy a certain public support, particularly when compared to past democratically elected governments that were mired in infighting; cf. Stephen Cohen: The idea of Pakistan; Washington: Brookings, 2004, p. 279.

398

The militarization of Pakistan includes the education sector, as Nayyar and Salim show:

Glorification of war and the military; in: A. H. Nayyar and Ahmed Salim, eds.:

The subtle subversion.

The State of curricula and textbooks in Pakistan

; Islamabad: SDPI, 2003, p. 80. On the introduction of militaristic curricula under pseudo-religious pretexts by Zia ul-Haq cf. Christopher Candland:

Pakistan’s recent experience in reforming Islamic education; in: Robert M. Hathaway, ed.:

Education reform in Pakistan: Building for the future

; Washington, D.C.: Woodrow Wilson Center for Scholars,

2005, p. 154.

399

For a brief, yet concise discussion of the missed opportunities in India-Pakistan relations see

Christian Wagner: Indien als Regionalmacht und Chinas wachsender Einfluss in Südasien; Berlin:

Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik (SWP), 2012 (India as a regional power and China’s growing influence in South Asia; in German). The role of the media as a catalyst of public sentiment against

India will be discussed in the chapter on the Indus Waters Treaty.

400

NWFP was renamed Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa Province in April 2010 to express its ethnic links with

Afghanistan. The original abbreviation is used throughout this study for the purpose of identification in the context of relevant parts of water management.

129

initiated during the colonial period, years before the vision of Pakistan became reality.

401

Balochistan

, a vast but thinly populated province, has a distinct rural and tribal profile. Its ethnically diverse people make up less than five per cent of the total population of Pakistan. This aspect, together with its low economic yield (due to the dry climate and lack of surface water resources), has been an obstacle to the political representation of the province on an equal footing with other, more productive provinces.

402

Development of the province which is composed of large tracts of mountainous terrain and dry deserts faces technical, financial and social obstacles.

403

Frequent violent clashes between the army and local tribal militias have overshadowed the federal-provincial relations and made an agreement on economic and political problems more difficult.

404

Balochistan holds rich deposits of natural resources (minerals, gas) but lacks infrastructure. The terrain and geographical extension require greater financial investment to develop this province than others.

405

Balochistan’s government demands a greater contribution by the centre to exploit these resources and a greater share in the respective proceeds from the sale of natural gas.

406

Northwest Frontier Province (NWFP)

, recently renamed Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

Province (KPP), is a society largely organized on rural and tribal parameters. The population of this area has over a long period enjoyed special rights in terms of tax and customs and the judicial system. Many areas have strong ethnic ties to

Afghanistan, and this province has hosted great numbers from the war-torn

401

Mohammad Waseem: Federalism in Pakistan; paper published by the Forum of Federations, 2010; www.forumfed.org (Dec. 2010), p. 5. The reach of Jinnah’s Muslim League, before 1947, did not cover the respective provinces, so effective rule was in question.

402

For an overview of the history of Balochistan see Noor ul Haq: Balochistan disturbances: causes and response;

IPRI Journal

(Islamabad Policy Research Institute), vol. 6, no. 2, 2006, p. 63 - 65, who points at the strategic significance of the province, especially its long border with Afghanistan.

According to Haq, the province has been considered more or less irrelevant in economic terms and thus did not receive substantial development funds to raise production and living standards. This perception by central governments since the colonial era has furthered the alienation of Balochistan from the nation of Pakistan, as Haq concludes. Politically, Balochistan has been underrepresented. As a result the province-centre relations have been deteriorating.

403

Balochistan ranks lowest in education, especially literacy and school enrolment; cf. Khadija Haq, ed.: Human development in South Asia. A ten-year review; Karachi: Oxford UP, 2007, p. 34.

404

The International Crisis Group blames the central government’s heavy-handed armed response to

Baloch militancy and its refusal to negotiate demands for political and economic autonomy for the deterioration in relations since 2005; see ICG: Pakistan: the worsening conflict in Balochistan;

Asia

Report

no. 119, 2006, p. 3, 8 – 9; www.crisisgroup.org (Jan. 2011); and: Pakistan quake highlights

Balochistan ethnic fractures;

BBC News

(online), 1 Oct. 2013. According to Badini, the attitude of the central government towards Balochistan is perceived by many local leaders as colonialist. There is a strong reservation against the employment of Punjabis in the public sector and a fear of being outnumbered by migrants from Sindh; see: Yar Muhammad Badini: Provincial autonomy: another view from Balochistan; in: Pervaiz Iqbal Cheema & Rashid Ahmad Khan, eds

.: Problems and politics of federalism in Pakistan

; Islamabad: IPRI, 2006, p. 64 - 66.

405

On the relationship between population density and infrastructure investment see Gulfaraz Ahmad:

Fiscal relations in Pakistan. Balochistan perspective on National Finance Award; in: Pervaiz Iqbal

Cheema & Rashid Ahmad Khan, eds.:

Problems and politics of federalism in Pakistan

; Islamabad:

IPRI, 2006, p. 86 – 92.

406

See Shahid Hamid: The Aghaz-e-Haqooq-e-Balochistan Package. An analysis;

Background Paper

,

PILDAT, 2009, p. 10 – 14, for an overview of outstanding issues, to be discussed in the National

Assembly.

130

neighbouring country.

407

By its social-economic characteristics, it ranks below the provinces of Punjab and Sindh in economic output, literacy and education. Due to its upstream position in the north-western section of the Indus basin, this province is keen to develop its hydropower potential to create revenue. Similar to the Balochistan case, the sharing of revenues from the existing installations is the subject of an ongoing dispute with the central government.

408

Punjab

, by contrast, has since the colonial era been an economic centre in agricultural as well as industrial terms. Due to its strategic location, at the heart of the

Indus Basin, the former colonial province of Punjab became a major focus of development efforts by the colonial rulers – particularly towards the drastic expansion of the Indus Basin irrigation system from the second half of the 19 th

century.

409

This development, along with the preference of Punjab over other provinces regarding recruitment in the bureaucracy and the army, provided the basis for Punjab’s preponderance in post-independence Pakistan.

410

Sindh

, at the downstream end of the Indus Basin, is the second largest province in terms of population and economic output.

Industrialization and urbanization is higher than in Balochistan and NWFP/KPP. With regard to water management, Sindh’s rural population is particularly sensitive: The low lying areas prove vulnerable to flooding in the Monsoon season, and are prone to drought and salinity in the dry season as water – for lack of slope – fails to reach the tail ends of the irrigation canals. Its population has a history of rising in protest against the central government since the first military rule, particularly over perceived disadvantages in water sharing and revenue distribution and the preference of Punjab.

411

The economic, socio-cultural and environmental differences

between the provinces of Pakistan have over a long period translated into political disputes. The existing physical imbalance has been exacerbated by a long-standing political preference of the central government towards Punjab. The biggest province in terms of population and economic productivity has been the centre of power from the early days of independent Pakistan.

412

That became particularly obvious during the One

Unit period when the federal system was upheld and Punjab’s position, unlike that of

407

For the problematic relationship between KPP and Afghanistan see Jochen Hippler: Pakistan, seine Stammesgebiete und der Afghanistan-Krieg (Pakistan, its tribal areas and the Afghanistan War; in German);

Aus Politik und Zeitgeschichte

no. 21 – 22/2010, p. 7 – 8.

408

Khalid Aziz: Provincial autonomy: a view from NWFP; in: Pervaiz Iqbal Cheema & Rashid Ahmad

Khan, eds.:

Problems and politics of federalism in Pakistan

; Islamabad: IPRI, 2006, p. 30 – 31.

409

For an economic profile of the provinces see Shafqat Munir: The provinces. Profile of agriculture and industry;

Himal

, vol. 15, no 7, 2002 (special edition on Pakistan), p. 40 - 44. The agricultural profiles of the provinces will be presented in more detail in the chapter on irrigation in this section.

410

For the origins and the dimensions of Punjab preponderance and Punjab as a factor of Pakistan cultural identity see Iftikhar Malik: Pluralism, Partition and Punjabisation: Politics of Muslim Identity in the British Punjab;

International Journal of Punjab Studies

, vol. 5, no. 1, 1998, p. 4 – 12.

411

Hamida Khuhro: Parameters of provincial autonomy – view from Sindh rural; in: Pervaiz Iqbal

Cheema & Rashid Ahmad Khan, eds.:

Problems and politics of federalism in Pakistan

; Islamabad:

IPRI, 2006, p. 56 – 60.

412

Talbot: Pakistan, op. cit., p. 112, 123. Naseer traces the political dominance of the Punjab back to the Punjab National Unionist Party’s influence on Jinnah; see Sajjad Naseer: Federalism and constitutional development in Pakistan; paper presented at an international seminar on

Constitutionalism and Diversity in Nepal, Kathmandu, 22 – 24 August 2007; www.unibielefeld.de/midea/pdf/Sajjad.pdf (Dec. 2010), p. 6. Zingel adds that a substantial number of Punjabis reside in the neighbouring provinces, adding to the overall dominance of Punjabis: Wolfgang-Peter

Zingel: Stabilitätsanalyse Pakistan,

op. cit

., p. 3.

131

the other provinces, seemed unchanged. Though in theory a system of proportionate representation in the administration was to guide public job placements, in reality applicants from Punjab were frequently given preference.

413

According to

Kreutzmann, the resulting predominance of Punjabis in the bureaucracy and the military gave rise to widespread regionalist tendencies in the other provinces.

Due to the geography of the Indus system, it was this province that became the focus of extensive colonial-era irrigation projects. The steep rise of agricultural production as a result thereof was another basis of its political preponderance. Works to further extend the

irrigation system

, which could not have been realized in low-lying areas of downstream Sindh, have continued into the 1970s, making the Indus the largest irrigation system in the world. Khuhro stresses that in Sindh the water sharing dispute with Punjab is commonly viewed as another example of pro-Punjab

favouritism

perceived in other policy areas. This

injustice

, as Khuhro explains, has prepared the ground for a general reluctance in Sindh to cooperate with the centre and Punjab.

414

Political transformation and the state of federalism

Many observers perceive the political system of Pakistan as being primarily defined by a

military-bureaucratic oligarchy

(Alavi),

i. e.

a landed elite of senior officials, landlords and officers.

415

Khan points at the underlying system of governance,

the state

, which has proven stable and resistant to changes:

Governments in Pakistan have been weak, intermittent and fragile. The state on the other hand has been authoritarian and resilient and has succeeded in holding political governments hostage

.

416

The realization of a more active federalism, which would require equality among the provinces, has so far been hampered by the

Punjabization of the state

(Waseem).

417

Only recently

a long-term trend in favour of provincial subjects

has become apparent, according to Waseem who cites the latest amendments to the

Constitution.

418

413

Hermann Kreutzmann: 60 Jahre Pakistan (Pakistan at 60),

op. cit

., p. 19.

414

Khuhro: Parameters,

supra

, p. 59.

415

Hamza Alavi: Authoritarianism and legitimation,

op. cit

., p. 19. See also Syed Akbar Zaidi: State, military and social transition: improbable future of democracy in Pakistan;

Economic and Political

Weekly

, 3 Dec. 2005, p. 5177; Omar Ashgar Khan: Critical engagements: NGOs and the state; in:

Anita M. Weiss & Syed Zulfikar Gilani, eds.:

Power and civil society in Pakistan

; Karachi: Oxford

University Press, 2001, p. 278 – 280; Aitzaz Ahsan: Why Pakistan is not a democracy,

op. cit

.., p. 141

– 142. Naseer perceives the development of federalism in Pakistan to be predetermined by the colonial heritage: Sajjad Naseer: Federalism,

op. cit.

Pervaiz Iqbal Cheema: Pakistan: The challenge of democratisation; in: Lidija Fleiner, H. Bhattacharyya, Th. Fleiner & S. K. Mitra, eds.:

Rule of law and organisation of the state in Asia. The multicultural challenge

; Geneva: Helbing & Lichtenhahn, 2000, p.

216. This view is backed by findings of Transparency International, analyzing land holdings by the military, especially through large foundations like the Fauji Foundation and the Shaheen Foundation, all under the control of active and retired members of the Armed Forces: Syed Adil Gilani: Pakistan; in:

Global Corruption Report 2008

; Berlin: Transparency International, 2008, p. 211 - 216; www.transparency.org/publications/gcr/gcr_2008 (March 2011). The Fauji Foundation has become a model for Bangladesh: Bangladesh army’s advancing business interests;

BBC News

, 15 August 2010.

416

417

Khan,

ibidem

, p. 278.

418

Mohammad Waseem: Federalism,

op. cit

., p. 11.

Waseem,

ibidem

. Cf. Hamid Khan: Constitutional and political history,

op. cit

., p. 499. The

Constitution (Art. 145) defines the position of the Provincial Governor as an agent of the President, whose task in turn is to protect the provinces.

132

Fiscal federalism

has remained a major source of dispute between the provinces and the centre as well as among the provinces. As Tahir points out, the failure to establish a reliable long-term mechanism of budget allocation has caused an early rift between the centre and the provinces.

419

As demanded by the Constitution of 1973

(Article 160), the National Finance Commission (NFC) Award determines the budget shares for the coming five-year period. Of the total tax revenue, 80 per cent would be allocated to the provinces, 20 per cent to the centre. Initially, the basis of the interprovincial allocation was the size of the population, as estimated in 1961, rendering a share of 60.25 per cent for Punjab – a figure that was disputed by other provinces.

420

The NFC Award remained unchanged in principle until 1990 because the provinces failed to reach a consensus. Thus the allegedly inappropriate share of Punjab continued to cause division between the provinces. In 1991 and 1996 the Sharif government succeeded in securing a consensus among the provinces on the Award by raising the combined provincial share to 45 per cent, while reducing the respective share of the Punjab to 57.88 per cent.

421

The Musharraf government

followed that course by raising the

provincial share

by one per cent each year over the 2006 to 2010 period, having failed to reach a consensus. The critical difference, however, was not in the mere figures but in the mode to establish provincial entitlements: instead of relying wholly on population, social-economic criteria (poverty index), revenue generation and inverse population density were added. As a result the Punjab’s share was reduced to 51.74 per cent, that of Sindh raised to 24.55, that of Balochistan raised to 9.09 and NWFP/KPP’s to

14.62 per cent – with most of Punjab’s cut to go to the weakest province,

Balochistan. As Waseem underlines, this change plus the institutionalized changes prescribed by the constitutional amendment of 2010 equalled

a major breakthrough

.

422

From an institutional perspective, the legal requirement to review the implementation of the Award within the NFC and to present it to the legislative assembly means added transparency and accountability plus stakeholder involvement. This means, in theory at least, good conditions for cooperation.

423

As for provincial participation as such, however, there is room for improvement. In a recent initiative, the provinces approached the CCI demanding a 40 per cent representation in all federal bodies according to the Federal Legislative List.

424

419

Pervez Tahir: Problems and politics of fiscal

federalism

in Pakistan; in: Pervaiz Iqbal Cheema &

Rashid Ahmad Khan, eds.:

Problems and politics of federalism in Pakistan

; Islamabad: IPRI, 2006, p.

70 – 71. See also Rashid Ahmad Khan: NFC Award controversy: a broader perspective;

IPRI Journal

, vol. 5, no. 2, 2005, p. 123 – 130.

420

According to Tahir,

ibidem

, the 1972 census put Punjab’s population as 57.59 per cent of the total population of Pakistan – which means that this province had received a share higher than its actual entitlement. The figure of the 1981 census was 57.88 – yet the NFC continued to calculate Punjab’s share on the basis of the original estimate for a total of 16 consecutive years.

421

422

Waseem: Federalism,

op. cit.,

p. 11.

423

Waseem,

ibidem

.

The ground realities, however, are not free of dispute. Cf. the position of Syed Shahid Hussain that

Sindh is entitled to a greater share in the collective provincial budget based on its tax contributions, among else: NFCs impoverishing provinces;

Dawn

, 15 Sept. 2003; a similar position is taken by Syed

Asad Ali Shah: Fair NFC award vital for federation;

Dawn,

3 June 2002.

424

The CCI has agreed to convene a standing committee to assess the demand. If approved, the provinces would participate in the decisions of about 80 institutions ranging from railways and ports to electricity and natural resources, including water. In this case WAPDA is named as a prime target of the provinces: Provinces demand 40 pc representation in federal bodies;

Dawn

, 31 Dec. 2012.

Meanwhile UNDP has signalled that it will promote this effort with a $12m grant under its

Strengthening Participatory Federalism and Decentralisation program

; The News

, 18 Jan. 2013. The

World Bank, in a move directed against WAPDA’s growing status, has threatened to withhold funds if

133

The state of other issues

between the provinces renders a similar picture: Whereas progress has been made on some fronts, other matters have evaded a solution.

Discussions over law and order issues have resulted in closer coordination between provincial organs.

425

The dispute between Sindh and Balochistan over fishing, however, has proved resistant to efforts from both the centre and the provinces.

426

The latter case, like the dispute over water shares and the NFC formula, directly affects the economies of the provinces.

The existing disputes between the provinces have commonly been interpreted as indicators of division. As they concern issues vital to the provinces’ social-economic existence, they inevitably affect the relations within the federation and make it difficult to reach solutions based on consensus. But do they translate into a threat to the federation, are they tantamount to secession? These disputes – particularly over water shares – can also be read as a symptom of

mutual dependence

. One-sided action, ignoring other provinces’ interests, tends to trigger opposition and possibly obstruction.

Secessionist movements are marginal, as Hussain notes, pointing at an interesting social phenomenon: the

internal migration

of substantial dimensions leading to a shift in ethnic proportionalities.

427

Especially the urban centres, like Lahore and

Karachi, are no longer centres that represent just one ethnic community, Punjabis or

Sindhis, but an increasingly diverse composition of people from neighbouring provinces in search of work, income and opportunities. Hussain points at the Pashtun migration that has made Karachi – not Peshawar –

the world’s largest Pashtun city

.

Similar movements have occurred in Balochistan and Punjab. These migrations are likely to be reflected in political articulation in some form or another in the coming years, challenging positions that have so far been based on a province’s distinct cultural identity.

Within the wider debate on federalism in Pakistan,

decentralization

and local government is both a part of the wider discourse over greater democratic participation as well as the desire to express the regional identities of the provinces.

In recent years the process of

devolution

has become a central political issue, pushed forward by the government of Musharraf, with a view to strengthening the authority of the provinces.

428

The way this top-down process, intended to delegate political decisions to the lower tiers, was started has aroused criticism.

429 the federal government proceeds with its decision to place 16 private power companies under the supervision of this institution: World Bank threatens to block funds;

Dawn

, 23 March 2013.

425

Cf. reports on inter-provincial conferences to combat crime: Balochistan, Sindh police to exchange data

; Dawn

, 28 May 2001; Provinces get green light for crackdown: terrorist activities

, Dawn,

5 Aug.

2001; Sindh, Balochistan to fight crime jointly

; Dawn,

25 June 2002; Inter-provincial conference on law and order today

; Dawn

, 28 April 2003.

426

Cf. reports on claims by Balochistan against fishermen from Sindh entering Balochistan water illegally: NFDB to sort out fishing disputes

; Dawn

, 26 Oct. 2000; Sindh, Balochistan told to end row: fishing rights

; Dawn,

1 Feb. 2001; Eighty vessels seized by Balochistan authorities

; Dawn

, 28 Sept.

2001; Fee levied on fishing in Balochistan

; Dawn

, 8 Oct. 2001.

427

Syed Talat Hussain: Fire and the federation;

Himal

, June 2010. Pervez Hoodbhoy discards the notion of ethno-nationalism as a dominant force of Pakistani federalism, stressing the need for a pragmatic federalism that renders the provinces capable of managing their own development: Why

Pakistan is not a nation;

Himal

, June 2010.

428

Issued by the government’s new National Reconstruction Bureau, the aim of the devolution plan is to end cronyism and corruption in politics, to rebuild national confidence and morale and remove interprovincial disharmony, see NRB: Establishing the foundation of democracy: district government;

134

Another reason might have been a fear among established political parties of a loss of power to the districts. Inayatullah observes that many new district governments have experienced interference by provincial governments with their areas of responsibility.

430

Cheema

et al.

point out that a degree of accountability has been introduced to the sub-provincial administrations, and in some areas the district governments have taken on significant responsibilities previously held by the provinces.

431

Adeley concludes that recent initiatives, most notably the 18 th

Constitutional Amendment, mark only a first and overly cautious step that still does not take into account the existing cultural and societal differences between the provinces, rather implying that they are a potential threat to the internal stability of the nation.

432

Shah, while terming the Amendment a

landmark

and predicting

greater harmony in federal-provincial relations

, observes several deficiencies, particularly with regard to the implementation of the reform.

433

From an institutionalist perspective, decentralization has brought the involvement of lower administrative tiers in decision-making, i.e. the stakeholders have become more directly involved. For

water management

in particular this is demonstrated by the delegation of water supply and sanitation services to the sub-district levels. In the field of irrigation management, this corresponds in principle to the establishment of

Water User Associations in the 1990s.

434

Cheema

et al.

, however, caution that the devolution is not protected by the Constitution; in effect its implementation to a large degree depends on the provinces – again because of the control over budgets. www.nrb.gov.pk/archive/document-0001.htm (dated 24 March 2000; download: May 2001). Earlier efforts in this direction, especially in the form of Zia ul-Haq’s decreed Local Government Ordinance of

1979, were not so much inspired by power sharing but by tightening the political control over the higher levels of power in the hands of the military; cf. Syed Akbar Zaidi: The political economy of decentralization in Pakistan;

Decentralisation and Social Movements Working Paper

no. 1, published by Swiss National Centre of Competence in Research North – South, Zurich, 2005, p. 19 - 25; www.nccr-pakistan.org/publications_pdf/Forests/Zaidi_2005_decentralisation.pdf (Jan. 2011). Zaidi observes that central and provincial governments exerted control mainly through budgetary means.

Interestingly, this gave rise to the formation of new political parties.

429

The plan for devolution of power, with a schedule for non-party elections of district, union and tehsil administrative levels, was announced by the President, Chief Executive Pervez Musharraf, in 2000, at a time when the National Assembly and Senate were still suspended;

Dawn

, 24 March 2000. In the absence of a working parliament, the general public was invited to voice its opinion within a period of five months, after which the final shape of the district governments will be decided. Most political parties, deprived of their capacity to make legislative decisions through parliament, rejected the plan;

Dawn

,

ibidem

, and 26 July 2000. Having assured the provinces that their autonomy would not be curtailed, the finalized plan was published:

Dawn

, 16 August, 2000

430

Inayatullah: District government – province relations; in: Pervaiz Iqbal Cheema & Rashid Ahmad

Khan, eds.:

Problems and politics of federalism in Pakistan

; Islamabad: IPRI, 2006, p. 94 – 98. All four provinces plus the capital city have passed local government ordinances in 2001.

431

Ali Cheema, Asim Khwaja, & Adnan Qadir: Local Government Reforms in Pakistan: Context, content and causes; in: D. Mookherjee & P. Bardhan, eds.:

Decentralization and Local Governance in

Developing Countries: A Comparative Perspective

; Cambridge: MIT Press, 2006, p. 395 – 400.

432

Katharine Adeney: A step towards inclusive federalism in Pakistan? The politics of the 18 th

Amendment;

Publius,

vol. 42, no. 4, 2012, p. 558; constitutional document text: www.app.com/pk/en_/index.php?option=com_content&task=view?id=10026&Itemid=1 (Associated

Press of Pakistan; May 2013).

433

434

Anwar Shah: The 18 th

Amendment: Glue or solvent for nation-building and citizenship in Pakistan?

Lahore Journal of Economics

, vol. 17, Sept. 2012, p. 393 - 396 (the

reassertion

of the CCI and the

NEC due to the shifting of many responsibilities from the Federal List to the provinces), p. 405 – 408.

Institutions of irrigation management will be discussed in more detail in the chapter on irrigation in this section.

135

Conclusion

The analysis of the political system, history and institutions of Pakistan has provided an important insight into the potential and conditions of cooperation. First, the country’s troubled past holds many obstacles to the

cohesion

of the nation. The challenge to integrate the various ethnic groups into the newly established nation has in some respects been greater than in neighbouring India where a functioning administrative system was taken over, allowing for effective governance more or less from the start whereas in Pakistan many administrative tiers had yet be established even years after formal independence. Many groups – especially in the tribal regions of Balochistan, KPP and Sindh – have historically owed their allegiance to local landlords or tribal chiefs; they are not used to be ruled by a higher authority, be it the provincial or the federal government. These long-standing traditional relationships continue to be founded in mutual social and economic benefits. Not surprisingly, the efforts of the central government to enforce unity have routinely been met with determined, sometimes violent opposition. To date, national unity remains a challenge in many parts of the country. Separatist movements in Sindh and

Balochistan are a reminder that the cohesion of Pakistan remains fragile.

435

Second, the political instability that resulted from the mass migration and the frequent demonstrations of the early years has furthered a

centralist style

and structure of government that would leave little room for the provinces to become actively involved. Wary of regionalist tendencies, the central government has been reluctant to let the provinces have a share in power. The provinces, on the other side, have – in the face of centralist domination and the preference given to Punjab in political, military and economic matters – shown a very limited readiness to cooperate with the centre and among them. Though there have been steps towards a more active concept of federalism, the political system in essence has not experienced much change.

The centres of power

have largely remained the same: the bureaucracy, the military and the two major political families, Bhutto and Sharif, with their political formations, paralleled on the regional level by the large land holding families. As Waseem shows, periods of instability have benefited the established pillars of power.

436

The way in

435

The sensitivity of the political elite regarding issues of national identity and cohesion has recently been exhibited by an incident that provoked strong reactions both inside and outside Pakistan – yet for entirely different reasons. The killing of Osama bin Laden, leader of the terrorist network Al Qaeda, in a secret U.S. commando raid in Pakistan in 2011 that was hailed by most outside observers as a positive development in the global fight against this group, triggered a wave of Anti-American rhetoric in the very country that allowed the man to hide on its soil for many years. Most tellingly, an internal government report on the incident calls the killing of the terrorist

a criminal act of murder

.

Similarly, a parliamentary investigation, while observing official

negligence and incompetence

, terms the raid an

American act of war

that resulted in the

greatest humiliation

since the secession of

Bangladesh in 1971. The report is quoted in: Leaked Bin Laden report reveals Pakistan failures;

BBC

News

(online), 9 July 20013. To view the developments that led to the independence of Bangladesh as a humiliation for Pakistan may be the most bizarre perception of the widespread carnage in then

East Pakistan caused by the (West) Pakistan Army. To date, the large-scale atrocities committed by the Pakistan Army are common knowledge only outside Pakistan. Inside Pakistan, the public debate focuses on the Indian intervention that led to an end of that civil war – as just another example of

Indian schemes to undermine the stability of Pakistan.

436

Mohammad Waseem: Politics and the state in Pakistan; Lahore: Progressive Publishers, 1989, p.

142 – 147. Cf. S. Akbar Zaidi: Transition,

op. cit.

, p. 5174 – 5175.

136

which this power has been brought to bear, democratic/elected or authoritarian/military, appears to be of secondary relevance in this respect.

437

Third, the legal scope of

provincial responsibility

remains limited. Though the provinces retain their colonial-era authority over water management, their financial means to fund the necessary maintenance and development works are bound by their respective economic output. Particularly the smaller provinces – NWFP/Khyber

Pakhtoonkhwa Province and Balochistan – rely on federal support for major projects because an equalization fund that could balance the sharp economic differences between the provinces does not exist. The biggest province, Punjab, is in a much different position, due to its economic strength and its political position vis-à-vis the centre, and is thus less dependent on federal support. Instead it can turn its economic weight into a bargaining chip in order to gain concessions from the centre.

For the weaker provinces the incentives to engage in cooperation with either the centre or the Punjab appear to be limited.

From a Rational Choice perspective

, the stronger province (Punjab) and the centre benefit from upholding the existing system. The weaker provinces could benefit from a change that would help them offset the imbalance. Since they are neither politically nor economically in a position to counterbalance the predominance of the Punjab and the centre, they have little to offer in order to make Punjab and the centre move in their direction. The threat to leave the federation, uttered occasionally by subprovincial movements particularly in Sindh and NWFP/Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province

(KPP), does not promise much leverage until the weaker provinces unite; as long as they act individually, their status is too small. It is all too obvious that any small-scale autonomy would be bound to fail.

For the Punjab, a change in the current system would likely mean to lose its dominant position and some of the benefits that are attached to it. Thus its inclination to agree to a change would only be likely if Punjab itself is to benefit from it in some form. In sum, to effect a change in the federal relations that would provide beneficial for the smaller provinces means that Balochistan, NWFP/Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa and

Sindh have to take the initiative. The position of Sindh as the second biggest province in demographic and economic terms is crucial because it is the gateway of the country’s international trade. The fact that the relevant seaport facilities are in

Sindh could be turned into a bargaining chip. The smaller provinces have a difficult stand in terms of bargaining: Balochistan and NWFP/KPP are small by population and internally split on ethnic lines (KPP), their population scattered over a relatively large territory (Balochistan). In addition, the population of both provinces by and large is dispersed in rural areas, inhibiting effective political articulation and organization.

Fourth, the

institutional development

since independence has furthered a strong central government. The principal direction of the institutional process has been the stability of the nation. The central government is seen as the guarantor of the nation’s integrity. This role includes a tight reign over all elements, including the provinces and lower administrative levels. In the water sector, the establishment of provincial and district institutions started only in the mid – 1990s.

438

Their main area of

437

Waseem: Federalism,

op. cit

., observes that federalism has progressed under civilian governments and suffered setbacks under military rulers, with both showing a tendency to control the purse and policy at the cost of the provinces, p. 23.

438

This process will be the focus of the section on water sharing.

137

responsibility is irrigation. WAPDA, the central water authority, continues to play a dominant role in all other areas of water management, except water sharing. The provinces themselves do not seem to have been a strong driver in the institutional process, as the fate of the Council of Common Interests indicates. Hypothetically an important forum, the CCI had by and large not played a major role until 1990 – 17 years after its inception – when it facilitated the first inter-provincial water sharing agreement.

439

The reasons of this

lack of provincial engagement

are not easy to pinpoint. One important aspect is the state of relations between the provinces. Sindh and Punjab share a number of disputed issues on which a consensual solution does not seem easy. While the Punjab is perceived negatively by the smaller provinces on several conflicting subjects, there are no signs of joint action by them to challenge that province’s dominant position. The provinces can address the CCI, a constitutionally sanctioned body, which is then obliged to discuss the matter. If the CCI’s solution is not acceptable, the matter can be transferred to the National Assembly for a final decision. Such a move has not been made yet.

It remains to be seen whether and how the declared intention to

make the CCI a more substantive body

(Waseem) will bear fruit.

440

The recent constitutional amendments provide for regular meetings of the Council, more high ranking members, and reports to be submitted to the National Assembly.

441

Such changes, which add a degree of

accountability and transparency

, mean that the National

Assembly has taken on a greater and more active role by overseeing and controlling this constitutional body. In theory at least, this could provide a stimulus for the CCI to develop into a more active institution. Whether the Assembly’s new role will have the desired effect on the settlement of inter-provincial disputes and disputes between the provinces and the centre will depend on the Assembly’s ability and determination to claim its lawful right. The over-all state of government accountability, though, has been poor, especially during periods of military rule. Musharraf’s initiatives – the inauguration of the National Accountability Bureau on the one hand, the Provisional

Constitutional Order on the other – were ambiguous and created an impression of government manipulations, rather than attempts at thorough reform, particularly as they served to stabilize the military’s role in politics, the economy and the society.

442

Fiscal federalism

has experienced progress. The NFC Award had so far proved a thorny issue and frequent cause of division between the provinces and the centre.

The failure to arrive at a consensus led the federal government, i.e. the President, to uphold the previous Award. The President, in order to end the existing stalemate that

439

The 1956 Constitution had provided for an Inter-Provincial Council that would

investigate and discuss subjects in which the Provinces, or the Federation and one or both of the Provinces, have a common interest, or make recommendations …; the President may … establish such a Council and define the nature of the duties … and its organisation and procedure

(Art. 130). That council, however, never came into being. The reason was not so much the lack of initiative on the part of the President but rather the abolition of the provincial system altogether just two years later. It can thus not be seen as a precursor to the CCI.

440

Waseem: Federalism,

op.cit

., p. 19, referring to the recent constitutional amendments (No. 18 of

2010).

441

18th Amendment to the Constitution (Dec. 2010): the Prime Minister is now a mandatory member of the CCI (Art. 153, 2); an annual report is to be submitted to the NA (Art. 153,4). The parliamentary

Sub-Committee on Provincial Autonomy had earlier demanded that CCI would be required to meet at least twice a year; see Shahid Hamid: Balochistan,

op. cit

., appendix, p. 23.

442

Global Corruption Report 2008,

op. cit

.

138

threatened to block action on other issues, agreed to a central demand of the provinces – to raise the combined provincial entitlement to 50 per cent (and above).

443

This move, together with the new formula which would take into account the social-economic problems of the smaller provinces, seems to have been pointed at the

cohesion

of the federation. This came at a time when the tribal areas of

NWFP/KPP and Balochistan were particularly affected by the Afghan crisis and military responses to it by the Pakistan army. The calculus of this move might have been to lay to rest the calls for secession in these areas and to prevent further militarization of the dispute. The fall-out of this move is difficult to measure. The greater financial resources now available to the provinces would indirectly support provincial autonomy in budgetary terms by providing more room to manoeuvre.

The readiness to cooperate

with the other provinces and the centre in order to solve other outstanding issues also has to be seen against the current security background. The ongoing political-military crisis in the tribal areas builds up pressure for the provincial governments to resist the federal government which is held responsible for the intervention of the armed forces. This again is widely perceived as an illegitimate intrusion in provincial, or rather tribal, interests. From a Rational

Choice perspective, the provinces, sometimes moving together against the federal government, strengthened their position and reached concessions from the centre without having to withdraw any of their essential demands.

444

Cooperation – in part, i.e

.

in the form of small coalitions – thus proved beneficial to the provinces; to the centre it signalled the need to review its predominant position.

The great economic and political

discrepancies

between the provinces remain the biggest challenge to cooperative federalism. One-sided preferences by the centre favouring Punjab have repeatedly provoked criticism from the smaller provinces and tend to alienate them from the nation. The failure by the central government to address these discrepancies has in the past been viewed as injustice.

445

The central government has in the last several years responded by transferring funds towards the disadvantaged regions, through the Public Sector Development Programme

(PSDP).

446

These include drought and flood relief and educational support schemes.

These direct transfers aim to counter in part the inequality that result from small

443

This step came only after a long stalemate; in 2001 the centre was ready to reverse the 1996 NFC formula in the provinces’ favour from 50 to 62.5 per cent over-all; see: National Finance Commission set to evolve new formula

; Dawn

, 2 January 2001; in 2003 the centre’s position was still firmly in favour of using only the population as the determining factor; see: Resource distribution on population basis;

Dawn,

5 May 2003. In 2002 the President presented a comprehensive package of reforms,

Proposals of the Government of Pakistan on the establishment of sustainable federal democracy, with provisions for a new NFC formula, p. 27; www.pak.gov.pk/public/const_amend.pdf (July 2002).

444

For a detailed description of the lengthy process see Rashid Ahmad Khan: NFC Award controversy,

op. cit.

, p. 130 – 134.

445

Rizvi underlines the need for confidence-building measures as a result thereof; see Hasan-Askari

Rizvi: Federalism. Conceptual and practical issues; in: Pervaiz Iqbal Cheema & Rashid Ahmad Khan, eds.:

Problems and politics of federalism in Pakistan

; Islamabad: IPRI, 2006, p. 12, 14.

446

Tahir: Fiscal federalism,

op. cit

., p. 78: respective of its population, Balochistan received by far the largest share (21.5 billion Rupees, 2005-2006, out of a total of 81.9 billion); Punjab’s share, by comparison, was 22.7 billion). The PSDP’s aim is to remove inter-provincial disharmony; see: Bigger uplift projects should get funds

: CE; Dawn,

12 January 2001; this quote is attributed to the Chief

Executive (the then title of President Musharraf). The budget and target projects of the PSDP are subject to approval by the National Economic Council, headed by the President; see: Rs 30 billion for provinces in Public Sector Development Programme

; Dawn

, 27 May 2001.

139

populations and low productivity. Indirect transfers are made through development surcharges on natural resources produced in Balochistan and NWFP/KPP.

447

The recent amendments to the Constitution suggest that substantial progress is under way towards a more

active federalism

. Another, yet more ambiguous outcome of the current discourse on federalism, provincial representation and political participation are calls to reorganize the provinces into smaller, more numerous units. If agreed, this might mean – at least in theory – a levelling of the current physical discrepancies, especially if the Punjab was to be divided into two or more provinces. The challenge would then be for an enlarged parliament to agree on practicable solutions. In practical legal terms, any move to reorganize the federation would require a two-thirds majority in the Assembly which means that if Punjab does not agree, it seems unlikely to happen .

The danger that a reorganization of provinces might lead to an

inflation of autonomy demands

, and thus undermine the federation, is real. Dividing

Balochistan into three federal units (provinces), as was suggested, would, on the one hand, give local leaders a greater political role, but on the other hand further reduce the limited resources and political status of this province.

448

Whether such units, consisting of a vast territory with very limited human and natural resources, can be governed effectively is questionable. The case of the so-called Seraiki Belt linking southern Punjab and northern Sindh has recently aroused attention. Economic challenges, coupled with demographic changes, add to a general feeling of being treated unfairly. Calls for a new province of

Saraikistan

and a general reorganization of the federation along ethno-lingual lines have been voiced.

449

Any such move would likely put into question not only the federal system of Pakistan but the concept of the Pakistani nation and its very

identity

as such. From a practical political perspective, any reorganization would first mean to find and agree upon a legally solid and economically viable solution. The inevitable redistribution of national resources would be met with strong resistance from the existing provinces. For decision-making in the legislature and executive, it would mean that the higher the number of provinces, the more difficult it might be to reach an unanimous solution on national issues. With regard to water sharing, however, the removal of the existing great economic discrepancy between Punjab and the smaller provinces – by effectively cutting Punjab into several pieces – might aid cooperation. Moves to restructure Pakistan, in its present politically unstable condition, are not likely to be met with favourable reactions from neighbouring countries or among Pakistan’s donor community.

450

The latter aspect would further reduce the economic viability of any such effort.

447

Tahir: Fiscal federalism,

op. cit

., p. 74.

448

Waseem: Federalism,

op. cit

., p. 20.

449

Muhammad Feyyaz: Demand for Saraiki province; Background Paper series, Islamabad: PILDAT,

2011; www.pildat.org (April 2011), p. 3 – 6. Kreutzmann notes that while this issue tends to come up occasionally, it has not led to a debate on an authoritative level; see Hermann Kreutzmann: Kashmir and the Northern Areas of Pakistan: Boundary-making along contested frontiers;

Erdkunde

, vol. 62, no. 3, 2008, p. 202 – 203.

450

Threats to Pakistan’s territorial integrity, whether real or imagined, have always stirred nervous debates. A typical example is the exotic suggestion by the chairman of the Indian Kashmir Committee to hand over Sindh and Balochistan in return for Kashmir; see: Mohsin Babbar: Jethmalani’s secret threat worrying Pakistanis;

South Asia Tribune

, 17 – 23 August 2003; www.satribune.com/archives/aug17_23_03/P1_mohsin.htm (March 2004).

140

In sum

, the overall relationship between the provinces and the federal government is an important factor in water sharing. Water sharing – like budget sharing – cannot be isolated from wider issues of identity, political interests, and socio-economic development. As the dynamics of these relations show,

inequality

and

lack of participation

, widely perceived as injustice, threaten to undermine the federation and continue to impede cooperation. The long-standing budget dispute indicates that political and economic interests are closely linked to the general readiness to cooperate. The cohesion of the nation, as regionalist movements show, is not strong enough to rely on a collective identity as a focal point of provincial politics. While distinct regional identities compete against each other, the authority of the centre is challenged. The federal system that could adequately represent these regional identities and interests has yet to take into account the social-economic realities of the provinces. Federalism is a dynamic process. The federal actors will, by voicing their interests, contribute to gradually changing the system.

To combine the required system stability with a desirable degree of resilience the

institutional mechanism

should be improved to allow better information, more effective participation and closer coordination. The existing institutional arrangement, with the Council of Common Interests and the newly established Inter-provincial

Coordination Committee (IPCC), as such has a capacity for coordination and for conflict resolution. But its effectiveness has so far been limited. In the section on water sharing, its potential and deficits will have to be analyzed further. The same is true, in principle, for the

legislative organs

, the Senate and the National Assembly.

Both have recently begun playing a more active role in the water sector. The performance of parliamentary committees and other newly established institutions will be examined in-depth. As this legal avenue to cooperation has long been blocked, it remains to be seen whether – in this short period since the reactivation of Senate and NA (2002, 2003) – any progress towards institutionalizing cooperation will be made soon.

141

III.3 Dynamics of a hydro-economy

Water

is perhaps the one key resource that describes mankind’s elemental dependence on nature as well as on fellow humans in a more fundamental way than any other resource. The quality and dimension of this dependence is exhibited most dramatically in South Asia, home to some of the world’s mightiest rivers and to roughly a quarter of the world’s population. Here this dependence is exacerbated by a widespread discrepancy between demand and supply which is due to

- large agricultural economies founded on complex irrigation networks,

- large and fast-growing populations, and

- highly dynamic climatic conditions that result in very uneven water supplies.

Pakistan

, even more so than its neighbours, exhibits the ambivalence of water in

Asia in a particularly dramatic fashion: Most economic activities depend on a single river system, the Indus. Water at one time and in one place may be plentiful when in another place and at another time there is critical shortage. This unevenness and dynamic creates asymmetry and necessitate very flexible water use. The natural discrepancies between water supply and demand are exacerbated by political conditions that often prove adverse to optimal utilization of available resources. The limited supply of resources regularly leads to shortages that command higher efficiency on the one hand and, on the other hand, a readiness to share whatever is available to satisfy the most basic needs. Both tasks – efficient water management and water sharing – require cooperation of one sort or another

- between water users (consumers),

- between water managers and decision-makers,

- between territorial entities (districts, provinces or states, nations).

The need to cooperate

appears to be embedded in the water cycles of South Asia, especially in a semi-arid country like Pakistan that draws most of its water supplies from one source. Pakistan’s lifeline in social, economic and political terms, the Indus

Basin, is a common resource pool insofar as every province is a stakeholder in this large river basin.

451

All four provinces are a part of the river basin and rely on the waters of the Indus. They have a vital interest in securing sufficient supplies from this source. The nation as a whole in turn depends on the provinces for its overall economic performance and political and social stability. The provinces, on the other hand, compete over the limited water resources for diverse economic activities, each requiring specific quantities of water at specified times. This chapter looks at two variables of water management: the natural water cycle of the Indus River and the economic utilization of its resources.

451

The definition of a river basin or drainage basin (also referred to as catchment area) used here is taken from Encyclopaedia Britannica:

area from which all precipitation flows to a single stream or set of streams

; www.britannica.com; including the main river and all tributaries and canals.

142

The Indus: river of extremes

The history of Pakistan goes back up to 3,000 years BC when the first organized settlements, complete with elaborate water management systems, were built.

452

The remnants of the cities of Harappa and Mohenjo Daro serve as impressive reminders of the economic and political importance of this river and of the status these civilizations had achieved by harnessing the waters of the Indus. Water supplies from the Indus Basin have since the days of the Indus Civilization (around 5,000 B.C.), the second oldest civilization of its kind after the Euphrates-Tigris civilization, formed the basis of the economy.

The water landscape of Pakistan

can be divided into three distinct regions:

- a mountainous region that serves as a giant natural water reservoir; this area is largely within the province of Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa (KPP/NWFP) and

Jammu & Kashmir;

- the central lowlands that make up the core of the Indus basin and form the centre of gravity of agriculture, economic activity and human settlement; this area covers most of the Punjab province;

- the delta region that leads the Indus River to the Arabian Sea; most of this area is situated in Sindh.

The Indus River

, together with its main tributaries, forms one of the largest river basins in the world. Covering parts of Pakistan and India, it is the most important river basin in Pakistan.

453

It originates in the Himalayas, in the Tibetan plateau, at the

Manasarovar Lake, at the confluence of the Sengge and Gar rivers at an altitude of over 5,100 m.

454

On its way southward to the Arabian Sea it passes the Himalayan watershed, the world’s highest, indicating that the river is older than the mountain ranges themselves. The river stretches over 3,200 km (or 1,988 miles), 86 per cent

(or 2,752 km/1,708 miles) of which are within the territory of Pakistan. The total catchment area of the Indus system is 654,332 km² (or 252,638 miles²), around 13 per cent of which are within the territory of Afghanistan and China. The Indus Basin encompasses roughly 566,000 km² - or 71 per cent of the total territory of Pakistan

(796,095 km²).

455

452

The official historiography of Pakistan cites archaeological findings that date back 500,000 years ago; www.pak.gov.pk/public/govt/history.html (Aug. 2000).

453

Figures vary according to different references. The semi-official Pakistan Water Gateway

(www.waterinfo.net.pk), sponsored by the Ministry of Water and Power (GoP) in collaboration with the

International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), gives the size of the catchment area as

252,638 miles² (file:

Indus Basin: basic facts

) quoting WAPDA, the chief water authority of the country.

According to Encyclopaedia Britannica (online, May 2004) the altitude of the river’s origin is 5,500 m, its drainage area is 1,165,000 km² (450,000 miles²), and its length 2,900 km (1,800 miles) covering

Pakistani and Indian territories. Cf. also Asif Inam, P. Clift, L. Giosan, A. Tabrez, M. Tahir, M. Rabbani

& M. Danish: The geological, geographic and oceanographic setting of the Indus River; in: Avijit

Gupta, ed.:

Large Rivers. Geomorphology and management

; Chichester: Wiley, 2007, p. 335.

454

The source was discovered by Sven Hedin in 1907, according to A. K. Snelgrove: Geohydrology of the Indus Basin, West Pakistan; Hyderabad: Sindh Univ. Press, 1967, p. 17. The historic development and course of the river is subject to some discussion among geographers and geologists, due to the river’s dynamic meandering over time, as Snelgrove remarks, p. 27 - 28. According to Khan, the respective altitude of the source of the Indus is around 5,500 m; Asim Rauf Khan: An analysis of the surface water resources and water delivery systems in the Indus Basin; Lahore: IWMI, 1999, p. 5.

455

The exact size of the territory of Pakistan is subject to the solution of an ongoing dispute with India over the Kashmir region. The figure of 796,095 km² taken here is from Fischer Weltalmanach, 2002 (a standard German reference); cf. also Europe World Yearbook 1999 and Encyclopaedia Britannica

World Data: Pakistan (2004).

143

The Indus system is fed by the main river, the Indus, and its

five large tributaries

Chenab, Jhelum, Ravi, Beas and Sutlej. Of these, Chenab and Jhelum, with 1,242 and 825 km of length respectively, provide the bulk of the available water. Ravi (901 km), Sutlej (1,551 km) and Beas (398 km) play a secondary role in terms of water supply.

456

Of all basin rivers the Indus carries about half of the total amount of water, or 81 billion m³.

457

Together the rivers of the Indus Basin cover all four provinces of

Pakistan, rendering each province a stakeholder in the management of this vital resource system.

The Himalayan and adjacent mountain ranges

, home to the highest elevations on earth as well as the source of several of the mightiest rivers of Asia, play a pivotal role in the qualitative and quantitative dimension of water supply and availability.

458

Its vast reservoir of frozen water replenishes the Indus and its tributaries and the groundwater aquifers. The importance of these

water towers

cannot be underestimated.

459

According to the International Centre for Integrated Mountain

Development (ICIMOD), an estimated 500 million people in South Asia depend on these sources of fresh water supply.

460

The sediment loads of the Indus River – among the highest of any river in the world – provide important nutrients vital to soil fertility.

461

Water supply

from the glaciers is lowest in winter, between December and February, and highest in summer, between May and August.

