Connecting the Drops: An Indus Basin Roadmap for Cross-Border Water Research and Policy Coordination

Download the full report hereSoaring demand, mounting climate pressures, and unsustainable management patterns increasingly imperil the waters of the Indus River Basin on which some 300 million people across both India and Pakistan depend. Between 2011 and 2013, the Stimson Center, in coordination with the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (Pakistan) and the Observer Research Foundation (India), convened a series of meetings of a 25-member expert working group to identify information gaps, prioritize research needs, and develop a roadmap of practical steps to bolster Indian and Pakistani capacities to assess and address growing stresses on their common water resources. The results of these cross-border dialogues are embodied in the new report "Connecting the Drops: An Indus Basin Roadmap for Cross-Border Water Research, Data Sharing, and Policy Coordination."

Download "Connecting the Drops" Report

Connecting the Drops: An Indus Basin Roadmap for Cross-Border Water Research, Data Sharing, and Policy Coordination seeks to build mutual understanding between Indian and Pakistani decision-makers of the common water risks they confront in the Indus Basin. Drawn from the combined input of 25 leading Indian and Pakistani water experts, climate change specialists, economists, and former ambassadors, the report provides a menu of practical steps to bolster Indian and Pakistani capacities to measure, evaluate, and address increasing strains on their shared water resources. Policy recommendations and ideas for cross-border research initiatives focus on five key areas: agriculture and food security, energy and economic development, climate change and environmental pressures, glaciology, and institutions, governance, and diplomacy. To download the full report, click here.

News

On March 8, News Track India published an article covering the release of the Stimson Center report Connecting the Drops: An Indus Basin Roadmap for Cross-Border Water Research, Data Sharing, and Policy Coordination. In late February and early March, Stimson Environmental Security Program Director David Michel and Environmental Security Program Consultant Syed Iqbal Hasnain traveled to both Islamabad and New Delhi to participate in public-outreach events to disseminate the report's findings to policy makers, university students, and media in both India and Pakistan. To read the full article, please click here.

On February 28, Pakistan's Express Tribune covered the publication launch of Connecting the Drops in Islamabad. To read the article, please click here.

From February 24 through March 8, 2013, David Michel and Syed Iqbal Hasnain travel to Islamabad and New Delhi to participate in public-outreach events for the Connecting the Drops report, conducted with the support of project partners the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (Pakistan) and the Observer Research Foundation (India).

David Michel serves on the peer-review committee for a National Research Council report, Himalayan Glaciers: Climate Change, Water Resources, and Water Security, released in September 2012. The report can be downloaded from the National Academies Press here.

From June 26-28, 2012, the Stimson Center hosts a conference in Kathmandu with the support of the US State Department, bringing together Indian and Pakistani scientists, agricultural economists, water experts, and climate-change modelers to discuss best water management practices in the Indus River Basin. The conference is the first of two to be held in Asia this year. Participants identified existing knowledge gaps between India and Pakistan, and discussed how to increase transparency in managing transboundary waters through increased data-sharing on 1) water inflow levels into the basin and 2) climate change impacts on snowpack- and glacial melt rates in the Indus headwater regions. 

On May 9, 2012, Stimson Center President Ellen Laipson participates in a roundtable discussion of the National Intelligence Council's 2012 Global Water Security report as part of the National Conversation series at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, DC. Click here to watch.

Stimson analysis led by Environmental Security Program Director David Michel has been contributed to the National Intelligence Council’s Global Water Security report, released in the spring of 2012. Click here to read.

David Michel contributes to a workshop preparing forthcoming National Research Council report on Himalayan Glaciers: Climate Change, Water Resources, and Water Security. Click here for a description of the NRC project, and click here for a summary of David Michel's contribution.

Analysis

Pakistan's Energy Crisis: Beyond Hydroelectricity | July 30, 2012
By Zachary Weiss

East Is East and West Is West | August 2, 2011
By David Michel

The Endless Drought: Water Conflict in the Era of Climate Change | March 1, 2011
By Kendra Patterson

Who Owns Transnational Water? | March 1, 2012
By Kendra Patterson

The Need for an International Treaty to Protect the Himalayan Plateau | December 16, 2010
By Syed Iqbal Hasnain

Climate Change Contributing to Pakistan's Vulnerability | September 2, 2010
By Syed Iqbal Hasnain

Publications

Fresh Water Futures

On January 29, 2010, the Stimson Center, under the sponsorship of the National Intelligence Council and the US State Department, organized a workshop in Washington, DC, focused on the future of global fresh water resources and the politics of water resource management... Read More>>

Indian Climate Policy: Choices and Challenges

In order to negotiate effectively on an international regime for climate change, US policymakers must have an accurate understanding of the constraints and considerations that determine the negotiating positions of key countries. India plays a pivotal role in these efforts... Read More>>

Troubled Waters: Climate Change, Hydropolitics, and Transboundary Resources

Troubled Waters: Climate Change, Hydropolitics, and Transboundary Resources examines the multiple challenges that global climate change raises for the management of shared freshwater resources... Read More>>

Events

Water Management and Conflict in Pakistan | July 23, 2010

Dr. Daanish Mustafa joined us for a discussion on the nexus of water management and conflict in Pakistan. Dr. Mustafa is the Senior Lecturer in Environment, Politics, and Development in the Department of Geography at King's College, London... Read More>>

Water and Peace in Afghanistan and Pakistan | August 3, 2009

Water is a critical resource for sustaining livelihoods, promoting economic development, and ensuring envrionmental quality... Read More>>

Cooperation or Conflict? Water Resource Challenges in Bangladesh and South Asia | September 24, 2008

Ambassador Rahman was Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as well as Special Envoy of the Prime Minister... Read More>>

Multimedia

Stimson Radio: Radio H20 - Jay Famiglietti on Satellite Mapping the Earth's Fresh Water Resources

Jay Famiglietti of the University of California Irvine's Center for Hydrologic Modeling, on innovations in satelliite-based mapping of surface and groundwater resources, and NASA's Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiement (GRACE).

Atiq Rahman on Climate Change, Coastal Disaster Response, Water, and Governance

Atiq Rahman, Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies, discusses climate change, coastal disaster response, water and governance.

Ramaswamy R. Iyer on Transboundary Water Management in South Asia

Ramaswamy R. Iyer, Centre for Policy Research, India, discusses transboundary water management and governance in South Asia.