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INDUS WATERS ACROSS 50 YEARS:

A COMPARATIVE STUDY OF THE
MANAGEMENT METHODOLOGIES

OF INDIA AND PAKISTAN


ASMA YAQOOB


Introduction

This paper attempts to look into
the

achievements and failures of India and
Pakistan in utilis
ing

their respective
share of water from the Indus Basin. Studies
show that
India
and Pakistan share lot of similarities and fewer differences in the
management of
the
Indus Basin waters.
Comparing
notes
identif
ies

the need
for
Pakistan
to learn from India in
increasing
water
productivity

and developing
hydroprojects’

potential
on
the
one hand
; while o
n the other
,

it points to the need
for

Pakistan to take serious policy steps against India
’s

drive to build numerous
hydropower projects on
its

eastern tributaries of
the
Indus Ba
sin, which can
cumulatively increase
flood level in wet seasons and decrease water volume

in
dry seasons

downstream Pakistan
.
The
present
and future challenge

for both the
countries
is efficient utili
s
ation of existing water resources
. While India needs to

focus on

the

maintenance of existing water
-
infrastructure

and fo
llow

water
-




Asma Yaqoob

is Research Analyst at the Institute of Regional Studies
.



2

efficient practices
, Pakistan must embark on major investments in building water
infrastructure besides
maintaining the existing one and
adopting sustainable
practices for
water
co
nserv
ation
.

A
profile
of
the
Indus Basin

Arising from the Tibetan Plateau in
western
China, the Indus
River

travels
northwest through the Himalaya
n
valleys

and

after
crossing into the
Kashmir

region
and traversing Pakistan,
flows out into

the Arabian Sea
.

The principal
rivers of the Indus system are snow
-
fed and their flow
varies seasonally and
spatially.
(1)

Most of the Indus Basin lies in India and Pakistan, and only about 13

per

cent of its total catchment
in

Afghanistan

and in China’s autonomous region
of Tibet
.
(2)

The Indus Waters Treaty, brokered by the World Bank in 1960, divides
the Indus Basin system between India and Pakistan by allocating three eastern
rivers of
the
b
asin
,

namely
the
Ravi, Beas and Sutlej to India
and the

three
western rivers


the

Indus, Chenab and Jhelum


to Pakistan.
The Treaty
obliges both India and Pakistan to not interfere in the waters of the rivers
allocated to the other side except for the li
mit specified
(3)

for Agricultural Use,
Domestic Use and Non
-
Consumptive Use. India was also given the right to
generate hydroelectricity on waters of the western rivers through run
-
of
-
the river
projects
,

i.e. without altering the flow of water. The same ri
ght has
,

however
,

not
been given to Pakistan on the eastern rivers.
(4)



3


Table 1.1

Statistics for the Indus Basin

India

Pakistan

Length

1,114 km

1, 708 miles

Basin area

321289 sq. km

252,638 miles
2

Average annual flow

73.31 BCM

173.63 BCM

Live storag
e capacity

6.57 BCM

15 MAF

Utilizable surface water

46.0 BCM



Basin Population in 2010

58.42 million

172 million

Per capita availability of water
2010

1255 CM

1038 CM

Sources (India)
: Central Water Commission, 2010
(5)

Sources (Pakistan)
:
WAPDA 2011
,
(6)

Pakistan Economic Survey 2010
-
2011
,
(7)

Planning
Commission
.
(8)

Note:
BCM = Billion
Cubic Meters, CM = Cubic Meters, MAF=Million Acres Feet

Eastern
rivers
of Indus Basin and India

Having a catchment area of 321289
sq km

up to border,
the
Indus
Basin
is

one of the six major river basins of India.
(9)

It

lies in the
states
of Himachal
Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and the disputed area of Jammu & Kashmir
.

Although water is a state subject in India and states have the exclusive
power to regulate their

water supplies, irrigation and hydropower infrastructure,
the central government
under the provision of

economic and social planning


of
the concurrent list has been proposing various reforms
such as the introduction of
participatory management in irriga
tion
and sponsoring

projects

to utilize surface
and groundwater more efficiently.
A Model Bill
to r
egulate and
c
ontrol the
d
evelopment and
management of ground w
ater

was formulated in 2005, whic
h led
to the establishment of a groundwater authority under th
e
direct
control of the
government
.

In the recent past, the Indian Government embarked upon major


4

reforms in the water sector,
(10)

which
are

largely focused on improving water
efficiency in agriculture and building new power projects. The
se reforms

however

lack aspects on maintenance of old and existing infrastructure.

The present section deals with past achievements and failures of India in
managing
its

share of waters in the Indus Basin within two selected study areas:
irrigation and hydropower.

A
chieveme
nts
and
failures

Irrigation

Immediately after independence from colonial rule and in the pre
-
Indus
Waters Treaty (IWT) period, India embarked upon various schemes to provide
irrigation to those area
s

previously uncovered by the British. This included
enlar
ging the capacity of the Sirhind Canal, and Upper Bari Doab Canal System
as well as construction of the Bist Doab Canal System on
the

Sutlej.
(11)

The
Ferozepur Feeder and head regulator of Rajasthan Feeder was completed during
1947
-
1960 along with the remo
de
l
ling of
the
pre
-
1947 barrages of Ropar and
Madhopur. The Bhakra
-
Beas system was conceived as early as
the
late 1950s. It
consists of
the
Bhakra Dam constructed on
the
Sutlej River in the
state
of
Himachel Pradesh, Nangal
Barrage
constructed on the same
river downstream of
Bhakra Dam in the
state
of Punjab and its canal system. Major part of the canal
system was operational before 1960 with the Bhakra
Dam
being completed in
1963. This new system of Indus canals led to the growth of irrigated area in
the
I
ndian part of
the
Indus Basin from 22.0 million hectares (ha)

in 1947 to 55.0
million ha in 2000.
(12)

The Bhakra Dam alone added an irrigated area of 6.8
million hectares over 35 years. The production of rice and wheat in the Bhakra
command area
in
1996
-
97

was
eight

times
the

1960
-
61

figure
.
(13)

One of the biggest landmarks in Indus Basin irrigation achievements is
the
Indira Gandhi Canal Project. Conceived as early as 1940 and previously known as


5

the Rajasthan Canal Project, it was reviewed in the post
-
IWT

years
. The main
objective of the project was to convert arid and semi
-
arid lands of Rajasthan into
cultivable area and to provide water for drinking and industrial uses to the local
people. Construction began in 1958 to provide 9.36 BCM of water per year
to
the
Indira Gandhi Canal (IGC) by

building links between
the
main canal starting from
the Sutlej River in Punjab and a feeder canal on Harike Barrage constructed at a
point downstream
the
confluence of
the
Beas and Sutlej
rivers
.

