Projects for a new hydroelectric project on the Chenab River, in the disputed territory of Jammu and Kashmir, are causing tension between India and Pakistan.
Pakistani authorities have expressed concern with the project and its impacts on water flow coming into the country. Yet, despite provisions in the Indus Water Treaty, India is not disclosing details of the project.
Under treaty rules, India needs to disclose plans on projects that affect water flow on any of the is rivers shared by the two countries.
Although Pakistani and Indian authorities agreed on having meetings to discuss the issue, India is putting them on hold, which has increased tensions as Karachi is concerned about impacts of these projects in the country’s agriculture.
A heatwave has been having a devastating effect in Pakistan with temperatures rising as high as 50C. Crops have been affected and mango production, for example, is expected to be reduced by half this year.
Heatwaves and droughts have been recurrent in this part of the world and they produce a compound effect as water levels are not restored.
This year, Pakistan’s region of Balochistan is facing extreme weather. The lack of water is having an impact on electricity production, making it difficult for populations to deal with the high temperatures.
According to the Indus Water Treaty, the waters of the Chenab River have been allocated to Pakistan, although energy production would be an exception that would allow India to use the river’s waters.