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Transboundary basins and their development projects: status of some projects and elements of analysis

IWRA World Water Congress 2008 Montpellier France
5. Water Governance and Water Security
Author(s): Julie Ladel

Keyword(s): transboundary basins, water transfers, Lake Chad, Niger, Ganges,China, India

AbstractRegional organisations managing transboundary river basins such as Lake Chad basin and Niger river basin in Africa are on the way to develop management tools to better share water resources. At the same time, nationally, regionally and internationally, large scale development projects are planned and sometimes implemented with non reversible impact on these ecosystems. The objective of this paper is to present current water governance and planned development projects in these basins as well as elements of analysis in order to contribute to the foreseeing of their impacts and ultimately long-term sustainability. It will also present the cases of China (Yangzijiang to Huang He rivers transfers) and India fast development plans based on internal and transboundary water transfers. For example, in 1980, the Ministry of Water Resources of the Government of India formulated a National Perspective Plan for water resources development based on a project of water transfers from water surplus basins to water deficient regions. Its objective is to warrant a suitable water supply in the whole country, based on the planned increase of population pressure and of a better style of living, irrigation and hydropower demands. These planned beneficial impacts would also be coupled with the improvement of flood control and the development of navigation, as well as the guarantee of minimum environmental flows, all ensuring attractive socio-economic benefits. A judgement of the Supreme Court requested immediate attention of the Government of India for the “Interlinking of Rivers” project for implementation before 2016. Therefore, the Government of India established a Task Force on the so-called “Interlinking of Rivers” project to study various Interbasin Water Transfer Proposals. A National Conference was organised on this issue on October, 29th 2003 in New Delhi, where the project was presented and discussed with various international experts. Finally, some elements for analysis of these integrated development projects, including transboundary basins, will be proposed to foster discussions related to their impacts and sustainability among specialists.
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