The IGC project
with a
c
ultivable

command area of 1.55m h
a

is India’s largest irrigation and
drinking water project to cater
for the needs of
five districts in north
-
western
Rajasthan.
(14)

The project is still under construction creating further irrigation
potential in the comman
d areas.

In the immediate post
-
IWT period, the Indian
government
embarked upon
interlinking
the

eastern rivers


the Ravi, Beas and Sutlej
,

through canal
networking and diversion projects. The idea to transfer surplus water of
the

Beas
into
the
Sutlej led
to the conception of Beas
-
Sutlej Link Project, the largest
tunnel
l
ing project in the country.
(15)

Since 1960, three important storage dams have been built on the eastern
rivers of the Indus basin
,

namely
the
Bhakra dam on the Sutlej,
the
Beas (Pong)
dam
on

the Beas and
the
Thein (Ranjit Sagar)
dam
on the Ravi
,

with respective
gross storage capacities of 9340 million cum, 8570 million cum. and 3280 million
cum.
(16)

Besides building these massive reservoirs, the Indian
government
embarked upon modernization o
f canal systems and command area development
programme to enhance agriculture production in areas fed by
the
Indus waters.

Irrigation
water management i
n

Indus Basin: Achievements and
failures

Some of the
prominent

achievements of India in the irrigation s
ector of
the
Indus
-
fed areas are:



6



In the past decades, India has achieved a steady increase in
irrigation development through various major, medium and small
irrigation projects. Over the years, states in the Indus region
became the food baskets for other
areas in India. Major area under
food grain in Haryana and Punjab is irrigated and these are the
highest water productivity states in India contributing to 72 per
cent and 75 per cent of consumptive water use
,

respectively.
(17)



Huge investments in canal ne
tworking and inter
-
basin transfer
projects resulted in
the
popular green revolution which transformed
India from a nation
facing frequent famines
in
the
1950s and 60s to
a self
-
sufficient

and
food
exporting country.



Irrigation development in poor rainfall
areas especially in Punjab
and Haryana is supported by the vast network of power supply and
distribution networks. This allows farmers to use
groundwater

in
addition to canal water to grow crops throughout the year.
(18)

Installation of

diesel pumpsets and
energised
tubewells

remained
the largest

for these two states in the Indus Basin. Moreover,
Indian Punjab received 100 per cent rural electrification which
gave farmers reliable and fast access to groundwater resources.
(19)



Indian experiences with Water Us
er Associations (WUAs) are a
good example in participatory watershed management. Within
Rajasthan alone, there are 800 WUAs. Although these WUAs are
less effective in influencing equitable water distribution and
demand management, their positive role in co
st recovery, system
maintenance and service quality cannot be denied.
(20

However, India today has achieved the limits of developing
its

water
resources for irrigation purposes. Reliability on surface water in the Indus region


7

is difficult due to its depend
ency on seasonal rainfall and snowmelt. With regard
to groundwater resources, the scenario is bleak in the face of reports of
overexploitation by the agriculture sector of the region states. India is the world’s
largest user of groundwater in agriculture.
(
21)

Haryana and Punjab have exploited
about 94 per cent of their ground water resources. This water stress situation
combined with low rainfall in the Indus basin region of India ranging from 300
mm in Rajasthan to 800 mm in Haryana and falling water table
s by less than one
metre to several metres/per year
,
(22)

pose alarming threats to future irrigation in
the region.
With reduced rainfall levels in the past years, there has been a sharp
rise in tubewell uses for irrigation across the Indus region
,
exhausti
ng the
groundwater resources and
putting the
high
-
cost incurred canal system in
jeopardy
.

Some of the major
failures

of
the
Indian
government
in
irrigation

water
management
in the Indus Basin
are listed below:



As the country witnessed a swift increase in i
rrigation potential
across the years, a gap
can be
identified between the potential
created and utilised (Table 1.
2
)

in the Basin states
.
Moreover,

wide
discrepancies
exist
between huge water withdrawals (96%) and
actual water used for crop production (37%
) in the
region

(
T
able
1.
3
).
The table shows that the irrigation sector accounts for 96% of
total water withdrawal and the actual consumptive use for the
crops is only 37%. This leaves a balance of 59%, which could
otherwise be saved by adopting water
-
effi
cient practices at farm
level.
Unconcerned
about

this variance, the Indian
government
plans

to create additional irrigation
potential
in the
Eleventh Plan

through major and medium irrigation projects
(23)

rather than
focusing on increasing the efficient uti
lisation of existing water


8

supply and irrigation potential created under
the
previous
five
-
year
plans.



Waterlogging and salinity issues have also been arising out of
mismanagement of water resources
. For example, the command
areas irrigated under the famou
sly thriving Indira Gandhi Canal
Project have
witnessed

an average rise of groundwater of 0.42
m/annum during the two
-
decade period observed from 1952 to
1972.

C
ultivation in about 4.4% of the area has been abandoned
due to waterlogging and salinity. One o
f the major reasons for high
rise in soil salinity and waterlogging is
the
absence of drainage
system in the IGCP region.
Moreover
,

inconsistency between large
water releases and low
irrigation

usage
is
also
leading

to water
seepages and subsequent waterlo
gging.
(24)



Lack of enforcement of energy regulations is one of the leading
causes of
the
inconsistency pattern
in

water supply and demand
resulting in subsequent inefficient use of water.