462

The glaciers affect the availability of the resource in the most dramatic way: The amount of snowfall in the cold season regulates the water levels of all rivers of the Indus basin in the ensuing hot season. Glaciers contribute up to 85 per cent of the water in the Indus Basin.

463

That means a short winter can lead to increased thaw that, combined with a strong monsoon, may be followed by devastating floods. Strong winter seasons often translate into a shortage of water in spring. All rivers of the Indus system carry the

456

Pakistan Water Gateway,

op. cit.

; Asim Khan: surface water resources,

op. cit.

, p. 5.

457

Heinz Ahrens & Wolfgang-Peter Zingel: Interdependenzen zwischen gesamtwirtschaftlichem

Wachstum und regionaler Verteilung in Pakistan (Interdependence between national economic growth and regional distribution in Pakistan; in German); Wiesbaden: Steiner, 1978, p. 495, referring to Nazir

Ahmad: Ground water resources of Pakistan, Lahore, 1974.

458

According to Kreutzmann, 28% of the Karakoram and 8-12 % of the Himalaya-Hindukush mountain ranges are covered by glaciers; Hermann Kreutzmann: Wasser für Pakistan: Bewässerungspraxis zwischen Ökologie und Ökonomie (Water for Pakistan: the ecology and economy of irrigation; in

German); in: Rüdiger Glaser u. Klaus Kremb, eds.:

Asien

; Planet Erde series; Darmstadt:

Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 2007, p. 154.

459

The contribution of mountainous water towers to the freshwater supply in arid regions ranges between 50 and over 90 per cent, according to a Swiss survey: Daniel Viviroli & Rolf Weingartner: The hydrological significance of mountains: from regional to global scale;

Hydrology and Earth System

Sciences (HESS)

, vol. 8, no. 6, 2004, p. 1021. The Indus, along with the Nile, Euphrates-Tigris and

Amu Darya Rivers, is rated as

extremely important

.

460

See ICIMOD: Water resources of the Hindu Kush-Himalayas; www.icimod.org/focus/water/water_hkh.htm (May 2001).

461

Liviu Giosan, S. Constantinescu, P. Clift, A. Tabrez, M. Danish & M. Inam: Recent morphodynamics of the Indus delta shore and shelf;

Continental Shelf Research

, vol. 26, 2006, p.

1668. Sediment discharge is estimated at 150 million tons annually.

462

463

Asim Khan: Surface water resources,

op. cit

., p. 9.

Federal Bureau of Statistics: Compendium of Environment Statistics 2004; Islamabad: Government of Pakistan, 2005, p. 12. The glaciers, mighty as they are, recede at a rate of 30 to 50 metres p.a., according to the Pakistan Meteorological Department; the PMD’s director-general expects accelerated melting around the year 2025, causing severe floods, and a period of drought thereafter, as a consequence of climate change; see Khaleeq Kiani: Water-related crisis feared in 20 years;

Dawn

, 4

Jan. 2005.

144

bulk of water in their respective upstream areas, near their sources.

464

The lower stretches of these rivers carry much less water because of the high degree of seepage and evaporation.

After meandering for more than 1,500 km at an approximate elevation of over 4,000 metres, the Indus descends into the

centre of the basin

at an increasing velocity.

The plains of the Punjab benefit from the proximity of the river and its tributaries and the flow velocity of the water, easily reaching the tail ends of the irrigation canals. It is in this area where all five tributaries join the Indus, at the Punjnad conjunction in lower Punjab.

The situation in the river delta

, in the province of Sindh, is much different from the upper reaches of the basin. Having passed the central plains, the river’s flow velocity goes down significantly until it reaches the Arabian Sea. This has a marked effect on water management in this downstream province. First, the amount of water – and hence its flow velocity – is lower than at the upper reaches of the basin. Second, the reduced flow velocity of the water means that it reaches the low-lying ends of the irrigation canals with greater difficulty causing shortage to the tail-end farmers, evaporation and water-logging.

465

Third, this necessitates greater efforts at water management to maintain adequate farm-level water supplies and to preserve soil fertility.

The coastal ecosystem

, especially the mangrove forests in Sindh, is closely linked to the Indus Basin. This area, breeding ground for a large number of fish species, is vital for coastal fishing in Sindh and Balochistan; it also serves as a shield against cyclones.

466

It is threatened by a lack of downstream water flows.

467

The lower delta is also an agricultural zone and the economic basis of coastal communities in lower

Sindh. Its productivity is threatened by saltwater intrusion from the Arabian Sea, again due to a lack of river water flowing downstream.

468

The debate over how much

464

Ahrens & Zingel: Interdependenzen,

op. cit.

, p. 496.

465

Water-logging, due to standing water in irrigation canals, accelerates salinization of soils in arid tropical regions. This form of soil degradation is a widespread phenomenon of intensive irrigation and often exacerbated by lacking drainage. Cf. South Asia Technical Advisory Committee (for Pakistan

Water Partnership, PWP): Draft South Asia Water Vision – Pakistan; Supplement to Framework for

Action for achieving the Pakistan Water Vision 2025; Islamabad: PWP, 2001, p. 10 - 11 (Pakistan country report). PWP is a member of the Global Water Partnership (GWP) network. The tail-end supplies are often augmented by groundwater which in general is of lower quality, even hazardous

(especially in Punjab), according to Abdul Ghafoor & Abdul Majeed: Tubewell water, soils and wheat yield in different reaches of a canal in the rice-wheat-cropping zone of Punjab;

International Journal of

Agriculture and Biology

, vol. 1, no. 1-2, 1999, p. 5 – 8. The effects of water-logging, however, are disputed as there is no established criterion for the condition of being water-logged; cf. Umar Farooq,

M. Ahmad & A. W. Jasra: Natural resources conservation for poverty alleviation by making farmers partner with empowerment; Islamabad: Pakistan Institute for Development Economics, 2011, p. 4; www.pide.org.pk/psde23/pdf/Umar%20Farooq.pdf (June 2013).

466

On the manifold ecological functions of the mangroves see Amjad Ali Shah, I. Kasawani & J.

Kamaruzaman: Degradation of Indus delta mangroves in Pakistan;

International Journal of Geology

, vol. 1, no. 3, 2007, p. 28.

467

Shah

et al.

: Degradation,

ibidem

, p. 29.

468

The delta is particularly affected in periods of drought; Naseer Memon: Indus delta reels from water shortage;

The News

, 8 April 2001.Cf. also: Decline in fresh water degrading Indus delta;

Dawn

, 13

July 2004. For an overview of the ecosystem see: IUCN: The lower Indus River: balancing development and maintenance of wetland ecosystems and dependent livelihoods; Karachi: IUCN

Pakistan (no date); www.iucn.org/themes/wani/flow/cases/Indus.pdf (May 2006). A comprehensive analysis of the delta’s condition and needs is provided by Peter Meynell & Muhammad Qureshi:

145

river water is needed to stem the salt water from spoiling the coastal lands is part of the wider dialogue on water management in this southern province. In the wake of extensive measures to exploit the river’s resources, the delta has come to symbolize the classic conflict between development and environment.

469

In practical terms, the condition of the delta has developed into a

problem of water sharing

among the provinces: The sufficient quantities of water and water-borne nutrients (silt) that have been identified as vital to sustain the delta ecosystem will have to be included in calculating the water shares. In a sense the delta has become a stakeholder in its own right, competing against water demands based on the social-economic needs of the provinces.

470

The second determinant of water availability of Pakistan is the

Monsoon cycle

.

471

The Monsoon system is characterized by extreme variations in precipitation. Dry and hot months (roughly October to May) are followed by humid and very hot months

(June to September).

472

Average annual rainfall in the Indus basin ranges from 125 to 500 millimetres, with peaks between June and August, i.e

.

at about the same time when the inflow from the mountains reaches its climax in the heartland of the basin.

473

The rainfall meets about 15 per cent of the total crop demand of Pakistan agriculture.

474

The highly dynamic water supply in the Indus region is exemplified by the a sequence of water-short seasons (2002 to 2004), with low agricultural output, that were followed by a water-rich period (2005) which caused flooding in vast parts of the river delta, not to mention the devastating floods of 2010.

475

The shifts between

Sustainable management of mangroves in the Indus Delta, Pakistan; in: T. J. Davis, ed.:

Towards the wise use of wetlands

; Gland: Ramsar, 1993, ch. 16; www.ramsar.org (online publication; Feb. 2003).

The attention to the delta’s condition has mostly been raised by NGOs like IUCN and WWF (

WWF

Ecoregion 156

). An international initiative that has promoted research into delta conservation is the

Ramsar Convention, with support from UNESCO, WWF, IUCN, BirdLife, and IWMI. The Indus Delta has been given the status of a Ramsar Site; www.ramsar.org.

469

Most of the negative changes are attributed to the installation of barrages; the last downstream barrage on the Indus is Kotri; this barrage marks the southern end of the irrigation system below which there are no diversions. Cf. Sikander Brohi: Livelihood resources downstream Kotri Barrage and their degradation; in: Sikander Brohi, ed.:

Indus flow downstream Kotri Barrage: Need or wastage?

Karachi:

Shaheed Zulifkar Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology, 2003, p. 8 - 14. Cf. also Shahid

Hussain: Rubbing salt into the wounds of delta inhabitants;

Guardian Weekly

, 30 Jan. 2003, on the conflicting uses of river water and its effects on coastal communities.

470

The water demands that are based on ecological requirements have entered the official discussion of water management in Pakistan, as will be seen in the water sharing section of this study.

Falkenmark has defined the water quantities (and quality) needed to protect downstream ecosystems as

environmental flows

: Malin Falkenmark: More crops or more ecological flow? In search of a

Golden

Section

in catchment rainwater partitioning; Proceedings of the international seminar

Towards

Catchment Hydrosolidarity

, Stockholm, 18 August 2007; www.siwi.org (Jan. 2009).

471

The origins of the Monsoon system are probably connected to the creation of the Himalayas and the Tibetan Plateau, around 15 to 22 million years ago, according to Peter Clift: Moving earth and heaven. Colliding continents, the rise of the Himalayas, and the births of the Monsoons;

Oceanus

, vol.

42, no. 2, 2005, p. 2 – 3.

472

Hans-Georg Bohle: Ökologische Grundlagen: Naturraum und Klima (Ecological conditions: climate and physical regions; in German); in: Dietmar Rothermund, ed.:

Indien. Kultur, Geschichte, Politik,

Wirtschaft, Umwelt

; München: Beck, 1995, p. 29 – 31.

473

474

Encyclopaedia Britannica:

Indus River

(online edition, May 2004).

Combined average for all of Pakistan, according to Asad Qureshi, T. Shah & M. Akthar: The groundwater economy of Pakistan; Lahore: IWMI, 2003, p. 1.

475

For a record of floods and flood-related damages (1950 – 1995) see H. Rehman & A. Kamal: Indus

Basin River system – flooding and flood mitigation; paper presented at the 9 th

International River

Symposium and Environmental Flows Conference, Brisbane, 4 to 7 Sept. 2006; www.riversymposium.com/2005/index.php?element=38 (April 2007), p. 2.

146

drought-like conditions and floods affect most economic activities, particularly agriculture, and especially so in Balochistan, Sindh and southern Punjab.

476

Floods

are a recurring challenge. Depending on their dimension, they can amount to a fundamental threat to the very existence of human settlements in the basin. The flow regime of the river – the high elevation of its source and the dimension of the glaciers – combined with the rainfall patterns sometimes generate a massive force as immense quantities of water rush downstream undermining livelihoods on a large scale. From an ecological perspective, though, floods are a vital element of river basin hydrology. The importance of rejuvenating soils, replenishing groundwater aquifers and the transportation of silt from the river bed onto the fields is often overlooked in times of devastating floods.

477

Historical evidence suggests that the ancient Indus civilization has managed floods in a progressive manner, utilizing the nutrients to increase soil fertility. Settlements were protected by dikes and embankments, elevations and excess water canals and reservoirs.

478

Flood management

in Pakistan has yet to take into account lessons of past floods mainly because it is primarily understood as a form of disaster management, rather than a part of river management. The lining of river beds, the lack of reservoirs, the degeneration of wetlands, and deforestation have exacerbated the damage caused by floods.

479

Conflicting uses and demands for water and energy have hampered a comprehensive policy. From an institutional perspective, the lack of coordination and funding has limited the effectiveness of the Federal Flood Commission (FFC), created in 1977 as a consequence of devastation wrought by the floods of that same year.

480

Officially, the FFC, as a part of the Ministry of Water and Power, is the chief body to implement the National Flood Protection Plan, yet other federal, provincial and municipal authorities are also in charge of flood management measures, exhibiting an unclear hierarchy.

481

476

Cf. UN flood reports: www.un.org.pk/undp/crisis_p/floods.html (July 2004).

477

For a critical discussion of environment flows see Mike Acreman & M. Dunbar: Defining environmental river flow requirements – a review;

Hydrology and Earth System Sciences

, vol. 8, no. 5,

2004, p. 861 - 863.

478

The Indus Valley Civilization has long been a subject of archaeological investigations. Even to unsuspecting visitors its scarce remains, in Moenjo-Daro near the town of Larkana/Sindh, give a vivid impression. For a detailed account see Henning Fahlbusch, B. Schultz & C. Thatte, eds.: The Indus

Basin. History of irrigation, drainage and flood management; New Delhi: International Commission on

Irrigation and Drainage, 2004, p. 22 – 23. I am grateful to Gul Baloch, from Larkana, for showing me the ancient site and for hosting me during my stay in 2003.

479

Hartmut Jungius: Wälder und Wasser als Reichtum begreifen;

WWF-Journal

no. 3, 1991, p. 53

(German report of the World Wildlife Fund on sustainable forest management in Pakistan). The most recent floods, of 2010, have affected over 20 million people. The difficulty to pinpoint causes of Asian floods in general is highlighted by Jayanta Bandyopadhyay & D. Gyawali: Himalayan water resources:

Ecological and political aspects of management;

Mountain Research and Development

, vol. 14, no. 1,

1994, p. 12 – 13, citing the controversial discussion of the impact of forest logging on floods. In sum, logging is generally considered to tend to aggravate harmful effects of floods; yet in many cases it is the particular land use patterns that turn floods into disasters.

480

Rehman & Kamal: Floods,

op. cit

., p. 5; T. A. Malik: Minister for Water and Power reviews flood control situation: All provinces complain of funds release delay;

Business Recorder

, 8 June 1999.

Lacking inter-departmental coordination caused foreign assistance to be withdrawn: Japan suspends aid to Leh project;

Dawn

, 9 July 2000. Khaleeq Kiani: Inquiry holds irrigation department responsible: flood havoc in Badin;

Dawn

, 30 Aug. 2003. Ali Hasan: Blundering in Badin;

Herald

, Sept. 2003, p. 52 –

54.

481

On the federal level: Emergency Relief Cell, National Disaster Management Authority, WAPDA; on the provincial level: Irrigation and Power Departments, Provincial Irrigation and Drainage Authorities; on the municipal level: Development Authority; cf. ESCAP (UN): Floods in Pakistan;

Water Resources

147

Dynamics of water availability

The Indus system supplies an estimated 80 % of all water consumed in Pakistan, either through direct or indirect means,

i. e.

through the rivers or the reservoirs, canals and wells recharged by it.

to a lack of monitoring.

487

482

The total

available amount

on average varies greatly, and exact figures are disputed, as Khan points out.

average, between 175 and 180 km³ are available annually.

are estimated to total 170 km³ per year (2008).

486

483

485

Minimum flows of surface water of 120 km³ and maximum flows of 230 km³ have been recorded.

484

On

Water withdrawals

Exact figures are not available, due

According to FAO statistics, Pakistan’s status of water availability appears to be critical: 100 per cent of available renewable water sources

(from rivers and groundwater) are withdrawn, proportionally the highest water use in

South Asia.

488

By its internal renewable water resources and rainfall, Pakistan is ranked as a

watershort

country.

489

The per-capita ratio has steadily fallen and is expected to reach the state of water scarcity by 2035.

490

This means that in terms of water, Pakistanis live on the edge: Statistically speaking, the continued rise in population – by more than 2 per cent annually – would, given constant sectoral water use and roughly constant river flows, fast

outgrow the water supply

.

491

Journal

(FAO), March 1992, p. 81 – 82. Several acts and ordinances include provisions for flood management: the provincial Canal and Drainage (Irrigation) Acts, PIDA Acts, Punjab Soil and

Reclamation Act, and the IRSA Act on water sharing and water releases, according to Rehman &

Kamal: Floods,

op. cit.

, p. 5. These acts, some originating in the colonial era, have not been synchronized with a view to efficient flood management. As a result, conflicting interventions have occurred: CDA told to take anti-flood steps: Musharraf issues directives;

Dawn

, 19 Aug. 2001;

WAPDA, PMD evolve new plan to cope with floods

; Dawn

, 5 Sept. 2002. For a critical perspective on

FFC flood management, or the lack of it, during the 2010 floods: Disastrous winds of change?

Newsline

, 30 Sept. 2010.

482

Asim Rauf Khan: Analysis of surface water,

op. cit.

, p.1.

483

Asim Rauf Khan: Analysis of surface water,

op. cit.

, p. 45.

484

Asim Rauf Khan: Analysis of surface water,

op. cit.

, p. 15.

485

Asim Rauf Khan: Analysis of surface water,

op. cit.

, p. 45. Water availability has risen by approximately 5 km³ p.a., to 180 km³, after the commissioning of the Tarbela reservoir.

486

487

Peter H. Gleick, ed.: The world’s water 2008 – 2009; Oakland: Pacific Institute Press, 2009, p. 202.

World Bank: Pakistan Country Water Resources Assistance Strategy. Water economy: running dry; report no. 34081-PK; Washington, D.C. / Islamabad: World Bank Agriculture and Rural Development

Unit, 2005, p. 29; www.worldbank.org.pk (May 2006).

488

See World Resources Institute: World resources 2002-2004, p. 274, based on FAO (Food and

Agriculture Organization, UN) data. The primary source of this Aquastat (FAO) data are measurements by national authorities. The data cited above is from 1991; http://pdf.wri.org/wr2002fulltxt_230-282_datatables.pdf (Feb. 2004).

489

490

FAO: Review of water resources by country; Rome: FAO, 2003; www.fao.org (May 2004).

World Bank: Assistance strategy,

op. cit.

, p. IX. Archer

et al.

estimate water withdrawals to be around 73 per cent

indicating a highly-stressed system

: D. R. Archer, N. Forsythe, H. Fowler & S. M.

Shah: Sustainability of water resources management in the Indus Basin under changing climatic and socio-economic conditions;

Hydrology and Earth System Science Discussions

(HESS), no. 7, 2010, p.

1889; www.hydrol-earth-syst-sci-discuss.net/7/1883/2010/ (April 2011).

491

World Bank: World Development Report 2000/2001; Washington, D.C.: WB, 2002, p. 288, not quoting notes on sources or year of issue. Various sources put population growth at between 2.1 and

2.8 per cent annually; World Bank: Pakistan data profile; www.worldbank.org (database download for

Pakistan for 2006, Oct. 2007); B.H. Farmer: Pakistan,

op. cit

., p. 370 (based on the latest census of

1998). For a more current assessment of the dynamics of water availability see A.N. Laghari, D.

Vanham & W. Rauch: The Indus Basin in the framework of current and future water resources management;

Hydrology and Earth System Sciences

, no. 16, 2012, p. 1064 – 1066.

148

In spite of this critical situation, a significant amount of water remains unused.

Kreutzmann estimates that on average around 69 km³ could be utilized annually if

storage and regulation

was optimized.

492

In other words, more water could be made available and water shortage averted, at least in many cases. Ahmed

et al.

calculate that, based on demographic projections, corresponding food demands and current productivity and water availability levels (

business-as-usual

), the expected food production in 2025 will fall short by 28 million tons.

493

Groundwater

, as a consequence, has come to be appreciated as a more reliable water source than surface water sources, given the unpredictable dynamic of the

Monsoon. Groundwater resources have been playing an increasingly important role in irrigated agriculture since the installation of tube-wells on a nation-wide scale in the

1960s. The utilization of groundwater was promoted under economic schemes like the Green Revolution throughout much of Asia and has indeed rendered high profits.

Thanks to electric pumps major parts of Pakistan have experienced unseen wealth.

494

However, this source – like the river – is threatened by over-use and inefficiency.

Groundwater use

for irrigation has increased in all provinces, particularly in Punjab where it contributes up to half of all water available at the farmgate.

495

The quality of this water, though, is of poor quality and considered unsuitable for irrigation purposes.

496

The number of tube-wells has risen from 355,840 in 1991/1992 to

768,327 in 2003/2004, 85 per cent of which are in Punjab.

497

The amount of water withdrawn from aquifers has risen from 4 km³ (1959) to around 60 km³ (2000).

498

The sharp rise in groundwater pumping threatens the sustainability of aquifers: By some estimates, the annual withdrawals in some areas already exceed the rate of

492

Hermann Kreutzmann: Water towers for Pakistan;

Geographische Rundschau International Edition

, vol. 2, no. 4, 2006, p. 49. Seepage losses are estimated to be between 13 and 30 per cent, according to Asim Rauf Khan, M. K. Ullah & S. Muhammad: Water availability and some macro level issues related to water resources planning and management in the Indus Basin Irrigation System in Pakistan; paper presented at general assembly meeting of International Network of Basin Organizations

(INBO/RIOB, Réseau International des Organismes de Bassin), ch. 6.3 (pages not numbered); http://ancien.riob.org/ag2000/pakistan.htm (Jan. 2011).

493

Shehzad Ahmed, A. Qureshi, U. Amarasinghe & A. R. Khan: Projecting food and water demands of

Pakistan for 2025 using policy dialogue model; paper presented at the 2 nd

South Asia Water Forum,

Islamabad, 14 – 16 Dec. 2002; Islamabad: Pakistan Water Partnership, 2002, p. 616, 629. The authors have calculated a 40% increase in demand from 2002. On the link between nutrition, food pricing, agricultural yield gap and public health see Sohail Jehangir Malik: Food supply challenges and implications for food security; in: Michael Kugelman & Robert M. Hathaway, eds.:

Hunger pains.

Pakistan’s food insecurity

; Washington, D.C.: Woodrow Wilson Center for Scholars, 2010, p. 49 – 51.

494

Tushaar Shah, A. Roy, A. Qureshi & Jinxia Wang: Sustaining Asia’s groundwater boom; paper presented at the international conference

Water 2001

, Bonn, 3 – 7 Dec. 2001; Bonn/Colombo: DIE

(Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik) & IWMI, 2001, p. 4. The authors estimate a six-fold return on tubewell investment and operation.

495

Government of Pakistan: Statistical Yearbook 2008; Islamabad: GoP, 2008, ch. Agriculture, table

1.16, p. 65; tube-well use in NWFP and Balochistan has remained largely constant in the past decade.

See also M. N. Bhutta: Sustainable management,

op. cit

., p. 452.

496

According to the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock, Punjab draws 50 per cent of its irrigation water needs from underground sources; Zafar Samdani: Pumping out water from lower depths “dangerous”;

Dawn

, 8 May 2000. For a detailed assessment see Qureshi, Shah and Akhtar:

Groundwater economy,

op. cit.

, p. 14, 16 – 17 for variations in groundwater quality.

497

Federal Bureau of Statistics: Compendium of environment statistics,

op. cit.,

p. 86. The growing relevance of groundwater is indicated by the rise of tube-wells to a total of 355,840 in 1991/1992.

498

Shahid Ahmad

et al.

: Groundwater management,

op. cit.

, p. 4.

149

recharge.

499

It is estimated that, by the current rate of withdrawals, the groundwater aquifers in Punjab might be exhausted in 50 to 100 years.

500

This is a devastating prospect, given the fact that Punjab makes up for some 90 per cent of agricultural production in Pakistan.

501

The quality of groundwater is also affected by industrial and household effluents, particularly in the industrialized urban areas of Punjab and

Sindh, which are mostly untreated.

502

Overall groundwater supplies

in Punjab are estimated to be around 43 MAF, against 18 MAF in Sindh, 2 MAF in Balochistan and 3 MAF in KPP/NWFP.

503

This aspect of groundwater represents another facet of the discrepancies between the provinces of Pakistan. Balochistan’s lack of surface water sources makes it almost entirely dependent on groundwater. But the rising withdrawals there mean sinking water tables, by up to 2 m annually.

504

This leads to the mining of the aquifer in some areas, as Ahmad

et al.

point out, resulting in fresh groundwater being mixed with poor-quality groundwater.

505

As the water tables fall rapidly, economic gains shrink due to the rising cost of deep-drilling and the declining effectiveness in terms of water quality. The groundwater quality in lower Sindh is highly saline due to the proximity of the sea. Areas closer to the river Indus are of better quality, with aquifers being replenished by the river. Groundwater aquifers in Punjab and KPP/NWFP, in the upstream half of the Indus Basin, benefit from higher precipitation contributing to groundwater replenishing. The seepage from the vast canal network in Punjab adds to replenishing the aquifers.

Forecasting

the probable water supplies in the coming season is a complicated task due to the scope of the glaciers. Efforts to calculate the existing and prospective water availability have been undertaken in 1991 to support long-term planning of more efficient water utilization and to assist flood management.

506

The establishment

499

Shahid Ahmad

et al.

,

ibidem

.

500

Shahid Amjad Chaudhry: Pakistan: Indus Basin water strategy – past, present and future;

The

Lahore Journal of Economics

, vol. 15, Sept. 2010, 196; www.lahoreschoolofeconomics.edu.pk (Feb.

2011). Projections like this can only serve as a rough indicator because future consumption is subject to unforeseeable demographic development, varying forms of water use and technological innovations. See also Shahid Ahmad

et al

.: Groundwater management,

op. cit.

, p. 4. The existing groundwater resources are estimated to be 57 billion m³, 30 – 40 per cent of which are considered unsuitable for agriculture, according to Frank van Steenbergen & W. Oliemans: Groundwater resource management in Pakistan; proceedings of the ILRI workshop

Groundwater management: Sharing responsibilities for an open-access resource

, Wageningen, 13 – 15 Oct. 2007; Wageningen:

International Institute for Land Reclamation and Improvement, 2007, p. 93; www.ilri.nl (May 2008). Cf.

Geoff Bridges: Country chapter – Pakistan; in:

Asian Development Bank: Asian Water Development

Outlook 2007

; Manila: ADB, 2007, p. 3.

501

502

503

Qureshi

et al

.: Groundwater economy,

op. cit.

, p. 17.

Shahid Ahmad et al.: Groundwater management,

op. cit

., p. 9.

Muhammad Nawaz Bhutta: Sustainable management of groundwater in the Indus Basin; paper presented at the 2 nd

South Asia Water Forum, Islamabad, 14 – 16 Dec. 2002; Islamabad: Pakistan

Water Partnership, 2002, p. 450 - 451. Bhutta renders a differentiated picture of groundwater supplies, pointing at distinct hydrological zones with markedly different qualities of groundwater. Thus a generalized assessment of the groundwater situation in the provinces is not possible.

504

Shahid Ahmad, Shams ul Mulk, A. Muhammad: Groundwater management in Pakistan; paper presented at the 1 st

South Asia Water Forum, Kathmandu, 26 – 28 Feb. 2002; Islamabad: Pakistan

Water Partnership, 2002, p. 4, 14.

505

506

Ibidem

.

See project report by Naser I. Faruqui: Snow and ice hydrology (Pakistan). Final report to CIDA;

Ottawa: International Development Research Centre / Canadian International Development Agency,

1997; www.idrc.org (Jan. 2011; pages not numbered). I am grateful to Mr. Faruqui for pointing out this project (personal communication, April 2001).

150

of a monitoring facility across the Himalayas, together with information obtained from

India, has enabled Pakistan to at least roughly assess the potential amount of water from alpine sources.

507

Nevertheless, the prospective over-all water availability to a great degree remains a vague estimate owing to the dynamics of the glaciers and the climate. Even if more metering devices were available, water utilization in the Indus region would still remain vulnerable to surprises.

508

This means that economic planning, even over a short period, faces limitations. Consequently, the more water an economic sector requires, the greater its resilience towards unexpected supplies, or the lack thereof, needs to be.

For the problem of water sharing, the lack of monitoring translates into a lack of

transparency

. If existing as well as prospective supplies are hard to assess, water distribution agreements are threatened by suspicion – either that promised supplies won’t materialize or that shortfalls are not shared appropriately. This aspect, as will be seen later in this study, has become a central factor in the oft-cited mistrust between the provinces, particularly Sindh and Punjab, the biggest water consumers.

Irrigated agriculture: ambivalence of an economic lifeline

The basin has undergone dramatic changes, particularly in the wake of the colonial conquest by Great Britain. With extensive irrigation works starting in the 1860s, it has evolved to become known as the bread basket of the Crown Colony and, in postindependence times, the largest irrigation network in the world.

509

In today’s Pakistan, the

agriculture

sector is estimated to make up around 21 per cent of the Gross National Product and up to 91 per cent of exports.

510

It employs around 45 per cent of the total workforce, making it the most labour-intensive sector.

511

Beyond direct employment, the country’s 62 per cent of the total population living in the countryside are economically associated with agriculture in some form or another. This social-economic dependence, in spite of its GNP share, which appears to be on the decline, makes agriculture the most important sector of Pakistan’s

507

The cooperation with India in this regard will be detailed in the water sharing section.

508

Danial Hashmi & Muhammad Siddique: Influence of climate change on upper Indus flows; in:

Pakistan Engineering Congress:

World Environment Day 2009

; Lahore: PEC, 2009, p. 31 – 32.

509

See Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO): Aquastat database: Pakistan; www.fao.org/ag/agl/aglw/aquastat/countries/Pakistan/print1.stm (July 2006). Kuhnen describes the stages of agrarian development, from stagnation in the first post-independence decade, to the Green

Revolution in the 1960s and ‘70s with mechanization and commercialization of agriculture, and the late

1970s with a diversification of the labour market stimulated by external factors such as the Afghanistan

War and the labour migration to the Arab Gulf states: Frithjof Kuhnen: The agrarian sector in

Pakistan’s development process; paper presented at the 6th Annual General Meeting of the Pakistan

Society for Development Economics, Islamabad, 8 -10 January 1990, p. 3; www.professor-frithjofkuhnen.de (Feb. 2005).

510

Government of Pakistan, Ministry of Finance: Economic Survey 2010, ch. 2, p. 13; before, the figure stood at 24 per cent, according to Asad Qureshi, Tushaar Shah & Mujeeb Akhtar: The groundwater economy of Pakistan; Working Paper no. 64, 2003, IWMI (Lahore), p. 1. Agricultural products make up 67 per cent of the country’s earnings from exports; Government of Pakistan:

Yearbook of Agriculture 2006 – 2007, Islamabad: GoP, 2007, p. 3. The export structure of Pakistan is very one-sided, as most commodities are raw goods (rice, wheat, cotton, fish etc.) and manufactured commodities (textiles/garments), totalling 91 per cent of exports; Fischer Weltalmanach 2010 (world almanac, yearly country data, in German); Frankfurt: Fischer, 2009.

511

Federal Bureau of Statistics: Compendium of Environment Statistics 2004; Islamabad: Government of Pakistan, 2005, p. 75 (figure for 2004).

151

economy. It is also the most vulnerable, mainly due to climate variations that directly affect water supplies and agricultural production.

512

Agricultural production, due to the mostly arid climate, heavily relies on

irrigation

.

According to Farmer,

much of Pakistan would, in fact, be agriculturally unproductive in the absence of irrigation

.

513

Up to 96 per cent of all freshwater withdrawals, from surface and underground sources, are used for this purpose.

514

The Indus system supplies around 60 per cent of all water used for irrigation; the rest is drawn from groundwater sources.

515

Like in most of South Asia, irrigation is tuned to the dynamics of the Monsoon, with special

Rabi

(winter season) and

Kharif

(summer season) crops being planted according to seasonal water supplies. Main Kharif crops are cotton and rice, the main

Rabi crop is wheat, while sugarcane is a perennial crop.

516

In winter, the river’s low flow is augmented by stored water released from reservoirs. On average, around 70 per cent of all surface water is available in Kharif, 30 per cent in Rabi. Total water availability (at canal head) has ranged from 98.2 km³ to 131.7 km³ over the past decade.

517

Water storage enables farmers in the Indus Basin to harvest up to three crops per year. Agricultural production dominates all provinces, but is markedly different in terms of crops, cropping patterns, irrigation techniques and, as a result, water needs.

518

The total crop area is 21.2 million ha (2009), 19.3 of which are under irrigation.

519

The irrigated area has risen significantly over the past decades as a result of the

512

Economic Survey 2010,

ibidem

; the critical situation of the agriculture sector is underlined by continued food imports.

513

B. H. Farmer: Pakistan. Physical and social geography; in:

Regional Surveys of the World: South

Asia 2004

; London: Taylor & Francis, 2004, p. 370. According to an IWMI study based on FAO statistics, cereal production in Pakistan, which makes up two thirds of the average diet, relies entirely on irrigation; rain fed areas amount to 0 %; cf. David Molden, U. Amarasinghe & I. Hussain: Water for rural development;

IWMI Working Paper

no. 32, 2000, p. 29, 78. This translates into an exceptionally high dependence on irrigation, higher than any other South Asian nation.

514

Gleick: The world’s water 2008 – 2009,

ibidem

. World Bank estimate: 97% of all available freshwater (1980-1998 average): World Development Indicators 2000; New York: WB, 2000, p.131.This leaves around two per cent each for industrial and household consumption. Pakistan’s dependence on river and groundwater withdrawals for agriculture is only surpassed by Turkmenistan,

Afghanistan, Myanmar and Cambodia. Unlike the two Southeast Asian nations which are located in the subtropical zone, the South and Central Asian nations are more vulnerable due to meagre rainfall.

515

Asim Rauf Khan: An analysis of the surface water resources and water delivery systems in the

Indus Basin; Lahore: IWMI, 1999, p.1. The Kabul and Kuram rivers, originating in northern

Afghanistan, are not commonly described as tributaries in hydrological terms as they enter the Indus upstream of the main basin.

516

Intizar Hussain, F. Marikar & W. Jehangir: Productivity and performance of irrigated wheat farms across canal commands in the lower Indus Basin;

Research Report

no. 44; Lahore: IWMI, 2000, p. 6

517

Calculations based on overall water availability as in: Government of Pakistan: Statistical Yearbook

2009; Islamabad: GOP, 2009, table 1.15 (1 Million Acre Feet/MAF is equivalent to 1.234 cubic km).

518

For a region-wise overview see Derek Byerlee & Tariq Husain, eds.: Farming systems of Pakistan;

Lahore: Vanguard, 1992.

519

This means that out of 79.61 million hectares of national territory (excluding disputed territories)

26.7 per cent are cultivated, 91 per cent of which are under irrigation; Government of Pakistan:

Statistical Yearbook 2009, tables 1.1, 1.6; http://www.statpak.gov.pk/fbs/content/pakistan-statisticalyear-book-2009 (Feb. 2011). According to the World Resources Institute, the percentage of irrigated land for 1999 was 82 per cent (based on FAO data): World Resources 2002 – 2004,

op. cit

., p. 250.

152

expansion of the Indus Basin irrigation network.

520

This development has been facilitated by the Indus Waters Treaty of 1960 and, in its wake, continued international assistance.

521

As a result, the sector has experienced steady

growth in production

– to the order of an average 3.7 per cent between 2003 and 2009 – yet with marked variations.

522

This expansion represents an effort to meet the demands of a rapidly

rising population

by increasing the base of agricultural production, i.e. the land to be brought under cultivation. However, according to World Bank calculations, the population is fast outgrowing the rates at which wheat yield and irrigated fields increase.

523

An expansion of irrigation has taken place especially in

Punjab

: from 13.55 to 14.72 million hectares between 1998 and 2007 (8.6 per cent). The corresponding water has been drawn from tubewells, i.e. groundwater sources.

524

Two factors limit this effort:

land and water

. The efforts to produce more crops for a growing population have so far meant expansion of arable lands and intensified cultivation, especially through increased use of fertilizers and other crop-enhancing chemicals.

525

Both strategies imply side-effects: available land is short, further cultivation threatens the ecosystem, as the loss of forests – with devastating consequences for flood management – shows.

526

Intensification comes at the cost of degrading

water

520

Joseph Makwata Wambia: The political economy of water resources institutional reform in

Pakistan; in: Ariel Dinar, ed.:

The political economy of water pricing reforms

; New York: World Bank,

2000, p. 361. According to FAO records, the irrigated area in 1974 was 13.3 million hectares, 14.2 in

1979, 15.7 in 1984, and 16.2 in 1989; source: FAO Production Yearbook 1990, quoted in: Peter H.

Gleick, ed.:

Water in crisis

; Oakland: Pacific Institute, 1993, p. 270. For a detailed illustration of the

Indus Basin economic utilization see: World Resources Institute: Watersheds of Asia and Oceania; http://pdf.wri.org/watersheds_2003/as12.pdf , in particular slide AS 11 (Feb. 2004).

521

Major multilateral agencies are the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank, with extensive long-term support schemes. The Indus Treaty will be discussed in detail in the water sharing section.

522

523

Economic Survey 2010,

op. cit.,

p. 14.

World Bank: Pakistan public expenditure management, vol. II; Washington, D.C.: WB, 2004, p. 4.

Poverty remains a widespread phenomenon in many rural areas throughout the Indus Basin; cf.

Sarfraz Khan Qureshi: Water, growth and poverty in Pakistan; in: John Briscoe & Usman Qamar, eds.:

Pakistan’s water economy: running dry

;

World Bank Background Papers

series; Washington, D.C.:

WB, 2005, p. 8; http://water.worldbank.org/water/publications/pakistans-water-economy-running-drybackground-papers. Rural poverty has been left largely unaffected by overall economic growth (in

Pakistan as well as in most of South Asia); cf. Mahbub ul Haq Human Development Centre: Human

Development Report 1998-2007; Islamabad: MHHDC, 2008, p. 24.

524

Calculations based on Statistical Yearbook 2009,

op. cit.

, ch.

Agriculture

, table 1.16. Balochistan has increased its irrigated area from 0.8 mha to 1.31 mha – a 63.73 per cent increase. Irrigated areas in NWFP/KPP and Sindh have stagnated.

525

The use of fertilizers and pesticides has increased drastically, threatening water quality and biological diversity; cf. Rashid Faruqee: Role of economic policies in protecting the environment. The experience of Pakistan;

World Bank Work Paper

no. 1757 (paper presented at Annual General

Meeting of Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, Islamabad, 13 – 15 Dec. 1996); Washington,

D.C.: World Bank, 1996, p. 17; IUCN et al.: Biodiversity,

op. cit

., p. 29; Udo Schickhoff: Die

Gebirgswälder des Himalaya und Karakorum: Sinnbild für Ressourcenübernutzung und

Umweltdegradation (Mountain forests of the Himalaya-Karakoram: symbol of resource overuse and environmental degradation; in German); in: Rüdiger Glaser & Klaus Kremb, eds.:

Asien

; Planet Erde series; Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 2007, p. 148.

526

According to IUCN et al., overgrazing and fire wood collection are the major causes of Pakistan’s dramatic loss of forests: WWF, IUCN and Government of Pakistan: Biodiversity Action Plan for

Pakistan; Rawalpindi, 2000, p. 13 – 18. Enhanced soil erosion, loss of soil fertility and exacerbated floods are among the more severe consequences.

153

quality

as a result of chemical pollutants, with negative long-term effects on public health and soil fertility.

527

The canal system

has been developed to bring ever larger areas under cultivation.

As part of the Indus Basin Project, a result of the Indus Waters Treaty agreed between India and Pakistan in 1960, three large reservoirs (Mangla, Tarbela,

Chashma) and several smaller dams and barrages stretching over 44 canal systems were constructed.

528

The network of canals, totalling over 56,000 km in length, was improved by link canals (eight since 1960). The dramatic expansion of the canal network – made possible through external funding determined in the Indus Basin

Fund Agreement (1960) – has enabled farmers in Pakistan to utilize the Indus River’s resources in a much more effective way.

The rising production, especially in the wake of the so-called Green Revolution, has exhibited the need to adjust production techniques to available supplies of water.

529

Pakistan’s agricultural

water productivity

(

more crop per drop

) has received criticism for being comparatively low, citing examples of other major river basins in arid zones in India and the United States.

530

Ahmed

et al.

, researchers of the

International Water Management Institute (IWMI), have presented different scenarios for the development of Pakistan’s agriculture against projected demands of basic

527

Water resources used for irrigation are also used for human consumption by around 40 million people in Pakistan. The contamination of water resources has only in recent years received heightened attention, especially because of arsenic-related deaths; cf. Jeroen Ensink, M. Aslam, F.

Konradsen, P. Jensen & W. van der Hoek: Linkages between irrigation and drinking water in Pakistan;

IWMI Working Paper

no. 46, Lahore: IWMI, 2002; Zaigham Khan: Slow poisoning;

Herald

, August

2000, p. 39. It is estimated that 80 per cent of industrial and household effluents re-enter the water cycle untreated; World Commission on Dams: Pakistan water situational analysis,

op. cit.

, p. 2. Up to

60 per cent of infant mortality are attributed to unsafe drinking water, according to Shams ul Mulk &

Khalid Mohtadullah: Water resources management policies in Pakistan; in: Guy LeMoigne, S.

Barghouti, G. Feder, L. Garbus & Mei Xie, eds.:

Country experiences with water resource management. Economic, institutional technical and environmental issues

;

World Bank Technical

Paper

no. 175; New York: World Bank, 1992, p. 211. The Water Planning Commission estimates that

80 million people lack clean drinking water and that 70% of all diseases are related to unsafe water:

80m Pakistanis have no access to safe drinking water; Dawn, 4 January 2011.

The low political relevance of public health in Pakistan is indicated by its share in the public budget of only 0.1 per cent – among the lowest by international comparison; United Nations Development

Programme: Human Development Report 2006; New York: UNDP, 2006, p. 62. Major outbreaks of water-borne diseases have been recorded in the same year in several cities;

ibidem

, p. 63, 151.

528

For technical details see: WAPDA Annual Report 2009/2010; Lahore: WAPDA, 2010, p. 17. The term

Indus Basin Settlement Plan

is commonly used in Pakistan; cf. Aloys A. Michel: The Indus

Rivers. A study of the effects of Partition; New Haven/London: Yale U.P., 1967, p. 268. See also the chapter on the Indus Waters Treaty later in this study.

529

Mubarik Ali & D. Byerlee: Productivity growth and resource degradation in Pakistan’s Punjab. A decomposition analysis;

World Bank Policy Research Working Paper

no. 2480; New York: WB, 2000, p. 11, 20.

530

World Bank: Assistance strategy,

op. cit.

, p. 30. Crop yields in wheat farming are 3.5 times higher in California (Imperial Valley) and almost two times higher in Bhakra (Indian Punjab). See also: World

Bank: Pakistan public expenditure management. Vol. 1: Strategic issues and reform agenda; report no. 25664-PK; Washington, D.C.: WB, 2004, p. 14; www.worldbank.org (Oct. 2005). A detailed comparison, however, will have to take into account aspects like the chemical soil composition, water quality (at canal head and tail-end locations), hydrological information available to farmers etc. For a more profound comparison of Indian and Pakistani agricultural systems see Intizar Hussain, R.

Sakthivadivel, U. Amarasinghe, Muhammad Mudasser and David Molden: Land and Water

Productivity of Wheat in the Western Indo-Gangetic Plains of India and Pakistan: A Comparative

Analysis;

Research Report 65

, Colombo: IWMI, 2003, p. -4 – 5.

154

food grains in 2025.

531

The potential for improvement is significant.

532

Comparing different strategies to reform agricultural production towards greater water productivity, they conclude that under the business-as-usual scenario, all provinces will fall short of needed levels. The so-called Technology, Economics and Private

Sector Scenario (TECH) promises surplus production, enabling Pakistan to export food grains. This particularly applies to Punjab province. Interestingly, even under reformed conditions Sindh and NWFP/KPP will not meet the 2025 targets, highlighting the markedly different conditions of water use in the four provinces.

In this context, the large amounts of

unused water

have become a hotly debated issue. Kreutzmann points out that the system has been designed as a perennial irrigation system – not one that depends on seasonal supplies of water.

533

The high seasonal variations in water supply require a more versatile system in order to make the most out of the available water. Water storing is a necessity, and several large and medium reservoirs have been built; yet a lot of water remains unused.

The dimension of water use and potential water waste

becomes obvious from comparing water availability figures: The agricultural year 1991/1992 (Kharif to Rabi) witnessed a record 212.4 km³ of water flowing downstream, 65.8 km³ - or roughly one third – of which flowed into the Arabian Sea unused.

534

The year 2001/2002 marked a low point, with water flows measured at only 119.9 km³, out of which 2.4 km³ reached the sea. The amount of unused water ranges from 0.95 to 113.3 km³.

Overall water availability in 2003/2004 (a year of roughly average overall water availability) was 170.2 km³, yet at the canal head – the point where river water is fed into the irrigation system – only 127.3 km³ were available. Outflow to the sea was recorded at 24.7 km³ (most of during July/August), leaving an amount of 18.2 km³ unaccounted for, i.e

.

lost due to evaporation and seepage. The amount of 24.7 km³ that could – at least hypothetically – have been put to use in that crop year would have to be adjusted with environmental requirements which are expected to be around 12.3 km³.

535

This would leave roughly 12 km³ of usable water in that year alone. Its utilization depends on adequate storage. As is the case with existing reservoirs, the capacity to store water is limited and tends to shrink over time due to sedimentation – another factor that marks the limits of water use in the Basin.

536

531

Shehzad Ahmed

et al.

: Projecting food and water,

op. cit.

, p. 629.

532

The potential of water saving techniques deserves a differentiated look, as an IWMI study finds. In some cases progressive water management has indeed saved water – which in turn, however, has not been returned to the system (the aquifer), but put to use in other ways, thus again raising the demand for water; cf. Mobin-ud-Din Ahmad, H. Turral, I. Masih, M. Giordano and Zubair Masood: Water Saving

Technologies: Myths and realities revealed in Pakistan’s rice-wheat systems;

Research Report

no.

108; Colombo: IWMI, 2007, p. 20 – 23. The authors stress that such techniques require an appropriate institutional environment to actually reduce the overall water demand.

533

Kreutzmann: Water towers,

op. cit

., p. 50.

534

Calculations based on WAPDA river flow statistics; www.wapda.gov.pk/htmls/water-index.html

(April 2008). For canal head water availability see Statistical Yearbook 2009,

op. cit.

, table 1.15. Khan:

Analysis of surface water resources,

op. cit

., p. 16 - 19. According to Khan’s detailed analysis, some areas (Attock / Kalabagh) show a much higher loss rate than others. The Indus River, accounting for about half of the basin’s surface water resources, has a strong tendency of meandering, according to

Ahrens & Zingel: Interdependenzen,

op. cit.

, p. 496.

535

This figure is commonly cited as a minimum requirement in order to prevent sea water intrusion.

The debate over this figure – and how it should be recognized within the water sharing mechanism – forms part of the water dispute between the provinces which will be highlighted in the water sharing section.

536

Intizar Hussain, F. Marikar & W. Jehangir: Productivity and performance,

op. cit.

, p. 19.

155

Farm-level studies found that in some cases water productivity can be raised by adjusting crop patterns to water availability. Efforts in this direction require not only refined water management but also greater knowledge of specific factors such as soil conditions and effects of fertilizer use, as Hussain

et al.

point out.

537

Another factor in inefficient water use is the low water charge. The price of water generally does not reflect its economic importance as a finite, indispensable resource and the cost involved in making available. Appropriate pricing schemes could encourage economic water use and prevent waste, as Hussain

et al.

argue.

538

Khan notes that a major cause of water waste is the long - established practice of unregulated water discharges that do not take into account seasonal and cropspecific water requirements. Another aspect is the

uneven irregular shaped field

that stands in the way of more efficient water use.

539

Non-consumptive water use: power generation

Hydropower generation

is a non-consumptive form of water utilization. Power generation through dams on the Indus River supplies around one third of electricity produced in Pakistan.

