[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]THE INDUS RIVER IRRIGATION SYSTEM

Pakistan is one of the world’s most arid countries, with an average rainfall of under 240 mm a year. The population and the economy are heavily dependent on the annual water inflows into the Indus river system which includes the Indus, Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi, Beas, and Sutlej rivers of about 180 billion cubic meters of water, The Indus Valley Civilization of Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro that flourished nearly six thousand years back owed much to these rivers. At the time of partition of India in 1947 the head works of the three eastern rivers and the Chenab were located in the newly independent India whereas much of the irrigated land area cultivated was across the international boundary in Pakistan. In 1948 India cut off the water supply for a period of time and as a lower riparian it became an existential problem for Pakistan to secure its water rights in the Indus Basin. That was when the World Bank and the international community became involved with the problem. Negotiations spread over a ten year period under the auspices of the World Bank resulted in the signing of the Indus Water Treaty in 1960. The Treaty gave absolute rights over the use of water to India of the three eastern rivers of Ravi, Sutlej and Beas while Pakistan got the rights of exclusive use of the three western rivers of Indus, Jhelum and Chenab. In order to replace the water sources for irrigation in Pakistan, affected by the award of the three eastern rivers to India, massive replacement structural works were undertaken for water diversion through the construction of two large storage dams and numerous barrages and link canals.

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