The Indian
government
has failed to restrain farmers from digging mo
re bore
-
wells in spite of the existing laws.
(25)

Almost 75% of all irrigated
areas in Indian Punjab depend upon well and tubewell irrigation.
(26)

According to V.R. Reddy, “since water rates are charged in terms
of area, crop and season (or combinations the
reof), they fail to
create enough incentive for water use efficiency. While water rates
in groundwater areas are relatively higher, they are also related to
average pump costs rather than to water productivity or economic
value
.

(27)



The cropping pattern i
n the Basin states is largely responsible for
the
current water depletion scenario.
Over the past decades, the
pre
-
dominance of rice
-
wheat production in
the
Indus basin of


9

India
,

Punjab and Haryana in particular
,

has led to a reduction in
area under low
-
wa
ter requiring crops, resulting in high demand for
groundwater resources.
(28)

The o
verdrawal of water beyond the
recharge capacity of the aquifers is resulting in rapid
fall

of
subsoil

water
to dangerous levels.



10

Table 1.
2

Achievements of Total Irrigation P
otential Created and Utilised
(Cumulative) by State

[Taking Major, Medium and Minor Irrigation
Schemes into consideration]

(Unit: '000 Hectare)

S
r
.

No.

State

Haryana

Himachal
Pradesh

J & K

Punjab

Rajasthan

1
.

Ultimate

Potential

4512

353

1358

5967

5128

2
.

At the
end of

Sixth
Plan

1980
-

85

Irrigation
Potential
created

3310.0

123.0

490.0

5426.0

3699.0

Irrigation
Potential
Utilised

3106.0

110.0

439.0

5373.0

3488.0

3
.

At the
end of

Seventh
Plan

1985
-
90

Irrigation
Potential
created

3509.0

134.6

514.3

5596.
7

4176.1

Irrigation
Potential
Utilised

3245.9

118.7

463.2

5505.4

3943.3

4
.

At the
end of

Annual
Plan

1990
-
92

Irrigation
Potential
created

3559.5

149.6

521.6

5657.5

4387.7

Irrigation
Potential
Utilised

3274.7

126.5

488.3

5547.2

4203.6

5
.

At the
end
of

VIII Plan

1992
-
97


Irrigation
Potential
created

4392.2

209.1

539.3

9390.4

6545.5

Irrigation
Potential
Utilised

4023.4

178.2

490.5

8700.1

5832.8

6
.

At the
end of

IX
Plan

1997
-
2002

Irrigation
Potential
created

4539.1

230.1

620.1

8885.6

8678.1

Irrig
ation
Potential
Utilised

4130.3

190.8

533.1

8286.8

6372.7

7
.

At the
end of

2002
-
07

Irrigation
Potential
created

4669.2

263.1

770.0

9130.4

9235.6

Irrigation
Potential
Utilised

4220.5

214.7

616.8

8505.3

6817.6

Source
: Central Water Commission,
India
, 20
10
.
(29)



11

Table 1.3

Water withdrawal and Usage Discrepancies

for irrigation in Indus Basin (India)


Water withdrawal

Total¹ (BCM)

98 BCM

As % of potentially utilizable resources²

135 %

Share of irrigation

96 %

NET³ as % of irrigation withdrawal

37

%

Total (Mha)

11.6 Mha

Gross irrigated area

Ground water share

58 %

Ground water abstraction ratio
4


67 %

Source
:
R. M.
Saleth, 2009
.
(30)

Notes:


¹Total includes withdrawals for irrigation, domestic and industrial sectors

²This also includes re
cycling

³NET is the net evapotranspiration of all irrigated crops

4
It relates total groundwater withdrawals to the total groundwater availability through
natural recharge and return flows

Hydro
power

The hydroelectric potential of the Indus Basin in
the cou
ntry

as assessed
by the Central Electricity Authority of India is 19988.00 M
ega
w
att (M
W
)

with
a
probable installed capacity of 333
8
2.00 MW.
The total number of identified
schemes in the Basin is 190
, out of which 79
(see Annex

1
)
have been graded
under cat
egories A, B, and C for priority
purposes
.
(31)

Achievements and
failures

India has achieved
phenomenal

progress in developing
its

hydropower
resources although huge gaps exist between demand and supply of power across
the country. The five rivers of
the
In
dus Basin


the

Ravi, Beas, Sutlej, Chenab


12

and Jhelum


provide large hydropower resources to India

while for the latter
two rivers, limits and conditions have been specified in the IWT
. The Sutlej River
with an identified hydropower potential of 9443.75 M
W is the largest hydropower
resource in the Indian part of Indus Basin.

Five schemes o
n the
Sutlej

are already
in operation with a total installed capacity of 3150.25 MW
.

Projects
under
execution or likely to
be
commissioned in
the
near future

will add
ano
ther
1880.50 MW

to the
installed capacity
. The remaining 4296 MW potential is yet to
be developed.
(32)

Similar is the case
with

other rivers in the basin where a large
number of major and medium hydropower schemes are already in operation, some
are under s
tudy and others awaiting approval for execution

(Table 1.
4
)
.