540

Hydropower generation is seen as a strategic asset in the country’s development, providing energy free of cost; its abundant availability is significant to justify a whole range of studies into its future exploitation. However, much of the total hydropower potential has not been tapped yet.

541

Among the reasons are disputes between the provinces – an issue which relates to the wider dispute over water sharing and river development. The rise in electricity consumption has been met largely through increasing the thermal power production.

542

The social, economic and political relevance of hydropower rises against the spectre of steadily growing demands for electricity from a fast increasing population and hard-pressed

537

Intizar Hussain

et al.

: Productivity and performance,

op. cit.

, p. 13, noting different productivity depending on crop sequences (higher wheat harvest, if wheat follows rice, rather than cotton).

538

Maliha Hussain, J.L. Karmacharya, S. Mukherjee: Investment requirements for increasing water availability in South Asia; project on Water Security in South Asia (WASSA); Washington / Honolulu:

Carnegie Corp. / Johns Hopkins University / Global Environment and Energy in the 21 st

Century, 2002, p. 84- 86; www.geo-21.org/publications/Investment.pdf (May 2006).

539

Fateh Ullah Khan: Water problem, causes and solutions: a view from the North West Frontier

Province; in: Pervaiz Iqbal Cheema

et al.

eds.:

Problems and politics of water sharing and management in Pakistan;

Islamabad: IPRI, 2007, p. 129. Much the same is true for land levelling by laser technology, a technique that could make irrigation more effective.

540

Ministry of Finance: Economic Survey 2009/2010; Islamabad: GoP, 2010, p. 195. The installed power generation has remained roughly stable at 19,650 MW for the past six years (table 13.2; 2009 data).

541

ICIMOD estimates 20,770 MW, cf. ICIMOD: Implications of the potential impacts of climate change on mountain environments in the HKH; www.icimod.org.sg/focus/water/water_climate.htm (online report, undated; access: May 2001). The actual figure is in dispute. The government of Pakistan puts it at 41,722 MW, not indicating whether all is in fact usable, cf. Ministry of Water and Power:

Hydelreport; Islamabad: Government of Pakistan (undated; circa 2003), p. 99; www.ppib.gov.pk/report/HydelReport.pdf (March 2011).

542

The development of hydropower involves international funding. As a result it is under regular scrutiny by international development organizations as the ADB and the GTZ; cf.: GTZ: Wasserkraft-

Projekte in Pakistan. Verlaufsprotokoll eines Round-table-Gesprächs zwischen Unternehmen und pakistanischen Regierungsvertretern, 18 August 2000 (Hydropower projects in Pakistan; protocol of a roundtable discussion with entrepreneurs and the Pakistan Government; in German); Eschborn: GTZ,

Arbeitspapier

no. 3; www.gtz.de/ppi/docs/pakistan.pdf (Oct. 2003).

156

public finance.

543

The availability of electricity is a driver of many economic activities

(agricultural and industrial), public health, communication and education, and effective public administration. In other words, cheap electricity – like water – is equivalent to social and economic progress.

544

The province-wise hydropower generation

highlights another facet of the uneven distribution of the river basin’s wealth. About 57 per cent of the total installed capacity

(3,767 MW out of 6,595 MW) is located in Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa (KPP/NWFP), 26 per cent in Punjab and the remainder in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) and the

Northern Areas.

545

The untapped potential is estimated to be 32,585 MW; this means that only 16 per cent of the whole estimated hydropower potential of Pakistan has so far been used. Again the greatest untapped potential is in KPP (NWFP): 14,212 MW

(44 per cent), followed by 12,295 MW (38 per cent) in the Northern Areas, and 4,102

MW (13 per cent) in Punjab.

546

These upstream locations benefit from the gradient of the higher elevation and the relative proximity of the rivers’ sources, together making power generation much more profitable than in the downstream reaches. This form of water use, though non-consumptive, plays an important role in water sharing, too, turning hydropower into a

competitor

against irrigation – in both the downstream provinces and in the very same upstream provinces, too.

The resource as such may be inexpensive, but there are indirect costs attached to using it. The actual

price of this energy source

comes in the form of high installation and operation costs plus social and environmental side-effects.

547

These aspects are not unique to the Indus case. But it is the Indus River that exposes them in a dramatic way, due to the river’s hydrological features. This is particularly true for hydropower facilities that are linked to reservoirs, like Mangla and Tarbela. While the operation of hydropower installations as such does not impede other economic uses, the storing of water in the wet season (

Rabi

) reduces the amount of water available downstream, requiring Sindh farmers to adjust their cropping patterns. In the dry season (

Kharif

), when the river flow is low and water is released from the reservoirs, disputes emerge over how much water to be released at which station and at which point of time.

543

The country’s fossil fuels like oil and gas, by some estimates, are expected to be exhausted by

2017, according to findings of a conference hosted by the Alternative Energy Commission of Pakistan:

Oil and gas reserves to exhaust in 15 years

;

Dawn

, 20 Jan. 2002. Whether this estimate is accurate or not, the rise in electricity consumption by 70 per cent over a ten-year period (1996 to 2005) illustrates the challenge ahead; cf. Ministry of Finance: Economic Survey of Pakistan 2006/2007; Islamabad:

Government of Pakistan, 2007, p. 237.

544

So-called power outages have become an increasingly regular phenomon in Pakistan. While newspapers frequently report on the power supply (or rather, non-supply), official and academic interest has so far been marginal. Pasha notes that many companies affected by production losses due to the non-supply of electricity have turned to their own source of energy: power generators; cf.

Aisha GhausPasha: The economic cost of “power outages”; research paper; Institute of Public Policy

(no date); www.ippbnu.org/researchpapers-php (Sept. 2014), p. 3. Though the author quantifies the electricity shortage, the reprt is short on references.

545

Ministry of Water and Power: Hydelreport; Islamabad: Government of Pakistan (circa 2003), p. 17; www.ppib.gov.pk/report/HydelReport.pdf (May 2003/March 2011).

546

Calculation based Hydelreport,

ibidem

, p. 99; figures are rounded.

547

Among the ecological effects is the impact on river fish species, especially migratory species whose reproduction patterns are disrupted. Among the social costs is the lack of economic compensation for displaced communities: Tarbela Dam: affected people not compensated;

Dawn

, 26

May 2001. For an assessment of the over-all consequences see World Commission on Dams: Tarbela

Dam, Indus River Basin, Pakistan; WCD case studies; Cape Town: WCD, 1999; www.dams.org/docs/studies/pk/pk_finaldraft_intro.pdf (April 2001).

157

This is where the specific

provincial demands

, based on individual agricultural timetables, tend to collide. In economic terms, the alternating use of the river either to irrigate lands or to produce electricity translates into losses, direct and indirect – in the form of consumer and investor confidence in regular supplies. The

environmental costs

relate to the altered flow regime of the river as a result of damming. Some fish species have been driven to the brink of extinction because their migration and reproduction patterns have been disrupted.

Social costs

come in the form of the resettlement of villages. Uprooted communities which have seen their homes and lands inundated have in many cases not received adequate compensation.

548

Not surprisingly, the debate over

additional storage

and

power generating capacities

, going on for many years, is highly controversial.

549

The principal need for more hydropower facilities is widely agreed, particularly as alternative energy sources compatible with the country’s limited financial resources are not available. The design of new installations and their location, however, are the major points of dispute. Runof-the-river designs, i.e

.

power generation without attached reservoirs, would reduce the flow variations, with positive environmental effects, yet without a facility to save water. Dams with attached reservoirs, in turn, promise power generation

cum

vital water supplies for dry season crops. Reservoirs are also a factor in flood control. Due to the geological characteristics of the Indus River, however, the reservoir capacity and the power generating potential of the large dams-cum-reservoirs at Mangla and

Tarbela are in decline as much of the silt load of the river accumulates in the reservoirs.

In addition, water shortage often means that reservoirs either can’t be filled adequately or have to be tapped ahead of schedule which means that the minimum water level required for power generators is not reached, leaving operators no option but to shut down the power system. Consequence: no electricity generation. It is estimated that Mangla and Tarbela lose around 1.5 and 2.5 per cent of their respective reservoir capacity each year.

rising silt level is not at hand.

551

550

A remedy for the removal of the constantly

In response to this development, the height of

Mangla Dam has been raised to increase the reservoir capacity.

552

But the benefits of

548

WCD,

ibidem

. This problem, though fairly common in the case of large dams all over the world, has added to popular resistance against large dams in Pakistan and furthered mistrust in the government.

549

The debate will be analyzed in detail in the water sharing section, as part of the inter-provincial dispute over water.

550

Syed Nasir Hussain: Conserving water reservoir capacity – a solution; paper presented at the 2 nd

South Asia Water Forum, Islamabad, 14 – 16 Dec. 2002; Islamabad: Pakistan Water Partnership,

2002, p. 197.

551

The adverse consequences also include accelerated turbine wear and degenerating dam stability, as Hussain notes. The dredging that he proposes for smaller dams could, as he suggests, be carried out by farmers using the collected silt to increase soil fertility; for bigger dams flushing the silt is recommended. This method has not been tested yet, but is expected to be financially favourable, as it would preserve the dam’s capacity: Hussain: Conserving water reservoir,

op. cit

., p. 200. The problem as such, however, cannot be eliminated: After flushing, silt will continue accumulating.

552

WAPDA Annual Report 2009/2010,

op. cit.

, p. 19. This project has been accompanied by public protest over fear of lacking compensation for displaced villagers: Hundreds hold rally against extension of Mangla Dam;

Dawn

, 17 Feb. 2001; Committee formed to develop consensus: Mangla dam extension;

Dawn

, 10 Sept. 2002.

158

this costly measure are not certain, as critics note, because the available water supplies from the river are below those expected by the projects’ proponents.

553

Water profiles of the provinces

The provinces of Pakistan share a dependence on the resources of the Indus River.

Their individual demands for water reflect their distinct social-economic profiles and the way water is used. Water use depends on specific soil and climate conditions which differ sharply from province to province and even within the provinces.

Irrigation, the major water consumer in all provinces, accordingly is practiced in different forms, and with different water needs.

554

Balochistan

, though making up 44 per cent of the territory of Pakistan, is the smallest user of water resources from the Indus as most of its land is unsuitable for settlement and agriculture. Located on the periphery of the basin, the main river and its major tributaries do not touch its territory, making Balochistan dependent on a few small rivers and water supplies via Sindh canals.

of over-exploitation.

555

The overall water situation of this mountainous, drought-prone province is considered serious.

556

Groundwater dependency is strong due to meagre rainfall; some aquifers already show symptoms

557

To allow for gradual aquifer recharge, delay-action dams that store excess water have been constructed. Irrigation is practiced partly by flooding and partly through canals and tubewells, allowing only one harvest per year, as opposed to two in Sindh and Punjab. Flood irrigation is a traditional technique used in

Balochistan’s tribal societies. This form of irrigation, used on a small scale, relies on flash floods in mountainous areas. The lack of vegetation means that the floods are forceful, yet brief (one to ten days).

558

The silt enhances soil fertility. The small dams

553

Qamar-uz-Zaman Chaudhry: Optimal utilization of water resources at Mangla reservoir; in: M.M.

Qurashi, ed.:

Water resources in the South: Present scenario and future prospects

; Islamabad:

Commission on Science and Technology for Sustainable Development in the South, 2003, p. 55; www.comsats.org/Publlications/Books_SnT_Series.pdf (April 2011).

554

Kreutzmann stresses the local variations in water supply and demand, necessitating a diversified assessment of water management; Hermann Kreutzmann: Scarcity within opulence: water management in the Karakoram Mountains revisited;

Journal of Mountain Science

, vol. 8, no.4, 2011, p. 526.

555

Water from smaller rivers provide 69 per cent of irrigation water, water from the Indus System provide around 19 per cent, according to Asif Qayyum Qureshi & Abdul Majeed: Water resources and irrigation in Balochistan; in: Kaiser Bengali, ed.:

The politics of managing water in Pakistan

; Islamabad:

SDPI, 2003, p. 57. The mechanism of water supplies from Sindh to Balochistan is part of the water sharing agreement reached in 1991, which will be the central focus of the section on water sharing.

556

Lack of water regularly forces people in rural areas to migrate: Tribesmen leave their land in search of water;

Dawn

, 6 May 2000; Balochistan districts still under persistent drought;

The News

, 15 May

2002; A scarcity of huge proportions;

The News

, 2 Nov. 2002. It is noteworthy that the term drought is commonly used without much differentiation to describe conditions of water shortage in Balochistan and some parts of Sindh, though there is no universally accepted definition, as Asad Sarwar Qureshi and Mujeeb Akhtar point out; see: Analysis of drought coping strategies in Baluchistan and Sindh provinces of Pakistan;

Working Paper

no.

86; Colombo: IWMI, 2004, p. 7. For these two provinces, the years 1997 to 2001 are defined as a drought period because the recorded rainfall was less than 50 per cent of the average; see p. V and 15.

557

Muhammad Ramzan Chaudhry: Water management in Baluchistan; proceedings of the roundtable meeting International Programme for Technology and Research in Irrigation and Drainage, hosted by

FAO, Lahore, 10 – 11 Nov. 2000; www.fao.org/DOCREP/005/Y3690E/y3690e09.htm (Aug. 2007; no page numbers).

558

John Morton & Hans van Hoeflaken: Some findings from a survey of flood irrigation schemes in

Baluchistan, Pakistan;

Water Resources Journal

(published by FAO), Dec. 1995, p. 97 – 98.

159

constructed alongside waterways and the attached canals require regular maintenance.

An FAO survey of irrigation systems in Balochistan found that their

effectiveness

is very limited, for several reasons.

559

Poor maintenance, inadequate positioning and technical shortcomings mean that the floods do not reach all of the cultivated land that is to be irrigated (the so-called command area). Behind these deficits is a lack of hydraulic data – valid information that would mirror the causes of poor system performance. Data collection and application, as practiced in other provinces, typically does not involve a major effort. But in order to be effective, such data has to be communicated. Instead, the survey team found, the provincial Irrigation and

Power Department, which did make some technical improvements, made no effort at

consultation

or

communication

.

560

Interestingly, some rich landowners did receive such information and put it to good use. This observation hints at a bureaucratic phenomenon noticed also in other areas of water management, particularly corruption, and social divisions that impede water cooperation at the user level.

Like in other provinces, there is a general

lack of drainage

of surface waters. Water quality is impacted by industrial and household effluents discharged into the drains without prior treatment. The practice of using such contaminated water for irrigation is common which points at lacking awareness of the serious public health problems attached to it.

561

In sum, the productivity of water in Balochistan is low due to inefficient irrigation, institutional deficits and social constraints.

562

Another FAO study reveals that particularly in the case of a tribal society like Balochistan, the importance of communication and shared decision-making cannot be underestimated. Such cooperation has to address not only specific group interests but also established property rights. The neglect to do so can result in confrontation that impedes not only water sharing but also cooperation in other areas.

563

Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa Province

(KPP, formerly Northwest Frontier Province,

NWFP), the smallest province in territorial terms, joins Punjab province in being in an upstream location in the Indus Basin. KPP ranks third in terms of population and economic output. The agricultural sector, accounting for 44 per cent of employment and 25 per cent of provincial GDP, benefits from comparatively high precipitation which makes the province less dependent on groundwater.

564

A major source of public income are royalties from hydropower generation received from WAPDA.

565

Hydropower is expected to become ever more important due to strongly rising demands for electricity. Most prospective dam sites are located in this province.

The higher elevations of KPP which make up a major portion of the province’s territory allow only small-scale, one-crop agriculture which is heavily dependent on irrigation. In spite of the vicinity to large rivers, the rugged terrain makes using these

559

Morton & van Hoeflaken: Some findings,

ibidem

.

560

Morton & van Hoeflaken: Some findings,

ibidem

.

561

Chaudhry: Water management,

ibidem

. For an overview see: Matthias Paukert:

Umweltengagement an der Wasserscheide (Environmental commitment at the crossroads; in

German);

Südasien

, No. 2, 2008, p. 77.

562

563

Asif Qureshi & A. Majeed: Water resources,

op. cit.

, p. 56.

Robert Hecht: Land and water rights and the design of small-scale irrigation projects: the case of

Baluchistan;

Water Resources Journal

(by FAO), June 1991, p. 56.

564

Http://nwfp.gov.pk/nwfpgov/Departments/Irrigation/Objectives.php (official KPP website; 5/2010).

565

Shafqat Munir: The provinces. Profile of agriculture and industry;

Himal

, vol. 15, no. 7, 2002, p. 43.

160

resources difficult and requires complex irrigation systems.

566

Watercourse management in this area relies on effective village-level cooperation. Similar to the situation in Balochistan, studies have found that initiatives that take into account local water and land rights and involve the water users directly can improve water management.

567

Punjab

as the biggest economic actor in the federation is the major consumer of water from the Indus Basin. The province’s

upstream location

, covering the Indus’s main tributaries, puts Punjab water users are in a very favourable position effectively controlling most of the basin’s resources. The province’s upstream position not only relates to one river but to several arms of the Indus system. KPP/NWFP is the only other upstream neighbour, and its position relates only to the Indus River.

Due to the small size of that province’s economy and population, its limited withdrawals of water hardly affect water utilization in Punjab. The network of rivers and canals in Punjab – 14 major barrages, 21 main canal systems totalling 36,000 km in length – represent a network that allows for intensive irrigation on an unparalleled scale.

568

In plain figures, Punjabi fields make up roughly 75 per cent of all irrigated area, delivering between 59 and 78 per cent of the country’s main food grain production.

569

Being the biggest province in terms of population and economic activity, Punjab’s water

consumption

is likely to grow more strongly. This demographic aspect will inevitably exacerbate the long-standing dispute between Sindh and Punjab over water distribution. At the same, Punjab has the greatest potential to save water, i.e. to increase its water productivity. Though Punjab commands the greatest agricultural area, its productivity in several crop varieties tends to be lower than that of Sindh.

570

One cause of this difference is the

uneven water distribution

within the province, with tail end farmers often receiving less than their entitled allotments, as an IWMI study revealed.

571

Sindh

, the downstream-most province in the Indus Basin, is in an unfavourable hydro-geographical position as it receives water from only one river, the Indus, which enters Sindh after the

conflux

of the tributaries, in Punjab. The Indus arrives in Sindh at a low flow speed, owing to the mostly flat terrain of this province. The surface water available in this province, plus groundwater supplies, irrigate only 2.37 million hectares, or 12.3 per cent of the total irrigated area and only twice as much as that of

Balochistan. Its productive capacity accounts for 33 per cent of the country’s rice crop, 24 per cent of total sugarcane production, 22 per cent of cotton and 16 per cent of wheat.

572

However, large parts of Sindh, like Balochistan, are drought-prone, exposing a significant economic vulnerability that results in highly dynamic

566

Hussain Wali Khan & I. A. Hunzai: Bridging institutional gaps in irrigation management: the post

Ibex horn

innovations in northern Pakistan; in: Hermann Kreutzmann, ed.:

Sharing water. Irrigation and water management in the Hindukush-Karakorum-Himalaya

; Karachi: Oxford UP, 2000, p. 133.

567

Hussain Khan & Izhar Hunzai: Bridging institutional gaps,

op. cit.

, p. 139.

568

Javed Majid (Secretary of Irrigation and Power, Government of Punjab): Presentation for the

Pakistan Development Forum 2004, hosted by World Bank; www.worldbank.org.pk (June 2008).

569

570

Calculations based on: Government of Pakistan: Statistical Yearbook 2009,

op. cit.,

p. 1 - 13.

See per hectare yields of rice, wheat, cotton and sugarcane in Statistical Yearbook,

ibidem

. Yields of maize, barley and

bajra

are higher in Punjab.

571

Study quoted in World Bank: Water resource assistance strategy, op

. cit

., p. 31 - 32.

572

Calculations based on Statistical Yearbook 2009,

ibidem

.

161

productivity.

573

The surface irrigation water is channelled by three large barrages

(Sukkur, Guddu, Kotri) and 16 main canals into a network of around 1,500 smaller canals reaching the farm level.

574

The second most populous province is the country’s biggest industrial actor. Karachi alone is estimated to represent around 40 per cent of total national income from the manufacturing sector.

575

Irrigation

in Sindh, in the pre-colonial past, was based on seasonal inundation. The modern network of canals and barrages that had introduced perennial irrigation proved crucial in improving the livelihoods in areas that were prone to famine in dry years.

576

Drainage measures have been implemented since late 1970s in order to restore the system’s performance. Through the Left and Right Bank Outfall Drains

(LBOD, RBOD, commissioned in 1986 and 1995 respectively), saline water was discharged into the sea.

577

Salinity remains a big problem for this province: an estimated 50 per cent of all irrigated land in this downstream province is affected by salinity – a much greater share than in any other province.

578

This undermines the long-term fertility and productivity of soils.

579

Interestingly, water-logging, a major cause of salinity, has increased in parts of Sindh as a result of over-irrigation, pointing at the need to scientifically review crop requirements and communicate findings to farmers.

580

One important aspect common to almost all irrigated areas in the provinces of

Pakistan is the

highly dynamic water needs

. As studies have shown, even brief delays in water supply or a shortage thereof can cause significant losses in production. IWMI research confirmed that a

m ismatch of water delivery schedules with optimum timing of irrigation is a major constraint to increasing the irrigation efficiency of wheat. (…) Irrigation scheduling for optimizing production with limited supplies is a bigger challenge than adequate water supplies.

581

573

Cf. Asad Qureshi and Mujeeb Akhtar: Drought coping strategies,

op. cit

., p. 15 – 18. Water shortage has been identified as a cause of migration of farmers in lower Sindh; cf. Aijaz Nizamani,

Fauzia Rauf & Abdul Hakeem Khoso: Case study: Pakistan. Population and water resources; IUCN

Pakistan, no date; www.aaas.org/international /ehn/waterpop/paki.htm (Feb. 2010).

574

Intizar Hussain, F. Marikar & W. Jehangir: Productivity and performance of irrigated wheat farms across canal commands in the lower Indus Basin; Research Report no. 44; Lahore: IWMI, 2000, p. 4.

575

Shafqat Munir: The provinces,

op. cit.

, p. 42. Mainstays are machinery, including cars, cement, steel, chemicals.

576

Altaf Abro & Nafisa Shah: Water and conflict: the case of upper Sindh; in: Kaiser Bengali, ed.:

The politics of managing water, op. cit.

, p. 150.

577

A total of 1,950 km of drainage canals have been constructed in this period, according to Sikander

Brohi: Drainage crisis in Sindh: Environmental impact of LBOD and RBOD projects; in: Kaiser Bengali, ed.:

The politics of managing water

; Karachi: Oxford UP, 2003, p. 90.

578

Kaiser Bengali: Water management under constraints: The need for a paradigm shift; in: Michael

Kugelmann & Robert Hathaway, eds.:

Running on empty. Pakistan’s water crisis

; Washington, D.C.:

Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, 2009, p. 55; www.wilsoncenter.org (feb. 2011). By comparison, only around 5 per cent of Punjab’s lands are affected by salinity.

579

Salinity levels vary greatly, as Kijne and Kuper note, stressing the link between controlled groundwater management and soil conditions: Jacob W. Kijne & Marcel Kuper: Salinity and sodicity in

Pakistan’s Punjab: a threat to sustainability of irrigated agriculture;

Water Resources Development

, vol. 11, no. 1, 1995, p. 84.

580

Ahmad Fraz Khan: Over-irrigation ruining Sindh: waterlogging;

Dawn

, 26 May 2001. The report notes that water-logging in Punjab has gone down from 8.9 per cent of all irrigated areas to 6.2

(1959/1999), while in Sindh it increased from 12.4 per cent to 38.5 per cent in the same period.

581

Intizar Hussain, R. Sakthivadivel, Upali Amarasinghe, Muhammad Mudasser and David Molden:

Land and Water Productivity of Wheat in the Western Indo-Gangetic Plains of India and Pakistan: A

Comparative Analysis;

Research Report

no. 65; Colombo: IWMI, 2003, p. 4.

162

Conclusion

This chapter has brought about a number of important findings. First, it has shown that the

patterns of water use

vary significantly. These variations reflect both the dynamics of the water and climate cycles in the Indus Basin and the distinct socialeconomic profiles of the provinces. Over-all water use in the provinces is determined as much by seasonal water supplies from the river as by specific groundwater conditions, irrigation techniques and local flow regimes.

Second, these variations raise the question whether various sources of water should be

treated separately

when it comes to sharing water on a national scale. Given the divergence of water availability from different sources, it seems that any water sharing arrangement should take into account all sources available in any one province, not just surface water extracted from the rivers and canals.

Third, specific water utilization patterns of each province translate into

distinctive water demands

. Different soil conditions as well as social, cultural and political conditions determine stakeholder positions. The perception of the actual water availability on the ground is not based on measurable factors alone. It is susceptible to assessments from other water users, state authorities and political actors. Though water needs are quantifiable and hence can be assessed on mathematical parameters, perceived injustice, or inequality, in water sharing – a claim regularly voiced in the dispute between the provinces – escapes one-dimensional methods and calls for a

qualitative response

. Whether and how these aspects should be addressed in a water sharing arrangement will have to be examined.

This chapter has shown the

facets of discrepancy between the provinces

of

Pakistan that go beyond the upstream-downstream context. Punjab is not only the most populous province, it also commands the most water resources. Punjab’s upstream location plus its territorial composition explain why Punjab’s economy has grown much more than that of any other province, inevitably raising its over-all political importance. The economies of Sindh and Balochistan, on the other side, are based on a much smaller resource base. The situation of NWFP/KPP, the other upstream province, is marked by a great hydropower potential accompanied by modest agricultural prospects. It is this combination of geographical and political features which translates into a marked

asymmetry

between the provinces favouring

Punjab.

Methodologically, the findings of this chapter and the previous one reward the continued application of an analytic narrative approach. The particular characteristics of both the Indus River system and the nation of Pakistan have to be taken into account in an appropriate manner in order to explain when and why cooperation happens. The paramount roles of the Indus River Basin in ecological, social and economic terms as well as its political relevance have exhibited the methodical limits of generalization. Unlike many other countries, water management, water politics and water research in Pakistan are to a great degree

basin-oriented

.

The next chapter will examine the institutional dimension of water management in order to show how the specific challenges of the Indus River have been approached.

163

III.4 Managing the Indus: institutional dimensions

The systematic development of the irrigation system of the Indus Basin began in the colonial era. As Gilmartin notes,

no technical innovation had more potentially transformative effects in colonial India than the extension of irrigation

.

582

This process which began in the Punjab, in the Ravi – Beas – Sutlej region of the basin, has since aimed to make more water available through greater efficiency and better distribution.

583

The institutional measures designed to support that effort mirror both the hydrological and economic requirements of the expanding irrigation system and also the changing political conditions and opportunities.

This chapter explores the link between politics and water management in the postcolonial state:

- Which institutions for the management of water have been established,

- how do they operate,

- which needs do these institutions address, and

- what effect do these institutions have regarding the problem of asymmetry?

Institutional development in the irrigation sector

The construction of the Upper Bari Doab Canal by the colonial administration (1859) marks the beginning of systematic canal irrigation on a large scale. This development, almost from the beginning, was accompanied by institutional arrangements to regulate water use. The first law of water management was the

Canal and Drainage Act

(VIII, 1873, CDA) which identified water management tasks like water pricing and canal operation and maintenance.

584

It delegated the authority to maintain and operate canals to the provincial government. This act has served as a legal and institutional basis for future water regulation in the Indus Basin which initially meant the province of the Punjab in its pre-independence territorial shape. In a sense, it also preceded the Government of India Act (1919) which would establish the

provincial autonomy

over water management throughout the colony (Art. 130 –

135).

585

Amended several times over the following decades, it continues to be valid

582

David Gilmartin: Scientific empire and imperial science: Colonialism and irrigation technology in the

Indus Basin;

Journal of Asian Studies

, vol. 53, no. 4, 1994, p. 1129.

583

Wolfgang-Peter Zingel: Die Problematik regionaler Entwicklungsunterschiede in Entwicklungsländern: eine theoretische und empirische Analyse, dargestellt am Beispiel Pakistans unter

Verwendung der Hauptkomponentenmethode (Problems of diverse regional development; in German);

Wiesbaden: Steiner, 1979, p. 429 – 436; Klaus Dettmann: Agrarkolonisation im Rahmen von

Bewässerungsprojekten am Beispiel des Fünfstromlandes (agrarian colonization through irrigation in the Punjab; in German); in: Hans-Jürgen Nitz, ed.:

Landerschließung und Kulturlandschaftswandel an den Siedlungsgrenzen der Erde

; Göttingen: Goltze, 1976, p. 182 – 183.

584

The Canal and Drainage Act is colloquially referred to as the Punjab Irrigation Act. Document texts of all colonial water laws are reproduced in: Mehdi Khan Chauhan, ed.: Complete manual of canal and drainage laws in Pakistan; Lahore: Khyber Law Publishers, 2002; available online from the Punjab

Laws Database: www.punjablaws.gov.pk (May 2011).

585

Document text: Gazette of India Extraordinary: The Government of India Act 1935; Simla, 9 Sept.

1935.

164

reflecting its relevance in terms of river management as well as in institutional terms.

586

On the surface, the element of decentralization is important as it allows a degree of stakeholder participation, even down to the farm level (Art. 4a). In reality, however, the provincial government retained control, without much involvement in daily canal operations by the farmers or water users.

587

The Act’s comprehensive regulations detail the provincial governments’ authority and responsibility to operate the canals and distribute water. In the post-independence era, the newly established (West

Pakistan)

Irrigation Department

(1951) took over this task.

588

Provisions toward the economic use of water include water charges and penalties for waste (Part V). A dispute over water allocations is to be addressed to sub-division canal officer who might settle disputes out of his own initiative, too (Art. 68). The CDA’s status as a

general law

means that its validity extends to all canals in Punjab except those specified in the Minor Canals Act (Punjab Act III, 1905).

589

The CDA’s institutional and political status

has gained further from similar laws like the Sindh Irrigation Act, passed six years after the CDA (VII, 1879), modelled on the CDA in terms of scope and responsibility.

590

It also includes a dispute settlement mechanism roughly identical to the CDA’s. Balochistan has enacted a similar law for its own legal authority, again based on the CDA.

591

Like its predecessors, it asserts the provincial government’s authority over all water sources, surface and underground. For the Khyber Province (KPP / NWFP) the CDA has been adopted in an amended form to cover the respective provincial canals.

592

Mustafa identifies the Canal and Drainage Act as a piece of colonial legislation designed not only to increase irrigation output in the face of expected famines but also to provide additional state revenue and – most importantly – to serve as a

political instrument

designed for

the creation and cultivation of new layers of local elites, through the settlement policies that followed the development of the irrigation system

.

593

In what was a highly hierarchical system of power and patronage, the position of each farm within the canal area was essential when it came to water

586

Several amendments were made between 1952 and 2006; cf. Chauhan: Manual,

op. cit

. The scope of the CDA, through a series of specific amendments by provinces and states adjacent to Punjab, has been extended. Besides the provinces of Pakistan, it is also valid in parts of India, e.g. Uttar Pradesh; cf. Government of Uttar Pradesh, Irrigation Dept., http://upgov.up.nic.in/irrigation/irrig_manual.html

(May 2004).

587

Waqar Jehangir & V. Horinkova: Institutional constraints to conjunctive water management in the

Rechna Doab;

IWMI Working Paper

no. 50, 2002, p. 9. The lack of farmer organization has been documented on a wider scale by the Colorado State University in collaboration with WAPDA and

USAID; cf.: Max K. Lowdermilk, David M. Freeman & Alan C. Early: Farm irrigation constraints and farmer’s responses: comprehensive field survey in Pakistan; Lahore: WAPDA, 1979, p. 176 – 186.

588

Before 1951 the administrative division in charge of irrigation was the Irrigation Branch of the

Punjab Public Works Dept.; cf. Aloys Arthur Michel: The Indus waters. A study of the effects of partition; New Haven/London: Yale U.P., 1967, p. 247, 343.

589

590

See preamble.

591

592

Document text in Chauhan: Manual,

op. cit

.

Balochistan Canal and Drainage Ordinance (10 Dec. 1980). Document text in Chauhan,

ibidem

.

Several amendments between 1969 and 1978 have extended the reach of the CDA to the Bannu

District, with only minor procedural alterations, especially regarding the rank of the respective canal official in charge of settling disputes; document texts published on the official KPP Government website: www.khyberpakhtunkhwa.gov.pk (May 2011).

593

Daanish Mustafa: Colonial law, contemporary water issues in Pakistan;

Political Geography

, vol.

20, 2001, p. 821.

165

supplies. As a result,

water distribution

was not so much – or at least not exclusively – determined by legal regulations but by political assessments.

594

The role of the Irrigation Departments and its officials, according to Mustafa, has been and remains ambivalent:

At present, as in colonial times, the administration of the system is an ongoing balancing act between the imperatives of acknowledging the privilege of the indigenous elite, which were and continue to be important allies of the colonial and post colonial state, and the engineering concerns with irrigation efficiency

.

595

From an institutional perspective, the Canal and Drainage Act’s resilience has been tested throughout Pakistan’s long and at times tumultuous history. The Irrigation

Department, based on the CDA, remained in place until late 1955. The One-Unit rule, to last until 1970, during which the provinces as such were held in abeyance, brought a new central body, the West Pakistan Irrigation and Power Department (IPD, 1962) with responsibilities roughly equivalent to that of the former Irrigation Department.

596

The Act has remained valid throughout this period, with only minor changes, and in the coming authoritarian and democratic periods.

The Canal and Drainage Act, defining irrigation water as a

public good

, has led to an all-encompassing administrative system that has in recent years received criticism because of institutional deficits: Instead of allowing market mechanisms to determine canal water use, public water management has expanded to a degree of overregulation which has been blamed for inefficiency, inequitable allocation and unreliable supplies.

597

Masood and his World Bank team of researchers point at the economic losses incurred due under-pricing of irrigation water and also at the adverse consequences of stagnating institutional development, in particular low productivity of water and the lack of economic incentives.

598

In spite of these troublesome aspects of the CDA, the Act has survived largely unscathed over a long and dynamic period of time. This leads to the conclusion that

– from both a water management and a political point of view – the challenges in the water sector seemed to have been unchanged, or at least the government’s perception of them. Another conclusion could be that the Act served postindependence water-related interests well.

In fact, the irrigation authorities that were established on the basis of the CDA, as

Mustafa finds out, have over time changed by name and range of tasks,

but their basic structure, functions and mandate remain the same

.

599

594

Ibidem

, p. 823 – 824. These assessments classified people and tribes according to their political and economic usefulness for the British rulers, as shown by their loyalty and martial talents. This system formed part of a queer

science of the empire

; cf. Gilmartin,

op. cit

., p. 1130 – 1132.

595

596

Mustafa: Colonial law,

op. cit

., p. 824.

Michel: The Indus waters,

op. cit.

, p. 247, 343. The Soil Reclamation Board, established for the

Punjab in 1952 and extended to all of West Pakistan in 1957, was formally a part of the Irrigation

Dept., but gained increasing importance as it assumed control of groundwater management;

ibidem

, p.

344.

597

Masood Ahmad, R. Hunt, S. Bell, J. Hentschel

et al.

: Pakistan irrigation and drainage: issues and options; World Bank Report no. 11884-PAK, Washington, D.C.: WB, 1994, p. 2, 9 – 10.

598

599

Ibidem

, p. 10.

Mustafa: Colonial law,

op. cit

., p. 824.

166

Given the dramatic expansion of the Indus irrigation system after 1947, it will have to be seen

- whether and how the changing irrigation system created new challenges to water managers,

- how such changes have been met with institutional responses, and

- how effective these responses were, i.e

.

how did these institutions perform.

Irrigation and power: centralism

versus

provincial prerogative

The move to unite the original provinces and states into a single unit, West Pakistan, was motivated by the desire to prevent regionalist movements from becoming a threat to the unity of the newly independent nation, as Michel points out.

600

NWFP,

Balochistan and the tribal areas (FATA, Northern Areas) were by and large left out due their highly specific, community-based systems of water management which were not part of the Indus Basin development yet, as Wescoat

et al.

note.

601

A new institution to oversee and steer this process in the water sector was established: The

Water and Power Development Authority

(WAPDA), founded in

1958, would mark a centralized approach to water management in Pakistan.

602

Originally named the West Pakistan Water and Power Authority, it represented the most significant departure from the provincial prerogative in water management as established by the Canal and Drainage Act. Being directly answerable to the federal government, WAPDA is in charge of planning and executing

schemes for a province or any part thereof

in the following areas:

- irrigation, water supply and drainage,

- the generation, transmission and distribution of power, control,

- the prevention of water-logging and reclamation of waterlogged and salted lands and navigation.

This wide range of authorities (Art. 8) makes WAPDA the

predominant institution

in the water sector. According to the WAPDA Act, the Authority has control over all water sources and an almost unlimited authority to initiate and implement water development schemes. Following the conclusion of the Indus Waters Treaty in 1960,

WAPDA has since overseen the expansion of the colonial irrigation system to a network of unseen dimensions, with Punjab at the centre of development. Being the sole executing agency in the water and power sectors and thus in charge of implementing the projects envisaged in the IWT and the accompanying Indus Basin

Development Fund Agreement, WAPDA’s role has inevitably been strengthened.

600

This need was felt on both sides of the new border, in Pakistan as well as in India; cf. Michel: Indus

Rivers,

op. cit.

, p. 345.

601

James Wescoat, S. Halvorson & D. Mustafa: Water management in the Indus Basin of Pakistan: a half-century perspective;

Water Resources Development

, vol. 16, no. 3, 2000, p. 394.

602

WAPDA was established through the Water and Power Development Authority Act (XXXI, 1958).

The Act was published in the Gazette of West Pakistan, 24 April 1958. I am grateful to Chaudhry

Mazhar Ali, advisor to the Irrigation and Power Dept. of the Punjab, for providing me a copy of the Act.

Cf. Hermann Kreutzmann: Wasser aus Hochasien (Water from the Himalaya-Hindu Kush-Karakoram); in German);

Geographische Rundschau

, vol. 50, no. 7 – 8, 1998, p. 407 – 409.

167

WAPDA, with a workforce of over 130,000 employed in its Water and Power wings making it the country’s biggest employer after the military, WAPDA operates the water reservoirs and power plants and maintains the irrigation network.

603

It is responsible for water releases and power supply. Led mostly by active and retired officers, WAPDA to date represents the military’s hold on power, the nation’s

hydraulic mission

, an attempt to overcome inter-provincial disputes by centralized decision-making, and a determination to raise the country’s stature through economic development. Headquartered in Lahore, near the governor’s mansion, WAPDA has also become another symbol of Punjab’s political and economic dominance.

Following the end of the One Unit system in 1971, the governments of the reinstituted provinces regained their authority over water management. In a step that marked the beginning of a gradual decentralization of water management, the provincial governments obtained some of the responsibilities they had before the One Unit came into being. The newly created provincial

Irrigation and Power departments

(IPD) – one per province – assumed responsibility of irrigation services, including operating and maintaining the canal network, and intra-provincial water allocation.

604

Later their authority was extended to groundwater; in the Punjab this was realized by way of integrating the Punjab Soil Reclamation Board into the IPD (1973).

605

Groundwater management, however, lacked precise regulations (for licensing and registration etc.), as Jehangir and Horinkova point out, and did not cover the whole range of groundwater pumps, limiting the effectiveness of the Soil Reclamation Act which regulated groundwater utilization.

606

The expansion of the irrigation system multiplied existing problems like water-logging, the silting of barrages and dams and water allocation.

607

Systematic drainage

was introduced in 1963 – under the aegis of WAPDA – with the Salinity Control and

Reclamation Project (SCARP).

608

Under SCARP, executed in three phases between

1960 and 1999 according to the Soil Reclamation Act, nearly 20,000 deep tubewells were installed. Draining the used water in a way that will not affect soil fertility or fresh water inflows is vital to preserve the system’s productivity. The problem of water-logging and insufficient drainage is found throughout the Indus Basin, yet with marked differences according to the type of irrigation in operation and the gradient of

603

WAPDA Annual Report 2002 – 2003, p. 11. Details of the Treaty and the settlement plan will be discussed in the water sharing section.

604

605

Power generation, in spite of the name, would by and large remain within the authority of WAPDA.

The Board was exclusively charged with groundwater management, as envisaged in the Punjab

Soil Reclamation Act (XXI, 1952). Cf. Jehangir & Horinkova: Institutional constraints,

op. cit.

, p. 9.

Document text: Chauhan: Manual,

op. cit.

606

607

Ibidem

, p. 10.

For an overview and assessment of drainage measures cf. Sam H. Johnson, III: Large-scale irrigation and drainage schemes in Pakistan; in: Gerald T. O’Mara, ed.:

Efficiency in irrigation. The conjunctive use of surface and groundwater resources. A World Bank symposium

; Washington, D.C.:

WB, 1988, p. 69 – 72. For an overview of SCARP cf. Shahid Amjad Chaudhry: Pakistan: Indus Basin water strategy – past, present and future;

Lahore Journal of Economics

, vol. 15, Sept. 2010, p. 190.

Cf. Fred Scholz: Bewässerung in Pakistan (Irrigation in Pakistan; in German);

Erdkunde

, no. 38, 1984, p. 221. Sophisticated monitoring enables researchers to pinpoint waterlogged and saline spots, thanks to research done at IWMI; cf. Salman Asif & Mubeen-ul-Din Ahmad: Using state-of-the-art RS and GIS for monitoring waterlogging and salinity; Proceedings of the Roundtable Meeting of the

International

Programme for Technology and Research in Irrigation and Drainage

, Lahore, 10 – 11 November 2000; www.fao.org/DOCREP/005/Y3690E/y3690e0a.htm (Aug. 2007). For a geographical overview of

SCARP see: Government of Pakistan: Atlas of Pakistan; Rawalpindi: Survey of Pakistan, 1986, p. 85.

608

M. Akhbar Bhatti & J. Kijne: Irrigation allocation problems at tertiary level in Pakistan;

Water

Resources Journal

(FAO), June 1991, p. 49

168

the terrain. According to Azad,

Sindh

’s lands are particularly affected as nearly 50 per cent of all irrigated fields lack drainage and are therefore particularly prone to water-logging which in turn translates into falling productivity.

609

Azad notes that this problem tends to be underestimated as one can see from inadequate budget allocations which are commonly based on

arbitrary

estimates rather than scientific assessments.

610

But again this aspect of water management is more complex, as McCready points out.

611

Drainage, just like water allocation, has a marked

provincial dimension

.

Drainage in Sindh, identified as a challenge as early as 1932, at the time of the construction of the Sukkur Barrage, faced particular obstacles due to the low water table and the disposal of flood water in summer. After a series of studies, the Left

Bank Outfall Drain (LBOD) was started in 1974, then the largest project, to improve irrigation in the eastern part of Sindh, downstream of Sukkur.

612

The LBOD is generally considered a costly, yet successful project that enabled farmers to reclaim vast tracts of already abandoned land.

In a move that signalled greater provincial authority, water management was extended to the farm level in the late 1970s and 1980s. Launched in the Punjab in

1976, the

On-Farm Water Management

(OFWM) Directorate, under the supervision of the provincial Agriculture Department, initiated farm-level water works like land levelling and watercourse lining in cooperation with farmers.

613

The On-Farm Water

Management concept is credited with raising the productivity of water and contributing to greater equality in water allocation.

614

This step, in principle, was important for the over-all performance of the irrigation system because, as World

Bank researchers have found,

the largest percentage losses in the irrigation system occur below the level of canals on watercourses and fields.

615

From an engineering perspective, the hardening and lining of canals in order to increase flow velocity have succeeded in raising the water availability at the farm gate while decreasing salinity

609

A. Azad: Sindh water resources management – issues and options;

FAO Investment Centre

Occasional Paper

series, no. 15, 2003; Rome: FAO, 2003, p. 11; http://ftp.fao.org/docrep/fao/008/af1050/af1050e00.pdf (March 2011). Cf. Kaiser Bengali: Water management under constraints: the need for a paradigm shift; in: Michael Kugelman & R. Hathaway, eds.:

Running on empty. Pakistan’s water crisis

; Washington, D.C.: Woodrow Wilson International

Center for Scholars, 2009, p. 55; www.wilsoncenter.org (March 2011).

610

Ibidem

, p. 13. Cf. also Khalid Hussain: Poverty alleviation through protection of water resources – integrated approaches. A case study of the IMT process in the IBIS; paper presented at the international conference

Water for Life

, Coimbatore, India, 19 – 21 Sept. 2001), p. 6; www.kkstiftung.de/Entwicklungszusammenarbeit/dokucontent.htm (April 2003).

611

W. McCready: Left bank outfall drain in Pakistan;

Water Resources Journal

(FAO), March 1988, p.

68 – 70.

612

Ibidem

, p. 69; Asian Development Bank: Project completion report on the Left Bank Outfall Drain project (Stage I); Manila: ADB, 2000; www.adb.org/Documents/PCRs/PAK/pcr_pak17055.pdf (August

2002).

613

The On-Farm Water Management and Water Users’ Associations Ordinance (V, 1981) defines the scope of OFWM and the role of WUA; document text: Chauhan: Manual,

op. cit

., p. 504 ff. Cf.

Jehangir & Horinkova: Institutional constraints,

op. cit

., p. 15; Henning Fahlbusch, B. Schultz & C. D.

Thatte: The Indus Basin – history of irrigation, drainage and flood management; New Delhi: ICID,

2004, p. 318. The cost of water works were shared between farmers and the Directorate. The other provinces have enacted similar ordinances; cf. Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Cooperatives: Cooperatives and Water Users’ Associations; Islamabad: GoP, 1987, p. 5 – 10.

614

615

Ibidem

, p. 82 – 85, 94.

Masood Ahmad & G. Kutcher: Irrigation planning with environmental considerations. A study of

Pakistan’s Indus Basin;

World Bank Technical Paper

no. 166; Washington, D.C.: WB, 1992, p. 84.

169

levels and water losses through seepage.

616

From a rational choice perspective, the reason of effective maintenance of water works and better allocation of water to tailenders is the active involvement of the stakeholders (farmers).

617

In a further step, again under the auspices of the Irrigation and Power Department

(IPD) of the Punjab, farmers were encouraged to form

Water User Associations

(WUA) to jointly operate farm level water works. This move, expected to lead to a shift of responsibilities from the IPD to the farmers, failed because of institutional obstacles built in the respective ordinance. In effect, the government’s determination to preserve the control over irrigation works down to the farm level blocked WUAs from taking over legal responsibility of canal operation and water management.

618

The Asian Development Bank (ADB), a major supporting agency in Pakistan’s water sector, concluded that

there is limited scope for broadening the activities of WUAs

.

619

One reason, according to ADB, is the provincial government’s focus on infrastructure, rather than on water supplies. Another reason is the status-orientation of the personnel. Performance-oriented incentives – positive and negative – are not employed, furthering a tendency to ignore farmers’ concerns.

620

The National Drainage Programme (NDP), initiated in 1997, was designed as a more comprehensive approach to drainage than the Left Bank Outfall Drain. Based on

World Bank recommendations, the NDP was formalized by

Provincial Irrigation and

Drainage Authority

Acts that would replace the Irrigation and Power Departments, in an effort to further decentralize water management and enhance private sector participation in management and financing.

621

The PIDAs’ purpose is water allocation at the canal level, to operate tubewells, to execute drainage and to formulate water management policies.

622

Area Water Boards (AWB), canal level organizations initiated and overseen by PIDA, link the Authority with Farmer Organizations (FO), groups of farmers that are responsible for the distribution of water allocated to them by the PIDA. In theory, AWB and FO would be linked through agreements on the services to be provided by PIDA, ensuring a degree on transparency and allowing for active cooperation between AWB officials and farmers.

616

Asian Development Bank: Second On-Farm Water Management Project. Project performance audit report; Manila: ADB, March 2000, p. 11. The report cites the motivation of the farmers to maintain their watercourses as a major factor in OFWM’s success.

