Water Security in South Asia: Running Dry and Running Out of Options

In the latest dispute between India and Pakistan, Islamabad has taken New Delhi to the International Court of Arbitration in The Hague over a longstanding water treaty. The move does not bode well for bilateral mediation between the two adversarial neighbors, and it underscores the greater difficulty of solving water disputes throughout the entire region. India, Pakistan, China, and Bangladesh rely on the same rivers for the wellbeing of their people, economies, and ecosystems. While every party agrees the stakes are incredibly high, there has been inadequate agreement on the multilateral frameworks and information sharing that could reduce rather than inflame regional tensions.

India and Pakistan

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