Table 1.
4

Existing Hydropower projects in the Indus Basin (India)

Name of

Sub
-
Basin

Existing Hydropower Stations

Total Installed
Capacity
(MW)

Sutlej River

Bhakra, Ganguwal, Kotla, AP Sahib,
San
jay Bhaba, Baspa, Naptha Jhakri
and Ghanvi

3556.8

Beas River

Pong, Dehar, Shannan, Mukerian,
Malana, Gaj, Bassi, Larji, Baner, Binwa
and Kahuli

2015.5

Ravi River

Chamera I, Chamera II, Baira Siul, Sewa
I, Ranjit Sagar and Upper Bari Doab
Canal hydropowe
r project

1738.35

Chenab River

Baglihar, Salal, Dul Hasti, Chenani and
Thirot

1565.14

Jhelum River

Mohara, Gandharbal, Uri, Lower Jhelum
and Upper Sindh Hydropower Projects

736.6

Source
:
Adapted from
South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers and People
.
(33)

T
he development of hydropower potential in the Indus Basin has become
a priority for the Indian
government
over the past few decades as
seen from

reports of large number of proposed schemes. In fact
,

the valleys of Ravi, Beas


13

and Sutlej have been saturated
with hydel projects.
(34)

The large number of
proposed and installed hydropower stations in the Basin are
,

however
,

generating
below the installed capacities. According to South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers
and People “a downward trend (Figure 1.1) can be w
itnessed in hydropower
generation across the Basin tributaries including Sutlej, Beas, Ravi, Chenab and
Jhelum
.

(35)

Figure 1.1


Source
: South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers and People
, 2010
.
(36)

The
viability of under
-
construction and proposed hydropower p
rojects is
,

therefore
,

a big question mark in view of the
diminishing performance of existing
hydropower projects in the Basin.
This also nullifies Indian arguments for
the
need to
explor
e

the untapped hydropower potential in
the occupied
J
ammu and
Kashmir

(J
&K
)

region. The Indian
government
has long been arguing that due to
the limitations of the
IWT

regarding the Indian use of waters of
the
Jhelum and
Chenab, the
occupied
state of J&K has to suffer energy shortages.
Whereas the


14

reality is that the perform
ance of big hydropower projects in India do
es

not match
with the energy demands. For example, the two big hydropower projects in J&K


Salal 690 MW on
the
Chenab and Uri 480 MW on
the
Jh
e
lum


have been
generating much less power than existing demand.
(37)

According to Central
Electricity Regulatory Commission, the Naptha Jhakri project (1500 MW) on
the
Sutlej River was not generating peaking power wh
ile

it could.
(38)

Like irrigation, the hydropower projects of India in the Indus Basin suffer
from lack of ma
intenance. New developments in the hydropower sector can only
lead to success with an integrated policy formulation. At present, the pace to build
new hydropower projects
i
n the Indus Basin seems to be driven by environmental
changes and altered river flow
s in the region. The feasibility of these projects is
,

however
,

questionable in the long run
,

particularly for

the large ones.
Furthermore, downstream environmental aspects of these projects will only add to
riparian
tensions

in South Asia. Pakistan has be
en raising serious objections to
India
’s

massive designs of control infrastructures on
the
Jhelum and Chenab
which may reduce the level of water for Pakistan’s own hydropower projects and
irrigation schemes.

According to a US Senate report, “India has 33 p
rojects at various stages
of completion on the Indus River tributaries. While studies show that no single
dam can affect Pakistan’s waters but cumulative effects of these projects could
give India the ability to store enough water to limit the supply to Pa
kistan at
crucial moments in the growing season
.

(39)

Western
rivers
of Indus Basin and
Pakistan

The Indus River system is the single major water resource
for
Pakistan.
Depending heavily on seasonal rainfall and glacial melt for its average flow, the
Indus

Basin system
is the backbone of agrarian economy of Pakistan.



15

With

56
% drainage area
(40)

of the Indus Basin within
its

boundaries,
Pakistan has been facing the challenge of water management with the
hydrological changes induced by infrastructure investmen
ts and climate variations
in the
basin
.
Pakistan
’s water resources
are
under serious stress from population
pressure
,

lack of storage capa
cities

and inefficient water management practices

at
the public level
.

The
government
of Pakistan has increasingly bee
n paying
attention to various problems in the water sector
over

the recent years. For
example, increases in electricity tariffs
and diesel prices during recent years have
discourag
ed

farmers from high groundwater mining through electric and diesel
tubewell
s.
However
,

there is a greater need to improve and modernise the existing
canal infrastructure in order to encourage conjunctive use of surface and
groundwater
for

agriculture.

Existing water resources

can generate more than the required energy but
this re
quires infrastructure investment and technological applications.
The present
challenge for Pakistan is to increase water
sector efficiency

at the public level
besides developing new projects
.

The following section
deals with
the

achievements and failures o
f Pakistan
in managing
its

share of waters in the Indus Basin within two selected study areas:
irrigation and hydropower.

Achievements and Failures

Irrigation

The process of water development for irrigation was given
great

attention
in the post
-
independenc
e period.
Besides other large
-
scale schemes to interlink
canal irrigation in the country, t
hree

major
storage
reservoirs
,

namely Tarbela on
the
Indus,
Mangla on
the

Jhelum
and Chas
h
ma on
the
Indus
,

were built (Table

1.
5
)

to
meet

the requirements for those
areas earlier irrigated from supplies of the
rivers that went to India under the Indus Waters Treaty (1960)
.
This vast irrigation


16

system feeds more than 40 million acres of irrigated land in Pakistan, a country
with the highest irrigated and rain
-
fed land
ratio in the world
.
(41)

The same system
provides fresh water supply to a population of 172 million besides sharing
aggregate energy at 33.07 per cent.
(42)


Table 1.
5

Salient Features of Irrigation Network
on
the
Indus Basin (Pakistan)


Source
: Shams ul Mu
lk, 2009
.
(43)

Irrigation
water management

in

Indus Basin: Achievements and Failures

Some of the major achievements of Pakistan in the Indus Basin
irrigation system

are reviewed:



The Indus Basin infrastructure created in the latter half of the past
century

is a valuable asset for Pakistan as it generates production
that accounts for 25 per

cent of gross domestic product (GDP), 47
per

cent of total employment, and more than 60 per

cent of annual
national foreign exchange earnings.
(44)

The most vibrant and res
ult
-
producing era of agriculture was the introduction and widespread


17

adoption of green revolution technologies with increased canal
supplies after completion of
the
Mangla
Dam
and IBP works, giving
an average growth rate of 6.3% during 1965
-
70.
(45)



Massive

investment in surface water infrastructure during the post
-
independence period has resulted in positive economic growth
commonly known as green revolution of
the
1960s. The actual
power and irrigation benefits from Tarbela only (1975
-
1998) were
25 per cen
t higher than the appraisal estimates.
(46)



Agriculture is the largest user of water (97%) in Pakistan. In order
to achieve high production targets, the water sector has
increasingly been gaining government attention during the past
decades. A number of new

projects financed by the
government
are in the process of completion (Table 1.
6
)
, which will add to
government’s
control over surface water supply to the command
areas
.