617

Ibidem

. This assessment applies to the second OFWM stage. The World Bank finds that

privatization of SCARPs in Punjab by replacing government owned and operated large tube wells with community owned and operated small capacity shallow tube wells was perhaps the most successful and path breaking investment supported by the Bank;

cf. World Bank: Pakistan country water resources assistance strategy. Water economy – running dry; report no. 34081-PK; Washington, D.C.:

WB, 2005, p. 99.

618

World Bank: Punjab private sector groundwater development project. Staff appraisal report, no.

15207-PAK; Washington, D.C.: WB, 1996, paragraph 30 (no page numbers).

619

620

ADB: Second OFWM,

op. cit.

, p. 11.

Ibidem

. Cf. Waheed Chaudhry: Water Users’ Associations in Pakistan: institutional, organizational and participatory aspects; PhD dissertation, Institute of Rural Development, University of Göttingen,

1997; http://webdoc.sub.gwdg.de/diss/1997/chaudh/thesis.pdf (July 2011), p. 90 – 94. Chaudhry traces this orientation back to the colonial administration.

621

Waltina Scheumann & Yameen Memon: Reforming governance systems for drainage in Pakistan.

Toward an interdisciplinary and integrated approach to agricultural drainage in Pakistan;

Agriculture and Rural Development Working Paper

no. 11, 2004 (World Bank), p. 48 – 49. Cf. International Bank for Reconstruction and Development & International Development Association: Management report and recommendation in response to the inspection panel investigation report: Pakistan National

Drainage Program Project; Washington, D.C.: IBRD/IDA (World Bank), 2006, p. 13.

622

Document texts of all four Acts: Chauhan: Manual,

op. cit.

, p. 567 ff.

170

The implementation

of the programme, however, faced a number of obstacles, as a

World Bank review found: The existing Irrigation and Power Departments (IPD) proved unwilling to hand over

control over provincial water resources

, as stated in the

PIDA Act (Art. 8 of Punjab’s PIDA Act).

623

A look at today’s provincial water management in fact finds PIDA and IPD existing side by side – a symptom of incomplete reform, as even the government partly admits.

624

Jehangir and Horinkova observe that legal fragmentation, i.e

.

the existence of parallel, partly overlapping laws, hinders the implementation of the reform as much as one-sided regulations favouring the provincial authority and the AWB, at the expense of the farmers which are, in a sense, answerable to the AWB (and thus the government), but in a position of uncertainty regarding the water services they are entitled to.

625

The Farmer

Organizations are limited to landowners, adding an economic hurdle to participation that effectively excludes tenants.

626

Behind this deficient institutional change

is the vague wording of the PIDA Act which does not mention the existing IPDs which are the starting point of the reform, nor any procedure of transferring responsibilities. The reference to the Canal and

Drainage Act (Art. 5) is noteworthy in this context, as the CDA, valid since 1873, only asserts the provincial government’s prerogative.

627

Understandably, at least from an institutional and rational choice perspective, the expected loss of influence of IPDs was not welcomed by IPD staff, nor by the provincial governments which would face smaller budgets as a result of the reform. Correspondingly, at the canal level, the farmers identified a lack of qualified information and professional interest on the part of the officials as a major hindrance.

628

Recently, Sindh and Punjab have issued regulations detailing the implementation of the programme. The original PIDA Act of

Sindh, a fairly brief law lacking – like the other PIDA Acts – provisions on the implementation of PIDAs, was revoked in 2002 and replaced by the much more comprehensive Sindh Water Management Ordinance (XL, 2002).

629

This Ordinance is significant because of its detailed provisions regarding the authority of PIDA, AWB and FO, a

modus operandi

for the transition period (Art. 96, 97) and even a dispute settlement mechanism (Art. 83). Punjab has upheld its original PIDA Act and added official rules for its implementation, like the Pilot Area Water Board Rules (2005).

630

623

World Bank: Pakistan country water assistance,

op. cit.

, p. 99. Cf. Muhammad Junaid Usman

Akhtar: Institutional reforms in irrigation. Review of National Drainage Programme (NDP) in Pakistan; proceedings of the

1 st

South Asia Water Forum

, Kathmandu, 26 – 28 February 2002; Islamabad:

Pakistan Water Partnership (PWP), 2002, p. 111.

624

Ministry of Water and Power, Office of the Chief Engineering Advisor and Chairman of the Federal

Flood Commission: Pakistan water sector strategy. Detailed strategy formulation, vol. 4; Islamabad:

GoP, Oct. 2002, p. 20, 166, 182, 231; http://cms.waterinfo.net.pk/?q=wss (July 2011). As of July 2011, the PIDA of Punjab is in the process of

implementing wide ranging reforms under its economic vision and water strategy

in order

to provide adequate equitable and reliable Irrigation supplies to the culturable lands of Punjab, aiming of enhanced agricultural productivity

; Punjab’s PIDA has held over

40 meetings, and five AWBs are operating; http://pida.punjab.gov.pk. Within the responsibility of

Sindh’s PIDA five AWBs are in place; www.sida.org.pk.

625

Waqar Jehangir & V. Horinkova: Institutional constraints,

op. cit.

, p. 18.

626

Ibidem.

627

This CDA reference applies to the PIDA Act of the Punjab. All four Acts, differing mainly in structure and sequence of provisions, contain the same article.

628

For the findings of an IWMI farm survey cf. Ralf Starkloff & Waheed-uz-Zaman: Farmers’ participation and empowerment in Pakistan’s institutional reform of the irrigation sector: the farmers’ view of the process; paper presented at Deutscher Tropentag 1999, Berlin, 14 – 15 Oct. 1999, p. 5; http://ftp.gwdg.de/pub/tropentag/proceedings/1999/referate/IOR2.pdf (April 2010).

629

Document text: www.sida.org.pk/ordinace/default.asp (7/2011).

630

Government Notification, Lahore, 24 Feb. 2005; www.pida.punjab.gov.pk (July 2011).

171

The general institutional weakness

in the overall reform process, according to the

World Bank, is

poor governance, especially the lack of accountability and transparency in water management organizations.

631

The result is a lack of trust of farmers in the government and a failure to meet set targets. Taken together, the institutional deficits and the self-interests of the major institutions (i.e

.

the IPD/PIDA staff), at last the provincial governments themselves, are the most significant reasons why the NDP has not been a greater success. Drainage in some parts has been improved, taking advantage of additional international funding and technologicalscientific support. But inefficient operations, delays and poor planning have hampered progress and undermined the NDP’s financial viability.

632

It is not surprising that an

inter-provincial drainage accord

, or national drainage accord, as envisioned by the World Bank, has not materialized yet. Though from the perspective of integrated water resources management (IWRM) that focuses on the river, such an agreement that binds all stakeholders of the basin together would undoubtedly make sense, it is the political concerns that stand in its way.

633

Further decentralization and partial privatization of irrigation services mean a gradual withdrawal of the state, translating into loss of status, loss of budget, loss of influence. Stalling the reform process, in other words, is a matter of survival for the public sector – even at the price of exacerbating the water crisis.

Water allocation and the problem of asymmetry

Water allocation

at the canal level is the second major task of water management bodies. Primarily a responsibility of the Provincial Irrigation and Drainage Authority

(PIDA, previously a responsibility of the Irrigation and Power Dept.), water is allocated on the principle of

warabandi

, a rotational system of water distribution. This system, in theory, provides a degree of equality in terms of water supplies as each farm is entitled to a fixed amount of water once a week.

634

Two types of

warabandi

allocation exist,

pacca warabandi

– rotation fixed by the canal officer – and

kacha warabandi

, a temporary rotational schedule determined by the farmers in collective decision.

635

Pacca warabandi

is credited with

reducing the opportunities for conflict among the farmers

because the schedule of water supplies is set by officials.

636

It is, however, another example of

supply management

(as opposed to demand management) that does not take into account the status of the resource as such.

631

IBRD/IDA: Management report,

op. cit.,

p. 41.

632

IBRD/IDA: Management report,

op. cit.

, p. 100 – 103.

633

The gap between theory and reality is exposed by the many pledges in favour of IWRM, like

Hafeez A. Randhawa: Water development for irrigated agriculture in Pakistan: Past trends, returns and future requirements; Proceedings of the international conference

Regional Consultation on Investment in Land and Water,

hosted by FAO; Bangkok, 3 – 5 Oct. 2001, p. 279. When it comes to practical steps, political or status interests dominate water concerns.

634

Each farm is entitled to withdraw water from the canal once a week for a fixed period – usually up to a full day, according to the farm size, which means that each farmer can withdraw as much water as he needs within his time frame. Cf. Don Jayatissa Bandaragoda: Design and practice of water allocation rules: lessons from

warabandi

in Pakistan’s Punjab;

IWMI Research Report

no. 17, 1998, p.

5 – 8. Cf. Fahlbusch

et al

.: The Indus Basin,

op. cit.

, p. 294 – 298, 306.

635

636

Bhatti & Kijne: Irrigation allocation,

op. cit.

, p. 50.

Ibidem

. Gadi remarks that this system, introduced by the colonial administration, has replaced the traditional community-based water allocation system, a move which has caused

a wave of protests

among farmers; cf. Mushtaq Gadi: Re-colonizing the Indus Basin irrigation system; in: Kaiser Bengali, ed.:

The politics of managing water

; Karachi: OUP, 2003, p.100.

172

Its lack of flexibility may lead to insufficient water supplies as well as over-supply because it does not correspond to the needs of the individual farmer, as Bhatti and

Kijne point out:

The rigidity implicit in the warabandi system prevents farmers from maximising private and social net benefits from scarce water

.

637

Kacha warabandi

, in turn, reflects the individual farmer’s needs and effectively renders water supplies a collective private-sector responsibility. But both types, as Bandaragoda concludes, are based on a universal, constant flow regime, ignoring the great variations in water availability over time and space.

638

The political dimension of water allocation

is most acutely felt at the canal or farm level as this practice of water allocation tends to benefit large farms at the canal head disproportionately more than small farms at the tail end of the canal.

639

Officially,

inequitable distribution

has been termed a problem, but in practical terms reform has not altered the condition of small farmers.

640

While big landowners at the canal head are in a position to convert their economic dominance into political influence, the economic situation of smaller farmers, especially at a lower canal position, is at risk.

641

At the downstream canal level, the combination of lack of land and lack of

642 water is the major determinant of poverty among farmers.

The economic vulnerability of tail-end farmers rises with the uncertainty of getting the necessary supplies.

643

This asymmetry

between canal head and tail end users is a replication of the upstream – downstream discrepancy on the level of the provinces. At both levels, canal and river, the hydrological factor is exacerbated by the political factor. Though in theory, there is be no distinction between upstream and downstream water users, in reality it is always the downstream users that are prone to receive less water, with corresponding economic disadvantages. Studies have found that the widespread inequality in water supplies and the poverty among farmers resulting from it is to be blamed not only on social-economic patterns but on institutional deficits of water

637

Ibidem

.

638

Bandaragoda: Design and practice,

op. cit.

, p. 23. Fahlbusch

et al.

remind us that the initial objective of the Indus irrigation system was to

spread water over a maximum possible area

: Henning

Fahlbusch

et al.

: The Indus Basin,

op. cit.

, p. 284.

639

Syed Akbar Zaidi: Issues in Pakistan’s economy; Karachi: Oxford U.P., 2005, p. 76 – 77 and 27 –

29 (on the early political status of landlords). The allocation of water on the tertiary (farm) level, by no means static, brings specific social structures (tribal affiliations, traditional legal systems) into the equation, as Abro and Shah point out, often resulting in conflict between villages: Altaf Abro & N.

Shah: Water and conflict: the case of upper Sindh; in: Kaiser Bengali, ed.:

The politics of managing water

; Islamabad: SDPI, 2003, p. 155 – 156. For a list of similar cases: Daanish Mustafa, M. Akhter &

N. Nasrallah: Unterstanding Pakistan’s water – security nexus;

Peaceworks

no. 88; Washington, D.C.:

United States Institute of Peace, 2013, p. 19. Another threat to the stability of fixed allocation are illegal diversions of water, cf. Azad: Sindh water resources,

op. cit.

, p. 23.

640

E.g. on the website of Punjab’s PIDA (as of May 2001).

641

Mustafa: Colonial law,

op. cit

., p. 832.

642

Zaidi: Issues,

op. cit.

, p. 77.

643

Even in dry months, canal head farmers can expect that they will get at least some water of whatever is available in the system.

173

allocation, too.

644

Ironically, small farms are found to achieve higher water productivity than large farms, as Zaidi points out.

645

Assessing the existing system of water allocation, Meinzen-Dick has discussed the potential of

market mechanisms

to raise water productivity and avert water shortage.

646

Privatization has obvious advantages over water management that is entirely state-run. Privately controlled tubewells have on average demonstrated a higher productivity than publicly owned and operated wells as they allow more precise and more reliable irrigation.

647

As most tubewells are privately owned, a market has evolved, with positive effects not only on water productivity but also on water distribution to previously disadvantaged farmers.

648

The limits to groundwater use are only dictated by the rising of the water table which causes waterlogging and salinity, and the question of ownership. The latter is a case of legal pluralism as water rights in Pakistan are not clearly defined and often overlapping.

conflicted cases ownership is a matter for negotiation.

649

This means that in

In sum

, the system of groundwater markets is highly informal, according to Meinzen-

Dick. Its main advantage is that it provides water in a much more flexible way than the fixed pattern of

warabandi

regulation. In other words, it is demand-oriented, rather than supply-oriented.

650

Dinar

et al.

reiterate the most important criteria from the water users’ perspective:

- flexibility in water supplies,

- security of tenure of water rights/entitlements,

- equitable opportunities, and

- predictability of allocation patterns.

651

644

United Nations Development Programme: Human Development Report 2006; New York: UNDP,

2006, p. 188 - 191. The report finds that people living within the basin area are as much affected by poverty as people outside the basin. In other words, while some farmers, particularly those operating at or near the canal head, enjoy economic benefits associated with the availability, for others there is no material benefit at all.

645

646

Zaidi: Issues,

op. cit.

, p. 76 – 77.

Ruth S. Meinzen-Dick: Public, private, and shared water: groundwater markets and access in

Pakistan; in: Bryan Bruns & R. Meinzen-Dick, eds.:

Negotiating water rights

; Delhi: Vistaar, 2000, p.

248, 252.

647

648

Ibidem

, p. 248.

Ruth S. Meinzen-Dick: Groundwater markets in Pakistan: Participation and productivity;

International Food Policy Research Institute

Research Report

no. 105, 1996, p. 9. The transferability, however, is limited by space: water cannot be transported over a great distance because of the heat, insufficient infrastructure and lack of lack of large vehicles; cf. Meinzen-Dick: Public, private water,

op. cit.

, p. 259. The capital required for tubewell installation and operation can be obtained from the

Agricultural Development Bank which is open to all landowning farmers; the actual access to credits is limited because of formalities which seem to deter many small farmers from applying, according to

Meinzen-Dick: Groundwater markets,

op. cit.

, p. 64.

649

Meinzen-Dick: Public, private water,

op. cit.

, p. 258 – 259.

650

Murgai notes that

warabandi

is commonly adjusted informally to requirements at the farm level whenever individual needs require farmers to do so; cf. Rinku Murgai: Skirting the rules: collective management and informal exchange of formal water rights in Pakistan; paper presented at the conference of the

International Society for the Study of Common Property

, Vancouver, 10 – 14 June

1998, ch. IV; http://dlc.dlib.indiana.edu/dlc/bitstream/handle/10535/2088/murgai.pdf?sequence=1 (July

2011).

651

Ariel Dinar, M. Rosegrant & R. Meinzen-Dick: Water allocation mechanisms – principles and examples;

World Bank Policy Research Working Paper

no. 1779; Washington, D.C.: WB, 1997, p. 4 –

5.

174

These expectations can best be met, according to their argument, through market mechanisms. Markets as allocation modes require transparency and information in order to make trading (and saving) water profitable. The role of public water allocation should be guided by

equity, sovereignty and the greater public good

, that is, a general interest in economic development and prosperity.

652

Major investments in system infrastructure have to remain within the government’s responsibility. Full public authority over water allocation, however, tends to further inefficient water use, under-pricing of the commodity and misallocation.

653

Water bureaucracy: institutional interests

Besides the formal criteria relevant to institutional analysis, like transparency and accountability, aspects of culture and mentality deserve attention in order to assess the performance of an institution – and its ability to change. Like politics, administration depends on the professional quality and attitude of the people employed. Molle

et al.

point out that the

bureaucracy

, the

rule of the office

, in the water sector of many agrarian societies has attained a special political role within the context of nation-building.

654

Their

hydraulic mission

, especially in former colonies, has come to be closely linked to the very legitimacy of the state. In today’s Pakistan the status of WAPDA, the chief water management body, is expressed by the size of its staff and budget and the scope of authority. Reflecting the ties between the bureaucracy, the military and the government, its management includes numerous retired military officers. Being responsible for the initiation and operation of landmark projects like the large dams at Tarbela and Mangla, WAPDA symbolizes the nation’s progress in the energy and water sectors. WAPDA, in spite of institutional changes in recent years, most notably the establishment of a separate water sharing institution

(Indus River System Authority, IRSA), has by and large maintained its position and status.

Mustafa, tracing the role of current water institutions back to the colonial era, finds that the heritage of the once prestigious Indian Civil Service – with its

elitist bureaucratic culture

– tends to further a

development gap between the state and the civil society

.

655

As a result, bureaucrats in the water sector act less as civil servants but rather masters of a colonized population. This, according to Mustafa, is particularly obvious in the case of irrigation officials who exhibit a

general allegiance to science of the empire

which leads them to

distance oneself from the natives,

652

Ibidem

, p. 10. Cf. Muhammad Arif Raza: An economic analysis of institutional reforms in irrigation sector in Punjab, Pakistan; PhD dissertation, Faculty of Agricultural Economic and Rural Sociology,

University of Faisalabad, 2008, p. 165; www.prr.hec.gov.pk/Thesis/735.pdf (April 2011).

653

Jean-Daniel Rinaudo, P. Strosser & S. Thoyer: Distributing water or rents? Examples from a public irrigation system in Pakistan;

Canadian Journal of Development Studies

, vol. 21, no. 1, 2000, p. 4.

654

François Molle, P. Mollinga & P. Wester: Hydraulic bureaucracies and the hydraulic mission: flows of water, flows of power;

Water Alternatives

, vol. 2, no. 3, 2009, p. 336. The authors note that the role of the bureaucracy in water management, including the phenomenon of corruption, requires further study; p. 344.

655

Daanish Mustafa: Theory versus practice: The bureaucratic ethos of water resources management and administration in Pakistan;

Contemporary South Asia

, vol. 11, no. 1, 2002, p. 42. Mustafa’s study is particularly significant as it is based on a series of qualitative interviews with officials of various tiers of the water administration. To my knowledge, this represents the most in-depth study of administrative culture in the water sector of Pakistan to date.

175

treating them as irrational and prone to causing trouble, and something to be controlled rather than served

.

656

In addition,

the engineering bias makes many of the bureaucrats consider social aspects of their job as vexing distractions rather than an integral part of any resource management paradigm

.

657

As a result, a degree of isolation occurs which not only inhibits the flow of important water-related information, but also undermines the professional management of water. In recent years, the staff of water management bodies, particularly that of

WAPDA and the Irrigation Departments, has been criticized for a

neglect

of important tasks and the misallocation of allotted funds.

658

While the water management sector, particularly the operation and maintenance of the irrigation network, is widely considered to be insufficiently funded, available funds have not been used towards improving system performance. Instead, three quarters of the total budget are allocated for salaries and other administrative expenses.

659

At the provincial level

(Irrigation and Power Departments) the great number of personnel – estimated by Chaudhry at over 80,000 – however does not reflect a high degree of professionalization.

660

Manig and Kuhnen note that, except for the higher echelons which require engineering degrees, most employees receive poor salaries and have little competence because of the strictly centralized hierarchical structure of decision-making. Consequently feedback from farmers on the effects of water management is unlikely to reach the decision-making level.

661

According to van der

Velde and Tirmizi, this isolation occurs even within the bureaucracy, between civil engineers (administrative staff) and mechanical engineers (on-site work) of the same department (IPD).

662

656

Ibidem

, p. 53.

657

Ibidem

. Cf. Gilmartin: Scientific empire,

op. cit.

, p. 1129.

658

The failure to engage the local population on important water works is widespread. An Asian

Development Bank funded project, the Chashma Right Bank Irrigation Project, has been threatened by a

lack of consultation with affected people

, namely the residents of several villages that were to be flooded in the process, on the part of Irrigation Dept. officials who did not inform the villagers before the works began; cf. Ahsan Wagha: ADB Briefing Paper 7: Chashma Right Bank Irrigation Project; prepared for the International Rivers Network (not associated with ADB); no date given; www.irn.org/programs/mekong/adbbp7.htm (Oct. 2007). A frequently voiced concern is the lack of attention of water management officials to agricultural requirements; cf. Peter Wolff:

Bewässerungsprobleme am Indus. Eindrücke und Ergebnisse eines Besuchs in Pakistan (Problems of irrigation in the Indus Basin. Impressions and results from a visit to Pakistan; in German);

Technical

Reports in Rural Engineering and Resource Management

no. 41, 1996 (Universität-

Gesamthochschule Kassel), p. 9.

659

World Bank: Pakistan country water resources assistance strategy; report no. 34081-PAK; New

York: WB, 2005, p. 58.

660

Waheed Chaudhry: WUAs,

op. cit.

, p. 95. This figure represents the total staff employed by the irrigation departments of all provinces. Statistically, one employee is responsible for 88 – 215 ha of irrigated land, as compared to between 122 and 496 ha in other Asian countries.

661

Winfried Manig & Frithjof Kuhnen: The case of Pakistan; in: Klaus Klennert, ed.:

Rural development and careful utilisation of resources. The case of Pakistan, Peru, and Sudan

; Baden-Baden: Nomos,

1986, p. 24 – 25.

662

Referring to the SCARP projects:

This administrative, almost caste-like separation of officers (and their respective support staff) typically meant that at field level in SCARP project areas, canal and tubewell operations were rarely if ever coordinated for effective conjunctive use of irrigation water

; cf.

Edward van der Velde & J. Tirmizi: Irrigation policy reforms in Pakistan: Who’s getting the process right? In: Peter Mollinga & A. Bolding, eds.:

The politics of irrigation reform: Contested policy formulation and implementation in Asia, Africa, and Latin America

; London: Ashgate, 2004, p. 209.

176

This may in part explain why the public sector staff has frequently been accused of

corruption

.

663

Rinaudo notes that corruption and nepotism, coupled with vested interests of the bureaucracy (preservation of job, status and influence), are major causes of reform failure.

664

The phenomenon of corruption can be read as a symptom of

institutional weakness

. A lack of transparency and accountability, among other factors, and a lack a precise regulations and authorities invite misuse.

665

Mustafa, in his analysis of the Canal and Drainage Act, concludes that certain institutional deficiencies such as a failure to precisely define periods and quantities of water supplies (and cuts) provide

rich grounds for corruption

.

666

For these reasons, the role of the public sector as such has been reviewed critically. Major funding institutions, like the World Bank, have advocated the introduction of private actors, especially in the area of irrigation services at the canal command level.

667

As these institutional aspects of water management in Pakistan inevitably affect water availability (due to inadequate canal maintenance and water allocation), they overshadow the relationship between water users. Specifically, they exacerbate the

asymmetry

between canal head and tail end users, rich and poor farmers. More generally, they serve to undermine popular trust in public institutions on all levels, particularly among the majority of farmers who lack the capacity to exert their influence on water bureaucrats. Mistrust, as will be seen in the water sharing section

663

Assessments of corruption in Pakistan’s public sector focus on selected branches, including major water institutions like WAPDA, which – according to Transparency International (TI), has received around 15,000 complaints from individual citizens in 2002; cf. Global Corruption Report 2008; Berlin:

TI, 2008, p. 211 - 215; www.transparency.org/publications/gcr/gcr_2008 (Jan. 2011). The report highlights the role of the military as the biggest landowner. Efforts to introduce accountability to a system that rewards retiring military officers with high-value plots and prestigious civilian positions

(

e.g.

managing posts in WAPDA – outside of any qualification-based selection) have so far failed. On lower administrative levels, some progress has been achieved in the form of an

integrity pact

signed by the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board and TI and provincial regulations for greater transparency in Sindh;

ibidem

. Corruption in general remains a big obstacle to development and governance, as

Khan notes, citing widespread cases of bribery in the case of irrigation tax collection; see: Feisal Khan:

Water, governance, and corruption in Pakistan; in: Michael Kugelman & Robert Hathaway, eds.:

Running on empty. Pakistan’s water crisis

; Washington, D.C.: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, 2009, p. 96; www.wilsoncenter.org (Feb. 2011).

664

For a game-theoretical approach to the

defensive lobbying

of irrigation officials by landlords in order to obtain water originally allotted to poorer farmers see Jean-Paul Azam & Jean-Daniel Rinaudo:

Encroached entitlements: Corruption and appropriation of irrigation water in southern Punjab;

Development Studies Working Papers

no. 144, University of Oxford, 2000, p. 27; www2.qeh.ox.ac.uk

(May 2006). In essence, the actual water distribution in this case, as a result of corruption, is subject to the financial reach of the farmer or its social network (the homogeneity of his ethnic group). For an indepth analysis of corruption in the water sector see Jean-Daniel Rinaudo: Rentes, corruption et lobbying politique (Rents, corruption and political lobbies; in French); PhD thesis presented at

University of Clermont-Ferrand, 2000, p. 32 – 33; http://cemadoc.cemagref.fr/exlphp/util/documents/accede_document.php (April 2011). I am grateful to Dr. Undala Alam for pointing out this study to me and to Dr. Rinaudo for his permission to use it as a reference.

665

See the case of corruption in the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board, giving rise to a water tanker mafia that steals water from public sources in order to sells it; cf. Peter Gizewski & Thomas Homer-

Dixon: Environmental scarcity and violent conflict: the case of Pakistan; Occasional Paper;

Washington, D.C.: American Association for the Advancement of Science/University of Toronto, 1996; www.library.utoronto.ca/pcs/eps/pakistan/pak1.htm (Sept. 2000; no page numbering).

666

Daanish Mustafa: Colonial law, contemporary water issues in Pakistan;

Political Geography

, vol.

20, 2001, p. 829. Cf. also A. Haroon Akram-Lodhi:

Like an act of God

: Land, water and social power in northern Pakistan;

Contemporary South Asia

, vol. 10, no. 3, 2001, p. 331. Cohen states that WAPDA had been an early and marked example of official corruption; cf. Stephen Cohen: The idea of

Pakistan; Washington: Brookings, 2004, p. 90.

667

World Bank: Water assistance strategy,

op. cit.

, p. 72.

177

of this study, is a factor in inter-provincial relations, too. It very likely affects behaviour and decision-making, including the willingness to share water.

Faruqee observes that, in sum, the benefits that farmers on average drew from public water management have been very limited due to a number of

institutional deficits

, in particular

- inadequate records on land holding and use,

- insufficient funding of important research in agriculture, and

- inadequate engagement of farmers, communication of relevant crop information and training.

668

The government, having extended its authority and presence to the farm level, has failed to provide important incentives for improving water utilization. Faruqee, stressing the need to strengthen market mechanisms, recommends that water user associations (WUA) take over responsibilities from the provincial irrigation authorities

(IPD/PIDA), rather than simply participating in deliberations with officials as practised to date, and that the government withdraws to sector-wide tasks like infrastructure and environmental protection.

669

Such a move would, of course, directly target the bureaucratic stature and political status of the water administration, not to mention its economic links with big landholders.

Bandaragoda, analyzing the institutional consequences of modernization in the irrigation sector, finds that technical improvements in canal operation and cropping patterns etc. have received positive reactions by the farming community. At the institutional level, however, they have created challenges to the staff, in particular a decline in control over the water distribution in the system. Unclear regulations and a general

lack of management capacity to cope with the operation of the remodelled system

have exposed an insufficient

resilience

to adjust to new organizational conditions.

670

Behind this lack of flexibility is both a failure of coordination between water managers and water consumers and a widespread scepticism towards new techniques due to the fact that the existing

warabandi

distribution system is so

deeply embedded in the social norms associated with irrigation

.

671

In other words, the bureaucrats in this respect are not much different from water users in their reluctance to consider change as a potential road towards progress. In the case of the farmers, however, their readiness is determined by knowledge and participation; in the case of the bureaucrats, it is determined by potential effects on their institutional position.

Institutional reform

The most active driver of reform has been the Government of Pakistan, not the provincial governments, as Wambia notes.

672

This is surprising because most

668

Rashid Faruqee: Government’s role in Pakistan agriculture: major reforms are needed;

World Bank

Policy Research Working Paper

no. 1468; Washington, D.C.: WB, 1995, p. 18 – 20.

669

670

Ibidem

, p. 31.

D. J. Bandaragoda: Need for institutional impact assessment in planning irrigation system modernization;

IWMI Research Report

, no. 21, 1998, p. 9.

671

Ibidem

, p. 12.

672

Joseph Makwata Wambia: The political economy of water resources institutional reform in

Pakistan; in: Ariel Dinar, ed.:

The political economy of water pricing reforms

; Washington, D.C.: WB,

2000, p. 369. The provinces’ reluctance to water pricing reforms, as suggested by the federal

178

criticism of the existing water management system has focused on the provincial and sub-provincial levels. The federal government, not being a riparian stakeholder as defined by the standard water law (Canal and Drainage Act), does not have a legally sanctioned responsibility for provincial watercourses, apart from the tasks of WAPDA.

It has, however, strengthened its institutional capacity to contribute to

policymaking

, in the form of the newly established Project Management and Policy

Implementation Unit within the Ministry of Water and Power. This unit’s aim is

to support capacity development, analytical work and detail feasibility studies in order to ensure effective management and development of the Indus River system

.

673

On the one hand, these initiatives can be read as a sign of central government interference in the water sector; on the other hand, they can also indicate either a lack of motivation on the part of the provinces or a lack of capability.

674

The quality and direction of reform initiatives

is a different matter. The federal government, in response to World Bank recommendations, presented the

Pakistan

Water Sector Strategy

as a guideline for institutional reform (2002).

675

The Strategy signals an understanding of the merits of integrated water management and the role that stakeholders, i.e

.

water users, especially farmers, should play. As a

collaborative document

that

adopted a participatory approach to ensure that all stakeholders of water have been consulted and have contributed to this Strategy

, however, it exhibits a number of familiar traits of the existing system.

barely acknowledged, but not defined.

677

676

The role of the private sector is

The chapter on agriculture is marked by a generalized, planning-oriented, classic supply management approach, rather than a diversified, potential-oriented approach that would take into account specific plant requirements, varied demands and markets. Regarding participation, it remains unclear which non-state institutions and stakeholders have been involved, and whether their involvement made any impact.

In the same year, the

National Water Policy

– a product of the National Workshop on Water Policy, again involving water experts, NGOs and farmers – went a little further, specifying the guiding principles, such as distribution

- decentralized planning, development and management

- delegation of specific water services to

autonomous and accountable public and/or cooperative agencies

use

-

participatory and consultative water sector activities at each level.

678

government (on recommendations by the Bank), has recently been reiterated: Centre, provinces agree to set up water commission;

Dawn

, 22 April 2011.

673

Ministry of Water and Power: www.pakwater.gov.pk/objective.aspx (May 2010). Major activities include a seminar on

Water conservation, present situation and future strategy

(21 May 2009), feasibility and capacity building studies (funded by ADB), and a seminar on Public-private partnerships: Mode of financing and implementation of water sector and hydro power sector projects

(5 Jan. 2009).

674

The latter seems unlikely, given the size of staff and the fact that water management since the colonial era has been a provincial prerogative.

675

Ministry of Water and Power: Pakistan Water Sector Strategy; vol. 4;

op. cit.

The Strategy was presented in 5 volumes, including a National Water Sector Profile and a Medium Term Investment

Plan.

676

Ministry of Water and Power: Strategy, p. II.

677

Ministry of Water and Power: Strategy, p. 47, 52.

678

Government of Pakistan: National Water Policy; Islamabad: GoP, 2002, p. 18; http://cms.waterinfo.net.pk/pdf/NationalWaterPolicy.PDF (July 2011).

179

The document, which is still a draft and not yet adopted as an official policy, is more analytic as the Strategy, despite being much briefer. It pinpoints institutional deficits like responsibilities and poor coordination between institutions,

- a lack of clearly divided authorities,

- ineffective new institutions like PIDA and AWB.

679

As such, the document features important elements of progressive reform, by and large in line with recommendations. A critical appraisal of these guidelines finds that a crucial aspect of institutions, accountability, receives little attention. PIDA, with its responsibility for both policy formulation and implementation, effectively sets targets in isolation from water users. Jehangir and Horinkova propose a representative

Provincial Water Policy Council for policy, and a regulatory commission to monitor

PIDA and AWB.

680

The implementation of the Policy

eventually depends on whether federal and provincial governments will reach a consensus on institutional reform and improved water management. So far – nine years after presenting the Policy and fourteen years after the start of the National Drainage Programme – the provinces have only agreed to form a commission tasked with formulating a national water policy.

681

From a rational choice perspective, the potential gains from collaboration towards improvements in the water sector seem to be insufficient to motivate stronger and swifter action, or the feared losses outweigh the benefits.

Scheumann reminds us that

reforms are not politically neutral

if they involve loss of power and status or simply

uncertain outcomes

, i.e. the mere risk of such losses.

682

A closer look at the attempt by the World Bank and the federal government to shift some irrigation management responsibilities to the private sector reveals that the vested interests of politically affiliated landowners led to a

coalition against privatization

.

683

The negotiations

between the World Bank (as the major lender) and the

Government of Pakistan (as the primary recipient of funds for the NDP), viewed from a rational choice perspective, present an interesting game: The Bank, using prospective funds as a leverage or incentive, exerted pressure on the GoP to push forward comprehensive NDP legislation by a given deadline. The GoP, in turn, presented a revised NDP that was expected to raise less opposition from the big farmers. The incentive to the farmers: the prospect of retaining some, if not most of their influence. The possible loss of essential funding for this project and even future projects as well, the GoP finally received the consent from the provincial

679

Ibidem

, p. 35.

680

Waqar Jehangir & V. Horinkova: Institutional constraints,

op. cit.

, p. 21.

681

Centre, provinces agree to set up water commission

;

Dawn

, 22 April 2011. No reference is made to the existing draft of 2002. The federal government initiative towards a national water policy will be discussed in more detail in the water sharing section.

682

Waltina Scheumann: Institutional Reform in the Irrigation Sector: the case of Turkey and Pakistan; in: Susanne Neubert

,

W. Scheumann, A. Edig, eds.:

Reforming Institutions for Sustainable Water

Management

; Bonn: German Development Institute,

Reports and Working Papers

6, 2002, p. 5 – 6.

683

Ibidem

, p. 8. Misinformation and manipulation of small farmers proved crucial in getting their support for a campaign that would preserve the status of big farmers. Cf. van der Velde & Tirmizi:

Irrigation policy,

op. cit.

, p. 213.

180

governments.

684

To please the big farmers, several loopholes were planted in the legal foundations of the reform, hindering the proper implementation of the reform, particularly the establishment of autonomous mid-level water institutions.

685

The relevance of the underlying legal foundation

, the Canal and Drainage Act, was identified as a central obstacle by the donors, but the GoP and the provinces opted to keep it unchanged. Explicitly referred to in the PIDA Acts, it remained what it had ever been,

a particularly powerful piece of colonial legislation, which vested virtually all meaningful control of the irrigation and drainage system in government institutions, specifically the provincial irrigation departments

, as van der Velde and

Tirmizi note.

686

Rinaudo and Tahir point out that the full implementation of the Bank proposal would

significantly affect the existing economic interests and power relationships in the irrigation sector

, in particular threaten the

status of the rural

elite fearing the loss of privileged upstream water supplies, and of the irrigation bureaucrats.

687

The outcome, by a purely political assessment, on the surface resembles a win-win situation: The landlords and bureaucrats retained their positions of influence; the

GoP remained in control of the process, without the threat of continued opposition from the provinces and the landed elite. From a water management perspective, the result is a zero-sum situation: A small group of politically established farmers secured economic gains at the expense of the majority of farmers which are very likely to receive as little or less water than before.

The small and medium farmers, representing the greatest combined land area, would have been the beneficiaries of the reform. Had the reform been implemented, more water could have been made available more evenly. It is at this point that the deficits of the public water administration become the critical factor in reform failure.

The narrow self-interest orientation of the bureaucracy strengthens the landholders and at the same time weakens the smaller farmers because it exacerbates the existing

asymmetry

in water supplies. As future water shortages will affect downstream farmers more severely than upstream farmers, the failure to initiate partial privatization is likely to have a significant impact on the overall water situation of Pakistan.

The PIDA process exposes two types of deficits:

-

institutional

(inconsistency of legal framework, lack of transparency, accountability, coordination and communication) and

-

behavioural

(misinformation, personal and group self-interest over administrative responsibility).

684

Van der Velde & Tirmizi: Irrigation policy,

op. cit.,

p. 214 – 215.

685

Ibidem

, p. 215.

686

Van der Velde & Tirmizi: Irrigation policy,

op. cit.

, p. 223.

687

Jean-Daniel Rinaudo & Zubair Tahir: The political economy of institutional reforms in Pakistan’s irrigation sector; in: Phoebe Koundouri, P. Pashardes, T. Swanson & A. Xepapadeas, eds.:

The economics of water management in developing countries. Problems, principles and policies

;

Cheltenham/Northampton: Edward Elgar, 2003, p. 43 - 44.

181

Bandaragoda, reviewing institutional change in large irrigation systems, summarizes the crucial

institutional characteristics

:

- legally secured and politically supported water rights,

- access to financial resources for operation and maintenance,

- measurable benefits that exceed costs,

- clearly defined areas of responsibility and institutional autonomy.

688

Focussing on property rights, he finds that concepts which turn water into an either fully private or state property have both failed in Pakistan, but a system of shared, clearly defined responsibilities based on water as a common property, combines equitable allocation, adequate maintenance and cost recovery.

689

Mellor stresses the need for a judicial body to oversee and sanction democratic procedures in water user groups and the separation of public finance from the daily operations in order to counter corruption and misuse of office. Transparency and accountability as well as adequate information for all user groups plus clear and precise tasks are indispensable features of reformed institution.

690

The implementation of such reforms, according to Rinaudo and Tahir, could follow a

four-phase schedule

:

- agenda-setting involving all potential actors,

- public debate, consensus-building and legal foundations,

- implementation according to pre-established guidelines and rules,

- enforcement.

691

The behavioural dimension

may even be more important. Rinaudo and Tahir agree with Mellor, van der Velde and Tirmizi that

information and communication

have been a major factor in the successful campaign of the landlords. In effect, the government’s failure to counter their propaganda effort – which in fact led many small farmers to oppose the reform in the beginning – helped their cause.

692

The reform programme that intended to improve water availability, allocation and productivity ironically appeared as threatening the very opposite. Had the GoP used information and communication to at least passively involve the small farmers, it might have had a lasting effect on the public’s trust in the government and the proposed reform.

688

D.J. Bandaragoda: Institutional design principles for accountability in large irrigation systems;

IWMI

Research Report

no. 8, 1996, p. 4.

689

D.J. Bandaragoda: Institutional change and shared management of water resources in large canal systems: results of an action research program in Pakistan;

IWMI Research Report

no. 36, 1999, p. 6

– 7, 16 – 19.

690

John W. Mellor: Accelerating agricultural growth – is irrigation institutional reform necessary?

Pakistan Development Review

, vol. 35, no. 4, 1996, p. 411.

691

Rinaudo & Tahir: Political economy,

op. cit

., p. 45 – 46. Dinar

et al.

stress that the most important step in order to reduce the risk of reform failure is to regain the confidence of small and medium farmers through publicizing the positive results of successful Farmer Organizations; cf. Ariel Dinar, T.

Balakrishnan & J. Wambia: Political economy and political risks of institutional reforms in the water sector;

World Bank Policy Research Working Paper

no. 1987; Washington, D.C.: WB, 1998, p. 21.

692

Rinaudo & Tahir: Political economy,

op. cit

., p. 53. Idrees Rajput, former Secretary of Irrigation and

Power, Government of Sindh, points out that the NDP showed the limits of decentralization, as farmers tend to concentrate on their own lands and lack the capacity to perceive their plot as part of a wider, ore complex system. According to Rajput, the provincial governments held strong reservations against the reform,

only the federal government was for it

; personal discussion, Karachi, 18 December 2002.

182

The fact that the GoP failed to advertise the reform as a step towards empowerment of the people appears to either reflect a degree of aloofness regarding the value of democratic processes or simply well-known official neglect. By failing to discuss

compensation

schemes for farmers which would lose subsidies as a result of the reform and pay raises for PIDA officials who are exposed to corruption attempts, the

GoP wasted another opportunity to further the reform.

693

The PIDA process also showed

two types of water-related rationality

:

- the performance-oriented argument with a view to increase productivity and

- the status quo-oriented argument of officials fearing the loss of employment and opportunities of illegitimate enrichment.

Under the existing circumstances, bridging this

antagonism

appears unlikely because the status quo offers more benefits to irrigation officials than the reform. As the large landowners would also face losses rather than gains, the unholy alliance of reform-opponents becomes the biggest obstacle to reform. Following the rational choice logic, these losses would have to be balanced in one form or another. For the irrigation officials this would mean finding other jobs. The problem of corruption is a different matter though intrinsically linked to the civil service.

Asymmetry

has turned out to be of an ambivalent quality in the water management procedure as well as in the NDP process. It is at once a great obstacle to some stakeholders, and at the same time it serves as a decisive factor in the economic and political status of other stakeholders.

Managing supply or demand?

The evaluation of the water management system necessitates a new look at the problem of water shortage. Meissner distinguishes two types of water shortage:

hydrological water shortage

and

economic water shortage

.

694

Pakistan’s water economy fits in both categories, i.e

.

water shortage is both a problem of resource supplies and resource management. From a physical or hydrological perspective, vast supplies in the Monsoon period (in summer) and after the release of stored water (in winter) do provide temporary abundance. But this abundance is accompanied by frequent periods of shortage as supplies reflect highly unstable physical conditions which are beyond the reach of human intervention. The capacity of the water works to absorb the temporary water wealth in order to make it available for use in the dry period is limited for both natural and technical reasons.

695

While significant increases in agricultural production over the last decades seem to suggest that sufficient water will be available to support similar increases in the

693

Ibidem

, p. 54.

694

Dirk Messner: Klimawandel und Wasserkrisen der Zukunft (Climate change and water crises of the future; in German);

Sicherheit und Frieden (Security and Peace)

, vol. 27, no. 3, 2009, p. 168.

695

For an early, officially sanctioned assessment of the sustainability of water withdrawals see

Planning Commission: The report of the Indus Basin Research Assessment Group; Islamabad:

Government of Pakistan, 1978, p. 8. According to this report, completed at a time when both large reservoirs (Mangla and Tarbela) were fully operational,

it is not possible to increase the level of withdrawals much further while maintaining reliable irrigation water supplies

. At that time, the population of Pakistan was estimated at 73 million (1977). As of 7 July 2011, it stood at 176 million

(official

population clock

; http://www.census.gov.pk/index.php.

183

future, the

state of water management

points in the opposite direction. The estimated system losses, as detailed before, cause recurring shortfalls of water which are partly due to poor management of water courses and inadequate storage.

696

Low water productivity, again a result of management deficiencies, adds to the economic water shortage.

Efforts to make more water available are not very promising. The Government of

Pakistan expects shortfalls to range between 23.5 and 39.1 per cent in 2010/2011, based on an increase in irrigation efficiency from 40 to 45 per cent.

697

Faruqee finds that the limits of agricultural production might have already been reached as the percapita productivity is on the decline, largely due to the drastic rise in population.

698

Further extension of the cropped area is effectively limited by the availability of land and water as well as hydrological conditions.

699

The implementation of recommended reforms

, such as

– productivity-oriented land use and efficient crop selection,

– gradual redistribution of land and improved land tenure and access to credit, drainage and canal management,

– water education and research,

– privatization of water services and reduction of public micro-management, is a prerequisite to raising productivity.

700

But Faruqee cautions that even with these steps taken only marginal increases seem realistic. The consequences of this condition are reflected in a critical state of nourishment and overall public health.

701

According to UN estimates, a large part of

Pakistan’s population regularly suffers hunger and diseases related to malnutrition.

702

696

Mustafa

et al.

estimate that the existing storage can take up only 30 days worth of water supplies, as compared to India’s 120 to 220 days and Egypt’s 700 days; cf. Daanish Mustafa, Majed Akhter &

Natalie Nasrallah: Understanding Pakistan’s water – security nexus;

Peaceworks

no. 88; Washington,

D.C.: United States Institute of Peace, 2013, p. 9; www.usip.org/files/resources/PW88_Understanding-

Pakistan’s-Water-Security-Nexus.pdf (May 2013).

697

Ministry of Water and Power: Pakistan Water Sector Strategy, vol. 4,

op. cit.

, p. 171 – 172.

Projections were made in 2002.

698

Rashid Faruqee: Pakistan’s agriculture sector: Is 3 to 4 percent annual growth sustainable?

World

Bank Policy Research Working Paper

no. 1407; Washington, D.C.: World Bank, 1995, p. 4, 7 – 8. A critical factor is Total Factor Productivity per crop which is decreasing in most crops in both Punjab and Sindh.

699

Ibidem

, p. 11 – 12.

700

Ibidem

, p. 26 – 29. For a concise overview of measures to raise water productivity see David

Molden, U. Amarasinghe & I. Hussain: Water for rural development;

IWMI Working Paper

no. 32,

2001, p. 7.

701

The Global Hunger Index 2009 lists Pakistan, along with India and Bangladesh, in a category of alarming food insecurity. South Asia as a whole has

some of the highest levels of hunger and gender inequality worldwide

. See International Food Policy Research Institute, Welthungerhilfe, Concern

Worldwide: Global Hunger Index 2009; Washington, Bonn, Dublin: IFPRI, 2009, p. 13, 18, 23; www.ifpri.org/publication/2009-global-hunger-index (Sept. 2011).

702

Michael Kugelman: Pakistan’s food insecurity: roots, ramifications, and responses; in: M. Kugelman

& Robert Hathaway, eds.:

Hunger pains. Pakistan’s food insecurity;

Washington, D.C.: Woodrow

Wilson International Center for Scholars, 2010, p. 6 - 7, citing World Food Program data. Toor, referring to the same source, concludes that abouth 50 percent of Pakistan’s population consumes less the minimum required for average human need; Saadia Toor: The structural dimensions of food insecurity in Pakistan;

ibidem

, p. 99. Parts of NWFP/KPP, FATA and Balochistan are affected the most, central parts of the Punjab the least.

184

The potential effects of climate change

on water availability are difficult to estimate.

703

Studies of climate change may lack accuracy, mainly due to the complex nature of climate and its effects, and their findings may as such be scientifically debatable. But the region’s vulnerability to rising temperatures and lack of rains should serve as a warning strong enough to make sophisticated water management a top priority – not only, but especially in countries like Pakistan.

Alternative strategies

are fraught with manifold risks. Raising irrigation efficiency is prohibitively expensive, as Shiklomanov cautions.

704

Charcoal spraying of glaciers to accelerate melting does not render significant additional supplies of water, but involves environmental risks.

effect.

706

705

Artificial rain is another method, yet again with limited

Seawater desalination is very costly – the main reason why it is only practiced by a few very rich economies, particularly on the Arabian Peninsula.

Industrial water recycling is cost-intensive, too. Building extra reservoirs to store water that would otherwise be left to flow of into the sea in summer appears to be the most feasible option. Politically, however, it is highly controversial, as will be seen in the water sharing section of this study. From a water management perspective, the fact that this controversy has been lasting for more than two decades means that in this period the discrepancy between water needs and water supplies has grown.

Trading water

among stakeholders might be an option, provided both sides –

e.g

.

Sindh and Balochistan – agree on a transfer mode that would bring benefits to both sides. Extra-basin trading seems unrealistic as long as the relationship between India and Pakistan remains unfavourable. Archer

et al

. conclude that the only way to avert serious water shortage is to cap sectoral demand in one way or another through much more economic water utilization and integrated water management that prevents the further deterioration of existing sources of water.

