1st Edition

Contested Waters India's Transboundary River Water Disputes in South Asia

By Amit Ranjan Copyright 2021
    216 Pages 5 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge India

    216 Pages 5 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge India

    216 Pages 5 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge India

    This book examines India’s transboundary river water disputes with its South Asian riparian neighbours — Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan. It explores the history of disputes and cooperation over the transboundary river water in this region as well as discusses current disputes and future concerns. It analyses how and why existing transboundary river water sharing treaties between India and its South Asian riparian neighbours are confronted with challenges. The book indicates that India’s transboundary river water disputes with its South Asian riparian neighbours are likely to escalate in coming years due to the widening of the demand¬–supply gap in the respective countries. It further shows the impact of bilateral relations on the resolution of transboundary river water disputes, even as cordial relationships do not always guarantee the absence of river water disputes between riparian states. The book looks at some key questions: How political are India’s transboundary rivers water disputes in South Asia? Why do the roots of India’s river water disputes with Bangladesh and Pakistan lie in the partition of the British India in 1947? Why are there reservations against India’s hydroelectricity projects or allegations of water theft? Is it possible to resolve transboundary river water disputes among these South Asian countries?

    This book will greatly interest scholars and researchers working in the areas of river management, environmental politics, transnationalism, water resources, politics and international relations, security studies, peace and conflict studies, geopolitics, development studies, governance and public administration, and South Asian studies in addition to policymakers and journalists.

    List of Figures and Tables





    1. South Asia: Region, History and Politics

    2. Water Disputes between India and Pakistan

    3. Water Disputes between India and Bangladesh

    4. Water and Hydroelectric Power Project Issues between India and Nepal

    5. Concerns over Indian Hydroelectric Power Projects in Bhutan






    Amit Ranjan is Research Fellow at the Institute of South Asian Studies, National University of Singapore, Singapore. He is the author of India–Bangladesh Border Disputes: History and Post-LBA Dynamics (2018) and has edited three books — Partition of India: Postcolonial Legacies (2019), India in South Asia: Challenges and Management (2019) and Water Issues in Himalayan South Asia: Internal Challenges, Disputes and Transboundary Tensions (2020). His papers, review essays and book reviews have been widely published in journals, including Asian Affairs, Asian Survey, Economic & Political Weekly, India Quarterly, Indian Journal of Public Administration, Studies in Indian Politics, Social Change, South Asia Research, The Roundtable: The Commonwealth Journal of International Affairs, Journal of Asian Security and International Affairs. He has also contributed commentaries, opinion editorials and reviews in newspapers and websites such as The Citizen, The Friday Times, The Wire, and Prabhat Khabar.

    ‘Amit Ranjan offers an important perspective on water disputes in South Asia triggered by the Partition of the Subcontinent, deepened by the region’s inability to depoliticise trans-boundary river water management, and sharpened by the new factors like climate change, and contributes to a better understanding of a major source of regional conflict in South Asia.’

    C. Raja Mohan, Director, Institute of South Asian Studies, National University of Singapore