In order to control land salinisation, the
government
introduced
groundwater
pumps
in
the
1960s installing 16,700 tubewe
lls to
supply water to an area o
f 2.6 million ha under the
Salinity Control
and Reclamation Projects (SCARPs)
. Besides reducing the risk of
soil salini
ty
, the SCARP program
me

increased irrigation supplies
to the existing p
ublic canal system through groundwater
discharge.
(47)



Other water management efforts include
massive projects of
National Drainage Program
me

(NDP),
left
-

and
right
-
bank outfall
drains

(LBOD and RBOD)
, National Watercourse Improvement
Programme, On
-
farm Wat
er Management (OFWM) program
me

for controlling seepage and improving water delivery to the lower
reaches, rehabilitation and modernization program
me

of barrages


18

and irrigation system
s

by the provinces,

creation of
provincial
irrigation and drainage authori
ties
, water
-
user associations
(WUAs)
,

farmer organizations (FOs) and area water boards
(AWBs). Water conservation technologies like bed
-
furrow, raised
beds, zero
-
tillage, laser land leve
l
ling and dry
-
seeding of rice have
been introduced but are going at a
very limited scale.
(48)


Table

1.
6

Major Water Sector Projects under Completion


*

Date of completion for all three canals is for phase
-
I, whereas cost is reflected for total project
.

Source
: Pakistan Economic Survey 2010
-
2011
.
(49)


Some of

the major fail
ures of
the
Pakistan
government
in irrigation water
management in the Indus Basin are listed below:



Throughout the post
-
independence period, massive attention has
been given to the engineering aspects of the irrigation system in
Pakistan with no concern fo
r management and conservation of
water resources. Receiving only 250 millimetr
e
s (mm) of rainfall


19

per year

far less than the world average
,
(50)

Pakistan is totally
dependent
on the

Indus Basin waters for irrigation and other
requirements. Lack of adaptatio
n to seasonal variations in basin
flows is the major reason for
the
present water crisis in the country.
The problem gets further exacerbated with irregular Indian
withdrawal and release of water in the shared river bodies. This
happened in August
-
Septembe
r 2008 when India withdrew water
from
the

Chenab to fill
its

Baglihar hydroelectric dam reducing the
river flows to as low as 25,000 cusecs on
4
September 2008.
(51)

This also happen
ed recently
when Indian releases of excess
Sutlej
water during
the
m
onsoon
rains

have
inundat
e
d a

large
number of
Pakistani villages

and destroy
ed

hundreds of

h
ectares

of

ready
cropped
area
.



The present irrigation system supplies about 11% less water than
actual crop requirements.
(52)

At the time of
independence
, Pakistan
had abo
ut 67 million acre feet (MAF) water available for
diversion, this
figure

increased to about 85 MAF by 1960. The
recent statistical data shows that the Indus and its tributaries
provide about 147 MAF during flood season, out of which nearly
106 MAF is diver
ted into canals and is available for irrigating 14.6
million hectares of land,
while about 39 MAF of water out
flows
into sea annually, whereas over 8.6 MAF is considered evaporation
and seepage losses in the river system. The storage capacity of
Pakistan’s

major reservoirs


Tarbela, Mangla and Chashma


has already declined to 12.6 MAF.
(53)



Official estimates for present irrigation efficiency range from 40 to
45 per cent only About 11 million hectares of arable land in


20

Pakistan is affected by water
l
ogging
while over 3 million hectares
are affected by salinity.
(54)



In spite of the fact that total water availability has increased within
the Indus Basin Irrigation System (IBIS)
over

the past 15 years
, t
he
average water availability is continuously
falling

in P
akistan due to
limited storage capacity and water leakages from canals.
During

the monsoon season of July
-
September 2010, Pakistan received an
increase of 81.6 per cent in actual rainfall but the canal head
withdrawals in Kharif (April
-
September 2010) decr
eased by 21 per
cent
.
(55)



The
government
is all in favour of increasing the cultivated area by
building more
storage reservoirs. The target set for 2025 is to
increase the cropped area to 31.83
million
hectares.
(56)

Although

the focus should be on increasi
ng water productivity per irrigated
unit
.



Pakistan’s irrigation system is suffering from major water losses
(Table 1.7)
owing

to lack of canal system maintenance, siltation in
the reservoirs, saline water areas and traditional cropping patterns.
Water seep
ages are one of the major reasons for low crop yields
against per unit of water withdrawal.



Lack of demand management has led to the overexploitation of
water resources resulting in falling water tables, degraded
groundwater quality and poor yields. The ar
ea irrigated by
groundwater alone has increased from 2.7 million to 3.4 million ha
whereas the area irrigated by canal water alone has decreased from
7.9 million to 6.9 million ha.
(57)

The declining use of surface water


21

across the country is challenging

th
e efficacy of

world’s largest
contiguous irrigated
network
.


Table 1.
7

Seepage losses in Indus Basin Irrigation System

Source
:
Medium Term Development Framework 2005
-
2010
.
(58)

Hydropower

Hydropower (11 %) after gas (50%) and oil (30%) is the third larges
t
source of energy supply
in

the country.
(59)

Pakistan is endowed with hydropower
resources of about 60000 MW, almost all of which lie in the provinces of Khyber
-
Pakhtunkhwa, Gilgit
-
Baltistan, Punjab
,

besides
Azad Jammu & Kashmir (AJ&K).
The total installe
d capacity of hydropower projects in the
country
up till 2010 is
6720 MW, out of which 3849 MW is in Khyber
-
Pakhtunkhwa, 1699 MW in
Punjab, and 133 MW in the Gilgit
-
Baltistan
, besides 1039 MW in AJ&K.