707

Implementing water sector reforms hinges on

public perceptions

of the water situation. Individual perceptions of water availability might conflict with official or academic assessments as local realities perceived by common water users typically

703

Assessments of the current and prospective water – climate nexus in Pakistan rely on weather and river data that go back around 50 years, allowing for only limited interpretation, as Hashmi and

Siddique point out. A qualified analysis of climate change would have to be based on a complex set of data, spanning a long period of time, and on metering in different locations. Cf. Danial Hashmi &

Muhammad Siddique: Influence of climate change on upper Indus flows; in: Pakistan Engineering

Congress:

World Environment Day 2009

; Lahore: PEC, 2009, p. 31 – 37. Also D. Archer

et al

.:

Sustainable management;

op. cit

., p. 1885.

704

Igor A. Shiklomanov: Water transfer as one of the most important ways to eliminate water resources deficits and solve water management problems; in:

Proceedings of the UNESCO international workshop Interbasin Water Transfer, Paris, 25 – 27 April 1999

, p. 206; http://hispagua.cedex.es/documentacion/documentos/interbasin_water_transfers.pdf (Feb. 2011).

Water transfers, from one basin to another or within a basin, have been implemented in several large river basins. Pakistan, through several link canals, actively practises intra-basin water transfers. As the

Indus is the only major river basin in Pakistan, the potential of river links is limited.

705

This method has been given some consideration in Pakistan: Charcoal spraying on glaciers proposed;

Dawn

, 28 March 2001; Melting of glaciers under study;

Dawn

, 27 April 2001; Water shortages and artificial glacier melting;

The News

, 9 Sept. 2002. To date this method has not been implemented, mostly due to the potential destabilization of glaciers.

706

Cloud-feeding, originally a military tactic employed by the U. S. Air Force during the Vietnam War to create adverse battlefield conditions for the enemy, was applied in Pakistan in 2000 on an experimental basis: Artificial rain arranged;

Dawn

, 5 July 2000. It has not been used on a regular basis as its effects are expected to be marginal in the case of large-scale irrigation.

707

D. Archer

et al

.: Sustainable management;

op. cit

., p. 1889, 1892.

185

do not take into account the overall hydrological state of the water source

(groundwater aquifer, river or tributary). Thus the causes of water shortage are often not fully realized. This lack of transparency, compounded by deficient official information, prevents people from realizing the consequences of overuse or of dumping garbage into drains and rivers. The high rate of water-borne diseases in

Pakistan, many of which relate to the consumption of untreated water, is only one symptom of a widespread lack of water awareness.

708

Additionally, while basic

water resource information

is available, the specific supply

- demand relationship in any particular location is too complex to be reflected in plain statistics, making it difficult for individuals as well as institutionalized decision-makers to draw adequate conclusions. In-depth assessments, like the World Bank commissioned studies or research conducted by IWMI, are published in English and typically circulated in the political and academic spheres, limiting their potential effect to a very small group.

709

The role of professional

water knowledge

has been central to the country’s water management. The Partition of 1947 has left Pakistan with a shortage of trained water management experts, as Kreutzmann notes.

710

Though this shortfall had been balanced by the 1970s when Pakistan had gained a reputation for its expertise in hydraulic engineering, water knowledge has not kept up with development.

711

Another aspect of water information and communication – and the lack thereof – is the continued focus on the

supply side

of water management. While the demand for water is expected to rise strongly over the coming years, little attention is given to the principal source of this development: reproduction.

712

From 1951 to 2010, the

708

The need to provide water-related public education was realized only a few years ago when the government inaugurated a UNDP sponsored Mass Awareness Project on Water Conservation; cf.

Government of Pakistan press release: Sherpao to chair steering committee on water resources conservation;

Dawn

, 24 June 2003.

709

Though English is the most widely spoken foreign language in Pakistan, it is by no means an asset of a majority of people in Pakistan, particularly not in the countryside.

710

Hermann Kreutzmann: Water towers for Pakistan;

Geographische Rundschau – International

Edition

, vol. 2, no. 4, 2006, p. 55. Cf. also Michel: The Indus Rivers,

op. cit.

, p. 346 – 347.

711

World Bank: Water assistance strategy,

op. cit.

, p. XVI. Lack of education has an adverse effect on agricultural productivity, cf. Faruqee: Pakistan’s agriculture,

op. cit.,

p. 20. Wolff notes that knowledge transfer in the water management sector has failed to produce expected results in Asia, unlike in other world regions, because research is focussed on improving medium-scale irrigation systems, rather than the problems affecting the large-scale systems in India and Pakistan, especially the allocation and delivery of water within the irrigation system; Peter Wolff: Irrigation in the world – challenges for the future; in: Constanze Engel, G. Burkard, H. Hemann, W. Troßbach & P. Wolff, eds.:

Development

– organization – interculturalism

;

Supplement no. 91 of the Journal of Agriculture and Rural

Development in the Tropics

, Kassel: University of Kassel, 2009, p. 77 – 78; http://www.unikassel.de/upress/online/frei/978-3-89958-642-8.volltext.frei.pdf (July 2011). Lowdermilk notes that a disregard for field research,

aloofness British-style

, is partly to blame for inadequate irrigation expertise; Max K. Lowdermilk: Major institutional constraints in Pakistan’s agricultural development; in:

Richard A. Stanford, ed.:

Rural development in Pakistan

; Durham, N.C.: Carolina Academic Press,

1980, p. 150.

712

Calculations for the 1995/2025 period by IWMI researchers expect an average population growth of

1.9 % p.a., leading to a rise in cereal consumption of 2.2 % p.a. The expected rise in cereal production, by contrast, is only 1.6 %. As a result, an estimated 10 % of consumption will have to be met through imports. Cf. Rob de Nooy: Water management for agriculture in priority river basins;

WWF

Living Waters Programme

; Zeist, NL: 2003, section 3 (South Asia – Indus River Basin), p. 9; http://wwf.panda.org/about_our_earth/all_publications/?9201/Water-Use-for-Agriculture-in-Priority-

River-Basins (June 2008); The report is based on David Molden, U. Amarasinghe & I. Hussain: Water for rural development;

IWMI Working Paper

no. 32, 2000, p. 50, 74, 78.

186

population has risen five-fold while the per-capita water availability has statistically shrunk to one-fifth, according to official estimates.

713

This means that progress in water management, particularly by harnessing more water in reservoirs, has failed to compensate for this dramatic rise in demand. Prospective water demands from a steadily growing population put a huge stress on the existing water management system threatening its ecological sustainability.

714

The hydrological state of water sources in the Basin (ground and surface water) advises caution with regard to expected supplies.

Human reproduction being a socially sensitive issue not only in Pakistan, the

demographic factor

has so far been largely underestimated.

715

While the public discussion of water-related challenges grows in scope and detail the world over, the individual awareness of this problem has not led to a change in behaviour – both on the part of individuals and on the part of corporate, government, religious and other social institutions.

716

The fact that high rates of reproduction occur in many arid world regions indicates that demography is disconnected from the state of natural resources and the wider economy.

717

This phenomenon requires in-depth enquiries into the state of water knowledge and awareness and the flow of water-related information, particularly between urban and rural areas.

718

713

Ministry of Finance: Economic Survey 2009/2010; Islamabad: GoP, 2010, p. 34 – 36. WAPDA, in a presentation by its chairman to the Pakistan Development Forum 2007 (Islamabad, 27 April, 2007), referred to the same statistics to underline its demand for new reservoirs; http://siteresources.worldbank.org/INTPAKISTAN/Resources/Presentatiion-Chairman-Wapda.pdf.

Shahid Ahmed, of the Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC), using the same data, estimates that in order to meet the projected population increase (from 168m in 2010 to 209m in 2025) water availability will have to rise by 31%; presentation to seminar

Water conservation, present situation and future strategy,

Islamabad, 21 May 2009; cf. executive summary, www.pakwater.gov.pk (July 2010).

714

A.N. Laghari, D. Vanham & W. Rauch: The Indus Basin in the framework of current and future water resources management;

Hydrology and Earth System Sciences

, no. 16, 2012, p. 1079.

715

With the exception of the Persian Gulf monarchies, Pakistan and Afghanistan remain the only

Asian countries whose population has risen fourfold in the 1960 – 2012 period; http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SP.DYN.TFRT.IN/countries?display=default (May 2013).

716

There is no shortage in official statements decrying the water situation: Minister admits country facing water shortage;

Dawn

, 14 Dec. 1999; CE cautions against water shortage;

Dawn

, 4 Oct. 2000;

Water resources depleting: minister;

Dawn

, 4 July 2002 – to cite only a few. Countless newspaper articles document the critical observation of government action in the water sector and, in a remarkable demonstration of freedom of expression and media, demand determined and comprehensive water management. In this, the country’s English language publications, like

Dawn

,

The News

and

Daily Times

, are exemplary.

Education and access to information are among the critical factors in reproduction as well as water utilization; cf. Khaleda Manzoor: An attempt to measure female status in Pakistan and its impact on reproductive behaviour;

The Pakistan Development Review

, vol. 32, no. 4, 1993, p. 919, 925.

717

Hammond World Almanac. World Fact Book; 1 st

ed., 2008, München: Langenscheidt, p. 16 – 17. In this context, two other critical factors commonly underestimated are the labour market,

i.e.

the lack of jobs, and the lack of a social security system that would provide a means of income to retired people who have traditionally been relying on younger family members for their livelihood.

718

A major factor in the dramatically rising population seems to be the widespread poverty, particularly in the country-side, that forces millions of low-income families to make their children contribute to the family income. Given the complete lack of public welfare, social security and pension schemes (except for public sector employees), the joint family has only its members to rely on for economic survival.

Any initiative towards slowing the upward demographic trend has to address the lack of economic opportunities, i.e. jobs, and retirement schemes. The growing number of jobseekers inevitably exacerbates the existing tough competition, causing wages to fall and work conditions to deteriorate, creating a vicious circle. According to UN estimates, 60% of the population live on only two Dollars per day; cf. UNESCO: World Water Development Report 2012; Paris: UNESCO, 2012, p. 823. At current

(May 2013) rates, 2 Dollars equal 200 Rupees. My regular personal communication with residents of

Lahore and Islamabad confirms this. For office assistants and school teachers it is not unusual to earn

187

The failure of public and private institutions

in Pakistan to analyze and discuss the causes of this massive population growth stands in the way of progressive water management. The separation of resource management from social policy (family planning, education, health care etc.) has adverse effects on water availability.

719

The water cycle, more acutely than other resource system, commands people to live within their means – not only, but especially in countries like Pakistan. Consequently, popular awareness of the personal and societal consequences of inadequate reproduction will have to become an essential element of progressive water management, particularly in the rural areas which tend to be disconnected from the urban centres in many ways, not least in terms of information, education and communication. A shift from supply management to demand management is inevitable if drastic consequences on large parts of the population are to be avoided.

Conclusion

This chapter has rendered important findings relevant to the problem of water sharing. First, the

institutional development

of the Indus Basin irrigation system has demonstrated the presence of strong political factors in water management. The role and status of the state and the bureaucracy have in part determined the shape of water institutions since the colonial era. This

continuity

is manifested both formally, as several colonial-era institutions remain effective to date, and informally, as reflected in the culture of today’s water management. This continuity, not surprisingly, explains why some colonial-era problems survived well into the era of independence.

The water sector continues to be a highly status-oriented example of

top-down government

. On the downside, a combination of over-administration and micromanagement, misallocation of funds, corruption, a lack of up-to-date research and a lacking willingness to communicate important information to water users (particularly at the lower end of the watercourse) and other institutions marks the negative quality of public water management in Pakistan. Institutionally, the failure to link up with stakeholders (water users), aggravated by a combination of self-interest, neglect and arrogance, furthers the

isolation

of the bureaucracy. In rational choice terms, the institutions reflect a bureaucratic interest in maintaining the

status quo

for personal and collective gains in the face of a growing need for reforms. around 10,000 Rupees a month (as of 2010). Even college graduates rarely seem to earn more than

30,000 Rs, except for those with IT qualifications or the very few who work for an international employer. But even these professionals find it increasingly difficult to get a job. Given the dramatic rise in consumer prices, even middle-class households face severe constraints.

719

The Chinese version of compulsory family planning has recently been challenged by a voluntary, incentive-based strategy employed in the Indian state of Maharashtra. The program which entitles young couples to receive cash rewards for delaying reproduction, while being enrolled in family planning seminars that inform on the use of contraceptives, has received scant media coverage in

Pakistan:

Dawn

, 28 April 2011. The critical factor in the Chinese case was a combination of determined government intervention, administrative supervision and economic incentives. India, a much more democratic society, also exhibits a political dimension of demography. In a move to prevent being outnumbered by Muslims local Catholic priests have turned to offering financial benefits to Christian families; see: Kerala churches reward big families;

BBC News

(online), 7 October 2011.

Statistics on school enrolment and formal education have long been suggesting a strong link between poor education or virtual illiteracy and early marriage and large families; latest data on Pakistan confirm that trend; cf. UNESCO: Teaching and learning. Achieving quality for all. Global Monitoring

Report 2013/2014; Paris: UNESCO, 2014, p. 54, 185.

188

Second, the

role of the provinces

has undergone gradual changes that are likely to affect inter-provincial water sharing. The once near-total authority of WAPDA has been reduced, allowing the provincial governments a greater say in irrigation management, including water allocation. The provincial authorities, however, exhibit the same bureaucratic culture as the federal institutions, shying away from efforts to increase transparency, accountability, performance-orientation and privatization.

Their motivation to reform the system of water management is smaller than that of the federal government which started most reform initiatives – to the effect that the federal government continues to play a central role in water management. One reason for this political reluctance is the economic and political interests of the rural landed elite. Consequently, it is the provinces that are mainly responsible for the

lack of progress

in water management. The insistence to keep water management by and large within government control – in spite of declarations advertising private sector engagement – is the primary obstacle to a necessary shift from supply to demand management. By blocking important reforms, improvements in water management have effectively been sacrificed to institutionalized group interests.

Third,

asymmetry

as such, prevalent on the river level as well as on the canal level, has not been identified as a problem in itself. Several studies have documented the existing discrepancy between upstream (or canal head) and downstream (or tail end) positions in the river and canal system. Efforts to reduce this asymmetry have not been made. The conditions of the downstream or tail end water users remain considerably worse on average than that of upstream or canal head water users. Just as, on the political-administrative level, the dominant position of Punjab has remained untouched, on the canal level the dominant position of the

big farmers

and the social-political status derived from it has by and large remained the same.

Again, the failure to implement the National Drainage Programme, with its private sector participation, is critical because it could have opened access to water management for all farmers, not only the privileged. It is doubtful whether, with the existing asymmetry, equitable water allocation – as demanded in the government’s

Water Sector Strategy – is realistic. Instead, given the prevailing status-oriented culture of administration, big farmers are likely to continue to exert an inadequate influence over water management decisions, thus alienating the majority of other farmers. In other words, the hydrological asymmetry is combined by a politicaleconomic asymmetry effectively promoted by the bureaucracy.

Forth, the

problem of water allocation

has been put into context. Water allocation and water sharing cannot be separated from the question of water availability. Water availability affects the way water is shared and allocated. It will be seen whether the prospect of water shortage affects the readiness of decision-makers to act. The failure to put water management in a wider social and economic context – by synchronizing water policies, social-demographic initiatives, education, labour market approaches and social security – reflects an inadequate awareness of decisionmakers.

The

limits of water availability

have a fundamental importance for Pakistan:

- agricultural production is bound by sufficient water availability;

- if the rise in population is not paralleled by an equivalent increase in agricultural production, the consumer price of agricultural products is likely to rise, aggravating the already tense financial situation of the majority of the

189

population, adversely affecting purchasing power, public health and the education of children, thus reproducing the cycle of poverty;

- the inter-sectoral competition over water allocation is likely to increase due to falling incomes from agricultural production, again leading to higher consumer prices for agricultural products.

On the positive side, these limitations can act as

incentives

- to promote greater efficiency in irrigation,

- to strengthen participatory and market-based water management,

- to utilize greater amounts of unused water,

- to reassess the economic viability of producing crops against importing them.

Fifth, this section has provided a

methodological test

which asserted the relevance of political economy approaches for the understanding of political behaviour, especially in the case of the National Drainage Programme. Equally important is the analysis of institutions and – at least for the problem of water management – the property rights concept.

Lastly, the manifold importance of

pani

, or water, has been put into context. Given the overwhelming importance of irrigated agriculture in a country like Pakistan, control over water at all levels of the agricultural system translates into unparalleled political power. The analysis of water management, and particularly the water bureaucracy, has revealed the

ambivalence of institutions

: They are important for the regulation of water use, but they also act as instruments of power. They can alleviate water management, but they can also inhibit important changes in water management. Likewise, water is a means of basic livelihood to some, and a source of power to others. For the ensuing section on water sharing, this ambivalence is foreboding: If water serves different, even opposing interests, how realistic is cooperation? If

asymmetry

means a disadvantage to some but an asset to others, will both sides find a common objective for future water use?

190

Introduction

IV. Sharing Indus waters: cooperation versus confrontation

The systematic, large-scale utilization

of the Indus River for irrigation, initiated in the colonial era, has driven rapid economic, social and political development in the whole basin region. It has turned river water into a precious commodity and a focus of growing political interest of governments of the states and provinces and – after independence – the newly established nations of India and Pakistan.

Ever growing thirst for water has since required

mechanisms of water distribution

that would satisfy competing demands. A series of committees and commissions have since the beginning of the 20 th

century sought solutions to a widening dispute over water shares between the riparian provinces and states. With inter-provincial rivalries going on, the independence of India and Pakistan converted this dispute into an international affair. Overshadowed by territorial conflict, the water dispute has since evolved into a major

political challenge

to decision-makers on all sides – India and Pakistan plus the provinces involved. Fair shares of the common resource have been playing as much a role as have motives of power and status.

In the absence of a mechanism for dispute resolution, the now independent stakeholders have confronted each other facing hydrological and political conditions that inhibit a cooperative solution. The new post-independence environment has created additional obstacles for the provinces of Pakistan, too, even though they have become members of the same nation.

This section traces the

roots of the dispute

over water shares in light of the expanding irrigation system in the Indus Basin. It assesses the steps taken to find a solution that would (or would not) satisfy stakeholder demands. The independence of both nations has changed the rules of water management that were available before.

It will be seen what the stakeholders have done since the beginning to the present in order to achieve their stated goals, and what role politics have played in water management. Key questions are:

Which interests are linked to water?

What makes cooperation desirable?

Which structural or institutional arrangements facilitate (or inhibit) cooperation?

191

IV.1 Water management and hydro-politics:

Partition and confrontation

The development of the Indus Basin into an economic lifeline of the Crown Colony of

India turned neighbouring provinces and states into stakeholders vying for benefits from large water projects. The alteration of river flow regimes through a network of irrigation canals forever changed water supply patterns. While more water was made available in some places, others received less water than before. The dispute between upstream Punjab and downstream Sindh exemplifies the intricate problem that water managers, engineers, legal experts and political decision-makers had to confront.

The Partition of 1947 suddenly transformed river management into a subject of transnational relations and an acute challenge for Pakistan and India. Colonial-era mechanisms had to be replaced with a new arrangement for collective river use – a task which the new leaders had failed to tackle before the scheduled end of the colony.

720

At the same time, the upstream – downstream discrepancy of water supplies in the Indus Basin confronted the provinces of Punjab and Sindh with a complex of political, economic, hydrological and legal challenges – many of which had originated in the colonial era.

Economics and politics of hydrological asymmetry

The initiation of a large-scale irrigation system in the Indus Basin in the 1850s had confronted the riparian provinces with the challenge of sharing water. With the opening of the first major canal, the Bari Doab Canal, in 1859, the stage was set for the coming dispute over water shares. This canal, the first in a series of large water works in the Indus Basin, laid the groundwork for the future dominance of the Punjab province in economic and political terms.

721

It diverted water to a host of Punjabi farms near the Ravi River thus greatly expanding the agricultural heartland of the then Crown Colony.

720

Aloys Arthur Michel: The Indus Rivers. A study of the effects of Partition; New Haven/London: Yale

U.P., 1967, p. 164. The suggestion of the Boundary Commission’s chairman, Cyril Radcliffe, to agree on a joint water utilization mechanism was rejected out of hand by both leaders, Nehru and Jinnah; cf. also Asit K. Biswas: Indus Water Treaty: the negotiating process;

Water International

, vol. 17, 1992, p.

203, citing Leonard Mosley: The last days of the British Raj; New York: Harcourt Brace, 1962, p. 198.

The conditions under which the Boundary Commission would have to operate were, as Michel adds, less than favourable, given the inadequate terms of reference, the tight deadline (the date of independence was only five weeks away when the Commission began), and the failure to include the water issue in the agenda in the first place. Nevertheless, if the importance of the water issue had been realized, a mechanism might have been reached. A convenient and unfortunately widespread interpretation of events sheds the entire blame on the outgoing colonial government; see for example

Zaigham Habib: Water: Issues and politics in Pakistan;

South Asian Journal

, no. 8, April – June 2005, p. 3; www.southasianmedia.net (March 2008).

721

For an unmistakable impression of the hydro-economic weight of the Punjab see the hydrological map of the basin in the Water Resources eAtlas, published by IWMI, IUCN, WRI and the Ramsar

Convention on Wetlands, chart AS11 (Watersheds of Asia and Oceania), www.wri.org (Aug. 2004).

For an authoritative account of the water works see Michel: Indus,

op. cit.

, p. 58 ff.

192

The Punjab’s strong natural advantage

was obvious: its location in the centre of the Indus Basin, with most of its tributaries running through it –

a country eminently adapted for canals

.

722

Further projects strengthened the economic weight of the

Punjab though this, according to Michel, was not the main interest of the colonial irrigation planners. Rather it was the growing population, not only in the Punjab, that necessitated a steep rise in agricultural output.

723

A series of major projects over the coming decades, particularly the Triple Canals Project (1905 – 1915) achieved the desired economic returns, in spite of significant technical obstacles, turning the

Punjab into a model for irrigation projects in other parts of India.

724

The downstream view from Sindh

was less promising because the interests of the lower riparian states and provinces were not given adequate consideration. The

Sutlej Valley Project, again prioritizing Punjab, involved water losses for the downstream region.

725

Yet the first commission to address problems associated with water projects, the Indian Irrigation Commission (1901 – 1903), did little to take into account the potential impact of the project on the downstream side. Rather than including Sindh, it prepared the road for the Tripartite Agreement, to be agreed between the upstream provinces and states of Bahawalpur, Bikaner and Punjab

(1919), effectively implementing the envisioned project.

726

These early projects, in the perception of many Sindhi activists, mark the beginning of the Sindh – Punjab water dispute.

727

Behind the failure to reach a satisfying mode of water sharing were not only political, but mainly technical, agricultural and hydrological problems. As Michel points out, the

requirements of irrigation

in the Indus Basin exceed a fixed seasonal allocation of water (

Kharif,

April to September

– Rabi,

October to March), particularly in the dry summer season (

Kharif

). In the case of a weak or brief Monsoon, water supplies for

Rabi

sowing in November/December might be short:

The most critical period begins in late February and March and continues until the rapidly rising temperatures produce a corresponding rise in the rate of snowmelt. Runoff increases accordingly, and by May 1 there is usually enough water … to supply the needs of the newly sown

Kharif crops

.

728

But it isn’t until the beginning of July that agriculture is

safe

.

729

The situation in Sindh, before large reservoirs were available, was even more critical as the overall amount of water available downstream is generally less than that in the upper reaches of the river, i.e. in Punjab.

722

General Report on the Administration of the Punjab, for the years 1849 – 50 and 1850 – 51; printed for the Court of Directors of the East-India Company, London: J. and H. Cox, 1854, p. 96; quoted in

Michel: Indus Rivers,

op. cit

., p. 65. Michel, p. 66, cites the prevention of famines and potential political destabilization as a strong motive – besides the intention to prevent a rebellion of Sikhs, by offering them to become farmers on the newly irrigated lands.

723

724

725

Michel,

op. cit.

, p. 76.

Michel,

op. cit

., p. 76 – 82.

From 1847 to 1935 Sindh was a part of the Bombay Government, and the State of Khairpur was the other downstream state affected by upstream water works; see Michel: Indus,

op. cit.,

p. 99ff.

726

Michel: Indus;

op. cit

., p. 99ff.

727

A widely respected representative of the movement stressing Sindh’s rights as a downstream neighbour is Rasool Bux Palijo, lawyer and leader of the Awami Tehrik party; see his book: Sindh –

Punjab water dispute 1859 – 2003; Hyderabad: Center for Peace and Human Development, 2003.

The year 1859 marks the beginning of the Bari Doab Canal; p. 10.

728

729

Michel: Indus;

op. cit.

, p. 115.

Michel,

ibidem

.

193

Sindh’s position

in the beginning water dispute, on the surface, was based on the fear of over-withdrawals upstream (by Punjab). However, the real concern, according to Michel, was not the withdrawals as such, because they in fact did not necessarily affect Sindh irrigation, but the availability of water below Sukkur. The barrage at

Sukkur, conceived in 1920 and inaugurated in 1932, changed the water supply and its timings and thus effectively dictated irrigation planning in Sindh. It is for this reason that Michel links the beginning of the Sindh – Punjab dispute to the Sukkur project.

730

The colonial administration, from 1921 on, started collecting data on water withdrawals in preparation of further water projects in Punjab and with a view to avert losses in Sindh.

731

At the same time, the Indus Discharge Committee was established to assess water availability. Eight years later, it concluded that the data so far collected was still insufficient to allow for an exact assessment of expected water availability in the context of the planned Thal canal, again highlighting the complexity of water supplies in the Indus Basin.

732

As no adverse consequences were expected, the Thal project and the planned Bhakra dam were approved. Sindh, however, feared losses at

Sukkur – a claim that a neutral investigation later proved to be unfounded.

733

The assessment of water availability would remain a delicate issue in the decades to come, adding uncertainty to almost all future water projects, at least from the standpoint of Sindh.

The provincial authority

over water management, as established by the

Government of India Act of 1935, meant that Sindh would now face Punjab on an equal footing in any further disputes over water.

734

After a redesign of the Bhakra dam project on the Sutlej by the Punjab government in 1939, Sindh, expecting a significant impact on water supplies downstream, demanded a reassessment of the project on the ground of major changes. In accordance with the Government of India

Act, a judicial solution – instead of a governor-appointed technical committee – had to be found. The Indus Commission, headed by Justice Benegal N. Rau, was independent of the colonial administration and represented the first

legal approach

to the water problem.

735

The work of this commission is important for both the Sindh – Punjab case and the problem of water sharing in general, as it would later provide an input to the so-called

Helsinki Rules, adopted by the International Law Association in 1966 as a set of

730

Michel, p. 117.

731

Michel, p. 119.

732

Michel,

op. cit

., p. 122.

733

The Nicholson – Trench Report of 1929 was later accepted by Sindh, allowing works on the Bhakra dam on the Sutlej; cf. Michel,

op. cit

., p. 122, 129. Due to technical alterations of the dam design by

Punjab, the Anderson Committee was tasked to assess the hydrological impact (1935).

734

The Act qualifies the framework of dispute settlement, essentially putting the Governor General of

India in charge; cf. §§ 130, 131; an inter-provincial council, in which – hypothetically at least – both sides would be heard, could only be invoked by the British Government, again on the initiative of the

Governor General (§135); document text: The Gazette of India Extraordinary: The Government of

India Act 1935, Simla, 9.9.1935; online: www.echr.net/const/history.goi.htm (July 2001).

735

The so-called Rau Commission (in some sources referred to as Rao Commission) was initiated in

September 1941 by the Governor General of India and included two water engineers; cf. Scott Barrett:

Conflict and cooperation in managing international watercourses;

World Bank Policy Research

Working Paper

no. 1303, 1994, p. 11; Michel: Indus,

op. cit.

, p. 129 – 130.

194

guidelines for collective river utilization.

736 precedent.

737

The case at hand was considered a

The Indus Commission’s report

, delivered in 1942, asserted the right of the upstream riparian province, Punjab, to conceive and realize the further development of the Indus irrigation network, but emphasized the right of the downstream province,

Sindh, to receive water supplies on the basis of

equitable apportionment

, i.e. to share some of the benefits to be reaped from the current project and not to suffer losses. Should losses be suffered by Sindh – which the Commission saw as likely – compensation was envisioned.

738

The recommendations of the Commission were based on a detailed assessment of existing irrigation schemes, the seasonal water needs (

Kharif, Rabi

) of both provinces, and an evaluation of existing principles of international water law. The principle of equitable water sharing, as was shown in the theoretical discussion, had already entered the legal discourse, yet without an agreed definition of the respective river or drainage basin.

In this sense, the report, though comprehensive, lacked precision as there was no precursor that could have served as a solid model. Exact figures for water shares were not given, and also not a formula by which they would have to be calculated.

Also there was no provision for an institutional mechanism to oversee the implementation of the recommendations – which, of course, would depend on the consent of the two parties concerned. But more importantly, the basic principles for water management, especially the sharing of benefits and the prevention of significant harm to the downstream riparian, were established. Thus the Indus

Commission’s report constituted, in theory at least, a

new set of norms

for the utilization of rivers. The fact that both provinces took part in the proceedings of the

Commission underlines the legitimacy and status of the report.

The recommendations of the report

extended to future projects and advocated a technical commission to look into ways to avoid damages to Sindh’s inundation canals.

739

Confirming Sindh’s apprehension as to the already conceived projects, the planned water works in Punjab were seen as

likely to cause material injury to Sindh’s inundation canals, particularly in the month of September

.

740

To alleviate these adverse effects in the long term, the Commission recommended the construction of two new barrages in Sindh, to be financed in part by Punjab.

741

The Commission, comprehensive and forward-looking though it was, finally failed because its report did not receive the consent of either party. Both Sindh and Punjab appealed to the

Government of India, thus in a sense going back in time instead of asserting their newfound status as granted by the Government of India Act.

736

Cf. International Law Commission: Summary Record of the 1786 th

Meeting; Topic: Law on the Nonnavigational Uses of International Watercourses; vol. 1, 1983, p. 178; www.un.org/law/ilc/index.htm

(May 2007).

737

Michel; Indus;

op. cit.,

p. 129 – 130. See also International Law Commission: Yearbook of the

International Law Commission 1983, vol. 1, 1786 th

Meeting, 21 June 1983, p. 187. Helmut R. Külz:

Further water disputes between India and Pakistan;

The International Comparative Law Quarterly

, vol.

18, no. 3, 1969, p. 730- 731.

738

John G. Laylin: Principles of law governing the uses of international rivers. Contributions from the

Indus Basin;

Proceedings of the American Society of International Law

, vol. 51, 1957, p. 25 – 26.

Laylin was to become a member of the team of legal advisers to the Pakistan Government in 1952.

739

Michel,

op. cit.

, p. 130, with a reproduction of important parts of the report; Laylin,

ibidem.

740

Michel,

op. cit.

, p. 132, quoting from: Draft Outline as Prepared by the Indian Designee to the Indus

Basin Working Party, annexure 1, p. 35.

741

Michel,

op. cit

., p. 132

195

A draft agreement on water sharing

within the context of existing and planned water works was presented three years later, in 1945, by the Chief Engineers of both provinces.

742

This document, representing an engineering (not so much a legal) approach, further elaborated the recommendations of the Indus Commission as to the construction of dams, reservoirs and canals. It aimed to

- provide stability on existing withdrawals from the Indus and the five rivers and

- establish future supplies for envisioned projects.

The draft set out five priorities, with existing supplies per season ranking first.

Potential

additional supplies for projected canals

,

storage water and other subsequent allocations

, and

balance supplies

were also listed as priorities.

743

A striking aspect of this document is the

detailed regulation

of supplies to Punjab and

Sindh per location (river and canal off-take) and per season. Allocations were quantified canal-wise on a monthly basis, either in actual quantities (acre feet) or proportionally, and even time lags and shortages due to hydrological dynamics were taken into account.

744

The typical irrigation method practised in Sindh (inundation) was taken into account by allowing as much water as

river levels permit

.

745

The fate of this draft agreement was overshadowed by the impending independence of India and Pakistan and the vast political and administrative challenges attached to it. As Michel plainly puts it,

decisions on irrigation schemes and allocation of water … were losing priority to decisions on constituent assemblies, interim governments, and boundaries

.

746

In retrospect, the 1945 draft nevertheless marks a step forward as it

- allocates water on the basis of a

transparent

,

precise

and

long-term

schedule,

- sets and names

priorities

,

- establishes of water sharing based on equitable utilization and the prevention of significant harm to downstream stakeholders,

- underlines the

economic rationale

of water utilization by detailing compensation in case of losses suffered by one side due to projects implemented by the other, and

- provides for an

dispute resolution mechanism

in the form of an independent arbiter.

The draft did not receive approval from either side. The objections raised in the following months initially focused on the compensation issue.

747

The critical point was the

lack of precision

regarding the amount that Punjab would have to pay to Sindh.

742

The

Draft Agreement between the Punjab and Sind regarding the Sharing of the Waters of the

Indus and five Punjab Rivers

was presented to the colonial administration on 28 September 1945 by the Chief Engineer of Sindh, J. L. Grant, and the Chief Engineer of Punjab, E. L. Protheroe. I am grateful to Chaudhry Mazhar Ali, adviser to the Punjab Irrigation Dept., for providing me a copy of the document.

743

744

Annexure I.

No less than 17 tables were attached to the draft agreement, detailing allocations according to priorities established in the main text.

745

Annexure I, 8

746

Michel,

op. cit

., p. 132. The author notes that the much delayed process to implement Bhakra not only meant a loss of projected income over many years, but also that the chance to arrive at a comprehensive agreement on water rights and canal operation in time before Partition was missed.

747

Cf. correspondence between the chief engineers of both provinces: letters of 13 Oct. 1945 (Punjab to Sindh), 25 Oct 1945 (S to P), 22 Nov. 1945 (P to S), 7 Dec. 1956 (S to P), 7 Jan. 1946 (P to S), 30

Jan. 1946 (S to P), 22 June 1946 (P to S), 16 July 1946 (S to P), 26 Aug. 1946 (P to S), 28 Dec. 1946

(P to S), 26 Feb. 1947 (S to P), 18 Mar 1947 (P to S).

196

In a suggested alteration offered four weeks later, Punjab plainly agreed to compensate Sindh in the case of

financial loss

with a

sufficient sum

, reserving the right of its government to examine the Sindh’s estimate or

make its own estimate,

rather than accepting the

productivity

of a project as a reference, as it was demanded by Sindh.

748

A mode by which such losses would be calculated could not be agreed upon in the further discussions. Thus the draft continued to lack a solid basis for further discussions. Interestingly, many decades later, the 1945 document is frequently referred to as

a milestone in water apportionment

(M. A. Shaikh) and

an instrument of great significance

(G. K. Soomro) which provided for

true historic distribution

(Mir Atta Talpur).

749

Hakro and Lashari even claim that

it has been followed, both in letter and spirit, up to the break-up of One Unit

.

750

After a couple of months of fruitless dialogue, another issue – water supplies – was raised by Punjab.

751

As no understanding could be reached on the level of engineers, representatives of both sides – members of the provincial governments and their chief engineers – met for

direct talks

for the first time from 26 to 28 August 1946 at

Simla. The conference went over the whole draft of 1945 and addressed the disputed issues, yet without arriving at an agreement. The Punjab stuck to its demand to

make its own estimate of an equitable contribution

to the projects in Sindh, whereas Sindh maintained its demand of financial compensation based on the

productivity

of the projects.

752

The debate over the draft agreement

has highlighted a general problem of agreements on water sharing: the

quantification

of gains and losses incurred by both sides – as well as the economic potential of an irrigation system, for that matter.

It seems to be a difficult, if not impossible task to establish solid figures – not only but especially in a complex case like the Indus Basin, with its many tributaries and canals. A large river basin, particularly in a developing environment like the fledgling economies of Sindh and Punjab, is a highly dynamic setting. Dispute over the figures

– first the financial compensation for lost economic opportunities, then the water shares – was inevitable.

As the 1945 draft had not specified the

financial issues

, the Simla meeting only arrived at a

draft of the financial clauses

, yet leaving the actual amounts open to further discussion.

753

An offer from Punjab, put forward in December 1946, was rejected by Sindh.

754

Thus an 18 months period of bilateral dialogue over the draft

748

Memorandum of Understanding, attached to letter of 13 Oct. 1945.

749

Mohammed Ali Shaikh: Keynote address; in: SZABIST Center for Information and Research, ed.:

The Indus irrigation issues. A seminar report on water shortage in Sindh. Cause, consequence and cure

; Karachi: SZABIST, 2001, p. 9 (M.A. Shaikh is director of SZABIST); M. Talpur: Water shortage in

Sindh: causes and consequences; www.geocities.com/indusfarming/issues/wsis.htm (March 2001; the author is a member of the World Sindhi Congress); G. K. Soomro: Indus water allocation; 1980, p. 53, quoted in Palijo,

op. cit

., p. 22.

750

Ahmed Nawaz Hakro & Azhar Lashari: Greater Thal Canal. Another misadventure; Islamabad:

Sungi Development Foundation and Actionaid Pakistan, 2005, chapter VI, p. 78; www.sungi.org/publications/reports/GreaterThalCanalStudy.pdf (July 2008). Reference is made to

Palijo,

op. cit.

, p. 20. This reference, however, is inaccurate; Palijo, p. 20, only reproduces parts of the

1945 document, referring to the Soomro book (see previous footnote) as the respective source.

Unfortunately Soomro’s book could not be located in the course of this study for further verification.

751

See letter of 22 June 1946.

752

Cf. correspondence, as quoted above, especially letters of 25 Oct. 1945 and 22 Nov. 1945.

753

Cf. Sindh Punjab draft agreement of 1945, para. 18; Draft of the Financial Issues, 27 Aug. 1946.

754

Cf. correspondence of 28 Dec. 1946 and 26 Feb. 1947.

197

agreement ended with neither side showing any sign of compromise towards the higher goal of reaching a practicable agreement on which future water plans could be built. No effort had been made to eliminate or circumvent the intractable problem of quantification. By making themselves dependent on precise figures, both stakeholders – once again confirming their near-chronic mutual mistrust – found themselves in a dead end.

In sum

, several characteristic aspects mark the early

,

pre-independence phase of the dispute between Sindh and Punjab:

- the intricate problem of

adjusting water supplies

from Punjab to water needs in Sindh in terms of timing and quantity;

- the manifested itself in the further development of the irrigation network and was paralleled by an increasing economic asymmetry with every new water project in the upstream region of the basin;

-

technical committees

led by water experts delivered recommendations based on hydrological assessments that took into account the potential impact of upstream water works on downstream water supplies; these committees represent a degree of

coordination

through a higher authority (the colonial administration) proved acceptable to both sides; their recommendations proved by and large acceptable to both sides;

- a of Punjab’s intentions by Sindh, expressed in an almost automatic suspicion of water losses perceived as an inevitable result of any upstream water works;

- a of both sides, Sindh and Punjab, to engage in a cooperative process to establish the principles for long-term water sharing, indicated by a tendency of demanding concessions that have already proved unacceptable to the other side;

- a fixation on

exact figures

regarding water supplies;

- the sharing of benefits (water supplies, economic potentials, financial contribution or compensation) did not prove to be an agreeable solution, indicating that

political, rather than economic interests

might have been a priority.

At the beginning of independence, Sindh and Punjab found themselves emptyhanded. Two important opportunities had been missed, even though both the Rau

Report and the Draft Agreement had provided practicable answers to the demands of

Sindh without compromising the plans of Punjab. While the speed of the independence procedures could not have been foreseen by the stakeholders, there still was an acute

need for a pragmatic solution

if one believes the frequent reminders of Sindh regarding the recurring losses from upstream withdrawals and

Punjab’s stated desire to increase the irrigation network in order to reap economic benefits for a quickly growing population.

Consequently, due to the

inability of Sindh and Punjab to reach a consensus

on the utilization of the Indus the future of water supplies to both sides was uncertain.

Clearly, even a compromise would have served the interests of both sides better because it would have been much easier to renegotiate an existing agreement (in the case of new projects, for example) – by relying on an already agreed

modus operandi

– than starting from scratch at every new development, not to mention the confidence built by a first agreement. The reasons for this inability can only be guessed. On the part of the Punjab, it might have been the hope that its already existing dominance

198

could be used politically to more or less dictate the further development of the whole river basin without regard for other provinces’ interests. On the part of Sindh, it might have been the hope that an even better outcome could be in the cards, as the Indus

Commission had already put a particular focus on the situation of Sindh.

From a Rational Choice perspective, both positions were somewhat understandable to a degree – especially that of Punjab, as it had well-founded hopes that the promising irrigation network would be developed further. The historical turn of events, however, would soon demand a reassessment on all sides. The introduction of

compensation

as a scheme to balance benefits was an important step that could have helped to alleviate the one-sided effects of hydrological asymmetry.

With regard to the institutional aspect of the draft agreement, the observation that

precision

(in wording and figures) can have a positive or negative effect is important.

Precision at first seems to make cooperation easier, yet in the special case of water and water-related development it might sometimes obstruct cooperation, as the early

Sindh – Punjab dispute indicates. It remains to be seen whether and how this aspect has been dealt with in the course of events after independence.

Independence: India versus Pakistan, Punjab versus Punjab versus

Sindh

Independence meant the discontinuation of the drainage basin concept of water management in engineering as well as legal terms. India and Pakistan found themselves in the same position as the now divided portions of Punjab as well as

Pakistan’s provinces of Punjab and Sindh. India was in control of the upper reaches of the basin as well as the head works of some of the main rivers.

755

Most of the canals, however, were on Pakistani soil.

756

The need for an agreement

with India, now a sovereign neighbour and the legal successor to the former colony, seemed evident, yet the circumstances were extremely unfavourable for any form of cooperation. Internally, in Pakistan the institutional environment was not yet in place to communicate – much less negotiate

– the management of water supplies from the Indus system. The mass migration of millions of people, often under conditions of violence, had created a chaotic situation.

Externally, the conflict over Kashmir exploded onto the scene, subordinating almost all other bilateral issues to concerns of security.

Four months after Partition, two

Standstill Agreements

, agreed by the Arbitral

Tribunal which consisted of the Chief Engineers of the Indian and the Pakistani

Punjab, determined water sharing between both countries on the Upper Bari Doab

755

Pakistan throughout this and the next chapter is synonymous with West Pakistan in terms of water as the then province of East Pakistan (later to become Bangladesh) is not a part of the Indus system.

756

René Klaff: Der Induswasserkonflikt – Ansätze einer pragmatischen Wasserpolitik in der

Konfliktregion Südasien (The Indus water dispute – in search of a pragmatic water policy in the troubled region of South Asia; in German); in: Jörg Barandat, ed.:

Wasser – Konfrontation oder

Kooperation

; Baden-Baden: Nomos, 1997, p. 246 – 249; Gulhati: Indus Waters Treaty,

op. cit

., p. 59,

454. The migration of large numbers of people from West to East Punjab shifted the pressure to develop the water infrastructure to the East; cf. Arnold W. Knauth: The Indus River System;

Proceedings of the American Society of International Law

, vol. 54, 1960, p. 135.

199

Canal and the Sutlej Valley canals for the Rabi 1948 season, i.e. until 31 March

1948, on a

status quo ante

basis, effectively prolonging the pre-partition mode, implying that

the parties may execute a further agreement

. The so-called Committee

B, in coordination with the Partition Committee, approved both agreements which then became effective.

757

Its recommendation stated that there should be

no interference whatsoever with the then existing flow of water

.

758

For the Pakistani provinces

this meant that water supplies remained unaltered – at least for the time being – while the negotiations between India and Pakistan would continue, yet without provincial participation. Given the overarching Kashmir dispute and the still unstable social, political and economic situation of the provinces, active participation in the water talks was not realistic, and it was not necessary either – at least not yet. It even seems that both the central government of Pakistan as well as those of the provinces considered the interim agreements somewhat sufficient.

Hectic diplomatic activity, in any case, did not take place. As Niranjan Gulhati, a witness to the process, observes:

Joint control by the East and West Punjab of any installation in either country was … out of the question under the conditions which followed partition … But the immediate problem of continuing water supplies to the numerous canals … was relatively simple

.

759

The interim agreements of December 1947, concluded along the lines of the previous, colonial-era mechanisms, had basically frozen the pre-independence

status quo

in order to give both sides time to reach a long-term solution. Significantly, the

issue of compensation

by the upper riparian (India / East Punjab) to the lower riparian (Pakistan / West Punjab) was excluded, reflecting an awareness that the stumbling bloc in the pre-1947 negotiations might cause trouble in the now developing bilateral relationship.

760

As will be seen, this aspect would indeed surface again and again on the road to a comprehensive bilateral agreement, finally to be reached in 1960.

Water finally and inevitably did get adequate attention from decision-makers in

Pakistan when the 1947 interim agreements expired. East Punjab cut off water downstream supplies, leaving most canals in West Punjab without water.

761

While the actual physical effects in Pakistan were minimal, this sudden, though not unexpected closure of the canals would have a lasting

psychological effect

. Throughout the decades to come, and even after the conclusion of the comprehensive Indus Treaty of 1960, this incident would be referred to in Pakistan as proof of India’s alleged intention to exert political pressure on its antagonist neighbour by harming its

757

Excerpts from both documents, done on 20 Dec. 1947, are quoted in B. R. Chauhan: Settlement of international and inter-state water disputes in India; New Delhi: Indian Law Institute, 1992, p. 83 – 84.

758

759

The Tribunal’s chairman, Patrick Spens, quoted in Laylin: Principles,

op. cit

., p. 27.

Niranjan D. Gulhati: Indus Waters Treaty. An exercise in international mediation; Delhi: Allied

Publishers, 1973, p. 58. Gulhati, providing a rare and balanced inside account, was the Indian member of the Working Party to negotiate the Treaty of 1960.

760

Art. 3 of both the Upper Bari Doab Canal Agreement and the Sutlej Valley Canals Agreement, reproduced in Chauhan: Settlement,

op. cit.

, p. 83 and 84.

761

This action apparently was not coordinated with the central government. Prime Minister Nehru was reported to have been furious at the provincial government; cf. Gulhati: Indus Treaty,

op. cit

., p. 64; it was, however, announced to West Punjab in advance. Gulhati adds that the first closure, of December

1947, did not cause major damage because

the critical period for sowing the summer crops begins only towards the latter half of April

, p. 67.

200

economy. In turn, as will be seen, this incident served to justify Pakistan’s defiant and often intransigent position in bilateral relations.

The disruption of water supplies

, officially justified with a lack of clarity regarding the status of ownership, compelled Pakistan to negotiate with India. As there was indeed no legal provision applicable to the case at hand, nor a higher authority to decree a solution, both sides were left to enter the diplomatic path. In a sense both sides thus confirmed what the Indus (Rau) Commission in 1942 had anticipated – that

the most satisfactory settlement of disputes of this kind is by agreement

.

762

A political, rather than a judicial, solution would be the likely outcome – in the

Commission’s words,

once there is such an agreement, that in itself furnishes the law governing the rights of the several parties

.

763

This would require both sides to state and actively pursue their interests, exposing a specific rationality determining each side’s moves.

Further developments would show, however, that the Rau Commission’s central postulate – that water should be distributed on the basis of

equitable apportionment

, allotting each side a

fair share

– has not been adhered to.

764

Throughout most of the coming years, the positions of both sides stuck to the territorial principle, leaving little actual room for negotiations. Two weeks after the expiry of the interim agreements, the

Inter-Dominion Agreement

, of May 1948, in seven brief paragraphs determined the continuation of water supplies from East

Punjab to West Punjab on the basis of territorial rights and the payment of fees by the lower riparian (Pakistan).

765

Interestingly, this Agreement did address the delicate issues of water supplies and fees, yet without establishing precise figures. This aspect is reminiscent of the draft agreement of 1945 as it was this particular point that proved to be a particularly thorny issue. Besides, there was no arrangement for an institutional oversight, thus the implication would rest with the central and provincial governments of either side, with no means of transparency, let alone a facility for the settlement of a dispute. This agreement marked the point that both sides were ready to reach at that time.

