The availability of freshwater resources in sufficient quantity and quality is essential for all forms of life / human sustenance, a robust eco-system, agriculture and related economic activity. Consequently there is an inexorable linkage between human civilization and the great rivers of the world.
Nation-states have recognized that the availability of water resources is vital for economic development: whether for agriculture, industrial production, or for electricity generation. The world’s freshwater resources are distributed very unevenly in terms of geography and mediated by seasonal rhythms. In addition, water shortage is becoming more prevalent in several regions due to population growth, economic development, rapid urbanization, indiscriminate groundwater use and increasing environmental pollution. Thus, water resources have the potential for engendering conflicts between parties who have different interests and needs. Conflicts surrounding the distribution, access and quality of water resources often arise between upstream and downstream riparian states on waterways, since water usages upstream can affect the quantity and quality of the resource downstream. Bodies of water frequently flow across borders and can, therefore, also become the subject of international disputes.
Round Table Discussion (RTD) on Regional River Water Dispute, will bring together a panel of experts / professionals/ analysts / diplomats to discuss and identify policy relevant issues on the subject. The RTD will be broadly organized into the following sessions:
(a) Global water scenario and mechanisms for resolution of trans-boundary disputes
(b) Regional Perspective – South Asia
(c) Issues concerning upstream states – Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan
(d) Issues concerning downstream states- Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan
(e) Can India play a larger regional role?
The RTD will be chaired by Ambassador Mr. Ashok Sajjanhar, former Indian Ambassador to Kazakhstan. The keynote address will be by Mr. Bill Young, Specialist, World Bank. Eminent domain and regional experts as well as representatives of the Indian government including Mr.AjayBisaria, JS ( Eurasia), MEA will be participating. Other experts include Messrs Joydeep Gupta, Third Pole, U K.