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Benefit sharing approach for the transboundary Brahmaputra river basin in South Asia - A case study
S.P. Rai,
Published in Central Board of Irrigation and Power
Volume: 58RNI
Issue: 12
Pages: 56 - 61
Optimal water management and control of transboundary river system like the Brahmaputra warrants water sharing mechanism hinged on transparent and judicious framework for collective development of all riparians countries with the approach of benefit sharing. The issue of managing water is gaining prominence with increasing dependence of countries on international rivers. Nowhere can it get more pertinent than the Brahmaputra river system which can transform the plight of a sizable world population in abject poverty. In the absence of any water-sharing mechanism in place, an imperative need is felt to manage and harness the common pool resource of the river as well as tame its flood and erosion problems. The idea is to shift the focus from physical volumes of water to the various values derived from water use for poverty alleviation. A study is presently underway jointly at IIT Roorkee to explore a framework to promote cooperation in the Brahmaputra basin by using a framework of benefit sharing. It is envisaged to analyze various scenarios that could be developed out of the recent damming and hydropower advancements in the basin. A benefit sharing framework is applied to quantify the potential benefits. In the past, such analysis has assisted riparians to identify and explore the various trade-offs associated with different cooperative scenarios, thereby bringing clarity to the question of how they can and why they should cooperate. This will promote riparians to view the problem as positive-sum outcomes associated with optimizing benefits rather than the zero-sum outcomes associated with dividing water and also open up the concerned players for constructive interactions. The focus of this study is based on the approach of benefit sharing as the guiding principle for transboundary water management with win-win scenario for all riparians with emphasis on poverty alleviation ushering in all round peace and prosperity in South Asia. © 2016, Central Board of Irrigation and Power. All rights reseved.
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