Politically, this path was a dead-end road because there was little substance to build on, and the lack of precision and transparency was like an invitation for further dispute. In principle, the downstream riparian essentially would have to accept the demands of the upstream neighbour unless – according to basic game theory – the downstream side had something to offer that would at least equal the expected benefits. Pakistan’s approach, however, as well as India’s was not guided by a market formula.

Territory

would become the legal foundation of water management.

This marked a departure from the late colonial-era in which the principle of equitable apportionment was introduced. The Indian government referred to the Harmon

Doctrine of territorial sovereignty as the guiding principle of its position in the dispute with Pakistan. This formula had been widely rejected by scholars and lawmakers

762

Rau Commission report, quoted in Chauhan: Settlement,

op. cit.

, p. 183.

763

Chauhan,

ibidem

.

764

Quote in Chauhan,

ibidem

.

765

Inter-Dominion Agreement between the Government of India and the Government of Pakistan, on the Canal Water Dispute between East and West Punjab, sometimes referred to as the Simla

Agreement, signed by the federal and provincial governments of both sides on 4 May 1948; www.internationalwaterlaw.org/RegionalDocs/Punjab-Canal.htm (May 2001).

201

elsewhere, as Laylin points out.

766

But in the absence of a legal norm on transnational rivers, any judicial approach was hampered.

A second Inter-Dominion Conference, in August 1949, ended by recommending a joint technical commission in order to assess water needs of India and Pakistan. In the following months, a negotiating committee, during three meetings in 1950, was supposed to agree on details of the technical commission’s procedure, yet did not reach a consensus.

767

Pakistan stuck to its prior-use formula - which India rejected, insisting on the technical commission. The establishment of a

quantitative basis

could have introduced demand management (rather than supply management) and – at least hypothetically – helped an engineering approach that might have staved off political manoeuvring and manipulation. Water sharing could then have become a more technical (rather than psychological) issue, requiring mainly a reliable allocation mechanism and a transparent mode of supervision.

Making matters worse, the next problem brought up were those waterways that were not mentioned in the agreement of 1948. Curiously, the 1948 Agreement remained valid in principle even though Pakistan did not consider itself bound to it any longer, yet continued to receive water supplies on that very basis while at the same time questioning the water charges demanded by India.

768

A critical look at stakeholder positions and dispute handling

up to that point finds several deficits. From a water management perspective, the failure to establish a quantitative basis for future water allocation – mainly due to Pakistan’s refusal – blocked an engineering solution. Pakistan’s approach, understandably, was to secure the supplies of the pre-1948 level. The need to save water with a view to drastically rising populations was not yet realized. From an institutional perspective, the lack of precision and transparency regarding water supplies and corresponding water charges undermined the relationship between both sides.

On the political front

, the Kashmir conflict served to exacerbate the water problem, and both sides used the territorial dispute to assert their new-found autonomy. The implicit linking of both disputes inevitably made the handling of either conflict more complicated. In sum, external conditions for a cooperative water agreement were as unfavourable as could be. Outside observers familiar with the water dispute even feared

another Korea

– a major Asian war which Western powers might be drawn into.

769

Third party engagement was not an option as India categorically rejected

766

Laylin: Principles,

op. cit

., p. 27 - 28.

767

Gulhati,

op. cit.

, p. 76.

768

Gulhati,

op. cit

., p. 84, 86. For a detailed analysis of this period see Undala Z. Alam: Water rationality: mediating the Indus Waters Treaty; unpublished PhD thesis, University of Durham, 1998, p.

53 – 57. This study also reproduces some of the World Bank correspondence with both sides. The study was temporarily published online at www.transboundarywaters.orst.edu/publications/ (download:

June 2003). Permission to quote was kindly granted by the author in Dec. 2010.

769

David E. Lilienthal: Another “Korea” in the making?

Collier’s

, 4 Aug. 1951. Lilienthal was a former

Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) chairman. His warning that

no army, with bombs and shellfire, could devastate a land as thoroughly as Pakistan could be devastated by the simple expedient of India’s permanently shutting off the sources of water that keep the fields and people of Pakistan alive

, dramatic as it sounded, has been referred to by many activists in Pakistan in order to keep the Indian threat alive. According to Jawaharlal Nehru’s biographer, the Indian Prime Minister was willing to be

generous on other matters such as the flow of the Indus canal waters to Pakistan

. Yet Kashmir and the political system of Pakistan proved to be intractable:

… all these efforts at better relations were lost to sight with the overthrow of the democratic system in Pakistan and the declaration of martial law

;

202

outside involvement, including the International Court of Justice – a step continuously advocated by Pakistan.

770

In a show of force, Pakistan had tried to compel India to accept a legal solution by announcing that further payments were contingent on India accepting an ICJ ruling.

771

This

power game

added to what had become a confrontational, rather than cooperative approach to the water problem. River development, meanwhile, continued without any degree of coordination on both sides.

772

Pragmatism and compulsory cooperation: enter the World Bank

The 1950s saw some progress towards cooperation, mainly due to

external intervention

. The World Bank, in 1951, issued a proposal for a comprehensive plan for the development of the Indus River system.

773

This initiative was at least partly triggered by the fear of a wider war between the two antagonists and – in this context

– a desire to stress the relevance of the United Nations as the chief supranational forum of dispute prevention.

774

The Bank followed a rather pragmatic, strictly water management-oriented path in dealing with the increasingly antagonistic parties, advocating an integrated river management approach based on the recommendations of water engineers.

The starting point of this approach was the assumption that the existing availability of water in the basin was sufficient to satisfy the current needs of both countries. The task ahead was to find a

cooperative mode

for the joint utilization of these resources. From the Bank’s perspective, the solution was comprehensive long-term river development planned and executed by water management experts from both sides, with technical and legal assistance from the Bank.

775

As this plan would take time to be developed and discussed, both sides agreed that the existing supplies should be upheld, without pre-empting legal rights. The Inter-Dominion Agreement thus remained in effect, yet without being referred to in the tri-partite negotiations.

776

For the provinces of Pakistan

, the Working Party set up to devise the plan was the first forum in which they were actively involved. Though the Chief Engineer of the

Punjab was to lead the Pakistani team, engineers from Bahawalpur, Sindh and

NWFP were included as advisers.

777

Before that, Sindh, not being represented in the central water management apparatus, had no effective means of participation.

Sindh, at the bottom end of the hydrological system and the political hierarchy as

Nehru, on 16 Aug. 1958, quoted in Sarvepalli Gopal: Jawaharlal Nehru. A biography; Bombay: OUP,

1979, vol. 2, p. 28 and vol. 3, p. 86 respectively.

770

John G. Laylin: Indus River System;

Proceedings of the American Society of International Law

, vol.

54, 1960, p. 146.

771

772

Alam,

op. cit

., p. 56, referring to Gulhati,

op. cit

., p. 83.

773

Gulhati,

op. cit

., p. 85 – 86.

This process was initiated by Lilienthal’s approach to the Bank’s chairman, Eugene Black; cf.

Gulhati,

op. cit.

, p. 93 – 94.

774

Laylin: Indus,

op. cit.

, p. 149, referring to the New York Agreed Recommendation no. 1, of 1958, demanding that

co-riparian states should refrain from unilateral acts or omissions that affect adversely the legal rights of a co-riparian state in the drainage basin

, and invoking

the procedures envisaged in

Art. 33 of the UN Charter

. This article basically requires nations to apply peaceful means to resolve disputes.

775

776

Gulhati,

op. cit

., p. 98.

777

Gulhati;

op. cit

.; p. 99 – 102, 183 - 186; Michel,

op. cit

., p. 204.

Gulhati,

op. cit

., p. 103.

203

well, depended on a solution of the India – Pakistan and Punjab – Punjab dispute and would effectively be left to receive whatever water was left in the system after the upper riparian stakeholders had withdrawn their shares because Sindh (as well as the other provinces of Pakistan) was not mentioned in the agreement of 1948. The

Bank initiative, on the surface, diminished the role of the provinces (i.e. East and

West Punjab) as it was the central governments of both countries that were the partners of the Bank. Yet in reality it would in the long run open the road to a more active engagement of all riparian provinces by including them into the integrated basin concept.

In the coming years, water management in both countries followed a

parallel course

: On the one hand, the bilateral engineers’ discussions went ahead as planned by the Bank; on the other hand, the unilateral water projects of both countries, initiated soon after independence, took shape: on the Indian side, the

Harike project, crucial to harness the Sutlej waters for diversion into the wider

Bhakra-Beas-Rajastan scheme; on the Pakistani side a series of link canals designed to avert water shortages in the event of a sudden canal closure upstream in

East Punjab.

778

Theoretically speaking, this was a

combination of egotistic and collaborative action

. Practically speaking, it was the World Bank’s pragmatic approach which was stringently oriented at a technically feasible solution acceptable to both sides that saved the day. The Bank’s recommendation of 1954, based on the chief engineers’ findings, focussed on the infrastructure to be built; the original recommendation for a joint river management was discarded as unrealistic in the face of the growing antagonism.

779

Instead, it was suggested that the basin should be split giving India full control over the eastern tributaries and Pakistan full control over the western tributaries.

The Bank’s constructive approach

succeeded in keeping both sides at the negotiating table. Though the 1954 plan had to undergo changes – due to Pakistan’s objection to the concept of link canals which was seen as insufficient – it made further interim agreements possible which were necessary until a comprehensive long-term solution would be found. This fact might have been underestimated by the

Pakistan government which, while turning down the Bank proposal without offering an alternative solution, still set its hopes on yet another

ad hoc agreement

with

India.

780

It may be speculated whether such an agreement – which mainly brought benefits for Pakistan, less for India – would have been forthcoming in the absence of the third party. India had in fact signalled that unless Pakistan agreed to the Bank’s plan in principle, its consent with another interim agreement could not be expected.

781

The Bank, of course, had already made it clear that a solution to the water issue was a

top priority

.

782

Thus Pakistan in a sense had less of an incentive to

778

Michel,

op. cit

., p. 205 – 210.

779

Gulhati,

op. cit

., p. 136 - 138. The original plan drew on suggestions from Lilienthal, the former TVA chairman.

780

Gulhati,

op. cit

., p. 158, citing a letter of the Government of Pakistan to the Government of India, 5

June 1954.

781

G. T. Keith Pitman: The role of the World Bank in enhancing cooperation and resolving conflict on international watercourses: the case of the Indus Basin; in: Salman A. Salman & Laurence Boisson de

Chazournes, eds.:

International watercourses. Enhancing cooperation and managing conflict; World

Bank Technical Paper

no. 414, 1998, p. 161.

782

World Bank President Eugene Black, December 1954, cited by Gulhati,

op. cit

., p. 172. The opinion of Klaff that the 1948 war over Kashmir had promoted both sides’ realism as to the rewards of an agreement and the costs of ongoing conflict appears to be overly optimistic given the lacking

204

contribute towards an agreement –

e.g.

by compromising on the financial issue – because its government could expect the Bank to seek a solution even without much of a Pakistani (or Indian) contribution. This situation was almost tantamount to an offer of free-riding, in game theoretic terms. Pakistan’s last-minute efforts to raise the stakes for India and the Bank, as will be seen later, seem to point in that direction.

While both sides would take years to reach a comprehensive long-term settlement, four

interim agreements

were arrived at, regulating the water supplies on a seasonal basis between 1955 and 1960.

783

From a water management perspective, these interim agreements meant a step forward not so much by securing water supplies for yet another fixed period, but by establishing the

principle of replacement

, as Gulhati points out.

784

On this basis the 1954 proposal was revised to envision further construction projects that would be implemented in the years to come, while the water supply was maintained. As India had signalled its readiness to contribute financially to replacement works in downstream West Punjab, further contributions from third parties were secured through extensive World Bank diplomacy. The discussion of the projects would be the task of the Indus Basin

Development Commission, jointly manned by representatives from India and

Pakistan.

785

Following a review of claims by Pakistan that the surplus water from the

Western rivers was not sufficient to replace the Eastern rivers (which would go to

India), the 1954 replacement scheme was augmented by a set of storage facilities and link canals. This brought significant additional costs which India was not prepared to cover.

786

The financial assurance

, secured by the Bank in 1959, meant that Pakistan was left with no practical argument against the plan.

787

The hydrological conditions, however, remained a challenge. Pakistan was concerned about the Indian control of the upper reaches of the Indus Basin. While the proposed water works would make more water available, the main water supply from the rivers was still – hypothetically at least – subject to Indian non-interference with the natural flow regime of the western rivers.

The

asymmetry

of water supplies meant that Pakistan was dependent on India. This problem, fully realized by the Bank, could not simply be solved through an agreement or a treaty, as this would only represent a political measure too weak to alleviate

Pakistan’s extreme suspicion of Indian intentions towards her

.

788

An international readiness to compromise particularly on the Pakistani side; cf. Klaff: Induswasserkonflikt,

op. cit.

, p.

259.

783

The document texts of the four Inter-governmental Agreements are reproduced in: Ministry of

External Affairs: India Bilateral Treaties and Agreements, vol. II (agreements of 12 June 1955, 31

October 1955 and 24 Sept. 1956) and vol. III (agreement of 17 April 1959); New Delhi: Government of

India, 1994.

784

Gulhati,

op. cit.

, p. 187. The fact that the prestigious Ghulam Mohammad Barrage in Sindh proved to be an

unmitigated failure, ill-conceived in the extreme

in the words of Michel,

op. cit

., p. 213, might have added pressure on Pakistan to seek at a long-term solution.

785

786

Gulhati,

op. cit

., p. 257.

Syed Salal Kirmani: Water, peace and conflict management: the experience of the Indus and

Mekong River Basins;

Water International

, vol. 15, no. 4, 1990, p. 202. Kirmani was a member of

Pakistan’s negotiating team and later a WAPDA director in charge of irrigation projects under the IWT.

787

The readiness of the U.S. and its main allies to put considerable funding behind the Bank’s plan needs to be understood within the Cold War context. The 1950s were a particularly crisis-laden period

(Berlin, Korea, China/Taiwan, Egypt, Iran, Vietnam/Laos) and the prospect of keeping Pakistan and

India out of the sphere of Soviet influence was a strategic objective of the Bank’s effort.

788

… in the words of Gulhati,

op. cit

., p. 271 – 272. The spectre of India blocking the river for more than a brief span of time was discarded as technically unrealistic by Bank officials in 1951, when the issue came up for the first time, according to Gulhati,

op. cit

., 313.

205

legal provision was also not at hand, and thus the UN would not be able to play the role of an effective supervisor of any bilateral agreement. Faced with the inability to guarantee Indian non-interference, the Bank instead shifted the focus on irrigation and storage schemes that would enable the lower riparian stakeholder (Pakistan) to operate its agricultural economy at a level of minimal physical dependence on the upper riparian neighbour.

The situation of the provinces

in Pakistan did not change much until 1955. Water management was conducted on the basis of the 1948 supplies and the provisional agreements that followed. The legal framework continued to be the Government of

India Act of 1935 which had effectively turned the provinces into competing stakeholders. In the absence of a national water policy or any binding mechanism, the provinces – particularly Sindh and Punjab – pursued their own water development programmes, more or less without coordination among themselves.

789

One important factor in this uncoordinated development was the political instability not only of the federal government, but also those of the provinces which saw a row of governments come and go.

790

This development which ran parallel to the bilateral negotiations between India and

Pakistan came to a halt with the suspension of the federal system, by the introduction of the so-called One Unit rule and the suspension of the provincial set-up, in 1955.

This initiative by the Governor General was at least partly motivated by the lack of political coherence among the provinces of (West) Pakistan, between East and West

Pakistan and on the national level.

Stability

was still a major concern in a country which had experienced a massive influx of migrants as a result of the Partition, a dearth of economic opportunities and jobs, a lack of legal and administrative provisions, and an unclear water management mechanism which put the economic future of the whole nation in jeopardy.

791

As the central government

led the negotiations with India and the Bank, the provinces were by and large left to accept the outcome or oppose it with whatever means possible. Internal pressure on the government apparently did have some effect, as Alam observes.

792

The provinces, rivals from pre-independence days, had since pursued their individual water management schemes without coordination.

When the Bank proposal emerged as the likely foundation of future irrigation development, Sindh pressed its case regarding the barrages at Sukkur and Gudu which both relied on water supplies from the Indus and its tributaries, aggressively opposing the replacement schemes for their potential threat to downstream irrigation.

793

Sindh’s position thus also gained recognition in terms of financial commitments.

794

Sindh’s stance

on the one hand would delay the negotiating progress, yet on the other hand it turned out to be essential to protect the interests of this province

789

Michel,

op. cit.

, p. 218.

790

Alam: Water rationality,

op. cit

., p. 90, referring to A. Tayyeb: Pakistan: a political geography;

London: OUP, 1966, p. 179.

791

The country’s first constitution, passed nine years after independence, did not address any aspect of water management.

792

The inter-provincial rivalry is described by Alam as the

fifth layer

of the Pakistan Government’s position in the negotiating process; Alam,

op. cit

., p. 110.

793

794

Michel,

op. cit

., p. 245.

Michel,

op. cit.

, p. 243.

206

because since the start of the One Unit system, provincial representation in the negotiations was non-existent. Needless to say, the perceived neglect of Sindh’s interests by the central government obviously did not serve the stated aim of national unity, but rather reinforced the province’s suspicion.

The political and legal position of the provinces

remained weakened throughout the One Unit rule. The newly established Water and Power Development Authority

(WAPDA) and the West Pakistan Irrigation Department obtained full control over all water schemes – including water distribution – in the western half of Pakistan, encompassing the territories of the former provinces Balochistan, NWFP, Punjab and

Sindh. WAPDA is essentially a central government institution; its chairman and leading officers (Member of Water Wing and Member of Power Wing) are appointed by the government; institutional oversight is by the Ministry of Water and Power.

795

Provincial representation on any level is not provided in its main statute, the WAPDA

Act of 1958, neither is coordination with the provinces or other administrative units relating to provinces or districts.

The Authority’s

general powers and duties

range from

irrigation, water supply and drainage

to flood control and the

prevention of water-logging and reclamation of water-logged and salted lands

.

796

A wide range indeed, and there is no mention of provincial prerogatives as established by the Government of India Act (1935) or the

Canal and Drainage Act (1873) – both of which were still considered valid in the postindependence years.

797

Only in 1959, through an amendment act, WAPDA was required to seek the approval of provincial institutions in the case the Authority would take over the execution of a provincial water project.

798

The execution of the new projects

envisioned in the Bank plan would be WAPDA’s first task. For that purpose, the Indus Basin Advisory Board (IBAB) was created in

1959. Its task, according to Michel, was

to coordinate planning among WAPDA, the

Irrigation Department, other agencies concerned, and the treaty delegation with its consultants

.

799

WAPDA and the IBAB were also tasked with estimating the cost of the planned projects – a matter of further dispute – which again raised the Authority’s status.

800

What must have seemed a pragmatic step from the Bank’s perspective – to have one institution in charge of implementing the plan where there wasn’t any at all until 1958 – amounted to a factual

elimination of the actual stakeholders

, the provinces, from the biggest development programme in the history of the subcontinent. In the words of Palijo,

the IBAB plans, decisions and the international negotiations … were purely a Punjab affair

.

801

795

WAPDA Act, Art. 4; document text: www.punjablaws.gov.pk/laws/86.html (April 2013).

796

WAPDA Act, Art. 8.

797

It was not until 1975, following the 1973 constitution which formally restored the original status of the provinces, that the WAPDA Act was revised through the Federal Adaptation of Laws Order (No. 4,

1975). WAPDA, by Art. 16, was required to address provincial authorities after the completion (!) of water works in order to facilitate future maintenance of the said works.

798

799

WAPDA (Amendment) Ordinance (XIII, 1959), Art. 9-A.

Michel,

op. cit.

, p. 249. Palijo notes that the then Chief Engineer of WAPDA, A. R. Kazi from Sindh, was not included in IBAB; cf. Rasool Bux Palijo: Sindh – Punjab water dispute,

op. cit.,

p. 90.

800

WAPDA’s cost estimates were a full 50 per cent above the Bank’s projections, indicating WAPDA’s political role in the growing dispute between the GoP and the Bank; cf. Michel.,

op. cit

., p. 252.

801

Palijo,

op. cit.

, p. 90.

207

The lack of institutional mechanisms

for the articulation and communication of stakeholder interests in Pakistan effectively prevented the participation of the provinces in the development and management of the Indus River system – including water distribution – until 1973 when the new (and final) Constitution was established.

Compared to the pre-1947 situation, the

de facto

status of the provinces as such, with the practical exception of Punjab, was lower than after independence when it came to joint water management. As a result the relationship between the provinces, particularly Sindh and Punjab, was bound to deteriorate, dampening hopes of the central government to strengthen the unity of the country. The failure, early in the establishment of Pakistan as a culturally heterogeneous nation, to give the provinces a say in the development of their economies would be a major factor in the drawn-out process to reach an inter-provincial water sharing agreement. As will be seen in the next chapter, this process would take even longer than the bilateral agreement with

India.

In sum

, the water dispute of the early post-independence period (1947 – 1960) was resolved on the level of the central governments of India and Pakistan, both with only marginal representation from their respective provinces. The interests of the stakeholders – the provinces and states – were nevertheless taken into account, yet only because of their

direct intervention

with the governments and the third party, the World Bank. The Bank’s effort represents both a strategically motivated effort to defuse the ideological and political tensions between India and Pakistan and the pragmatic introduction of a comprehensive, basin-oriented water management and distribution scheme to a region that was dominated by territorial rivalries.

Cooperation, in Michel’s words, was

purchased

by the Bank and the supporting nations, offering funding in return for signatures under the document.

802

Though the Treaty as such may be seen as a proof of cooperation, the interaction between central and provincial governments in Pakistan and among the provinces was not.

Rivalry

, not just competition, and egotistic behaviour, rather than coordination, characterized inter-provincial relations.

Suspicion

towards the centre, at least on the part of Sindh, was the main obstacle to constructive centre – province relations. The centre did not exhibit any awareness of provincial concerns and consequently failed to represent them in the negotiations. The provinces as such were blocked from becoming active stakeholders by their own inability to form stable governments that could state and defend their interests. Punjab was in a better position, even though it was also plagued by political instability (not to mention the social problems due to the mass immigration), because most of the projects were situated on its territory. There wasn’t any need to articulate its interests as they were by and large represented by the centre. Its proximity to the centre was further underlined by the location of the new water authority: WAPDA is headquartered in

Lahore.

Finally, after another round of consultations with the concerned governments in 1959, a draft based in essence on the 1954 Bank proposal was developed. The central ingredient was the

separation of the basin

into a western half, consisting of the

Indus, Jhelum and Chenab, to be under Pakistan’s control, and an eastern half, consisting of Beas, Ravi and Sutlej, to be under Indian control. Both countries would enjoy more or less exclusive use of their allotted rivers – at least once the

802

Michel,

op. cit.,

p. 254.

208

replacement works were completed. For that task a ten-year transition period was written into the treaty. Construction of the replacement works in Pakistan was backed by a detailed financial support scheme, to be funded mostly by a consortium of leading World Bank member countries.

803

The IWT solved the core issues of the dispute, as it guaranteed sufficient water supplies to Pakistan to enable both the upstream and downstream provinces to pursue their water projects; India would contribute only a limited amount to these projects as the bulk would be financed by the third parties.

Thus the IWT provided a solution to the 13 year-old conflict which had not seemed possible when the Bank entered the process. Interestingly, despite the lack of a cooperative spirit in both India and Pakistan, progress on the water issue culminating in the Indus Waters Treaty might have had a positive effect on another area of bilateral relations. By early 1960 a long-standing territorial dispute – over a number of minor

border issues

– was partly resolved, a step that had seemed unrealistic only a few years ago.

804

Though the main issue, Kashmir, would remain a divisive factor for decades to come, the 1960 border agreement signalled that cooperation was possible – even without outside intervention and material incentives.

Conclusion

This overview of water sharing in the Indus Basin has demonstrated the multidimensional nature of the water conflict in the Indus Basin. While it is difficult to pinpoint the exact beginning of the evolving dispute between the provinces, there are several key factors that dominate this period and are likely to overshadow future approaches to reach an agreement on water sharing.

First, the

colonial legacy of troubled inter-provincial relationships

, particularly between Sindh and Punjab, stands out as unfinished business. The perceived uneven distribution of water from the Indus Basin proved to be a major stumbling bloc on the path to reach a settlement with India and consolidate the troubled political, social and economic system of Pakistan. The hydrological

asymmetry

between both provinces was compounded by an increasing economic and political asymmetry favouring Punjab. The independence which – thanks to neglect of the imminent water issue by both the British and the South Asian parties – gave priority to territorial and ideological interests, cemented this status quo without offering any hope for a constructive settlement.

Second, the establishment of the One-Unit rule (1955 – 70) effectively prevented provincial participation in finding a solution to the problem of water sharing. The

centralization of politics

in Pakistan covered the critical period between the conclusion of the 1960 treaty and the post-treaty years when a number of major water works were planned and implemented. From this process the provinces were excluded, as the new central water authority – WAPDA – was in complete charge of the execution of the projects. The central government did little to address the growing

803

Michel,

op. cit

., p. 254 – 265.

804

Agreement between Pakistan and India on West-Pakistan – India Border Disputes; New Delhi, 11

Jan. 1960; document text: http://mgd.nacse.org/watertreaty/textdocs/international/21.htm

(Transboundary Freshwater Dispute Database, TFDD, May 2001).

209

division among the former provinces. None of the more promising pre-independence steps, like the 1945 draft or the Rau Commission’s report, was picked up.

Third, the conflict over Kashmir has since 1948 led to a steadily increasing militarization of Pakistan. The constant focus on potential threats from India has not only resulted in a politicization of the armed forces but also in neglecting important tasks of nation-building – most notably water management, federalism, and institutional reform – in favour of an excessive security fixation. Issues like water distribution have since become the object of

political manipulation

, rather than professional water management. The drawn-out process to agree the Indus Waters

Treaty shows how an obsession with security – not only, but particularly in Pakistan – has routinely overshadowed water sharing.

Fourth, the

hydrological dynamics

of a large river basin like the Indus make exact water allocation difficult. This means that any quantitative method of water distribution – and along with it, issues of financial compensation

etc

. – are prone to dispute. This aspect, from a game theoretical perspective, represents an obstacle to bargaining, as the fate of the draft agreement of 1945 has demonstrated.

Fifth, the

insufficient readiness of the provinces

to engage in a constructive process to find a long-term solution to the water dispute is indicated by the failure to reach a compromise. As early as 1945, finding a common ground apparently was not considered a worthy objective by either province. It seems that the desire to demonstrate to the other side as well to its own citizens the ability to hold on to a position in the face of opposition was a motive superior to solving the actual problem of water sharing. This manifestation of autonomy – first, against the background of fading colonial control, then

vis-à-vis

the new central government – appears to have been an important factor. As such, this phenomenon is mirrored on the level of India

– Pakistan negotiations. Little was done to counter the widespread suspicion on both the international and inter-provincial levels; confidence-building measures have since played a marginal role.

Finally, the failure to return to the

river basin concept

and the adherence to a territorial concept of river management inhibited participatory water management by riparian stakeholders, i.e. the provinces of Pakistan. It seems that this aspect was not fully realized by decision-makers. Cooperation thus faced structural and political obstacles that would only partly be overcome 13 years after independence, with the conclusion of the Indus Waters Treaty. The Treaty cemented the territorial separation, yet by allowing both nations, India and Pakistan, to utilize its resources by and large independently, requiring coordination only in the case of major water works. Cooperation was, in a sense, rendered obsolete.

The theoretical models

discussed earlier help explain the problems of water sharing in this early phase.

Water scarcity

, as feared by Sindh, was indeed a motive in the dispute with Punjab. Though the dispute did not turn violent, the rhetoric became more aggressive. Even more so, an expected shortage of water supplies as a result of water withdrawals in upstream India has been a concern of downstream Pakistan ever since and has often been cited as a potential cause of conflict.

805

On the Indian side, the realization that most canals were on Pakistani soil was a factor in Delhi’s

805

For an overview of the ongoing row between both countries over upstream water projects see the next chapter.

210

reluctance to accede to Pakistan demands.

Water law

, instead, played only a marginal role. The work of the early commissions was guided in part by the norms of international water law of that time, meagre as they were.

Their findings and recommendations, however, did not always receive a positive response from the stakeholders. Their arguments put forward were based less on legal regulations than on perceptions of historical

entitlements

. Of course, there was no basin-wide legal framework, and the concept of a legal framework of a national dimension had not evolved yet – in fact the very idea of a Pakistani nation seems not yet to have taken root in many parts of the country. Local or regional concepts were not in place when the need to cooperate arose, yet the idea of being a riparian stakeholder with established entitlements pervades the whole dispute. It is particularly evident in the statements emanating from Sindh.

Adequate institutions

could have enabled the stakeholders to interact directly and seek a solution beneficial to all sides. The 1960 treaty between India and Pakistan, with its detailed provisions for a bilateral commission, provides a case in point of the importance of a transparent institutional mechanism.

Rational choice

helps explain the positions of Sindh and Punjab as determined by individual benefits to be realized on a short-term basis, even at the expense of potential or even likely long-term losses. Both sides, much like their national counterparts (the governments of India and Pakistan), basically acted out of self-interest as there did not seem to be any benefit from cooperation – certainly not after the provinces realized that their voices would not be heard. A more cooperative attitude of the main negotiating parties, the central governments, might have triggered a readiness to cooperate from the provinces. The One Unit system, of course, killed that hope. In other words, the conditions of interaction in effect rewarded egotistic behaviour, rather than coordination or cooperation.

The following chapter will discuss the detailed provisions and the impact of the Indus

Waters Treaty on water sharing in Pakistan. As a practical measure, the Treaty has established a new mode of regulating water distribution: detailed water shares over time and space that cover the whole basin and all surface waterways within it. As an institutional measure, it could serve as a precedent for similar cases. It will be seen whether the Indus Treaty holds lessons for an agreement on inter-provincial water sharing. Can it even be a general model for hydro-cooperation?

211

IV.2 The Indus Waters Treaty and beyond:

Cooperation as a last resort

The Indus Waters Treaty process reflects a long struggle between two neighbours which had turned into enemies over unresolved territorial and ideological disputes.

The Treaty, often hailed as a milestone in international river management and conflict resolution, marks the divide between the political sphere of water and the hydrological sphere in the Indus Basin.

The effect and importance of the Treaty in both respects – water management and water politics – deserve a closer look in order to find out whether the Treaty, brokered by the World Bank, made two antagonists partners in water sharing or whether it simply provided a minimal consensus over a limited issue.

The Indus Treaty: making water a priority

The Indus Waters Treaty, unlike previous

formulae

for water sharing in the Indus

Basin, is not limited by duration or by thematical scope. It effectively covers almost all relevant aspects of water management that relate to the river basin, preparing the ground for long-term water sharing and river use. The fact that its conclusion depended on outside mediation and incentives, though, suggests that the readiness of both principal stakeholders, India and Pakistan, to cooperate over such a vital matter as water was surprisingly limited.

806

In the light of the all-encompassing security and status fixation that has pervaded both countries, water seems to have become a secondary issue from the start or just a means to achieve other objectives – which is even more surprising, particularly in the case of Pakistan, given the huge material benefits from the Treaty and the economic and security-related potential of the large-scale development project that was to be initiated soon after the signing of the Treaty.

Together with the

Indus Basin Development Fund Agreement

concluded on the same date, the Indus Waters Treaty provides a detailed plan to develop the Indus

Basin.

807

In a sense, as Michel points out, the Development Fund Agreement was the actual treaty, to which the IWT was annexed.

808

The Agreement lists the works to be executed in Pakistan, particularly in Punjab, and their financing. Thus the Treaty

cum

Agreement opened the door for both stakeholders to substantial financial assistance within and beyond the scope of the Treaty, allowing for an economic development crucial to securing vital food production and political stability.

806

David Lilienthal, the World Bank counsel, had originally advised against Bank mediation, recommending a neutral engineer (not from the U. S. or UK); cf. Michel: Indus Rivers,

op. cit.

, p. 225.

807

Document text: www.austlii.edu.au/au/other/dfat/treaties/1961/2.html (May 2001). The IWT was originally reproduced in Michel,

op. cit

., p. 559 ff. Agreement and Treaty are retroactive from 1 April

1960. The full text, including annexes, is also available on the Government of India’s Ministry of Water

Resources website: http://wrmin.nic.in/index3.asp?subsublinkid=287&langid=1&sslid=443 (Oct. 2013).

808

Michel,

op. cit

., p. 254.

212

The provisions regarding water sharing

in the Treaty are:

unrestricted use

of the three Eastern Rivers (Ravi, Beas, Sutlej) by India;

- the use of their waters by Pakistan as far as Indian entitlement is not affected;

- the limited utilization of these rivers by India and the supply of water to

Pakistan from these rivers within a transition period of ten years;

- the unrestricted use of the Western Rivers (Indus, Chenab, Jhelum) by

Pakistan;

- the limited use of these waters by India for non-consumptive uses and consumptive uses up to fixed amounts per season and canal.

809

Water sharing is qualified here not simply by the delivery of agreed supplies from fixed sources but also by the avoidance of any undue effects on the other stakeholder.

810

In particular, the potential interference of the water works of either country with the supplies to the other are qualified in minute detail. Following the legal principle of avoiding significant harm, for all future works a storage ceiling is established.

811

Many, if not most of the negative effects to be expected by Pakistan from the asymmetric conditions vis-à-vis India would thus be averted. The integration of precisely established water rights and stakeholder entitlements may not by itself have guaranteed effective cooperation by both sides, but has provided a reliable foundation for constructive interaction where suspicion had undermined bilateral relations before.

The Indus Basin Project

which is at the heart of the Agreement includes a whole set of projects:

- two large storage dams on the Jhelum and Indus with a given minimum capacity;

- eight link canals;

- three barrages and

- about 2,500 tubewells and a system of open drains, all designed to lower the water table and prevent further water-logging.

812

Thus the ground was prepared for the development of the replacement works – and the extension of the Indus Basin irrigation system into the biggest network of its kind.

Without it, Pakistan’s economic future would have looked bleak – particularly in the light of the dramatically rising population – because the Project eventually made much more water available than what Pakistan had at the start of independence.

From a water management perspective

, the inability of both sides, India and

Pakistan, to agree on a joint mechanism to share the basin’s resources made the physical and administrative separation of the basin seem the only choice. Both sides, however, did not exhibit much enthusiasm towards that solution either, nor did they present a feasible alternative to the Bank’s plan of 1954, rendering the impression that a solution of the dispute was not worth much effort. For the World Bank, the interest in reaching a solution acceptable to both stakeholders, by contrast, was an overriding concern reflecting higher objectives of major powers like the United States

809

Art. II and III and Annexure C, D, E.

810

Art. IV of the Treaty.

811

Annex. E.

812

Annexure D of the Agreement. I am grateful to Chaudhry Mazhar Ali, of the Punjab Irrigation and

Power Dept., for providing me a copy of the annexure.

213

and its European allies. Based on the said plan, the treaty that finally came out of this proposal was a

commitment to development

and an

investment in peace

.

813

Though the Treaty represents a practical solution to the long-standing issue of sharing waters from the Indus in the most comprehensive and detailed manner, the

expectations

especially of the Pakistani side – the one which would benefit the most

– were not entirely met. Having realized that the Bank and the international donor community would not risk seeing the negotiations fail, the Pakistani government had hoped to reverse its weak hydrological position for political gains by maximizing financial demands far beyond established project needs. This move appears to have been motivated by a desire to gain international status

vis-à-vis

India. As it obviously had little to do with water realities on the ground, it is another indication of the political dimension of water in Pakistan. Ironically, this very motivation of Pakistan would tie its government to the Treaty because abandoning it would mean to sacrifice the status and other potential gains – not to mention the economic and social repercussions in terms of development aid which might be discontinued.

Pakistan’s ambivalent position

towards the Treaty brought to light a strange mixture of political interests and water-related interests. The official comment of

President Ayub, on the signing of the Treaty on September 1960, renders a vivid impression of this double-faced attitude towards the settlement of the water dispute:

We had no alternative but to make a genuine and determined effort to assist the

International Bank to find an engineering solution of this grave problem. … The solution that we have now got is not the ideal one … but this is the best that we could get under the circumstances many of which, irrespective of merits and legality of the case, are against us. So, whereas there is no cause for rejoicing at this juncture, there is certainly a cause for satisfaction and thanksgiving, that a very ugly situation which might have arisen in the absence of such an agreement has been averted…

814

Downplaying the political dimension of the struggle and suggesting that Pakistan more or less single-handedly salvaged the effort by coming to the Bank’s help, Ayub

Khan, apparently trying to win over nationalist, anti-India sentiment, implied that

Pakistan deserved a better deal. Inviting the perception that Pakistan was a natural victim of India’s bullying and the machinations of foreign powers aligned with India, the country could not realistically expect a fair solution but would have to fight in order get its due. In other words, cooperation did not seem a goal worth struggling for.

815

The implementation of the Indus Basin Project

faced a number of technical and political obstacles, challenging both sides’ readiness to cooperate. First, the discussion over promising dam sites in Pakistan did not yield unanimous results. The geological, logistical and hydrological difficulties in fact continue to stand in the way

813

Syed Kirmani & Guy LeMoigne: Fostering riparian cooperation in international rivers. The World

Bank at its best in development diplomacy;

World Bank Technical Paper

no. 335, 1997, p. 5. Kirmani, formerly with WAPDA, was later to become a Bank consultant.

814

Ayub Khan: Speeches and Statements, vol. III, p. 17 – 21, quoted in Gulhati,

op. cit.

, p. 340.

815

Nehru’s comments on the signing of the Treaty, by contrast, highlight cooperation as a major accomplishment; quoted in Gulhati,

op. cit

., p. 341 – 342 (without reference).

214

of making more water available.

816

Among many potential sites, only the Tarbela and

Mangla projects have so far been concluded.

Second, the

budget

for the dams proved to be beyond the finance secured by the

Treaty and Agreement. Pakistan was in effect left to make a substantial contribution from its own sources. Though the Fund Agreement carried a further incentive for

Pakistan to complete the replacement works within the 10-year transition period, by making available a Special Reserve, it was yet unclear whether Pakistan would meet that target and reap these benefits.

817

A sign of relief came in the form of the Indus

Basin Development Fund Supplemental Agreement of 1964 which secured additional finance for Pakistan.

818

This supplement was intended to secure the implementation of all projects envisioned in the IWT, as it was realized that the originally allocated funds would not suffice.

819

Further funding, the government hoped, would be available from the U.S. Government as part of its Food for Peace programme. That, however, was tied to certain political and economic expectations. The second war with India – again over Kashmir, in September 1965 – killed these hopes. At a time when both countries were massively dependent on foreign aid and desperate to consolidate their political systems and strengthen their economies, the two antagonists devoted much-needed resources to a hopeless fight over a disputed region, inevitably alienating the community of nations that had pledged support.

820

Political or status-related and territorial challenges

once more appeared to be of greater importance to the Governments of India and Pakistan than more elemental problems such as food production, the prevention of famines and the raising of agricultural efficiency – issues that determined the lives of hundreds of millions of people in South Asia.

821

With regard to Pakistan at least, this conclusion is all the more compelling as the same government (Ayub Khan) that had signed the Indus

Treaty in 1960 and had secured additional funding for the main water projects launched a military attack in Kashmir only a year later.

822

Kashmir once again proved to be a bone of contention irresistible to both governments.

816

The on-going dams debate will be discussed in detail at the end of this section, within the context of the implementation of the Water Accord.

817

818

819

Art. IV of the Agreement; cf. Michel,

op. cit.

, p. 302.

Document text: www.austlii.edu.au/au/other/dfat/treaties/1964/14.html (May 2001).

820

Michel,

op. cit

., p. 311.

The September War was preceded by a military confrontation in the Rann of Kutch region on the coast of the Arabian Sea in early 1965. The Food for Peace programme was halted, and only resumed in mid-1966 following Pakistani and Indian consent to a UN peace plan and an Indian commitment to a number of economic measures and steps to improve birth control; cf. Michel,

op. cit

., p. 522.

821

Territorial and status issues often appear to display the irrationality of political leaders. Pakistan and India are by no means the only examples of costly power politics lacking any prospect of material gains, but risk deterioration, even catastrophe on all fronts. Maoist China, with three wars (Tibet,

Korea, India) within the first thirteen years of its existence, faced economic collapse and social unrest during and after these campaigns over territory and regional status. Defeat of the proud yet impoverished nation was averted thanks to massive outside help (from the USSR). France, its economy having barely survived the Second World War, lost no time by initiating two wars over colonies (Vietnam, Algeria) spanning 17 years, carefully concealing the fact that only external support

(from the U.S.) saved it from collapse. For a discussion of Chinese intervention in Korea,

e.g

., see

Chen Jian: Mao’s China and the Cold War; Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina, 2001, ch. 4; for a discussion of France’s position in Vietnam see John Prados: Operation Vulture; New York: Simon &

Schuster / ibooks, 2002.

822

A commonly cited motivation of Pakistan’s military was to exploit a potential Indian weakness, resulting from the 1962 Chinese attack. The war, though lasting only six weeks, proved very costly in military, political and economic terms. Its conclusion was reached through UN mediation.

215

The situation of the provinces

was an implicit concern of the Treaty, but remained a minor issue when it came to implementing the Treaty. The dams conceived under the Indus Basin Project were vital to their respective irrigation systems. For Sindh, it was Tarbela, on the Indus River, whereas Punjab would exclusively benefit from the

Mangla Dam. With Punjab receiving all of the link canals, that province’s irrigation system would experience a strong boost. Water supplies to Pakistan as a whole were secured through the Treaty, yet without any provision regarding the internal distribution of the resource.

823

During the One Unit rule, no mechanism was established to regulate water-sharing within the country.

824

The new water authority, WAPDA, was free to operate without the need to coordinate with provincial stakeholders. Thus, in a sense, the Indus

Treaty did little to eliminate the chronic defect of water management inside Pakistan, the hydrological asymmetry between the upstream and downstream areas.

The Indus Treaty as a precedent: regulating cooperation

Against the background of a growing antagonism between India and Pakistan, it was recognized early that tight provisions which left little room for interpretation would be required in order to prevent the Treaty from being hijacked for political purposes or otherwise being manipulated for one-sided gains. Cooperation was made an explicit part of the Treaty, with Article VII stating the

common interest

of both sides

in the optimum development of the river

. Several

institutional features

that characterize the Treaty are worth assessing with regard to the central question: did the Treaty further cooperation, and if so, how?

Transparency

was identified as a crucial means to counter the mistrust pervading the relations between both sides. The exchange of data on river flow, water withdrawals, water escapage (water system losses) and deliveries from canals were detailed as duties to be fulfilled by the stakeholders (Art. VI). The newly established

Permanent Indus Commission (PIC) would obtain data, forward it from one side to the other and issue annual reports to be made available to both governments (Art.

VIII). The PIC would also conduct regular inspections of the Basin thus ensuring both governments (and the respective provincial authorities) that the Treaty and

Agreement were implemented in a due manner.

Precision

played an obvious role where all water withdrawals were detailed according to time and location.

825

As the negotiations had frequently revolved around seemingly negligible aspects of water allocation, accurate provisions were desired by both parties. Consequently, exact dates, locations and figures regarding water withdrawals and replacement works were established – the only exception being water quantities. As the Treaty had effectively separated the basin into two systems – western and eastern – whose resources would basically be allocated for the sole use

823

The distribution mode after 1960 will be discussed in the following chapter.

824

A rare reference is Kazi who states that

the recommendations of the Rao Commission … have been acted upon till as late as 1990

, yet without giving any details; cf. Abrar Kazi: Kalabagh dam. The

Sindh case; Hyderabad: Creative Communications, 1998, p. 25. The important element of the Rau

Commission’s report, as described in the previous chapter, was the principle of equitable apportionment and the prevention of significant harm (to the downstream province).

825

Art. II, III, IV.

216

by one or the other side, water sharing automatically obtained a new meaning: rather than obtaining fixed allotments from the same source, both stakeholders would each utilize its

own source

.

The only rule to observe was to abstain from actions that could cause harm to the other side. In this regard, the IWT goes beyond the 1945 draft agreement which in itself was a comprehensive and precise document. In addition, all important terms used in the Treaty have been defined in exceptional detail in the document (Art. I).

Coordination

is an important element of both the Treaty provisions dealing with water distribution and the provisions regarding the planned works. While each party is – within the scope of the Treaty – autonomous with regard to the planning and execution of water utilization and development (Art. V), no project or action should damage the other side’s established rights.

Communication

through a direct channel is the objective of the Permanent Indus

Commission, consisting of one senior irrigation official from each side.

826

The PIC, expected to meet at least once year or whenever one side calls it in on a particular issue of concern, was tasked to

establish and maintain co-operative arrangements for the implementation of this Treaty

by examining potential problems regarding the

Indus Basin Project and providing practical solutions (Art. VIII). Its main duty being the oversight of the Project, the PIC would also address concerns in this regard issued by one side or the other, thus acting as a mediator of sorts in the case of a dispute.

Compensation schemes

would prevent one-sided gains or losses.

827

This provision effectively helped overcome some of the consequences of hydrological asymmetry.

Without it, Pakistan would have been left to finance the replacement works alone – a task well beyond its capacities. Given such a prospect, the readiness of its government to agree to the Treaty would have been doubtful.

The same applies to India which was expected to let water flow downstream in order not to strangle the Pakistan economy. With no binding legal provisions in place that would have guided water sharing across the new boundary, there would have been little motivation for India to let precious resources flow to Pakistan without any returns.

Dispute settlement

is another important institutional feature of the Treaty. Article IX proscribes the steps to be taken in the case of

differences and disputes

similar to the draft agreement of 1945. The

interpretation and implementation

of the Treaty is the task of the PIC which aims to

resolve the question by agreement

between both parties. If an agreement cannot be reached, the next step – depending on the issue at stake – would be to refer the matter to a neutral expert whose

decision shall be final and binding

.

828

826

The Commissioner, usually a

high-ranking engineer competent in the field of hydrology and water use

, enjoys a diplomatic status equal to that of a representative to the UN (Art. VIII, 6).

827

Art. V details the payments to be made to India by Pakistan and the World Bank regarding the replacement works.

828

According to Annexure F, Part 2 of the IWT,

the neutral expert shall be a highly qualified engineer

.

217

The issues to be forwarded to the neutral expert

are

- claims for financial compensation,

- costs associated with drainage works in Pakistan according to Art. IV, 5,

- charges for the floating of property down the rivers according to Art. IV, 11,

- costs for the installation of hydrological observation posts (Art. VII, 1a) and

- costs associated with necessary drainage works related to the other side’s projects (Art. VII, 1b).

829

Other issues in dispute are to be dealt with by the Commission (PIC) and may be referred to the governments of both sides to seek a solution. If both sides fail to reach an agreement or if one side takes the initiative, a Court of Arbitration is to be set up in order to issue a final and binding award to both sides.

830

In sum

, the Treaty’s significance is that is has become an

institution

in its own right.

With its scope, its detailed provisions and safeguards, the IWT is not only very comprehensive but serves as an effective instrument to regulate water utilization of a vast network of rivers and canals. The IWT has initiated a mechanism of river use that relies on procedures and facilities established by the Treaty. Its implementation does not depend on outside or third party involvement but only on the willingness of the stakeholders themselves, India and Pakistan including the concerned provinces.

Unlike previous schemes, the IWT defused the tension over long-term water security.

Last but not least, the Treaty effectively established the principle of equitable river use as a legal norm, displacing the previously circulated principle of territorial sovereignty.

831

With thorough and precise regulations the Treaty effectively reduced

the need to cooperate to a minimum

, reflecting the Bank’s experience with the limited readiness of both sides to develop a constructive relationship.

