Published on: March 28, 2024



NEWS – The reports authored by the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) and the Australian Water Partnership highlight the urgent need for an integrated river basin management approach for the Indus, Ganga, and Brahmaputra rivers in South Asia


This approach aims to enhance resilience to climate change impacts, especially concerning melting glaciers, erratic rainfall patterns, and flooding that affect millions of people across these river basins.

Key points from the reports and recommendations include:

  1. Integrated River Basin Management:
    • This approach entails basin-wide planning supported by comprehensive data sharing on water availability, biodiversity, and pollution among all stakeholders.
  2. Stakeholders and Dependence on Rivers:
    • People in India, China, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nepal, and Bhutan heavily rely on the Indus, Ganga, and Brahmaputra rivers for food and water security.
  3. Existing Treaties and Agreements:
    • While there are bilateral treaties like the Indus Water Treaty and agreements on water data sharing, there’s a lack of multilateral agreements addressing the holistic management of these rivers.
  4. Population and River Basin Dependency:
    • The Ganga river basin alone supports around 600 million Indians, 29 million Nepalese, and a significant population in Bangladesh, emphasizing the need for collaborative management efforts.
  5. Harnessing Indigenous Knowledge:
    • The reports stress the importance of leveraging indigenous and local knowledge systems to enhance community resilience during crises, urging governments to empower local communities with knowledge and technology.
  6. Data Gaps and Recommendations:
    • There are significant data gaps across these river basins regarding social, economic, and environmental aspects, as well as water usage.
    • Plugging these data gaps would improve water management, early warning systems, and disaster management capabilities.
  7. Hydro-Solidarity and Climate Diplomacy:
    • The reports advocate for greater hydro-solidarity and climate diplomacy among researchers and countries to build trust, foster dialogue, and facilitate collaborative efforts towards sustainable river basin management.