(Table
1.8).
(60)




22

Table 1.8

Hydropower Resources of Pak
istan


Source
: Annual Report of Private Power and Infrastructure
Board
, 2011
, Government of
Pakistan
.

Achievements and
failures

At the time of partition in 1947, Pakistan inherited only 60 MW
s
hydropower

capacity for its 31.5 million people.

By 1958, this

capacity was
increased to 119 MW.
During the post
-
Indus Water
s

Treaty period,
the
1000
-
MW
Mangla and 3478
-
MW Tarbela Hydropower Projects were completed to
meet the
rising demand of
the growing population.
(61)

At present, 35 major and medium
hydropower sta
tions are operating in Punjab, Khyber
-
Pak
h
tunkhwa, Gilgit
-
Baltistan and AJ&K. Within G
i
lgit
-
Baltistan alone, there are 84 small hydel
projects with less than 2 MW
capacity

(
see,
Annex II
)
.



23

The development of hydropower in the country has really helped in
i
ncreasing the rural electrification
network
in the country. Pakistan has installed
538 micro hydel
p
ower
plants

(5
-
50 KW capacity) with
a
total capacity of 7.8
MWs resulting in electrification of 700,000 houses.
(62)

The Tarbela and Mangla
dams are a big suc
cess story in hydropower development of the country. These
dams are paying back three times their original cost by generating hydroelectricity
at less than R
e
1 per unit.
(63)

The
Tarbela
Dam
has in fact exceeded the predicted
levels of power generation than

the actual installed capacity.
(64)

A number of new hydropower projects have been under investigation
while others are in the process of construction. According to WAPDA reports,
there are more than 150 projects of 30039 MWs which are in the process of
imp
lementation in the provinces of Khyber
-
Pak
h
tunkhwa, Punjab, Gilgit
-
B
a
ltistan
, and AJ&K by public and private entities.
(65)

Nearly all the operational projects in Pakistan are generating 2
-
30 MWs
hydropower except for three large (Mangla, Tarbela and Ghazi
Barotha) and three
medium hydel stations (Warsak, Chashma and Malakand). These projects are only
providing 35% of current power generation.
(66)

It is in this scenario that the
country has not only been
facing severe power shortages
but the power rates are
getting higher day by day.
The full development of country’s hydropower
potential requires huge infrastructure investment
which
depends upon
effective
planning as well as
external help.

Many of the existing hydropower projects are generating below their
in
stalled capacity either
owing

to siltation problem in the reservoirs or due to
old
canal infrastructure. The two operating hydropower stations


Nandipur and
Chichoki located at Upper Chenab Canal system


are reportedly generating
power less than their in
stalled capacity.
(67)

Learning from these experiences, the
government
is now building run
-
of
-
the
-
river projects to generate electricity


24

without any fear
o
f sedimentation. The Chashma Hydel
p
ower Station on
the

Indus
has already set the precedent for such pr
ojects in Pakistan.

Lots of problems regarding low level of hydropower generation than the
actual potential of the
country
can be identified at the top of which are the
financial constraints and administrative delays in commissioning the projects.
Most
und
er
-
construction

projects are reportedly behind their scheduled time of
completion. The feasibility studies and engineering design of the Neelum
-
Jhelum
Hydroelectric Project (NJHP) were completed in 1997 for a 969
-
MW project by a
Norwegian company.
(68)

Appr
oved in 2002, the project was supposed to be
completed in
eight

years time but the unnecessary delays in commissioning the
project have not only increased the project cost but
also
provided India good
enough time to start the construction of
its

Kishangang
a Hydropower Project on
the same river tributary. The NJHP has achieved only 13 per cent physical
progress,
(69)

whereas the Indian project is in its advanced stages.

Many other projects are also facing similar delays including
the Khan
Khwar and the Duber
Khwar in Khyber
-
Pak
h
tunkhwa
province
and Chakothi
-
Hattian and Kohala power projects in AJ&K.
(70)

Notes for
comparison

In the post
-
IWT period, both India and Pakistan embarked upon
projects
for
interlinking rivers in their respective water bodies.
They

shar
e lot of
similarities and fewer differences in the management of
the
Indus Basin waters

(Table 1.9
).

India built
the
gigantic
Indira Gandhi Canal Project
besides many
other reservoirs
and Pakistan built numerous canals and barrages to interlink its
three w
estern rivers.
Massive investments in building water infrastructure
led to
the growth of irrigated areas in the Indus Basin (Table 1.10) which subsequently
provided a boost to
the
agricultural economies of the two countries
.
Introduction
of tubewells and r
ural electrification encouraged the development of groundwater


25

resources in both the countries. This has
accelerated

crop outputs

in
both
India
and
Pakistan
, the latter
achieving
high
growth

in terms of agricultur
al

produc
e

but
low

water
producti
vity

as co
mpare
d

to India
.
The overall water productivity was
reported to be 0.5 kg/m
3

for Pakistani
Punjab and 1.0 kg/m
3

for the Bhakra system
of the Indian Punjab
.
(71)


Table 1.9

Comparison of
irrigation
and hydropower development in the Indus Basin

*
crop yields per cubic meter of water

Sources
: World Bank,
(73)

V.R.
Reddy,
(74)

Tushaar,
et al,
(75)

R.S.
Sidhu, and
A.S.
Bhullar
(76)


Table 1.10

Growth of
irrigated area
in
the
Indus Basin in
million
ha

Year

India

Pakistan

1
947

22.0 (70)*

10.75 (68)

Randomly selec
ted areas

Pakistan

India

Agriculture growth rates 1947
-
2002

3.58 % per
year

2.8 % per
year

Maintenance of water distribution network

Low

Low

Water productivity*

Low

High

Exploitation of groundwater resources

High

High

Nutrient
-
exhaustive cropping patt
ern

High

High

Environmental degradation in canal command areas

High

High

Pricing of groundwater
(72)

(diesel pumps, electric
tube
-
wells)

High

High

Private
-
public participation in energy development
projects

Low

High

Inequity in water distribution

High

High

Seepage losses

High

Low



26

1950

22.0 (70)

9.45 (68)

1955

23.45 (70)

10.60 (68)

1960

26. 52 (70)

12.04(67)

1965

31.25 (70)

12.95 (56)

1970

32.30 (70)

14.30 (56)

1975

39.35 (69.7)

13.83 (54)

1985

41.77 (68.1)

15.76 (52)

1990

43.05 (65)

16.30 (69.7)

1
995

53.0 (61.9)

17.20 (49.4)

2000

55.0 (60)

18.00 (47)

*

Figures in parenthesis show the percentage of population
engaged
in agriculture.

