Indus Waters Treaty (IWT)

Indus Waters Treaty (IWT)

#GS-02 International Relations

For Prelims

Indus Waters Treaty (IWT)

  • Indus Waters Treaty was brokered by the World Bank after nine year long negotiations on September 19, 1960.
  • Under the treaty all the waters of three Eastern rivers, namely Ravi,Sutlej and Beas were allocated to India for its exclusive use while, the waters of Western rivers i.e., Indus, Jhelum, and Chenab were allocated to Pakistan
  • However India was allowed to use the water from Indus, Jhelum, and Chenab for specified domestic, non-consumptive and agricultural use as provided in the Treaty.
  • As per the treaty 20% of the water from the Indus River System goes to India and the rest 80% to Pakistan.
  • A Permanent Indus Commission comprising of officials from India and Pakistan was set up by the United Nations for resolving any disputes that may arise in water sharing, with a mechanism for arbitration to resolve conflicts amicably.
  • The Hague’s Permanent Court of Arbitration (CoA) in 2013, ruled that India could divert all the water if it satisfies certain conditions.
  • India has not been utilising the entire share of water it is entitled to as per the provisions of the IWT.
  • About 2 million acre-feet (MAF) of water unutilized by India from the River Ravi flows into Pakistan.

Dispute settlement

Article IX of the treaty deals with the “Settlement of Differences and Disputes”, and provides three possible steps to decide on objections raised by either side.

They are

  • working within the “Permanent Indus Commission” (PIC) of the Indian and Pakistani delegation of water experts that meet regularly;
  • consulting the World Bank-appointed neutral expert: or
  • setting up a court process to adjudicate the case through the World Bank and the Permanent Court of Arbitrage (PCA).