In retrospect, the Treaty, such as it is, seemed the only solution that two antagonists would agree to and adhere to – if only because in the event of non-compliance, the respective stakeholder would lose the benefits promised by third parties. By taking into account the critical dimension of territory which was essential in the light of the unresolved Kashmir dispute, little room was left for political manoeuvring. The strict focus on water management and engineering, in particular the long-term irrigation needs, served to keep nonprofessionals, like politicians, away from the negotiations over technical and

829

Annexure F, Part 1, para. 3.

830

Art. IX, 5 and Annexure G. The court would be made up of seven arbitrators, four of which are to be nominated by both sides and three to serve as umpires.

831

Curiously, both countries, India and Pakistan, have abstained from the 1997 UN General Assembly vote on the Convention on the Law of Non-navigational Uses of International Watercourses – a document which builds on that very principle; cf. Waltina Scheumann & Axel Klaphake: The

Convention on the Law of Non-navigational Uses of International Watercourses; paper presented at the Water 2001 international conference, Bonn, Germany, 3 to 7 Dec. 2001; www.water-

2001.de/supporting/WaterConvention.pdf (Feb. 2002), p. 5. The Pakistani position had preferred a stronger wording as to the prevention of

significant harm

; cf. UNGA press release of the 99 th

meeting,

21 May 1997; www.un.org/News/Press/docs/1997/19970521.ga.9248.html (Dec. 2009). India, in turn, was concerned about the threat to a nation’s

autonomy to conclude agreements without being fettered by the Convention

;

ibidem

. Regarding dispute settlement, India objected to the third-party intervention to mediate a dispute – once more reiterating a chronic Indian concern over any outside attempt to mediate in its external disputes. As such, both positions reflect the intransigent, sometimes aggressively defensive stance of both sides regarding their autonomy as independent states. This stance does not necessarily reflect actual threats to their respective autonomy, but often serves to nourish populist policies, as will be seen later in this chapter.

218

hydrological details. That as such should be considered a success given the dominating bellicose atmosphere that has characterized India – Pakistan relations ever since 1947, with only few and brief interludes as will be seen.

From an institutional perspective

, the Treaty, can serve as a model. A number of important lessons are to be learned, particularly

vis-à-vis

the inter-provincial dispute:

- Its have limited the chance of a future conflict over water by prescribing a clear and precise

modus operandi

in the event of dispute. strict by and large insulated water sharing against being enmeshed in other political issues, particularly the conflict over

Kashmir.

- Though no treaty alone could possibly manage to keep water entirely free from being politicized (especially in the Indus Basin), the IWT’s

comprehensive regulations

left little room for political manipulation.

- The IWT’s success as an institutional mechanism has to be read within the

context of time and place

. Against the threat of major war between two large nations, major international actors felt compelled to promote a settlement satisfactory to both sides. This intervention, based on the Cold War-era conviction that stable political conditions are to be flanked by sound economic development, resulted in major financial support – without which neither the

IWT nor the ensuing river development, with substantial benefits for both sides, seemed realistic. It was this intervention, with

strong incentives

to both sides, which ended a dispute that had lasted more than a decade.

- The India – Pakistan dispute has exhibited the principal dangers involved with upstream – downstream asymmetry, particularly under the conditions of less than fruitful bilateral relations in general. In this case, an elaborate

compensation scheme

was the key to balancing the otherwise one-sided effects of this hydro-geographical asymmetry. Thus the dispute ended in a win

– win situation for both sides.

For the provinces

the success of the Treaty hinged on the implementation of the

Indus Basin Project. Without this complex, long-term development project the upstream – downstream asymmetry within Pakistan would almost certainly have been exacerbated as the demand for water and food kept rising steadily due to growing populations in both provinces, Sindh and Punjab. Both provinces, however, had no institutional mechanism at their disposal for settling their dispute.

The situation would have been most dramatic for Sindh because the regulation of the

Indus was especially vital, as Michel stresses.

832

If a dam was not constructed, its three major barrages would not work effectively to channel water from the Indus into the downstream irrigation area. With the Indus being the only river to supply water to

Sindh, this part of the project was the most important. Finding a suitable site, however, would prove difficult due to the sedimentation to be encountered at most sites. Tarbela finally turned out to be

less unattractive

than the other major site under consideration, Kalabagh.

833

832

Michel,

op. cit

., p. 292.

833

Michel,

op. cit

., p. 295. The seemingly unending row over dam sites will be discussed in depth in the last chapter of this section.

219

From an institutional perspective, the outcome of the IWT process could have been expected to affect the

relations between the provinces

of Pakistan positively and make water sharing between them easier. The implementation of the Indus Basin

Project over the coming years consolidated pre-Treaty water plans and provided a strong basis for future agricultural development in Sindh and Punjab.

Several obstacles

, though, stood in the way of ending the original dispute:

- The IWT brought disproportionate benefits for Punjab, while leaving the other provinces with much smaller benefits, thus strengthening the Punjab’s dominance and widening the

gap between the provinces

. In this case, too, the upstream – downstream dilemma proved to be a major challenge calling for a comprehensive political and economic solution within Pakistan.

- The failure to augment the IWT by a comprehensive agreement on river utilization and water sharing within Pakistan, comparable in scope and detail to the IWT provisions, allowed the inter-provincial dispute to grow. The

protracted nature

of the dispute, with demands for water growing over time, made a solution increasingly difficult. Outspoken mistrust of stakeholders signalled a very limited readiness of both sides, Punjab and Sindh, to engage in a cooperative process to end this dispute.

- Over time, this dispute has inevitably become enmeshed in other disputes.

This

linkage

further inhibits efforts to solve the problem.

- In the absence of any outside mediation it would have been on the central government to act as a

broker

. This has not happened.

At last, a treaty – but a lasting treaty?

The Indus Waters Treaty, since its ratification by India and Pakistan, has been accompanied by considerable

scepticism

, stemming largely from both countries’ history of violent conflict and unresolved disputes. Both outside and inside observers had plenty of reason to fear that the Treaty would at one point or the other become a victim of the intractable conflict between the two neighbours. The fact that the Treaty has survived unchanged to this day prompts a number of questions as to the quality of the Treaty and the water-relations of both sides as well as the nature of the seemingly intractable bilateral problems:

1. Did Treaty regulations prevent the water issue from being drawn into the quagmire of bilateral conflict?

2. Has water really been a secondary issue, as it seems by now, subordinated to national security or power politics?

3. Or did policymakers simply trust that in spite of the conflict the Treaty would not be affected?

The Treaty regulations

, agreed upon after seemingly endless deliberations between

India and Pakistan over almost any conceivable technical aspect, reflect the desire of the stakeholders and the World Bank to avoid the major political and territorial problems. Comprehensive as they are, the provisions of the IWT have proved solid since the ratification of the Treaty. The IWT which represents a major political and economic investment of the two stakeholders as well as the donor community and the World Bank has stood the test of time at least in part because its precision and transparency leaves little room for misinterpretation or manipulation.

220

The status

, or rather stature, of the Treaty which has often been cited as a precedent is significant. It symbolizes the high expectations not only of the people in both countries depending on reliable water supplies but also the third parties. The daily reality of water sharing was determined by the political will of the governments involved. In spite of the ongoing conflict over Kashmir, both sides have stuck to their commitment to implement the IWT. Water sharing between both sides, it seems, has developed in a somewhat isolated arena of bilateral relations.

The determination of both sides

to uphold the Treaty can – at least on the surface

– be explained by a realization that each side would need the other in order to realize the benefits from the Treaty and Agreement. This state of interdependence has required India and Pakistan to practise cooperation for the sake of stable water management and continued international support even when confrontation ruled the day in most other areas of bilateral relations.

The crisis of 1965

took this arrangement to the test. Pakistan’s decision to wage war against India came at a time when the transition period of water sharing and the

Indus Basin Project were still underway. It exposed a rationality that seems to run counter to the country’s commitment to the IWT. The aim of the military campaign was to force a favourable solution of the Kashmir conflict. Water did not play any role, as far as is known. However, the failure to consider water issues did carry several major risks:

- first, the termination of the Treaty by India and an internal uprising with unforeseeable consequences in response to the disruption of water supplies by

India;

- second, the withdrawal of the Bank and the donor community from the Indus

Basin Project that would throw the country’s irrigation programme back by many years and leave the government unable to meet its five-year-plan targets;

- third, international isolation and denied access to much needed development support which would further exacerbate the strained economic and financial situation of Pakistan;

- fourth, a further exacerbation of the existing divide between East and West

Pakistan;

- fifth, the termination of military support by the major suppliers of military hardware, further increasing the country’s vulnerability.

Maybe most surprisingly, the threat to Pakistan’s internal security from a starving people – a concern that had at least partly determined colonial-era politics just a few decades ago – did not appear to figure prominently in the decision to go to war over a piece of territory the control of which would have little or no impact on the society and economy of Pakistan. Water management was clearly subjugated to a rationality dominated by interests relating to status, power and a narrow concept of security rather than tangible benefits.

The consequences of the war

, though sobering in military terms, were not as harsh as expected in economic terms. The first and second risks (the termination of the

Indus Treaty) were avoided, as was the third. The fourth and fifth, however, did materialize: The U.S. discontinued the shipment of arms to both sides. More importantly, the war furthered the internal friction that would finally lead to the

221

separation of East Pakistan, as Cohen notes.

834

The loss of territory in the heartland of the Punjab (the Lahore district) signalled that further military confrontations with

India carried the risk of even greater losses, a severe economic downturn and subsequent internal unrest.

Fortunately, there was no fall-out from the war on the water issue. The Indus Basin

Project was kept running against all odds, again due to the World Bank’s initiative, clearing the road for the Tarbela water supply and hydropower project.

835

The Bank’s initiative, it seems, was factored into the war decision by the Government of Pakistan which apparently did not expect any negative response on the water front in the first place. The Bank’s strong commitment during and after the IWT negotiations seems to have been interpreted as a wider commitment to the welfare of Pakistan as a nation and as a virtual blank-cheque to the government.

836

The divisive factors

, particularly Kashmir and other open territorial issues, would continue to overshadow bilateral hydro-politics even after the 1965 war. While

Kashmir in particular came to symbolize the ideological and political antagonism between the two neighbouring countries, other territorial disputes would over time be approached with more pragmatism. The IWT negotiations had carefully circumnavigated the shallow waters of unresolved boundary disputes. Scholz notes that two of the main western rivers, Jhelum and Chenab, originate in this disputed region, parts of which continued to be claimed by India, Pakistan and China.

837

The Indus Waters negotiations were conducted with the explicit understanding that this dispute would not be addressed as it had proven very controversial ever since independence. Scholz’s assumption, however, that

the Treaty shifted the water dispute northward

, to Kashmir, arguing that the dispute over Kashmir was effectively

extended to another level of conflict

(water), would only be convincing if the Kashmir question was in fact linked to the Water Treaty, or if the Treaty was made contingent by one side or the other on a particular action regarding the Kashmir issue, or if indeed there was a threat that upstream waters could be blocked from entering water in Pakistan.

834

Stephen Cohen: Shooting for a century; Washington: Brookings, 2013, p. 10.

835

Michel,

op. cit

., p. 533. The 1964 Supplemental Agreement provided for a feasibility study of the

Tarbela scheme, to be made available before the end of the year (Art. V).

836

Details of the decision-making process that led to the war are not known. Klaff who seeks to present the IWT as a milestone in water cooperation between two antagonists finds that the 1948 war had promoted both sides’ realism; cf. René Klaff: Der Induswasserkonflikt – Ansätze einer pragmatischen Wasserpolitik in der Konfliktregion Südasien (The Indus water conflict – towards a pragmatic water policy in the troubled region of South Asia; in German), in: Jörg Barandat, ed.:

Wasser – Konfrontation oder Kooperation?

Baden-Baden: Nomos, 1997, p.259. The 1965 war seems to reject that notion. It is hard to see how the IWT would have kept both sides from waging war. While it may seem surprising to a degree that the Treaty survived all those clashes and crises, one cannot fail to observe that since 1945 no other two nations (with the possible exception of Israel and the

Palestinians) have shared more violent confrontations than India and Pakistan. Ironically, the Kashmir issue has proved just as durable, in a sense, as the Indus Treaty.

837

Jorge Scholz: Bilaterale Konflikte um Wasser zwischen Indien und Pakistan (Bilateral conflicts over water between India and Pakistan; in German); in: Thomas Hoffmann, ed.:

Wasser in Asien.

Elementare Konflikte

; Essen: Asienhaus, 1997, p. 250. As of October 2013, the Kashmir border problem between India and Pakistan remains unresolved, whereas India has reached a tentative agreement on border cooperation – though no settlement on the actual border demarcation – with

China; cf.

BBC World Service

(radio broadcast), 22 Oct. 2013.

222

The following years

, however, have shown that

- the Kashmir problem has been developing its own dynamics due to the situation on the ground;

- Kashmir has proved increasingly susceptible to the influence of terrorist organizations with an ideological agenda directed against non-Muslim religions and countries, particularly India and Western countries;

- Water-related problems have been addressed and dealt with independent of the Kashmir issue, within the framework of the Treaty which bars one side from blocking natural flow regimes.

Terrorism

, partly motivated by the Kashmir problem, has been overshadowing bilateral relations in recent years, challenging both sides’ ability and readiness to interact peacefully on any issue, including water. The 2001 bombing of the Indian

Parliament House in Delhi – blamed on Pakistan-funded terrorists – strained the already heated relations between the nationalist BJP-led government in Delhi and the military government of Pervaiz Musharraf in Islamabad and brought to the fore once again the issue of Kashmir. What followed was a series of aggressive exchanges, with calls to

scrap the treaty

being uttered by groups on both sides of the border

.

Invoking Pakistani fears of being

strangled

, Indian Foreign Ministry secretary S. K.

Singh noted that

ending the Indus Valley Water Treaty and starving Sindh and

Punjab

was among the options contemplated by the Indian Government.

838

Not surprisingly, the bare mention of such a scenario – no matter how realistic – triggered strong reactions from Pakistan, some defensive and cautious, others aggressive and confrontational.

839

On the diplomatic front

, the crisis of 2001/2002 escalated up to a point just below the termination of diplomatic relations. The High Commissioners of both countries were subsequently expelled from the respective host country under the classic charge of espionage.

840

On the military front, Delhi announced that it would step up manoeuvres. On the water front, the Indian Government apparently suspended its participation in the Permanent Indus Commission for some time and discontinued the transfer of water flow data.

841

After a few weeks, the Pakistani Government, downplaying the incident that had caused the crisis, publicly announced that the

838

Quoted in: New Delhi planning tougher sanctions: scrapping of Indus Treaty, suspension of overflights;

Dawn

, 23 Dec. 2001. A former High Commissioner of India was quoted suggesting:

Should we not consider measures to deprive the Pakistanis of the water they need to quench their thirst and feed their crops?

Cf. A. G. Noorani: A treaty to keep;

Frontline

, no. 8, 2002.

839

See: India can’t scrap the Indus Water Treaty: experts;

Dawn

, 24 Dec. 2001; ECC meets today to weigh consequences: India’s threat to abrogate water treaty

; Dawn

, 5.1.2002. Pakistan asks India to explain its position: Indus Basin Treaty violation;

Dawn,

27 Feb. 2002. For an overview of media reactions see also Medha Bisht: Water sector in Pakistan. Policy, politics, management; New Delhi:

Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, 2013, p. 80 – 81.

840

Dawn

, 17 and 20 April, 2002.

841

See: Cold Indian attitude threatens Indus Treaty

; Dawn

, 17 Feb. 2002. Unnamed

sources in the office of Pakistan’s Permanent Commissioner

allegedly stated that the Treaty would

automatically be suspended

if the Indian Government failed to rejoin the PIC: Indus Treaty may be scrapped

; Dawn,

22

April, 2002. This assumption, dramatic as it may sound, conflicts with reality. The Treaty does not specify any factor or action that would cause it to expire. The Commission’s role is limited to the handling of water disputes, and does not include the oversight of the implementation of the Treaty as such, nor does it have decision-making authority. Though the PIC’s function is important, it is on the governments to decide whether or not to terminate the Treaty. Research for this study has not found any indication that such a move had ever been contemplated seriously.

223

Treaty had so far been implemented duly and the resumption of the Commission was to be expected.

842

In Kashmir

, however, the tensions on the ground reached a highpoint prompting the state government of the Indian-controlled part of the region to push Delhi towards a more provocative path, calling for a review of the Treaty or even its annulment.

843

The Indian Government, increasingly challenged internally over its stance towards

Pakistan, on the one hand stressed its determination to counter alleged Pakistanisponsored terrorism, on the other hand declared that the

decision

to

recall the Indian

High Commissioner

was

necessary to highlight the need for Pakistan to end support to cross-border terrorism and infiltration

.

844

With the Kashmir conflict threatening to cause another war between both countries, the Musharraf government felt compelled to

assure the world community that Pakistan does not want war

.

845

Five months after the incident in Delhi, the Permanent Indus Commission announced its next meeting, termed by both sides a

routine one

.

846

Water-related cooperation

has since been continuing – even in the face of numerous violent clashes. It remained, however, strictly limited to the scope and terms of the IWT. Wolf observes that Future Cooperation, as outlined in Art. VII of the

Treaty, has played little role so far because no further projects have been submitted under these provisions.

847

Given the slow progress even on simple issues like the

842

See: Pakistan sees no threat to Indus Water Treaty

; Dawn

, 23 April 2002. Matthias Paukert:

Kooperation versus Konfontation (in German);

Südasien

2/2002, p. 46 – 47; M. Paukert: All quiet on the water front? SAI-Report 2001, p. 9.

843

See: J&K wants centre to annul Indus Treaty

; The Asian Age

, 14 April 2002; www.jammukashmir.com/archives/archives2002/kashmir20020414c.html (June 2002). Behind these claims, it seems, are both political and financial motives, pointing at alleged losses of Jammu and Kashmir in terms of abandoned hydropower plans as a result of the Treaty, as Praveen Swami assumes:

A treaty questioned; Frontline

, no. 9, 2002. B. G. Verghese notes that Kashmir has

much unutilised irrigation and hydro potential to exploit within the ambit of the Indus Treaty

: Misconceived facts, fallacious arguments;

The Tribune,

29 April 2002. Matthias Paukert: The Indus umbilical;

Himal

, July 2002, p. 29.

844

Quoted from a statement by the Ministry for External Affairs in reply to questions by Members of

Parliament whether the abrogation of the Treaty was in fact contemplated; the Indus issue, including the suspension of the PIC; was not mentioned at all; Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha press releases, 7 and 20 March 2002; http://meadev.nic.in:80/govt/parl-qa/rajyasabha/mar7-02-841.htm; http://meadev.nic.in:80/govt/parl-qa/loksabha/marmar20-2783.htm (May 2002).

845

See: India creating war hysteria, Pakistan not to initiate war: Gen. Musharraf;

Associated Press of

Pakistan

; News Summary, 28 May 2002. The statement of the self-appointed Chief Executive, with its bold assertions towards India, was as much directed at India as it was at the home audience, particularly in light of Pakistan’s international isolation following his

coup d’état

in 1999. In an interview with the Landau Network, an Italian arms control organization associated with the international

Pugwash movement, General Khalid Kidwai, director of the Strategic Plan Division of the Pakistan

Army, said that

the stopping of the waters of the Indus River

would be considered a case of

economic strangling

tantamount to an existential threat to Pakistan which would be answered with the use of nuclear weapons; cf. Maurizio Martinelli & Paolo Cotta-Remusino: Nuclear safety, nuclear stability and nuclear strategy in Pakistan. A concise report of a visit of the Landau Network; www.pugwash.org/september11/pakistan-nuclear.htm (June 2002). For a comprehensive discussion of international repercussions see Christian Wagner: Brennpunkt Pakistan. Islamische Atommacht im

21. Jahrhundert (Pakistan in focus. An Islamic nuclear power in the 21

Dietz, 2012. st

century; in German); Bonn:

846

Indian Minister of State for Water Resources Bijoya Chakraborty, quoted in

Indus Treaty will not be affected: Centre; Times of India

, 28 May 2002.

Indus Basin to “continue smoothly”; Dawn

, 4 June

2002. An annual charge of $1.8m to be paid to India by Pakistan for river data according to the IWT was established by the PIC; cf.

Südasien

no.2, 2002, p. 44;

Dawn

, 30 May 2002.

847

Aaron T. Wolf: Transboundary waters: sharing benefits, lessons learned; thematic background paper presented at the International Conference on Freshwater, Bonn, 3 to 7 Dec. 2001, p. 23;

224

easing of cross-border travel restrictions, this can by no means be a negative assessment, as the quality and dimension of bilateral relations in other areas will show. In other words, the IWT has proved its durability once again.

Internal perceptions

from within Pakistan have signalled that in spite of the overall benefits, satisfaction with the Treaty has not been ubiquitous. In downstream Sindh, the demand that all rivers, i.e. not only the western but also the eastern rivers, should have been allotted to Pakistan for exclusive use, has been directed at the rivalling province of Punjab. Palijo, citing the set-up of the Pakistan negotiating team, internal communication during the IWT negotiations and the provisions to share the rivers, views the IWT as a systematic plan for the

virtual exclusion of Sindh

.

848

The claim that the three eastern rivers were given to India

just for peanuts

is part of a more fundamental criticism of inter-provincial relations which are seen to disproportionately benefit Punjab.

849

Pointing at the Indus Basin Project, Sindh is seen as being left out of a programme that was supposed to benefit all provinces.

The Indus Basin Project

as such could not realistically have been expected to help overcome the hydrological disadvantages, or

asymmetry,

of the downstream region of the Indus Basin. The bulk of the Indus Basin Project, like most of the earlier projects, was indeed concentrated in the Punjab – for well-known hydrological, geographical and agricultural reasons: The potential in the upstream region of the basin was far greater than that of the lower region, Sindh, and easier to exploit. The need to expand irrigation and increase output significantly could only be met where hydrological conditions were favourable.

The sharing of (other) benefits

, however, could have helped reducing the economic asymmetry that resulted from the hydrological asymmetry. A mechanism to transfer some of the one-sided gains of one province to other provinces was not given consideration – neither during the negotiating process, nor in the post-Treaty period.

The distribution of water within Pakistan has not been an issue on the IWT negotiating agenda. It has always been a responsibility of the respective government and provincial representations.

What would have happened if Pakistan had received control over and the resources of all rivers? While it is hard to conceive circumstances in which such a scenario might have become reality, given the way the Partition took place and the explosion of the Kashmir dispute, Pakistan would have faced the challenge to develop the whole basin from its own financial, technical and administrative resources, without the substantial support from third parties guaranteed in the IWT. In order to actually benefit from the rivers would have meant to effectively control the upstream regions – either in the form of territorial control or in the form of a contractual regulation requiring India to abstain from withdrawing water from the rivers within its boundaries.

Whether such a regulation was desirable or not, it was far beyond the narrow scope of hostile relations between the two stakeholders. www.water-2001.de/co_doc/transboundary_waters.pdf (Feb. 2002). Cf. Mohammad Yunus Khan:

Boundary water conflict between India and Pakistan;

Water International

, vol. 15, 1990, p. 199.

848

Palijo’s book,

op. cit.

, which is

dedicated to the stolen mighty river Indus,

describes in some detail how the Punjab dominated the negotiations and treated the issue at hand as

an exclusively internal family affair of the inhabitants of the old province of pre-partition, undivided Punjab

; p. 46 (referring to the early 1948 situation).

849

Palijo,

supra

, p. 47.

225

Whether the IWT has affected overall relations

between India and Pakistan is a matter of debate.

850

Some authors view the IWT as a confidence-building measure.

851

The IWT, as is widely acknowledged, has been successful as it has provided a reliable basis for water management in the upstream and downstream regions of the Indus Basin. Both sides have by and large adhered to its provisions and no party has attempted to withdraw from the Treaty obligations or boycott the

Treaty. But has the IWT instilled a lasting confidence in the willingness to cooperate in decision-makers on either side of the negotiating table? Cooperation, as will be seen soon, has been confined to the Treaty obligations and some small initiatives beyond the Treaty.

There is no indication that the IWT, a 1960 treaty that was specifically targeted to regulate river management from an engineering perspective, has had any political effect. It obviously did not prevent both sides from pointing their nuclear assets against each other in the acute crisis of 1990 which required third-party intervention to prevent further escalation.

852

Almost seven decades after independence, bilateral relations remain peripheral in many areas. This state of affairs is deplorable, even when measured by Cold War standards.

Whether the IWT has nurtured mistrust

between both sides, as Mirza claims, is doubtful.

853

The separation of the basin was agreed upon by both parties following a series of disputes due to India’s decision to discontinue the sharing of water on preindependence terms. Mistrust has characterized the relations of both nations not only since the sudden halt of water supplies in 1948 and throughout the whole IWT process but even before independence. The large-scale violence that preceded and accompanied the Partition owes its vehemence in part to the mistrust nourished among ethnic communities by activists on both sides over many years.

The IWT, by establishing a precise, transparent mode of water management, effectively countered apprehensions by many people in both countries about their respective neighbour. Had there not been a mechanism to regulate transboundary water management, the same activists who had demonized their respective neighbour in the run-up to the Partition could have used water as a political weapon.

Whether the IWT has furthered trust between the two stakeholders may be debated, but it certainly did not fuel mistrust.

A potential renegotiation of the Treaty

has been raised as a way towards more efficient water management or in order to simply get more water from India.

854

In

850

Saleem H. Ali: Water politics in South Asia: Technocratic cooperation and lasting security in the

Indus Basin and beyond;

Journal of International Affairs

, vol. 61, no. 2, 2008, p. 171, 173. Jürgen

Clemens: The Indus Waters Treaty between India and Pakistan;

Agriculture and Rural Development

, no. 1, 2005, p. 60 – 63.

851

852

P. R. Chari: Indus Waters Treaty II;

The Hindu

, 10 March 1999.

For an assessment of the most serious bilateral crisis so far see Seymour Hersh: On the nuclear edge;

The New Yorker

, 29 March 1993, p. 56.

853

Nasrullah M. Mirza: Water, war, and peace: linkages and scenarios in India – Pakistan relations;

Heidelberg Papers in South Asian and Comparative Politics,

no. 37, 2008, p. 12 – 13; www.sai-uniheidelberg.de/SAPOL/HPSACP.htm (March 2010). The author’s assumption that the IWT

has delayed the resolution of the Kashmir dispute

lacks evidence. It is difficult to see how the water issue stood in the way of the proposed referendum, or any legal solution.

854

Daanish Mustafa: Hydropolitics in Pakistan’s Indus Basin;

Special Report

no. 261; Washington,

D.C.: United States Institute of Peace, 2010, p. 2, 12; www.usip.org (March 2011); Nausheen Wasi:

Harnessing the Indus waters. Perspectives from Pakistan;

IPCS Issue Brief

no. 128, Sept. 2009; New

226

theory, the potential for greater water productivity does exist, though the realization of it depends on specific local conditions and a corresponding water policy framework.

Coordinated transboundary water management could make more water available downstream and upstream – within or without the context of the IWT. At look at some attempts in this direction brings to light the practical challenges of the IWT.

To dam or not to dam: implementing the Indus Treaty

Practical problems of water management

have emerged in the wake of the IWT over projects in the upper reaches of the river system, putting the treaty provisions to the test and challenging both sides’ readiness to cooperate. The first case concerned the Salal Dam, and Indian project in Jammu and Kashmir. After objections from

Pakistan, a bilateral solution was reached within the framework of the Treaty, through the Permanent Indus Commission.

855

The second case proved to be more contentious: The Tulbul navigation project, initiated by India in 1984, represented a first real challenge because it included a barrage at the mouth of the Wular Lake, apparently designed to store water from the Jhelum River in Jammu and Kashmir.

The barrage which would allow commercially viable navigation in the Wular region was rejected by Pakistan in 1987, after both sides failed to reach an agreement through the Permanent Indus Commission. The stated concern of Pakistan was that

Tulbul/Wular involved the permanent storing of water beyond a permissible level which would inevitably reduce the water available downstream, in Pakistan.

856

A series of negotiations

led to a draft agreement in 1991, allowing India to proceed, yet with restrictions which would secure downstream water supplies in line with the

IWT.

857

Before the draft could be signed by decision-makers on both sides, however, two other projects, one by Pakistan, one by India, were brought to the fore.

Pakistan’s own project, the Neelum – Jhelum hydropower project, initiated in 1988, would rely on undiminished water supplies from the Jhelum River. India’s

Kishenganga Project on the Jhelum, conceived in 1994, would divert water from the

Delhi: Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies, 2009, p. 4; www.ipcs.org. Both contributions, much like other critical voices in the wider water debate, lack precision as to which elements of the existing treaty should be revised or augmented. In 2004 the National Assembly discussed a motion to

renegotiate the IWT to get more water from the Sutlej River

, according to Nasrullah M. Mirza: Water, war, and peace: Linkages and scenarios in India – Pakistan relations;

Heidelberg Papers in South

Asian and Comparative Politics,

no. 37, 2008, p. 4.

855

The settlement was reached in 1978 after India agreed to design changes in order to minimize river flow reductions; cf.

Keesing’s Contemporary Archives

, 1978, p. 29019.

856

Pakistan’s position refers to Art. III of the Indus Waters Treaty, requiring India

to let flow all waters of the Western Rivers, and shall not permit any interference, except for (…) domestic use, nonconsumptive use, agricultural use, as set out in Annexure C, and generation of hydro-electric power, as set out in Annexure D

. The potential effects of the barrage have provided rich grounds for heated discussions in Pakistan, ranging from the standard ideological position perceiving it

a matter of life and death

for Punjab, due to

the ruling parties of India … ready to jump on our throat

(

Pakistan and Gulf

Economist

, 11 – 17 Nov. 1989, p. 20) to the classic security-centred perception citing Indian schemes to inundate the area in order to stave off Pakistan Army advances in a war situation (Mirza N.

Nasrullah: Wular Barrage;

Pakistan Horizon

, vol. 47, no. 1, Jan. 1994, p. 49; Farzana Noshab & Nadia

Mushtaq: Water disputes in South Asia;

Strategic Studies

, no. 3, 2001, Islamabad: Institute of

Strategic Studies Islamabad; www.issi.org.pk/strategic_studies_htm/2001/no_3/article/4a.htm); cf. also

Salamat Ali: Propaganda barrage;

Far Eastern Economic Review,

21 Dec. 1989, for a balanced review.

857

For a brief overview: Narottan Gaan: Environment and security: the South Asian experience;

Denver: Academic Books, 2000, p. 169 - 170.

227

main river in order to allow power generation in the Baramullah District in Jammu and

Kashmir.

858

If implemented, this project is expected to lead to a reduction of downstream water supplies in the Jhelum – Neelum area. Bilateral discussions on project designs led to Indian concessions regarding the storage volume of

Wular/Tulbul, putting the project in line with the IWT provisions.

859

Pakistan, in 1992, made its consent with the draft agreement contingent on India reviewing the

Kishenganga project – a condition that Delhi rejected.

The resulting situation means a

hydrological and political interdependence

between both stakeholders as either side can only achieve its target with some form of consent or compromise from the other. In theory, this situation where IWT regulations alone don’t allow a clear decision pro or contra a particular project would call for a trade-off. This perspective, though, did not trigger any cooperation.

Pakistan, apparently fearing that it could not expect any concessions or guarantees from upstream India for its Neelum – Jhelum project, avoided the bargaining table by resorting to a linkage strategy. India in turn, expecting economic benefits from its

Wular project plus some form of reward for the concessions already made in the

Wular case, rejected the Pakistani move. More than two decades have since passed, with no solution in sight and no benefits realized on either side.

860

The Baglihar Dam project

, conceived by India in 1992 and started in 1999, provided for another controversial case. Designed as a run-of-the-river system without a reservoir attached to it, this dam on the Chenab River would generate up to 450 MW of hydroelectric power.

861

Alterations in order to check sedimentation (through gated spillways) and counter floods (through gates capable of releasing excess water), some of which were not communicated to Pakistan, caused the lower riparian to raise objections, mainly because it had not been informed ahead of construction.

862

Lack of transparency was one factor in Pakistan’s opposition to the project, a reduction in water supplies the other. Further enhancement of the dam’s capacity led to an escalation of the dispute which the Permanent Indus Commission was unable to solve. After an on-site inspection by Pakistan and another round of unsuccessful talks, Pakistan turned to the World Bank for a neutral assessment in line with the

Treaty regulations.

863

The Neutral Expert, in 2007, submitted its approval of the dam, with only minor alterations; most of Pakistan’s objections were refuted.

864

858

The Kashmir issue surfaced from time to time, yet apparently without much effect on the dams problem. The Wular area had witnessed militant activities supposedly relating to Kashmir, prompting

Indian Army intervention: Naval commandos guard Wular;

Tribune News Service

, 18 Oct. 1998; www.tribuneindia.com/1998/98oct19/j&k.htm#2.

859

For an overview see: Gitanjali Bakshi & Sahib Trivedi: Indus equation; Mumbai: Strategic Foresight

Group, 2001, p.23 - 24; www.strategicforesight.com/110617.pdf (May 2012).

860

See: Water talks end without accord;

The News

(Islamabad), 31 July 2004; Pakistan and India begin talks on Wullar Barrage project; distribution of water;

Dawn

, 28 March 2012. The issue has also been addressed sporadically as part of the so-called Composite Dialogue between both sides; cf. Joint

Press Statement, 23 June 2006; www.pakistan.gov.pk.

861

For an overview: Tapan R. Mohanty & Adil Hasan Khan: Dam of division: understanding the

Baglihar dispute;

Economic and Political Weekly

, 16 July 2005

862

Bakshi & Trivedi: Indus equation,

op. cit.

, p. 19 – 21; Pakistan to seek legal help against Indus

Treaty violation;

Dawn,

11 June 2002; Pakistan demands inspection of Baglihar power project;

Dawn

,

5 February 2003.

863

With dam construction going on, internal pressure on the Pakistan Government, criticized for

being too soft

(PK Foreign Minister Kasuri), kept heating up. See: Pakistan may seek WB’s help if issues not taken up: Baglihar project;

Dawn

, 4 June 2004; Don’t make Baglihar another dispute, Kasuri tells

India;

The News

, 14 January 2005; WB appoints neutral expert on Baglihar dam;

The News

, 12 May

228

The role of power and status politics

in both Pakistan and India may have been demonstrated by Baglihar even more so than by previous projects.

865

The rationality behind the Baglihar brawl is only partly about water (on the Indian side, which expects material gains), but partly political (especially on the Pakistani side which did not expect any material benefits). After the binding verdict, the dam project was pushed forward yet without both sides putting to rest their differences over the issue.

866

The dam, now in operation, continues to fuel claims that water scarcity in

867

Pakistan is largely the result of destructive Indian schemes.

While this interpretation, as delivered to the Pakistani public, may help to build up internal support for the Pakistan Government over other issues (especially security-related), it undermines future efforts towards cooperation in the water sector.

868

A strategy that simply seeks to deny the other side any gains, by raising objections of all sorts – legal, technical, ethical, and of course security-related – risks not being taken serious any more, even if some of the claims could in fact be substantiated, thus spoiling hopes for cooperative solutions altogether.

From an institutional perspective

, both sides have so far sought to advance their respective causes by and large within the framework of the Treaty. The recent projects, however, have also exhibited the limitations of the Treaty simply because projects of such scope and quality had not been envisioned in 1960. Their complexity requires comprehensive technical assessments which in turn rely on coordination of both sides, chiefly by providing accurate data. A step in this direction is the agreement (within the Commission) to install a telemetry system for the monitoring of river flows.

869

This move may indicate that both sides are willing to share more relevant data, including that on complex water projects.

The PIC has been invoked over bilateral problems several times, and both sides have also held direct talks outside the PIC. The reason why some issues remain unsolved is related not so much to a lack of coordination and transparency but to the

2005; World Bank receives request from Pakistan under Indus Waters Treaty;

World Bank News

Release

no. 2005/287/SAR, 18 January 2005.

864

Cf. the assessment of the Neutral Expert: Baglihar Hydroelectric Plant. Expert Determination by

Raymond Lafitte. Executive Summary, 12 February 2007; www.pakistan.gov.pk/ministries/waterpower-ministry/media/SUBMISSION-BHP/10/6Summary.pdf (Jan. 2010). See also Government of

Pakistan, Ministry of Water and Power: Baglihar hydroelectric plant; press release, 12 February 2007.

865

At the height of the controversy, the Government of Pakistan tried to control the flow of information, apparently in anticipation of negative reporting in the media: Water ministry barred from comment;

Dawn

, 20 May 2003.

866

For a review of the World Bank role and the meaning of the neutral assessment: Salman M. A.

Salman: The Baglihar difference and its resolution – a triumph for the Indus Waters Treaty?

Water

Policy

, vol. 10, 2008, p. 114 – 116.

867

See: IPRI: Pakistan’s water concerns,

op. cit.

Water scarcity reigniting anti-India sentiment in

Pakistan;

Dawn

, 2 July 2011; Crisis deepens as India blocks Chenab flow;

Dawn

, 19 Sept. 2008; India stealing water causing $12bn loss to Pakistan;

Associated Press of Pakistan

, 7 Feb. 2013. On the

Indian side, Pakistan’s tendency to automatically object to Indian water projects is often seen as politically motivated and intended

to delay if not deny progress that primarily benefits J&K

; cf. B. G.

Verghese: Political fuss over the Indus;

The Tribune

, 25 May 2005.

868

Former ISI director general Qazi Javed Ashraf, terming pervious Indian projects violations of the

Indus Treaty, told the Pakistan Senate that

war is the only option

if the World Bank won’t solve the dispute: War an option on Baglihar: Pak minister;

The Indian Express

, 17 February 2005. This is by no means the exotic opinion of an irresponsible former head of the Pakistan secret service whose main task is to keep the India threat alive. For a collection of similar attitudes excerpted in 2010 from all major newspapers see: Islamabad Policy Research Institute (IPRI), ed.: Pakistan’s water concerns,

2011; www.ipri-pak.org (May 2011).

869

See: Pakistan and India agree to install telemetry system;

Dawn

, 23 July 2010.

229

perceived benefits and losses (material and immaterial) from either agreeing on the project at hand or not. Both sides could have underlined their willingness to seek a joint solution more convincingly by improved coordination and the smoother exchange of relevant information. In most cases, however, it was the lack of a tradeoff in order to share benefits in one form or another that prevented a solution.

Pakistan’s strategy to demand significant changes in Indian projects in return for its formal consent could only expect some success where such changes were in fact necessitated by the Treaty.

This was not always the case. The threat to call in a third party for a judgment did not deter the Indian side from maintaining its course. The psychological problem of the

Pakistani strategy became apparent where such technical deficiencies could not be substantiated; then Pakistan would have to accept the Indian project without getting anything in return from India, plus having to communicate this unfavourable outcome to a Pakistani public previously told that a solution depended on Indian compromises and corrections. The Baglihar case served to demonstrate how the strategy of blaming India can backfire internally when faced with reality.

870

The recent Track II initiative has opened a

parallel road

towards a potential solution of bilateral water problems. Whether the decision to augment the existing

Commission by an

independent office

, consisting of

neutral experts

from other countries, will depoliticize the water dialogue remains to be seen.

871

From a water management perspective

, the main challenge was hardly ever addressed during these disputes: the widening gap between water supply and demand in Pakistan as well as in India. The assessment of a World Bank water expert that the water problems of both countries were mostly caused by bad management, not by the respective other side, was not received well.

872

The plain facts, though, are well-known and have not come as a surprise.

873

Similarly, the potential effects of a series of upstream projects on water quality and quantity in the basin deserve a thorough long-term assessment which would inevitably rely on a

870

The refusal of the Pakistani Commissioner to the PIC, Syed Jammat Ali Shah, to object to the recent Indian Uri – II project on the Chutak River led to his dismissal, interpreted as a government gesture towards right-wing groups; see: Pakistan fires Indus Commissioner;

Kashmir Life

, vol. 2, issue

41, 27 Dec. 2010; www.kashmirlife.net (May 2011).

871

Cf.: Track II: Pakistan, India move to avert water war;

The News

, 6 April 2012. The spectre of an imminent water war keeps occurring from time, hitting even the more serious newspapers.

872

John Briscoe: War and peace on the Indus;

South Asia Global Affairs

, Sept. 2010; www.saglobalaffairs.com/back-issues/623-war-and-peace-on-the-indus.html (March 2011). According to Briscoe, formerly a senior water advisor for the World Bank and co-author of a major WB study

(Pakistan’s water economy: running dry),

India could tap virtually all of the available power without negatively affecting the timing of flows to which Pakistan is entitled

; see: WB expert warns India of severe water crisis;

The News

, 6 Oct. 2005. According to Briscoe, formerly a senior water advisor for the World Bank,

India could tap virtually all of the available power without negatively affecting the timing of flows to which Pakistan is entitled

. See also: B.G. Verghese: The inconvenient truth; www.bgverghese.com/PakistanWater.htm (May 2011).

873

This is true not only for India but also for Pakistan; see e.g. Sardar Muhammad Tariq (former managing director of WAPDA’s Water Wing): The Indus Waters Treaty and emerging water management issues of Pakistan; in: Pervaiz Cheema, R. Khan & A. Malik, eds.:

Problems and politics of water sharing and management in Pakistan

; Islamabad: IRPI, 2007, p. 90 - 92.

230

coordinated effort of both sides. Here the

way forward

is through cooperation, as

Akhtar points out.

874

In sum

, the picture of water-related cooperation between India and Pakistan is ambivalent. Both sides adhere to the institutional framework of the IWT, yet seek to use it for political gains wherever possible. This is particularly true for Pakistan. India, being the upper riparian, could expect material benefits from upstream projects by observing IWT provisions – some of which, however, require interpretation and negotiations with the lower riparian, Pakistan. Pakistan could – hypothetically – convert its inferior hydrological position into a more favourable political position by demanding a price for its consent from India, rather than focussing on design changes where they are not warranted. Given the long and costly delays of water projects, a swift benefit-sharing agreement could include some form of reward

(economic, financial, political or else) for Pakistan. Such a trade-off would in principle depend on the willingness of the decision-makers on both sides.

Testing the waters: regional prospects for cooperation

The political willingness

of stakeholders to cooperate, as the IWT process has amply shown, has been a critical factor. A look at similar cases from the wider South

Asian region puts the India – Pakistan dilemma over water into perspective. As will be seen, cooperation – on bilateral as well as multilateral levels – does take place, but faces some well-known obstacles.

One example of

multilateral cooperation

over water is an initiative by the UN’s

World Meteorological Organization (WMO). The concept for the Hydrological Cycle

Observation System (

HYCOS

) for the Himalaya-Karakorum-Hindukush (HKH) region is the result of a series of meetings since 2002. This early-warning facility would help flood management through an automatic exchange of meteorological data collected in the glacial regions of the HKH. Pakistan, one of the potential beneficiaries of this facility, has so far had to request the respective data from the Indian government on a case-by-case basis.

875

Though cooperation in this field would bring substantial benefits to most, if not all, countries of this region, progress on HYCOS has been slow – slower in fact than in other world regions. By 2010, the project had not moved beyond the pilot phase.

876

Apparently, at least one stakeholder did not consider the

874

Shaheen Akhtar: Emerging challenges to Indus Waters Treaty. Issues of compliance and transboundary impacts of Indian hydroprojects on the Western Rivers; Islamabad: Institute of Regional

Studies, 2010, p. 60 - 61; www.irs.org.pk (March 2013)

875

The communication of river flow information has been agreed upon during meetings of the

Permanent Indus Commission, following Art. VIII of the Treaty. India delivers river data from selected sources to Pakistan for an agreed fee. The fact that some rivers of the wider basin, Chenab and Ravi, are excluded, and the substantial amount charged by India ($1.8 m per season) are another indication of the limited willingness to cooperate; Pakistan to pay $ 1.8 m to India: provision of water data;

Dawn

, 4 June 2002. Data on glaciers is part of the mandatory communication: Glacial lake spill not to affect Pakistan;

Dawn

, 20 August 2004, citing

minute-to-minute reports from the Indian Commissioner

on a glacial lake spill into the Sutlej River that could have resulted in flash floods in Pakistan.

876

See: Five states to discuss sharing of weather data;

Dawn

, 17 May 2002. HYCOS, with funding from the UN and USAID (United States Agency of International Development, a State Department institution) has already been established in a number of other world regions; see: Executive Council of the WMO: Enhanced capabilities of members to provide better hydrological forecasts and assessments; summary report of the WMO’s 62 nd

session, Geneva, 8 – 18 June 2010; http://www.hydrometeoindustry.org/Reports2010/ECDocs2010/d03-3.pdf (Feb. 2011). The original

231

issue urgent or important enough to push the process, if one assumes that the price of cooperation, or sacrifice, was negligible.

The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (

SAARC

), founded in 1985, represents an effort by the governments of the region to promote peaceful relations.

SAARC has recently, after decades of marginal relevance, broadened its scope to include economic and other non-military aspects. Water management has been assigned to the Technical Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development, yet without much specification. Progress on this issue is still at a very basic stage.

877

Its

1996 initiative to boost regional trade, SAFTA (SAARC Free Trade Agreement), has suffered from national restrictions and thus remained marginal.

878

This applies even to SAARC’s core issue, regional security. In this case, it seems that this body was not meant to play an active role in policies that might affect national decision-making. So far, instead of becoming a normative or even decision-making body, SAARC has acted as a discussion forum rather than a body to facilitate collective solutions.

A more hopeful example of regional cooperation is the International Centre for

Integrated Mountain Development (

ICIMOD

), a Nepal-based non-governmental research organization that is renowned for launching important development initiatives such as FRIEND, a project

intended to develop, through the mutual exchange of data, knowledge and techniques at a regional level and a better understanding of hydrological variability and similarity across time and space

with a view to support sustainable water management in all participating countries and the nations of Central Asia.

879

ICIMOD’s Regional Working Group includes members from all mainland nations of South Asia, including India and Pakistan, plus China.

ICIMOD’s purpose is primarily scientific, yet with a clear orientation towards making research work in favour of development. This indirect path to regional cooperation, avoiding the political track, escapes the challenge to overcome deep-rooted disputes between its member countries.

Prospects for bilateral cooperation

between South Asian nations appear to have a greater chance of success in the light of dominant national authorities.

Geographically, the unique composition of this world region that houses over a fourth of the human population makes all countries a neighbour of India, yet none (except

India) is a neighbour of another regional nation.

880

A look at several bilateral river project proposal of 2002 includes a 3-phase plan for an 8-year region-wide implementation period: www.whycos.org/IMG/pdf/HKH-HYCOS.pdf

(Feb. 2011).

877

http://www.saarc-sec.org/areaofcooperation/detail.php?activity_id=3 (Feb. 2011). SAARC’s role has to be judged against the region’s unique shape – with India located in the geographical centre, sharing borders with all other nations, except Afghanistan – which furthers bilateral, rather than regional relations. Consequently, SAARC has excluded

bilateral and contentious issues

from its charter (Art. X); www.saarc.com/scharter.html (July 2001). The dominance of India as by far the largest and most prosperous nation is geographically underlined by the ring of smaller nations on its borders. Crow and Singh refer to

bilateralism as a main principle of Indian government policy towards its neighbours

since independence: Ben Crow & Nirvikar Singh: Impediments and innovation in international rivers: the waters of South Asia; research paper, Univ. of California, Santa Cruz, Dept. of

Economics, 1999, http://econ.ucsc.edu/~boxjenk/wd_rev.pdf (April 2001), p. 8, quoting L. Rose: India’s regional policy: non-military dimensions; in: Stephen Cohen, ed.:

The security of South Asia: American and Asian perspectives

; Urbana: Univ. of Illinois Press, 1987.

878

Christian Wagner: Indien als Regionalmacht,

op. cit.

, p.14.

879

Project description quoted from: www.icimod.org/?page=585 (Feb. 2011).

880

For the purpose of this study which focuses on the Indus Basin, of which Afghanistan is a part, this country is taken as a South Asian state. Due to its cultural and ethnic affiliations, some authors

232

disputes exhibits the relationship between politics and the settlement of water-related problems.

881

The dispute over the Ganges River

between Bangladesh and India is a classic dispute over water sharing, similar to the Indus dispute. The Farakka Barrage project, designed by India to improve navigation and protect the freshwater supply of

Calcutta, raised concerns over reduced water supplies in downstream East

Pakistan.