Source
:
H.
Fahlbusch et al.
(77)


There has been a shift in both India and Pakistan from surface water uses
to groun
dwater uses during the recent decades. In spite of massive investments by
India and Pakistan in canal networking, irrigation at present in both the countries
relies heavily on tubewell and other water supply sources. Pure canal irrigation is
on decline whe
reas groundwater irrigation is increasing in both. During the
seven
-
year period between 1994 and 2001, India and Pakistan together lost over 5.5
million ha of canal irrigated areas despite massive investments in rehabilitation
and new projects.
(78)

Reports

show

an overexploitation of groundwater resources
not only for irrigation but also for domestic and industrial uses. Huge estimates
exist for underground drilling and tubewells by the population living in the Indus
Basin. According to a study by the Unive
rsity of Colorado, “the most intensively
irrigated areas in northern India, eastern Pakistan and parts of Bangladesh are
losing groundwater at an overall rate of 54 cubic kilometres per year.”
(79)

I
n
future,
therefore,
water could be a major limiting facto
r in sustaining agriculture
production in India and Pakistan.



27

W
ater productivity of the Indus region varies geographically and
seasonally.
Past massive investments in infrastructure development by India is
one of the major reasons for
comparatively better
water productivity of irrigated
crops.
The existing live storage capacity of Pakistan is only 9 per cent of its
average annual flow as compare to India which has 35 per cent (Table 1.1
1
)
.

Similar is the case for the development of hydropower resources in I
ndia and
Pakistan as the former

is

performing better
with regard to the existing power
generation capacity
(Table 1.1
2
)
.
In recent decades, Pakistan has embarked upon
huge investments in water infrastructure development which will increase water
storage ca
pacity besides
generating cheap hydelpower
.
S
ustained institutional
support is required in the hydropower sector of Pakistan to encourage rapid
development of hydelpower resources besides taking serious policy steps against
India
’s

drive to build numerous
hydropower projects on
the

eastern tributaries of
Indus Basin, which can cumulatively increase flood level in wet seasons and
decrease water volume in dry seasons downstream Pakistan.
The
present

day
challenge for both
India and Pakistan is the
proper

util
isation
of existing
water
resources

by adopting water conservation practices and efficient irrigation
methods
.


Table 1.1
1

Average
annual flow

and storage

capacity of Indus Basin
rivers
in India and Pakistan


River
Basin

Catchment

Area (1000

sq. km)

Length

(km)

Average

Annual

Flow

(MAF)

No. of

Dams

Storage

Capacity

(MAF)

% age

Storage

India
*


Sutlej
-
Beas


-

1,440

32

5

11.32

35

Pakistan
**

Indus and
tributaries

1,166

2,880

145

3

13.64

9



28

Source
s
:
*Central Electricity Authority, India 2011
.
(80)

**Medium
-
Ter
m Development Framework 2005
-
2010
.
(81)


Table 1.1
2

Status of
hydroelectric
potential
development
in Indus Basin

Sources
: *Central Electricity Authority, Government of India
.
(82)

** Private Po
wer and Infrastructure Board, Government of Pakistan
.
(83)

Conclusion

T
his research study
shows

that
during the past 50 years,
Indus Basin
development has achieved substantial progress in both India and Pakistan within
the sectors of irrigation and hydropow
er generation.
The two countries share few
differences and more similarities in the management of their respective share of
Indus Basin
waters
.

Massive investments in building surface water infr
astructure
and exploring ground
water development have resulted

in high production rates in
India and Pakistan. However, t
he management of Basin waters at present is
posing a number of challenges including population pressures, climate
-
induced
changes in water flows, groundwater depletion and
old
inefficient
infrastru
cture
Identified
capacity as per
assessment

Capacity
developed

Capacity
under
construction

Capacity
developed +

under
construction

Balance
potential


MW

MW

%

MW


%

MW

%

MW

%

Indus
*

(India)

3383
2

9929.
3

29.3
4

5431.
0


16.5

15360.
3

46.51

18471.
7

54.60

Indus**

(Pakista
n)

5979
6

6720

11.2
3

3003
9

50.23

36759

61.47

23037

38.53



29

for surface water supply. In the background of growing water insecurity in the
region, past achievements
in

water management in the Basin cannot be called
sustainable. B
oth countries need to adopt water
-
efficient practices at the public
level

besides

maintaining existing water infrastructure.



30

Notes and References


1.


Indus River
,”

Encyclopedia Britannica Online
, 2011.
<http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/286872/Indus
-
River>
,
(
a
ccessed 29 June 2011
)
.

2.

“History of Multipurpose River Valley Project D
evelopment in Indus
Basin”, Bhakra Beas Management Board, Government of India.
<
http://bbmb.gov.in/english/menu2.asp
>,
(
a
ccessed 30 June 2011
)
.

3.

“Annexure B and Annexure C”, Indus Waters Treaty, World Bank.
<
http://siteresources.worldbank.org/INTSOUTHASIA/R
esources/223497
-
105737253588/IndusWatersTreaty1960.pdf
>,
(
accessed
7 July 2011
)
.

4.

See Articles II, III and IV, Text of Indus Waters Treaty, World Bank, Ibid.