882

Discussions, planned since 1951, did not take place until 1960 (two months before the conclusion of the Indus Treaty) due to disagreement on the procedure. Ten years later, the Farakka Barrage was built while negotiations were still underway. After the independence of Bangladesh, a

Joint River Commission

(JRC) was established to determine the water shares (1972).

883

A formal Ganges

Waters Agreement was reached in 1977, to be valid for 30 years. In 1996, both sides concluded another treaty (for another 30 years).

884

Crow

et al.

conclude that

the

Ganges conflict was a subsidiary issue, the conduct of which was generally tied to the state of diplomatic relations – either unfriendly, overtly hostile, or even characterized by war

.

885

Verghese likewise finds that

the problem is … not that of finding engineering or technical solutions (which are available and capable of being costed

[sic]

and prioritized) as much as of establishing a framework of long-term political relationships in the region. Progress has been impeded by mistrust, fears, misperceptions and myths …

886 consider Afghanistan a Central Asian country. Pakistan shares a border with both India and

Afghanistan, whose only South Asian frontier is with Pakistan.

881

For an overview of South Asian river disputes and attempts at solving them see B.G. Verghese:

Waters of hope. From vision to reality; Delhi: Oxford U.P., 1999 (2 nd

ed.), p. 359 – 383. Maniruzzaman

Miah, K. Rahman, S. Hamid, S. Mukherjee and G. Verghese: Water sharing conflicts between countries, and approaches to solving them; project on Water and Security in South Asia, vol. 3;

Washington: Johns Hopkins Univ. / Honolulu: Global Environment and Energy in the 21 st

Century,

2004; www.waterconflictforum.org/pdf/resources/article/conflictsbetweencountriesvol3Jan2004.pdf

(March 2010); John E. Priest: International competition for water and motivations for dispute resolution;

Agricultural Water Management

, vol. 21, 1992, p. 3 – 11.

882

For a comprehensive account of the dispute see Ben Crow, A. Lindquist & D. Wilson: Sharing the

Ganges. The politics and technology of river development; Delhi/London: Sage, 1995, especially p. 26 ff. Early plans to divert the heavy silt load of the Hooghly River, a Ganges tributary, date back to 1853.

The problems addressed in this dispute concern ways to counter the salt influx, to limit the silting of the river, and to balance the long dry season in the delta (Nov. – May); p. 20 – 21. Cf. also Ashok

Swain: The environmental trap. The Ganges River diversion, Bangladeshi migration and conflicts in

India; Uppsala: Dept. of Peace and Conflict Research, 1996, p. 38 – 57.

883

The statute text is brief and vague, the task of the JRC being mainly to

formulate proposals

; document text: www.internationalwaterlaw.com (July 2005). It did not prevent India from extending the agreed trial run of the Farakka feeder canal without notice, causing significant economic damage to

Bangladesh; Aaron Wolf & J. Newton: Case study of transboundary dispute resolution: the Ganges

River controversy; www.transboundarywaters.orst.edu/research/case_studies/Documents/ganges.pdf, p. 5 (Feb. 2011).

884

Official title:

Treaty between the Government of the Republic of India and the Government of the

People’s Republic of Bangladesh on Sharing of the Ganga/Ganges Waters at Farakka

; document text: www.worldwater.org/ganges.htm (Sept. 2000). Sands notes that the new Ganges treaty defines cooperation as being guided by

equity, fair play and no harm to either party

(Art. IX), but does not provide for dispute settlement; Philippe Sands: Bangladesh – India: Treaty on sharing of the Ganges waters at Farakka; introductory note,

International Legal Materials

, 36 ILM 519, 1997; wysiwyg://4/http://www.asil.org/ilm/india.htm (June 2002).

885

886

Crow

et al

.: Sharing,

op. cit.

, p. 23.

B.G. Verghese: Waters of hope. Integrated water resource development and regional cooperation within the Himalayan-Ganga-Brahmaputra-Barak-Basin; Delhi: Oxford, 1990, p. VIII, quoted in Crow

et al., supra

, p. 25. For a Bangladeshi view which points in a similar direction see Syed Muhammad

Hussain: The Ganges Basin development: an actionable proposal;

Daily Star

(Dhaka), 6 Oct. 2000.

233

With the current treaty, cooperation over water has become regular and even developed beyond the scope of the 1996 treaty, mainly on the initiative of

Bangladesh.

887

Whether similar agreements on other rivers can be reached will depend on the political will of both stakeholders.

projects in the Indian state of Tripura.

888

Several years of negotiations facilitated by the JRC have recently resulted in an agreement covering 14 irrigation

889

This state is the only part of India which is in a downstream position vis-à-vis Bangladesh. Using its favourable hydrological position as leverage, the Bangladeshi Government, which had originally objected to the Indian projects on security grounds, signalled its consent with Indian projects in

Tripura in return for an Indian readiness to negotiate water sharing in the Teesta

River Basin. If an agreement on the Teesta will be reached, as observers expect, it would be a rare case of sharing, or rather swapping, benefits: Bangladesh’s consent on one water issue for the Indian consent on another.

Asymmetry

remains a major challenge: The fact that downstream Bangladesh generally has much more to gain from cooperation than its upstream neighbour India makes it difficult to engage in cooperation – at least theoretically – because waterrelated benefits can not easily be balanced. A lack of incentives and potential gains

(water-related or else) on the Indian side makes effective cooperation based on a benefit-oriented rationality difficult. Though the Ganges Treaty has been successful in so far as both parties adhere to it, it does not

per se

remove the obstacles to further cooperation.

890

Bangladesh has thus turned to normative arguments, particularly the no-harm-rule, to underline its position.

891

This path will, however, depend on India’s accepting this norm as a guiding principle of interaction to be successful.

The Mahakali River

, shared by Nepal and India, is a somewhat more positive example of water-related cooperation. Based on a successor treaty on the Tanakpur

Barrage on the Indian side of the river basin, the current agreement, reached in

1996, gives Nepal, the upstream riparian neighbour, a greater share of benefits from

887

One example is the protocol on inland water transport and commerce renewed in 1999;

Xinhua

, 28

Oct. 1999 (

Bangladesh, India renew water transport protocol

; accessed through Countrywatch.com,

Nov. 2000).

888

Bangladesh hopes to negotiate the remaining 53 rivers shared with India:

India and Bangladesh to consider more water sharing

;

BBC News

(online), 8 April 1999. The Sundarbans mangrove forest, an elemental part of the river delta ecosystem, may face a more promising future as it covers both Indian and Bangladeshi territories: Pledge to save the Sundarbans;

BBC News

(online), 12 May 2002; and:

Bangladesh seeks India’s cooperation on water resource issue;

Xinhua

: 26 Sept. 2000 (accessed through Countrywatch.com, Nov. 2000).

889

See: Bangladesh accord pushes 14 irrigation schemes in Tripura;

Manipur Online

, 13 Jan. 2011; www.manipuronline.com (Feb. 2011).

890

This logic seems to be particularly fit to describe the dispute over the inter-basin water transfer projects of India. To extend its irrigation and power generating capacities, the Indian government plans to build link canals to transfer large quantities of water from one basin to another. The project, as outlined by the Director General of the National Water Development Agency, fails to mention any potential effects on downstream Bangladesh: Rama Kant Parashar: Interbasin water transfer: Indian scenario; in: Proceedings of the International Workshop

Interbasin Water Transfer

, Paris, 25 – 27 April

1999, hosted by UNESCO, p. 75 – 80. Bangladesh’s concerns, as expressed by Khalilur Rahman,

JRC member, are the loss of agricultural output, the drying of inland ports, widespread disruption of riverain communities and loss of fishing grounds: Interbasin water transfer: Bangladesh perspective; in: UNESCO,

ibidem

, p. 82 – 92. In the words of Bangladesh’s then foreign minister Muhammad

Morshed Khan, the project

spells disaster of unforeseeable proportions

for the entire region;

Daily Star

(Dhaka):

FM slams Indian river-link plan

; 26 Oct. 2003.

891

This position is outlined in principle by Nahid Islam: Indo-Bangladesh common rivers: the impact on

Bangladesh

; Contemporary South Asia

, vol. 1, no. 2, 1992, p. 213 – 223.

234

power generation and irrigation.

892

The obstacles in this case were not so much a lack of consensus on how to share benefits, but a lack of continuity in policy-making on the Nepali side and an atmosphere of suspicion. In the end, a

package deal

, which in fact represented a more integrated approach to river management than the previous agreement, was reached. Similar bilateral agreements on hydropower have been reached between India and Nepal, and Bhutan and India respectively.

893

The politicized nature

of water issues has been overshadowing India – Nepali relations ever since the first agreement on the Kosi and Gandak projects (of 1954 and 1959 respectively), reflected in internal disputes in Nepal over potential negative implications of the agreements.

894

Conversely, Indian policymakers have expressed concerns that Nepal (as the upstream neighbour on the Bagmati River) might exacerbate the floods in Uttar Pradesh.

895

Such fears echo Pakistani claims against

India (the alleged manipulation of the Indus River to the detriment of Pakistani agriculture). The claim that downstream riparian states live at the will of a hostile upstream state intent on misusing its geographical position is frequently used as political ammunition – regardless of many clarifications that such schemes are by and large impracticable.

The case of the Kabul River dam

at Sarobi has negatively affected the already strained relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan. For Afghanistan, a country with an agricultural sector that cannot nearly meet the demands of a massively increasing population, the need to generate more water has become acute. For Pakistan, the fear of reduced water flows to the Indus Basin has been compounded by the perspective of being at the downstream end of two neighbouring countries

(Afghanistan and India) with less than positive overall relations.

896

Though it is not

892

Official treaty title: His Majesty’s Government of Nepal and the Government of India concerning the integrated development of the Mahakali River including Sarada Barrage, Tanakpur Barrage and

Pancheshwar Project; document text: www.nepalicongress.org.np/nepal/mahakali.html (June 2002).

For a critical assessment of the process see Dipak Gyawali & Ajaya Dixit: How not to do a South Asian treaty;

Himal

, April 2001, p. 8 – 19. For a concise overview of the history of bilateral relations regarding water see Ingrid Decker: David und Goliath – Wasser als politischer Konfliktherd zwischen Nepal und

Indien (David versus Goliath – water as a source of political conflict between Nepal and India; in

German); in: Thomas Hoffmann, ed.:

Wasser in Asien. Elementare Konflikte

; Essen: Asienhaus, 1997, p. 229 – 233.

893

Official title: Agreement between His Majesty’s Government of Nepal and the Government of India concerning the Electric Power Trade, 1996.

894

Official titles: Agreement between the Government of India and the Government of Nepal on the

Kosi Project, 1954; Agreement between His Majesty’s Government of Nepal and the Government of

India on the Gandak Irrigation and Power project, 1959. Document texts: www.internationalwaterlaw.com (July 2005). Agreement on hydropower projects has been overshadowed by mistrust, as Lincoln Kaye notes: Buyer’s market;

Far Eastern Economic Review

, 2

Feb. 1989, p. 22.

895

Ajaya Dixit: Damning Nepal. Nepal is not responsible for the floods in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh;

Nepali Times

, 16 August 2000, pointing at a long history of

blaming Nepal

, dating back to the colonial era. As a whole, India – Nepal relations appear to be on the road to greater cooperation as measures that are not a part of any wider agreement, like the Indian support of a flood protection embankment for Nepali villages, show. These villages on the Rapti River face a greater threat of flooding due to the

Indian barrage at Laxmanpur; see: India to assist Nepal in embankment construction;

Xinhua

, 5 Oct.

2000 (accessed through

Countrywatch.com

, Nov. 2000).

896

The dam has aroused speculation in Pakistan that it will be used in a destructive manner – to exacerbate flooding in downstream Pakistan – as a number of internet discussion

fora

indicate; see for example:http://www.siasat.pk/forum/showthread.php?41589-Indian-and-Afghan-Dams-Caused-

Devastating-Flood-in-Pakistan;http://www.daily.pk/india-used-sarobi-dam-on-the-river-kabul-to-floodpakistan-20671/ ; http://www.kmsnews.org/articles/indian-water-belligerence (Feb. 2011).

235

clear yet to which degree Pakistan might actually have to face reductions at all.

897 so, it will depend on the number of dams and their respective storage capacity.

If

898

Politically, the fact that this dam was realized with financial support from India has added to deep-seated apprehensions in Pakistan.

899

Third-party mediation

has followed unsuccessful attempts of both sides at reaching a bilateral agreement on Kabul waters in 2003 and 2006. The World Bank has suggested the establishment of a joint river management body modelled on the

Permanent Indus Commission.

900

Unfortunately, long-standing grievances between

Afghanistan and Pakistan – security, border demarcation and the refugee problem – have been standing in the way of a practical solution to water-related problems.

901

Pakistan’s involvement in the Afghan civil war – as a sideshow of its rivalry over regional influence with India – has proved to be a major stumbling block in bilateral relations.

902

Again, it is power and status-oriented interests that effectively preclude any constructive effort towards a solution of seemingly secondary problems like water sharing.

The regional geography

remains a significant obstacle that effectively undermines potential cooperation – not only within the region but also beyond its borders.

903

India has put its political, economic, demographic and military dominance to use to achieve the desired outcome of water disputes. Nepal and Bhutan, the only other upstream neighbours of India, have not been able to bring their geographical advantage to bear due to their comparatively minor economic and political position. Being landlocked and lacking alternative infrastructure, both nations effectively depend on their downstream neighbour, India, for many economic activities.

In sum

, water-related issues have proved particularly complex and prone to attract

political concerns

, as in the case of the Ganges and the Kabul River. Regional efforts to solve such problems have been almost non-existent, international mediation has not played a significant role.

904

Bilateral, direct government – to – government

897

Aamir Kabir: Damming Kabul River;

Dawn

, 20 Oct. 2003.

898

India has been approached by the Afghan Government: Afghanistan seeks Indian help in water infrastructure;

Pak Tribune

, 25 April 2012.

899

See: Sharing water resources with Afghanistan

; Dawn

, 14 November 2011. The conclusion of a water agreement with Afghanistan was among the recommendations of the Technical Committee on

Water Resources, appointed by President Musharraf, to explore perspectives of water management in the Indus Basin; cf.: Need stressed for water treaty with Afghanistan;

Dawn

, 28 September 2004.

900

See: Joint management of water proposed with Afghanistan;

Dawn

, 14 June 2011. See also

Michael Klugman, Ahmad Rafay Alam & Gitanjali Bakshi: Peace through water;

Foreign Policy AFPAK

news service, 2 December 2011; www.foreignpolicy.com (May 2012).

901

Bilateral relations have progressed slowly. An agreement on trade and transit, though in preparation for a long time, could not be reached yet, as Yusufzai explains, pointing at several unsolved issues overshadowing relations, like the situation of Afghan migrants, the presence of

Afghan militants in Pakistan, Pakistan involvement in Afghan politics, among else; see Rahimullah

Yusufzai: Pakistan – Afghanistan relations. A Pakistani narrative;

Background Paper

series;

Islamabad: PILDAT, 2011, p. 11 – 16; www.pildat.org (April 2011).

902

For an authoritative account see Ahmed Rashid: Taliban. The story of the Afghan warlords;

London: Pan, 2000, p. 183 ff.

903

The energy sector in South Asia, the subject of many discussions in recent years, is another typical example. For an overview see Aurangzeb Khan: India and Pakistan: Bilateral cooperation in the energy sector; Washington, D.C.: Henry L. Stimson Center,

Occasional Monograph

no. 32, 1997, p.

75 – 96.

904

… the Indus case being the notable exception. In the Ganges case, Pakistan’s proposal of UNassisted negotiations was promptly turned down by India (1957). All the more interesting are joint

236

communication has been the preferred mode of interaction.

905

Consequently, institutional mechanisms for regional cooperation have not evolved. Though models for cooperation do exist, practical development has often become a victim of power politics and the widespread hysteria for security. Where an over-riding conflict (like the Kashmir issue) does not exist and benefits to both sides are being realized, cooperation is possible, as Crow and Singh point out.

906

The India – Pakistan case

is special because it suffers from a long history of conflict over territorial issues and – underneath the surface of practical questions and ideological antagonism – matters of identity. The fact that the largest nations of South

Asia have faced each other in four violent confrontations since 1947 and point nuclear weapons at each other is an enormous road block for any cooperative move.

Possible benefits, economic and otherwise, to be realized from cooperation have provided ample ground for academic discussion, but have so far failed to render an incentive big enough to overcome ideologically motivated political positions – some of which are tied to manifest material benefits, too.

907

This is particularly true for the military establishments of both countries.

By contrast,

the non-governmental arena

of bilateral and regional relations renders a different picture of cooperation, by and large unimpressed by the political disputes.

The Global Water Partnership (GWP) regularly brings together scientists, bureaucrats and politicians from all South Asian countries at its South Asia Water

Forum.

908

The International Water Management Institute (IWMI), a renowned water research institution with offices in many cities in the region, has institutionalized strong academic links within the region.

909

The Regional Workshop for Journalists on

Climate Change saw the participation of media representatives from several regional academic efforts on a regional scale that call on policy-makers to overcome political divisions in favour of sustainable utilization of water resources: Ashis Nandy, Imtiaz Ahmad & Ajaya Dixit: Water, power and people. A South Asian manifesto on the politics and knowledge of water; Colombo: Regional

Centre for Strategic Studies, 1997. This

networking initiative

brings together research institutions from

Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

905

Crow and Singh: Impediments,

op. cit.

, p. 11: In one case, a third party was involved: A discussion of flood management in the Ganges Basin, initiated by Bangladesh and India in 1986, was held with the participation of Nepal, yet without taking into account Nepal’s concerns, as the authors note. Dixit:

Damning Nepal,

op. cit

. The author remarks that other upstream nations such as Bhutan and China have not been blamed by India in the said case, indicating that Nepal has been singled out for criticism for political reasons.

906

Ben Crow & N. Singh: Impediments,

op. cit

., p. 13 – 14. The assumption that environmental issues in general are considered

low politics

by decision-makers, following a realist terminology of international relations theory, may be true in some cases. Water, as Ali rightly remarks, is but a particular case, not simply any other environmental issue. Whether the heightened awareness of the manifold importance of water leads to water

being used instrumentally in conflict resolution

is debatable and does sound overly optimistic especially in the case of South Asia. Cf. Saleem H. Ali:

Water politics in South Asia: Technocratic cooperation and lasting security in the Indus Basin and beyond;

Journal of International Affairs

, vol. 61, no. 2, 2008, p. 176, 179.

907

Benefits to be realized from continued confrontation manifest themselves in the status and very identity of the military in both countries. For this reason, initiatives like

the K-2-Siachen Peace Park

, targeted at joint natural resource utilization and environmental protection, have not moved beyond theory; cf. Jürgen Clemens: K-2-Siachen-Peace-Park: Internationale Initiative für grenzüberschreitenden Naturpark (Initiative for a cross-border national park; in German);

Südasien,

1/2004, p. 52; Askok Swain: Indus II and Siachen Peace Park: Pushing the India-Pakistan peace process forward;

The Round Table

, vol. 98, no. 404, 2009, p. 569 ff.

908

See: www.gwp.org.

909

See: www.iwmi.cgiar.org .

237

nations, including Pakistan and India.

910

The South Asia Consortium for

Interdisciplinary Water Resources Studies, a research group linking scholars from the region, is a development-oriented forum.

911

These and other initiatives show that cooperation is not an alien concept in the region.

Conclusion

Among the cases discussed here, the Indus Waters Treaty (IWT), together with its accompanying provisions on river development (Indus Basin Development Fund

Agreement) and the Permanent Indus Commission, stands out as a remarkable institutional arrangement and a

symbol of cooperation

between two neighbours that have become notorious for their deep-seated antagonisms. Though it took considerable pressure from third parties, the IWT has succeeded in its primary functions: to end the main water dispute, prevent water from becoming a vehicle in the wider India-Pakistan conflict, and to enable economic development in both countries with a view to promoting long-term peaceful co-existence.

The focus on water management

, manifested by the pre-eminence of water engineers from the negotiating parties and from the third-party team, helped to preclude political or ideological aspects. Still the Treaty symbolizes the intricate nature of water sharing – and in fact cooperation as such – in South Asia: water management is closely linked to politics. It is this

linkage

that has made river development difficult – both before and after 1960.

A clear institutional framework

provided precise, enforceable and verifiable regulations which were important given the climate of mistrust that has pervaded bilateral relations ever since the Partition had surfaced as a likely outcome of negotiations with the then colonial rulers. Without this mechanism, both sides might have sought ways to seek individual gains by sidetracking agreements. Even more important, the institutional arrangement has effectively decoupled water management from water politics and politics as such, as the Kashmir issue has shown.

The need to cooperate

was realized early, yet it took years to agree on a formal procedure of managing the Indus Basin. Economic incentives played a critical role at a time when both sides were in acute need of outside development assistance. To deny cooperation on river management would have proved too costly for either side – both financially and politically. The decision of the governments of India and Pakistan to sign the Treaty was a calculated move: the expected material and immaterial gains from agreeing on the IWT would strongly support the wider social, economic and political development of the respective countries over a longer period.

In effect, the IWT has in a sense enabled cooperation where there was confrontation before. Given the course that the Kashmir conflict has taken, it is doubtful that both sides would have reached an agreement without this intervention, particularly not after the 1965 war. Curiously, the IWT, by confining cooperation to tightly set limits, has allowed both sides to pursue their political interests without much concern for any potential harm to water management. Even the 1965 war did not threaten the status

910

Islamabad, 28 – 30 March 2010; see: http://www.lead.org.pk/attachments/updates/update_254.pdf

(March 2011). Support was provided by UNDP, UKAID and the Commonwealth Foundation.

911

See: http://www.saciwaters.org/.

238

quo of water management that was established through the IWT. Thus the water treaty may be read as a strange example of “eat the cake and have it”.

The realization that the

antagonism

between both sides and their asymmetric, confrontational relationship would remain the same whatever the outcome of the water negotiations, while the patience of foreign donors might expire seems to have pushed both sides to agree to the formula laid out in front of them. The external intervention by the World Bank thus came at a crucial time, offering India an incentive that Pakistan could not have provided (funding of irrigation projects

etc

.). The

Kashmir problem had not yet assumed the hardened shape of an ideologically charged elemental antagonism on which the vested political interests were built. A few years later, the prospects for an Indus agreement would have faced much greater obstacles. The confrontation, symbolized by Kashmir, has since become institutionalized in military and political terms as leaders on both sides continue to perceive each other predominantly in terms of security and physical threat, rather than in terms of constructive opportunities. Considering how long it took to reach a solution in a case that did not suffer from a heavy burden of armed conflict, like the

Ganges, an agreement on the Indus after the 1965 war would probably have taken much longer.

The problem of asymmetry

that has proved to be an almost insurmountable challenge in many river basins, particularly in South Asia, was by and large defused by the separation of the basin. This solution still appears to be underestimated by activists on both sides, particularly in Pakistan. Without this solution, Pakistan would have been subjected to a downstream riparian position with all the inevitable consequences, yet minus the finance that came with the Treaty. The idea to let

Pakistan have control over all six rivers was as unrealistic in 1960 as it would have been at any time before or after the signing of the Treaty. It not only lacked a legal foundation but would have stood no chance of outside support. From a politicaleconomic perspective, Pakistan would have had to offer something to India significant enough to make it agree to water sharing. It is not easy to see what that could have been. The sharing of the basin, through its separation, may appear overly pragmatic, yet it is hard to imagine any other potential solution to the problem at hand, particularly under the given circumstances.

While the

rationality of Indian and Pakistani politics

appears to be very similar, their respective positions are different. India clearly benefits from a position of natural superiority due to population, resources and geography. Its relations with all neighbouring countries – except China – are marked by a favourable asymmetry, very much unlike that of Pakistan. Politically and economically, India can afford not to cooperate; Pakistan, on the other hand – much like other neighbours of India – has a lot to lose from non-cooperation on vital issues like water.

The apparent irrationality

of the notorious war talk has developed its own rationale.

It has become a standard appendix to India – Pakistan relations over the decades, with hundreds of millions of people on both sides now used to it. This antagonism, bizarre as it is in the face of truly elemental problems such as water and power shortage, has often been described as part of the national identity or culture of both sides, particularly Pakistan. This rationale has become firmly institutionalized, as the position of the military in Pakistan shows. Pakistan’s

obsession

with security – or rather the leadership’s fixation on the India threat as a convenient instrument to divert

239

public attention away from much more acute and (for most of its nearly 200 million people) much more existential issues like water, electricity, jobs and affordable food and education – has remained a major obstacle to cooperation.

912

India’s insisting on bilateral solutions, without any third-party involvement, has served to harden the positions on both sides.

For the provinces of Pakistan

, the IWT has an ambivalent meaning. On the one hand, its clear and reliable regulations, its enforcement and dispute settlement mechanism would provide a degree of stability. On the other hand, Sindh’s disadvantageous downstream position suddenly became more pronounced, as

Punjab’s favourable position rose even further. The dispute between Sindh and

Punjab may not have the existential quality of the confrontation between India and

Pakistan. It nevertheless is of fundamental importance to Sindh and to the cohesion of the nation. The resorting to politics in the dispute over water shares can be read as a reaction of the weaker side to the inescapable reality of being at the lower end of the river and all its wealth. This wealth, envisioned by the IWT, would increase dramatically over the following decades, widening the gap between the upstream and downstream provinces. It will be seen in the following chapter how the provincial stakeholders have approached this problem.

912

U.S. President Barack Obama, referring to Pakistan’s preoccupation with perceived threats from

India (rather than internal problems of a possibly more serious and acute nature), in an interview with the BBC on the assassination of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan, April 2011; see: US would repeat Bin

Laden raid;

BBC World Service

radio broadcast, 22 May 2011. Public protest against the U.S incursion

(rather than against the ISI’s inability – or unwillingness – to detect and expose the terrorist group) can be read to support the assumption that Pakistan cherishes confrontational status-related issues, rather than facing its home-grown problems and dilemmas, many of which pose a very real security threat.

240

IV.3 From

ad hoc

to accord:

Towards inter-provincial water sharing

The Indus Waters Treaty established a new

status quo

of water management in the

Indus Basin. For Pakistan, it determined how much water this country would be entitled to get. Through the Indus Basin Project, the existing network of canals, barrages and reservoirs would grow further, making ever more water available for irrigation and other uses. This large project would not only satisfy the needs of a fast growing population and economy. Through reservoirs and link canals it would bolster the water autonomy guaranteed by the Treaty itself.

The problem of hydrological asymmetry between India and Pakistan was effectively defused through precise and clear entitlements, a strict focus on water management, third-party invention, and substantial financial incentives to compensate for a lack of political willingness. An institutional framework that provided enough transparency, participation and verification would stem virulent mistrust among the stakeholders. In a sense, cooperation, beyond the actual consensus on the Treaty, was not even required, thanks to a comprehensive set of regulations that both sides had to adhere to.

For the provinces of Pakistan

, the effects of the new system of water management were less dramatic, simply because water use and distribution within Pakistan were not part of the Treaty. The main benefit from the Treaty was water security, i.e. reliable water supplies. But the most important question was left to be answered: who would get how much? The IWT had demonstrated that an agreement over water distribution was possible even under adverse circumstances. For the Pakistani provinces, the challenge to divide the waters from three rivers would be much smaller, thanks to the absence of an overriding territorial and ideological dispute like

Kashmir. In part at least the IWT could serve as a model for an inter-provincial water sharing agreement.

Water centralism: WAPDA and One-Unit

Water management in Pakistan at the time of the signing of the Treaty was determined by the political transformation initiated by the military government of Ayub

Khan. Within the so-called

One-Unit framework

the former provinces were merged into one administrative unit (West Pakistan); consequently, the interests of the original provinces were not given representation in the process to reach the IWT.

Instead, the central government had acted as a riparian stakeholder in the talks with

India.

The task of overseeing the implementation of the Treaty was assigned to a newly created central government institution, the Water and Power Development Authority.

Headquartered in Lahore, Punjab, WAPDA’s authority extended to all the former provinces, its primary mission was

to combat the twin menace of water logging and salinity

and to extend the power supply throughout the nation, especially the countryside where many villages were yet to be electrified. The provinces neither had

241

a formal role in the staffing of this important new water institution nor in its decisionmaking process. Instead,

governments both at the national and provincial levels looked towards WAPDA for taking over new challenges in water and power sectors

.

913

The mode of water distribution

, under the given circumstances, had formally become a central government responsibility. While the basic problem of upstream – downstream asymmetry in the Indus Basin remained, the question of inter-provincial water sharing had fallen victim to the overriding concern of internal stability and outward security. With the India – Pakistan water dispute settled and the One Unit established, WAPDA, the dominant institution in the water sector, was free to regulate water supplies within Pakistan.

The WAPDA Act

of 1958 determined that the Authority would manage

the water and power resources of Pakistan on a unified and multi-purpose basis

, including

irrigation, water supply and drainage

, according to

a scheme or schemes for a

Province or any part thereof

.

914

The Act, though passed two years after the

Constitution of 1956 which instituted the One Unit, remains surprisingly vague about water distribution, given the Authority’s total control of all water sources, surface and underground. It is unclear as to whether any such

scheme

has actually taken shape.

The Act which states that WAPDA

make take such measures and exercise such power as it considers necessary or expedient

resembles a blank cheque, rather than a clear and precise institutional guideline, and no reference is made to any other water law.

915

Though the Authority would retain full control over all water sources in the country, the allocation of these very resources is not mentioned in this Act.

The original Sindh – Punjab dispute

apparently was not on the agenda of either the government or WAPDA, as there was no traceable political action in this direction.

916

According to the few secondary sources available, the distribution of water from the Indus network of rivers, tributaries and canals, including those which were to be built as a result of the Indus Waters Treaty, was guided by the Draft

Agreement of 1945 – a document which, in spite of its detail, had failed to win the approval of decision-makers. The Draft which embodied the recommendations of the

Rau Commission of 1942, in particular the prevention of significant harm to the downstream province, in fact was the only source to provide norms of water sharing in the absence of clear entitlements.

The Draft Agreement of 1945

, without any further formalization, has developed into a shadow norm that guided water sharing through the decades to come.

917

The same

913

Cf. Sardar Muhammad Tariq & Shams ul Mulk: Sustainable, accountable institutions; in: John

Briscoe & Qamar Hasan, eds.:

Pakistan’s water economy: running dry

;

World Bank Background

Paper

; Washington: WB, 2005, p. 5.

914

WAPDA Act, XXI, 24 April 1958, Ch. III, Art. 8.

915

WAPDA Act, Art. 13.

916

Very few publications on the inter-provincial water dispute mention the early period at all.

917

There are very few notions on the role of the Draft after independence. According to the then chairman of the Indus River System Authority, Nasar Ali Rajput, the Draft Agreement did determine water sharing until 1990; cf. personal discussion at IRSA office, Islamabad, 12 December 2002. Cf.

Abdul Majid Kazi: Overview of water resources in Pakistan; www.pakissan.com/english/watercrisis/overview.of.water.resources.in.pakistan.shtml (August 2008).

Hasan Mansoor: Water wars. Sindh’s struggle for control of the Indus;

Himal

, July 2002, p. 32. Abrar

Kazi: Kalabagh dam. The Sindh case; Hyderabad: Creative Communications, 1998, p. 25. I am grateful to Mohsin Babbar, an Islamabad-based journalist, for making a copy available to me.

242

might be said of the Canal and Drainage Act of 1873, the colonial-era law which established the provincial authority over irrigation and canal maintenance. From a political point of view, the failure to tie the WAPDA Act to any other formalized water norm – or to establish a new one – is understandable in the light of the stated desire to unify the country.

Whether the hope that the merging of all provinces into one would automatically put to rest previous grievances stood much chance is a different matter. By quietly sticking to a rule that represented a degree of consensus on at least some disputed issues, a semblance of continuity would be achieved. This might have been a primary factor in view of the mounting criticism of the One Unit. In other words, the fragile social, economic and political cohesion of the newly independent nation appears to be a dominant political factor in the water management of the early years.

From an institutional perspective

, the implicit understanding that the Draft

Agreement and the Canal Act would remain

de facto

rules represents an informal arrangement.

918

Such an arrangement, lacking legal status and institutional structure, would be less dependable as a formal, officially sanctioned document. For the main beneficiaries, the former provinces, it would mean that

- in terms of water distribution, their status as stakeholders was preserved in spite of centralist water governance, and that

- there would be a point of reference for future negotiations over water distribution in the post-One Unit era.

For the government and WAPDA, it would mean that

- the objective of internal stability could be reached while keeping the former provinces on hold by assuring them that the previous entitlements would remain valid, and that

- the new water management approach, namely WAPDA, would have time to consolidate its authority in the water sector.

The lack of documentation

prevents further conclusions. Therefore the importance of this informal arrangement – especially the details of the Draft Agreement – cannot be assessed in detail. Whether the informal nature of water distribution in this period corresponded to the interests and expectations of the stakeholders is unclear. The absence of protest against this form of water management and the existence of very vocal protest against other issues during that period suggests that at least the basic demands have been met. It will be seen whether and how the stakeholders took a more active part in defining their water entitlements in the 1970s when the One Unit came to an end.

918

The Canal and Drainage Act, firmly established since 1873, informally survived the One Unit era, as it was not officially revoked. With the reinstitution of the provinces it somewhat automatically became valid again and was amended in the decades to come. Cf. Sardar Muhammad Tariq & Shams ul Mulk: Sustainable, accountable institutions;

op. cit.

, p. 3. Abrar Kazi stresses that the Draft

Agreement was explicitly referred to by the Fazl-e-Akbar and Haleem Commissions of 1970 and 1973 respectively; cf. Abrar Kazi: Analysis of water accords, 1935 – 1991; in: Kaiser Bengali, ed.:

The politics of managing water

; Karachi: OUP, 2003, p. 167.

243

Committees, commissions, and the new Constitution

The post-One Unit era is marked by two developments. First, the Indus Basin Project had by then transformed the water economy of Pakistan. The fact that more water was made available meant that significant economic potentials could be realized, namely the extension of irrigated agriculture in the Indus Basin and the generation of hydropower on a nation-wide scale. The main hydrological problem – the asymmetric relationship between the upstream province of Punjab and the downstream province of Sindh – remained in principle, yet it was defused simply because more water was available than before the IWT. Second, the new Constitution opened the road for political participation of the newly re-established provinces.

Punjab’s position

was most markedly elevated by the IWT. Whereas for the other provinces the IWT had simply secured dependable water availability and the promise of growing supplies, for the Punjab the impact was more profound and more comprehensive. The biggest province in terms of population had already become the economic powerhouse of Pakistan thanks to colonial-era irrigation development. As most of the new water projects were located in Punjab, irrigation and power generation were to receive a strong boost, pushing not only economic growth but also the political status of this province. Punjab’s upstream position would allow the exclusive control of the three western rivers which supplied water for most of the country’s agriculture.

Sindh’s position

also improved due to increasing water supplies from upstream

Punjab. However, the principal problem of this downstream riparian province remained. Its supplies would depend on the upstream neighbour. In the absence of a formal mechanism to regulate water allocation, the water supplies of this province would not be based on a formalized entitlement but rather on an implicit arrangement.

The Constitution of 1973

reinstituted the provinces within a newly created system of federal administration and division of powers that would change the legal and political conditions of water distribution. The provinces were granted shares in all federal services, i.e.

institutions, and a say in national politics, through the Senate.

919

Water management as a provincial prerogative, though, was not part of the Constitution. It did not as such establish provincial water entitlements. But it opened the door to active participation in decision-making by the provinces.

Provincial participation

in water management was enabled through a new institution, promisingly termed the Council of Common Interests (CCI). This body, a forum designed for the discussion and settlement of water disputes arising among the provinces, was the first of its kind in the history of post-independence water management in Pakistan.

920

Constitutionally sanctioned, its legal status was and still is unique. Similar to the Permanent Indus Commission (PIC) established as a part of the Indus Waters Treaty, the CCI would convene upon request by one or more

919

Constitution of Pakistan, Art. 38.

920

Constitution, Art. 153 – 155. The CCI, unlike WAPDA which is under the authority of the Ministry of

Water and Power, has since been the only official body in the water sector instituted through the

Constitution. The National Economic Council (NEC, §156 of the Constitution) and the National Finance

Commission (NFC, §160) are the only other institutions with equal provincial representation.

244

stakeholders, that is, provinces.

921

Unlike the PIC, however, the CCI did not have a water treaty or any other legal basis to refer to. Thus the CCI would address practically any water-related complaint of one or more provinces and reach a solution based entirely on negotiation.

The need for a mechanism of water distribution

was realized even before the establishment of the federal system. The process to reach a formal mechanism began under the One Unit rule with a series of committees and commissions.

922

This process would span more than two decades, a period which saw shifts from military to civilian rule, back to military rule, and again to civilian rule. Interestingly, throughout this period it was the federal government that took the initiative to form these committees. In a sense it is the rulers of the One Unit system which can be credited with making the first step towards a water sharing formula, in 1968.

According to an official Government of Pakistan publication, the then One Unit government had, at the start of this process, signalled to the former provinces that

any points of dispute between the units in Pakistan will be resolved in a fair and equitable manner, if necessary, by the appointment of an impartial commission by the

Central Government

.

923

This declaration, of course, would depend on some form of mechanism. It would be the objective of the first government-appointed committee to formulate the basic framework for such a mechanism.

The Akhtar Hussain Committee

, also termed the Water Allocation and Rates

Committee, was initiated by the Central Government in 1968. Tasked with water allocations at barrage-level, water releases from reservoirs, and groundwater supplies, it should prepare the basis for future water distribution.

924

The committee issued a report, in June 1970, yet failed to establish a new system of water allocation because the governors-designate of the soon-to-be re-established provinces refused to sign it but rather sought the ruling of a commission.

925

921

The 18th Amendment to the Constitution (2010) introduced important changes to the procedure of the CCI, among them regular meetings, which will be discussed in the following chapter.

922

For a brief overview of the committees and commissions: D. J. Bandaragoda: The role of researchsupported irrigation policy in sustainable irrigated agriculture;

IIMI Country Paper

(Pakistan) no. 6,

1993; Lahore/Colombo: International Irrigation Management Institute, 1993, p. 68; Iram Khalid & Ishrat

Begum: Hydro politics in Pakistan: Perceptions and misperceptions;

South Asian Studies

, vol. 28, no.

1; Lahore: Punjab University, 2013, p. 13.

923

Government of Pakistan (GoP): Apportionment of the Indus waters (promise and prospects). An historic accord: 21 March 1991; Islamabad: Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, 1991, p. 6 – 7. I am grateful to Chaudhry Mazhar Ali, adviser to the Punjab Irrigation and Power Department, for providing me a copy of this publication. An online version of this document was later published by the

Musharraf Government at www.presidentofpakistan.gov.pk (July 2006) on a special site covering the water issue. After the demise of that government, the site was closed. Unfortunately, this brief overview represents the only official document on this process. Even the quasi-official account of a former IRSA chairman barely mentions the various initiatives towards a water agreement; cf. Shafat

Masood: Water Apportionment Accord of 1991; in: Pervaiz Cheema, R. A. Khan, A. R. Malik, eds.:

Problems and politics of water sharing and management in Pakistan

; Islamabad: IPRI, 2007, p. 95.

924

For a brief description of this committee and its successors: Iram Khalid & Ishrat Begum: Hydro politics in Pakistan: Perceptions and misperceptions;

South Asian Studies

, vol. 28, no. 1; Lahore:

Punjab University, 2013, p. 13; Amit Ranjan: Inter-provincial water sharing conflicts in Pakistan;

Pakistaniaat: A journal of Pakistan Studies

, vol. 4, no. 2, 2012, p. 111. Arif Nadeem: Water sector challenges: the Punjab perspective; in: P. Cheema, R. A. Khan & A. R. Malik, eds.:

Problems and politics of water sharing and management in Pakistan;

Islamabad: IPRI, 2007, p. 113.

925

GoP: Apportionment,

op. cit.

, p. 7. Details of this committee and the fate of its report are unclear for lack of documentation. Extensive research into these committees and commissions has resulted in only a few vague descriptions in secondary material, typically without any reference to primary

245

The Fazl-e-Akbar Committee

, or Indus Waters Committee, was initiated by the

Central Government in October 1970, just three months after the dissolution of the

One Unit. It was led by a former Supreme Court Judge and constituted mainly of technical experts. As the committee was

not able to work out a consensus either on apportionment of water or even on technical issues

, Justice Fazl-e-Akbar – for lack of a report – forwarded his own recommendations to the Government in November

1971, at a time when the civil war in East Pakistan reached a climax.

926

The newly appointed provincial governors met in October 1972 to discuss these recommendations. At the same time a draft of the new Constitution that would reestablish the rights of the provinces was already being debated. Perhaps not surprisingly, the conference that took place in a period of major political revulsions failed to reach a decision on the Committee’s report.

The first direct talks

over water allocation between the major stakeholders Sindh and Punjab took place shortly after the new Constitution had won approval in the

National Assembly. Convened under the auspices of the newly established Inter-

Provincial Coordination Committee, the meeting of both sides on 3 July 1973 concluded an Interim Accord on the opening of the Chashma – Jhelum link

on an ad hoc – basis

, allowing Punjab to transfer excess water to areas in need of water.

927

This agreement, covering only a tier of the Indus network and a small aspect of river management, was not meant to pre-empt a basin-wide regulation. Yet it represents the first bilateral arrangement between two major stakeholders in Pakistan’s Indus

Basin. As such it is noteworthy; it did, however, not render any direct benefits for

Sindh, as it barely enabled Punjab to operate the link canal with greater flexibility.

The hope of Sindh must have been to reap some long-term benefits from meeting

Punjab’s expectations once the Tarbela Dam was completed – a large reservoir to be filled up with water from this very link canal.

928

Sindh’s consent would thus have been a political investment in future cooperation over water with its upstream neighbour

Punjab.

The Anwar-ul-Haq Commission

, sometimes referred to as the Indus Waters

Commission or the Chief Justices’ Commission, marks the resumption of efforts to reach a formula for water distribution after the passing of the new Constitution.

929

From an institutional perspective this commission is a step forward as it represents the first practical implementation of the new Constitution in terms of water management: It is the direct outcome of the first meeting of the Council of Common

Interests (31 December 1976) which was aimed at a comprehensive water sharing mechanism. The Commission, summoned by the President in 1977 upon the recommendations of the CCI, again took a legal approach to the problem of water sharing. It comprised of legal experts only, i.e. the Chief Justices of all four provincial

High Courts, with the Chief Justice of the federal Supreme Court as its chairman. As such, it was the first institutionalized expression of the stakeholders’ willingness to seek a water sharing formula. sources. This is true for the article quoted in the previous footnote as much as for all other articles referred to in this chapter which mention these committees and commissions.

926

GoP: Apportionment,

op. cit

., p. 7. The details of these recommendations are not mentioned.

927

Rasul Bux Palijo: Sindh – Punjab water dispute;

op. cit

., p. 119. The authenticity of the text reproduced there could not be verified as the author does not mention document sources.

928

929

Palijo,

supra

, p. 121.

GoP: Apportionment, p. 8; Bandaragoda: research-supported irrigation

, op. cit

., p. 68; Khalid &

Begum: Hydropolitics,

op. cit

., p. 13.

246

The Commission, which for the first time approached the problem from an international law perspective rather than treating the Indus dispute as a particular problem of Pakistan, failed to deliver a report within the time frame given by the federal government (nine months). When the commission finally reached a conclusion, in June 1982, its new head, Chief Justice Mohammad Haleem, recommended to the Government that it should follow the line of Fazl-e-Akbar – a position, though, that had failed to win the provinces’ support ten years ago.

930

The Haleem Committee

was convened shortly thereafter by the President in March

1983 as yet another effort to arrive at an agreement. Its report, delivered just a few weeks later, in April 1983, gained the support of Sindh, Balochistan and Punjab, yet failed to win the consent of NWFP which demanded a higher share of water. What followed was a period of

stalemate

lasting seven years, without further initiatives towards a comprehensive solution.

931

In the background, political unrest, with demonstrations against the military dictatorship of Zia ul-Haq, shook the country, prompting the government to send the armed forces into Sindh. In other words, the resolution of the water dispute once again became a victim of politics of stability and security.

An

ad hoc

pattern

continued to determine water distribution in the absence of a formal regulation of water supplies throughout this period – according to Kazi,

without prejudice to the claims of the provinces

.

932

After the completion of the Mangla and

Tarbela dams, water allocation for most of the year followed reservoir operation. The federal government allotted water to the provinces according to the forecasts of

WAPDA’s Water Resource and Management Directorate for water inflows at the level of the large dams.

933

Their ten-day operation sequences formed the basis of water allocation.

The provinces

were

notified by the federal government

on the supplies to be expected on a seasonal basis.

934

Yet their role was not entirely passive. Though

WAPDA was in charge of monitoring river levels and releasing water, the Irrigation and Power Departments (IPD) of the provinces communicated water requirements to

WAPDA’s operating unit in order to adjust water releases to seasonal crop requirements.

935

The heads of the IPDs were also members of the Water Distribution

Committee that monitored water levels.

936

This committee, headed by WAPDA’s

930

GoP: Apportionment,

op. cit.

, p. 8.

931

GoP: Apportionment,

op. cit.

, p. 12. NWFP initially demanded 14 MAF, later 12 MAF. According to this official document,

only the political will to take the bull by the horns was lacking

.

932

Abdul Majid Kazi: Overview of water resources in Pakistan; www.pakissan.com/english/watercrisis/overview.of.water.resources.in.pakistan.shtml (August 2008).

933

Cf. World Commission on Dams (WCD): Tarbela case study; Islamabad / Cape Town: Asianics /

WCD, 2000, p. 149 - 150; www.dams.org (May 2002). This report was prepared by Asianics Agro-

Development International Ltd., one of the major contractors working in conjunction with WAPDA and the World Bank on the construction of the large dams. According to A. N. G. Abbasi, former Minister of

Irrigation and Power of the Government of Sindh, water availability calculations were in part based on historical records of monthly river levels dating back to 1922; cf. personal communication, Karachi, 17

December 2002.

934

GoP: Apportionment,

ibidem

. This document indicates that provincial representatives met regularly to discuss seasonal shares; concrete evidence, however, is not given.

935

936

WCD: Tarbela;

ibidem

.

WCD: Tarbela;

ibidem

. The authors note that the subcommittee attached to the Water Distribution

Committee met at least once a month to review reservoir operations in the light of monitored water levels.

247

Chief Engineer, would deliver release data to the government for formal approval.

937

The provinces were in a position to state their demands; the potential for disputes over shares was reduced thanks to the transparency of the monitoring and reservoir operation.

The hydrological asymmetry

between upstream and downstream riparian provinces which had originally been the major obstacle to a solution of the water dispute obviously did not play a major role in inter-provincial relations at that time.

938

A major reason must have been the relative water wealth resulting from the Indus

Basin Project and the extensive utilization of groundwater sources in the 1970s and

1980s. The available institutions remained more or less dormant in this period as the provinces did not take on an active role in reaching a water sharing agreement. This is true for the CCI which did not focus on the water issue again until early 1991 as well as the Inter-Provincial Coordination Committee (IPC) which remained irrelevant until long after an agreement was finally reached in 1991.

939

In sum

, the water sector in the post-independence period is marked by a degree of continuity, as colonial-era regulations (Draft Agreement, Canal and Drainage Act) were upheld, as well as change, symbolized by the Indus Treaty, WAPDA and sporadic steps to regulate water sharing, some even with the participation of the actual stakeholders. Though a lack of documentation prevents a closer analysis of some of these early steps, existing evidence permits an assessment of a water management system in

transition

. Much like the country as a whole, Pakistan’s early water management reflects the manifold challenges, water-related and else, that its decision-makers continued to face. Inevitably the political situation of Pakistan – with its frequent changes of government, with its states of emergency and external conflicts – overshadowed the development of a system of water management.

The political reforms following the One Unit rule have shown that

institutions

can positively affect stakeholder engagement and water management. The slow and sporadic development of water