5.

“Water and Related Statistics”, Water Planning and Project Wing, Central
Water Commission, Governme
nt of India, Dec
ember

2010.
<
http://www.indiaenvironmentportal.org.in/files/water%20and%20related
%20statistics.pdf
>,
(
accessed 8 July 2011
)
.

6.

“Projects for Friends of Democratic Pakistan”, Water and Power
Development Authority, Government of Pakistan, March

2011, p.2.
<
http://www.wapda.gov.pk/pdf/BrochureFODPMarch2011.pdf
>,
(
a
ccessed 11 August 2011
)
.

7.

Pakistan Economic Survey 2010
-
2011
,

Ministry of Finance, Government
of Pakistan.
<
http://www.finance.gov.pk/survey_1011.html
>,
(
a
ccessed 10
August 2011
)
.

8.

“Mediu
m
-
Term Development Framework
,

2005
-
2010
,
” Planning
Commission, Government of Pakistan, 2005.
<
http://www.planningcommission.gov.pk/mtdf/27
-
Water%20Sector/27
-
Water%20Sector.pdf
>,
(
a
ccessed 10 August 2011
)
.

9.

“Water and Related Statistics”, op
.
cit.,
(
r
ef.5
)
.



31

10.

P
hilippe Cullet and Joyeeta Gupta, “India: Evolution of Water Law and
Policy”, in Joseph W. Dellapenna and Joyeeta Gupta (eds.),
The Evolution
of the Law and Politics of Water
, (USA: Springer
Academic Publishers,
2009), pp.
166, 169
-
171.

11.

H. Fahlbusch, Bart S
chultz, and C.D. Thatte,

(eds)

The Indus Basin:
History of Irrigation, Drainage and Flood Management
, (
New Delhi:
International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage
;

New Delhi
, 2004),
p.
25.

12.

Ibid., pp.25
-
27, 132.

13.

“Report on Economic Impact of Interlinking
of Rivers Programme
,

National Council of Applied Economic Research, India, April 2008, p.
xiii.
<
http://www.indiaenvironmentportal.org.in/files/99.pdf
>,
(
a
ccessed
11 July 2011
)
.

14.

“Water Resources Development Projects in Indus Basin
,
” Hydrology and
Water Re
sources Information System for India, National Institute of
Hydrology, Roorkee, India.
<
http://www.nih.ernet.in/rbis/india_

information/iNDUS_PROJECTS.htm
>,
(
a
ccessed 12 July 2011
)
.

15.

Water Resources Department, Government of Rajasthan, India.
<
http://waterr
esources.rajasthan.gov.in/4bhakhra.htm#link
>,
(
accessed 12
July 2011
)
.

16.

Ibid.

17.

Bharat R. Sharma, Upali Amarasinghe and Cai Xueliang, “
Assessing and
Improving Water Productivity in Conservation Agriculture Systems in the
Indus
-
Gangetic Basin
,
” paper presented

at
the
4th World Congress on
Conservation Agriculture
-
Innovations for Improving efficiency, Equity
and Environment, New Delhi, India
,

4
-
7 February 2009.

<
http://cpwfbfp.pbworks.com/f/WCCA
-
Paper_BRS_.pdf
>,

(a
ccessed
20
July 2011
).



32

18.

G. Narendranath, Uma Shan
kari and Rajendra K. Reddy, “To Free or Not
to Free Power: Understanding the Context of Free Power to Agriculture”,
Economic and Political Weekly
, Mumbai,
31
December 2005, p.5561.

19.

Nirvikar Singh

and Deepali S. Kohli, “The Green Revolution in Punjab,
India
: The Economics of Technological Change”,
Journal of Punjab
Studies
, Special Number on Agriculture and Rural Economy of Indian
Punjab, Volume 12, Number 2, Fall 2005, pp.285
-
302.

20.

R. M. Saleth and U.A. Amarasingh
e, “Promoting Irrigation Demand
Management in

India: Policy Options and Institutional Requirements”, in
R.M.
Saleth, (ed.),
Strategic Analyses of the National River Linking
Project (NRLP) of India, Series 3. Promoting Irrigation Demand
Management in India: Potentials, Problems and Prospects,
(
Colombo
:
International Water Management Institute, 2009), pp. 14
-
15.
<
http://nrlp.iwmi.org/PDocs/workshops/IWMI%20NRLP
-
Series%203
-
Latest
-
final%20(27
-
03
-
2009).pdf
>,

(
a
ccessed 20 July 2011)
.

21.

Tushaar Shah, “Indian Irrigation in transition”, paper presented at a
Work
shop on Water Resources Management


Economic Instruments,
Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai,
23
-
24

January
2009.
<
http://www.igidr.ac.in/conf/water/Indian%

20Irrigation%20in%20Transition
-
Tushaar%20Shah.pdf
>,

(
a
ccessed 20
July 2011)
.

22.

World Bank and
the
Government of India, Initiating and Sustaining Water
Sector Reforms: A Synthesis
, (Washington and New Delhi: World Bank
publications and Allied Publishers, 1999), p.95.

23.

“Annual Report 2009
-
2010”, Central Water Commission, Government of
I
ndia, p.11.
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82.

“Status of hydroelectric p
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Basin wise”, op
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,

(
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83.

“Hydropower Resources of Pakistan”, op
.
cit.,
(
ref
.60
)
.




40


Annex I

Proposed Hydropower Projects of India on Indus Basin




41




42


Source
: Central Electricity Authority, Government of India



43

Annex II

Existin
g Hydropower Projects in Pakistan








44



Source:
Annual Report


Private Power and Infrastructure Board, Government of
Pakistan, February 2011.






CONTENTS




Introduction

1

A
profile
of the Indus Basin

2

Eastern rivers of Indus Basin and India

3

A
chi
evements and failures

4

Western rivers of Indus Basin and Pakistan

15

Achievements and Failures

16

Notes for comparison

25

Conclusion

30

Notes and references

31

Appendix

42